Young Justice: Legacy Review
Posted by Jon Wahlgren
Welcome to Young Justice: Legacy, where the mechanics don't work and "play" doesn't matter. The game purports to be a strategic turn-based experience but accomplishes nothing more than being a horrendous nightmare. It is astonishingly incompetent in every field. Its gameplay, engine, animations, and entertainment value are among the worst in class.
Its technical shortcomings are unbelievable — dropping our jaws to the floor with such speed that our chins cracked the Earth's crust — and its gameplay so mind-numbingly basic that our brains actively rejected it. Young Justice is one of the worst technical offenders the retail channel has seen since Superman on the Nintendo 64 cursed the world with its Fog Plague. At least that game had the sense to bake in its technical crappery into the fiction, even if its so-called "kryptonite fog" is one of the worst narrative justifications possible for that developer's inability to render the most basic of scenery.
The game is set in closed arenas, with usually no more than six polygonal characters on the field at once — three on your side, three bad dudes — and incredibly basic, flat-textured environments. Legacy's framework doesn't stray from the fundamentals of the strategy RPG: gameplay consists of you and the AI taking turns moving your crews around the board and bopping each other on the head in a poorly animated fashion. As the game is turn-based, only one character is generally animated at one time. It's hardly pushing the boundaries of what the 3DS is capable of, but the game acts as if its modest tasks are of a Sisyphean nature. The framerate and gameplay speed is comparable to a dead rat dipped in lead and buried 200 feet in the ground. The animations are so atrociously done that they transcend laughter and hit straight in the pity.
How bad could this possibly be?, you ask. Surely, you're exaggerating how poor the animations are?
To which we say: Robin's "heavy" attack animation actually sends Robin through the walloped character and off the screen, only to magically reappear at his starting point after what feels like 10 seconds. We didn't time it because we didn't have the heart to involve any other electronics.
As a 'strategy' 'game', Young Justice is heavily dependent on menus to get anything done. These menus are death traps for your sense of joy: they are unintuitive, obscure vital information, and nest so deeply that the simplest tasks require taps upon taps upon taps of the A button. It drags the pace of the game down but certainly accelerates the speed at which your 3DS will fly through your window. Want to move a character? OK, well, you need to select the option from the menu and press A, move the cursor to where you want the character to go on the field and press A, decide which direction you want the character to then face (which is not only entirely trivial but defaults to the direction of the nearest enemy) and press A, and then end your turn by pressing A. That's four button presses just to move — heaven forbid you want to do anything else during your turn.
The overzealous button pressing and drip-slow animations cause the speed at which the game moves to be, to put it lightly, slow. We're no doctors, but we reckon that in the time it takes to move a character five steps you can enter a coma, have a coma, and then awake from the coma before they arrive at their destination. Once there, you have to wrangle the satanic menus to attack, or defend, or what have you.
And good luck making sense of anything on the field. The camera obscures anything important if you're too close, making it then impossible to tell how much damage your character received until your next turn, at which point you can squeeze that information from the cold dead hands of the menus.
Young Justice: Legacy doesn't try to do a whole lot, but what the game does attempt to do is pulled off with spectacular atrocity. Quite literally everything about the game is terrible, from its shocking technical incompetence to its vacant design. Friends, don't let anyone play, speak of, look at, or ponder the existence of Young Justice: Legacy. Shoot on sight. Bury deep. Curse its grave. Honestly, just thinking about this game makes our blood boil.
Young Justice: Legacy is downright offensive.