Here’s the thing about The Legend of Legacy. There’s been a lot of commentary surrounding the game for a number of reasons. Some are about the positive allusions to previous JRPGs. Others are about the amount of work that goes into actually playing the game. Here’s what you need to know that’s important. The Legend of Legacy is going to make you grind, and there’s a good chance you aren’t going to like that.
That doesn’t mean The Legend of Legacy is a bad game. If anything, I’d call it the most frustrating game that I love. There are a lot of positive design decisions I like, such as presentation of characters, sepia-toned look of the world, that I’ll sometimes be surprised when a party member Awakens and learns a skill, and how handy the ability to send out trading ships for items can be. However, this comes with a lot of things that can nag at someone.
The Legend of Legacy sometimes feels like a 15 hour game trapped inside of a 60 hour one. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call the amount of necessary grinding excessive. I believe it’s an unfortunate consequence of FuRyu daring to do something different. Because the company decided to go with a leveling system that centers around specific actions and do something different, rather than overall improvements, a player may need to go through hours of battles to get a character to a point where he or she is battle ready.
Heaven forbid you decide to pull one of the characters you meet in town into your party. That might not go well. These people only level up when they’re in the party, so ones who join later won’t be on par with your original three. As an example, when I began my game with Eloise, Owen, and Liber, Eloise was level 7 in attack, level 10 in guard, and level 5 in support. Owen was level 5 in attack, level 14 in guard, and level 4 in support. Liber was level 4 in attack, level 5 in guard, and level 13 in support.
When my first extra character, Filmia, joined the party, he had a level 10 in attack, level 5 in guard, and level 7 in support. By that time, Eloise had reached attack level 11, remained at guard level 10, and had gone to support level 5. Others showed similar growth. It was easier to shape the people I started with into what I wanted, rather than bring in somebody new.
Which is a positive to the game. If you like a character and are willing to put the time in, you can make any of the people you like into the powerhouses you want them to be. Certainly, some are stronger in specific fields initially and have certain weapon affinities that mean they’ll be more capable with and likely to Awaken a skill for an item, but anyone can use any item. Eloise should have been using staves, bows, and elements, but I routinely had her equipped with short swords. I never regretted the decision.
Perhaps the best advice with The Legend of Legacy is it get it alongside an additional Nintendo 3DS game. That may seem counterintuitive advice, but there’s wisdom there. While this is a JRPG, the story isn’t as strong as other titles. you aren’t constantly encountering important events or triggering specific scenes that will be easily forgotten. You’re focused on your main character’s tale, and not the seven other party members. Since so much of the game is about the battles, it’s easier to deal with this game by picking up a complementary title and playing the two in bursts.
Which is honestly how I’ve been handling The Legend of Legacy myself. I set aside a three to four hour period for myself to play games every night. I played The Legend of Legacy for an hour, then would either decorate one animal’s home in Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer or take Chibi-Robo through at least two levels in Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash. By taking the time to step away, I found myself naturally pacing myself in The Legend of Legacy. I didn’t recklessly rush into mini-boss or boss battles I might not win, because I hadn’t spent three hours grinding to find I still wasn’t ready for the foe. If I grew tired of facing the same battles against general mooks, I stepped away to battle different general mooks in another game. It all worked out.
It also made it easier to bear the weight for the trading vessels to go in-and-out in The Legend of Legacy. Which was another boon in dealing with grinding, because each new shipment usually provided at least one weapon or piece of armor that would make my characters strong enough to think about taking on the more challenging opponents. Since you can’t just revisit the ship the next time you go to town if you want the good stuff, the forced breaks made it seem like I wasn’t biding my time until my ship came in.
I suppose what I’m saying is to focus in The Legend of Legacy, but not focus too long or too hard. You want to center in on specific party members, picking a role for them and having them level those actions, so you aren’t unnecessarily leveling seven people you can’t possibly use at once. Especially since almost all of Atlus’ alterations, save the ones determining when trading shipments arrive, apply to New Game+ item drop rates or what carries over from one game to the next. You’ll also want to go ahead and take breaks every one to two, at most three, hours so you don’t get frustrated by fighting the same folks over and over until you’re ready for greater things.
The Legend of Legacy will be coming to the Nintendo 3DS on October 13.