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First Impressions: Legends of Exidia

Posted by Luke Westaway

We get to grips with Gameloft's miniature epic

Earlier this week Nintendo Life was cordially invited to Gameloft's London office for a hands-on of their latest adventure for DSiWare, Legends of Exidia, which has now been released in the European shop.

Gameloft is developing something of a reputation as the most ambitious developers in the download market. These platforms tend to attract puzzle games, or simplistic action-type affairs, and it's refreshing to see that Gameloft is bucking this trend by releasing ambitious, story-driven titles for DSiWare. Legends of Exidia is their latest attempt at doing just that.

The game's premise is classic RPG-fare. The peace of Exidia is threatened by an army of demons known as the Morgost, who have invaded Olinor, the kingdom of Princess Sofia, with the sinister ambition of resurrecting the almighty Daraka. Our hero Louis, however, is having none of it and so leaves his village to help Sofia and eliminate the danger threatening the land.

Starting off in the village, your first task will be to familiarise yourself with the control scheme and the locals. Just as soon as you've completed a few basic challenges – and equipped yourself with a sword – you'll be off on your whirlwind adventure. It's at this point you'll realise that Legends of Exidia breaks away from the standard RPG template in several important ways.

First of all, combat is action-oriented rather than turn-based. Defeating your foes will be a case of good timing and nimble movement, balancing sword swipes with magic. Completing quests and killing monsters will net you XP and loot, upping your attack power, defensive abilities and the like. With every level you'll also gain an extra combo move, meaning your swordplay will get gradually more powerful and elaborate as the game progresses. We were able to experience some high-level gameplay and we can report that combat feels suitably satisfying – the room-filling magical fire and lightning storms being a particular highlight.

The game also deviates from usual RPG form in that you'll be undergoing your adventure alone. Although at times you must work closely with an AI-controlled friendly character, for the most part you'll be something of a lone wolf.

Although it's hard to draw any firm conclusions from a quick playtest, Legends of Exidia's greatest strength seems to be the pace of its action sequences. Whereas many action-RPGs can become a repetitive slog through identical enemies, in Legends of Exidia we found ourselves scaling towers, dodging falling boulders, sliding down zip-wires and bombing castle-turrets, all within the space of a few minutes. Whether the game is able to maintain this relentless pace throughout remains to be seen, but the sections we played were very impressive in terms of keeping the game moving and fresh.

The game looks to be fairly story-driven, so fingers crossed for a good number of plot-twists and shock revelations. The art is bright and colourful, and the music we heard was suitably legendary-sounding. There's also a massive amount of gear to collect – 69 different weapons and hundreds of various bits of armour, 22 different environments and 25 side quests to keep you occupied. We can't make any confident claims about the length of the game, but from what we've seen it's looking to be pretty substantial.

Oh, and there's some DSi camera support thrown in for good measure, should you fancy seeing your face in various places throughout the game-world.

All things considered, it's looking very promising indeed, and priced at 800 points, this could very well prove a worthy purchase. Exidia was released today in Europe - stay tuned for the full review.

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User Comments (30)

Xkhaoz

#2

Xkhaoz said:

Maaan, this needs to come to America. You WILL get a DSi pix, whether you like it or not!!!

Shiryu

#3

Shiryu said:

Just found out this is Gameloft's "Heroes Might and Magic" on the mobile phone without the licence. That being said, I will definetly be picking this up ASAP!

Mendoza

#4

Mendoza said:

Played it for a few hours now and I must say that this is quite a big DSiWare title :)

Hardy83

#6

Hardy83 said:

It's a 2007 cell phone game that was prices at 4 bucks then but 8 now. Even if it's good that 8 bucks could go towards much larger and better rpg games.

Percentful

#7

Percentful said:

Hmmm... I wonder when WaltzElf will get here and let loose his disdain for this game.

Rawk_Hawk

#8

Rawk_Hawk said:

Its ESRB rated so NA will get it. When has Gameloft ever forgot about NA gamers.

filb1970

#9

filb1970 said:

This is might and magic ii a mobile phone game . It was a brilliant mobile game from 3 years ago but on dsiware !!!!! Common it's not even
a proper rpg as you limited say over where you can go . What a disappointment from gameloft really thought this would be something original for dsi also it's twice the price of the original !!!!!! What a rip off

AVahne

#11

AVahne said:

anyone who played this version and also the old mobile phone version, did they make the game longer or is it still as short?

SwerdMurd

#14

SwerdMurd said:

I encourage everyone to wait on it upon release...I've played it and it's quite mediocre through and through. Unless they do a substantial amount of retooling...which is decidedly not Gameloft's MO...it'll end up as the game everyone's mad they wasted 8 bucks on. Especially when Secret of Mana is 800 points and readily available now (albeit not for the same platform...but virtually any A-RPG for DS is miles ahead of this one)

Slapshot

#15

Slapshot said:

It does look interesting, DSiWare is finally starting to gain some ground and it make me really happy.

Stuffgamer1

#17

Stuffgamer1 said:

The mixed opinions on this game are starting to concern me (especially the detailed complaints provided by WaltzElf). I hope the full NLife review can clear some of that junk up.

Nerdy

#18

Nerdy said:

Seems that this game has additive contents compared to the Might and Magic mobile game. I just found out there were secret quests to unlock, in a sort of Hero mode, interesting...

Mikarlo

#20

Mikarlo said:

Best news I've read all week! And unlike TwillightPrince, Gameloft does not disappoint me. I will be downloading this game the minute it is released in NA! Please don't make us wait too long for Legends of Exidia!!!

AVahne

#21

AVahne said:

hmmm people already hyped on this game, let see how many are disappointed
not saying that i hope this sucks, i really honestly hope its better than the Mobile version, and not an exact port with nothing added like the screenshots are showing me.

Vinsanity

#23

Vinsanity said:

Looks like an intriguing mix of eastern style RPG presentation and western hack-and-slash style RPGs - it's about time someone tried to blend the two together.
Though, Gameloft is not known for making good games. They're ambitious for a handheld developer, sure, but most of their games are spectacular failures. Anyone play Hero of Sparta, for example? Their "God of War for iPhone"? Absolute garbage. So was Brothers in Arms DS. And their Soul Calibur ripoff, Blades of Fury. Or their iphone Call of Duty, Modern Combat: Sandstorm? All garbage. I haven't played NOVA for iPhone, but I'm assuming it's garbage too. I refuse to get high expectations for this, but I AM glad to see it at all. At least they're supporting the DSiware shop.
Personally, I find the DSi a ripoff in the vein of the PSPGo. An overpriced, under-equipped model - I'd much rather take my GBA compatibility than a crappy online storefront and a gimmicky camera. I'll change my tune when Wayforward gets around to releasing their Shantae games for DSi, but till then, meh.

WaLzgiStaff

#24

WaLzgi said:

At least the DSi didn't drop the current gen format like the PSPGo did ;)

Funem

#26

Funem said:

Gameloft did Asphalt 4, Castle of Magic and UNO on DSiWare and they were very good releases. They may have been ports but they were still good on the DS and thats what matters to me. I will wait on the review for this before I buy though.

Bankai

#29

Bankai said:

Oh wow, no mention of how terrible the plot is, how incoherent and unlogical the puzzles and characters are, no mention of the fact that the gameplay is filled with glitches, and plays out like a shoddy Diablo clone, with little character customisation.

This is a terrible impressions, and I can tell already the reviewer is going to forgive the fact that this is worse than EVERY SINGLE ONE of the 300-odd DS RPGs on account of it being the first DSiWare RPG. Being the first does not mean it is quality.

In reality it]s not worth the $8. You are better off putting that $8 towards a real RPG.

Nerdy

#30

Nerdy said:

Are we speaking of a DsiWare title here?
This game never meant to be the best RPG ever on DS.
For $8, the game is not that bad, and many people seemed to enjoy it so far

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