It's a bit odd that we haven't seen any DSiWare RPGs until now. You'd think that with the service's portable nature and the genre’s wealth of retail releases, it would be a perfect fit. Apparently developers think otherwise!
Gameloft is known for their frequent porting of games, and Legends of Exidia is no exception. They've tried to hide the fact a little by changing the name and some of the characters, but this is in fact Might & Magic II, which was released for mobile phones in 2007.
After playing for just a few minutes, you'll immediately realize that this game isn't going to be very challenging. It's very linear, basically just making you move from one point to another, and, at almost all times, you'll have a marker on-screen telling you which direction to head in. Yes, this isn't a traditional-style RPG — it's an action RPG, which means that there're almost no statistics to micromanage and all enemies are fought right on the map, rather than each one sending you into a turn-based battle separate from the rest of the action.
Fighting is rather simple and basically just comes down to one thing, which is walking right up to the enemy and continuously hitting A. As you level up, you'll learn new combos and charge attacks. The combos are simply performed by hitting A multiple times in a row, so you'll automatically be doing them anyway — not a whole lot of strategy involved there. The charge attacks let you do a variety of things, such as a spinning move or a dash forward. Enemies usually attack rather fast, meaning this generally isn't a good thing to do as your charge will be often interrupted.
As it's an action RPG, you can also expect some non-combat obstacles, but these couldn't possibly be any easier — most of it consists of running away from danger or pushing blocks, which is simply done by holding down whatever direction you need to go in. One part near the start of the game makes you run across spinning platforms and slide down ziplines without falling to your doom, but this entire section can be cleared by just holding left for 20 seconds.
Exidia is quite easily one of the fastest-paced RPGs we've ever seen. Objectives are completed in no time and you'll be destroying monsters and gaining levels left and right. After about an hour of play we were already closing in on level 20! And if you think that means grinding is necessary, you're correct. At various points throughout the game you'll be warned not to go on unless you're above a certain level. Thankfully, since enemies are rather generous in terms of doling out experience, it usually won't take long to get that far.
If you tire of the main story you can opt for some sidequests, of which you can only be assigned one at any given time. These are even shorter than the main quests and will usually be completed in a matter of minutes, often not even being worth the trouble since all you tend to get is some gold for buying items and equipment. This is almost completely pointless, because you'll find both in overabundance out in the field, with chests actually being restocked (believe it or not) with healing items once you go sufficiently far away, and monsters very frequently dropping armour that's a clear upgrade from what you already have. There're also a bunch of minigames you'll come across during your adventure, including a short rhythm game and the typical RPG arena, in which you can bet money which increases for every round of enemies you clear.
Many RPGs tend to have a few palette-swapped enemies, but Exidia really overdoes it. During the course of the entire game you'll only have to deal with about 6 non-boss enemies. Sometimes they appear in different colours, but most of the time they look exactly the same despite their stats being a little higher than before.
The graphics fit in right with the rest of the game; most of the townsfolk share the same handful of models, and environments often repeat themselves to the point of some locations appearing multiple times in different areas across the game world. And for a three- to four-hour game, that's not a very good thing. The music isn't bad, but not particularly good or at all memorable.
Of note is that there's also some seriously sloppy coding going on here. Attacks sometimes don't register, you have to sit through a loading screen for the tiniest of areas, and at one point the music even stopped playing because we happened to level up and grab an item simultaneously!
If you're in the mood for a completely mindless, easy to learn action RPG, Legends of Exidia might not be a very bad pick, provided you can look over its flaws. Anybody who already has any semblance of experience with the genre, however, is likely to walk away disappointed.
Man, I wish WiiWare would get some RPGs. I know we have TTAY, but it's technically around 40 bucks.
Another average game to add to Gameloft's collection of average games. Seems perfect for an RPG beginner.
I assumed a 6 at the end of the body of the review.
"You'd think that with the service's portable nature and the genre’s wealth of retail releases, it would be a perfect fit."
Actually, I'd think that with the 20 MB limit, nobody can make a decent RPG that fits within the space constraints. Not one that isn't designed to look really old-school, anyway (not that I'm against the idea of a 16-bit looking RPG...in fact, they should do that!).
Yeah...I'ma have to give this one a pass. I still haven't bought Nostalgia, and I'd really rather save my $8 towards that.
On second thought... I won't be getting this
I don't see why so many people think that they can't make small RPGs...
They've been done before...
At the very least, this title is NOT a point in favor of the concept that they CAN make small RPG's. At the very least, not very GOOD ones.
I was looking forward to this game, but it doesn't seem like it's very polished. Even with the 20 Mb file limit enemies and environments shouldn't have to be recycled to this degree, and combat as a one button slog is just plain boring. I was hoping that LoE would be a good excuse to use the points card I've had lying around since Christmas.
(could someone help me decide whether I should use it on DSIWare or for the Wii)
@Stuffgamer1: Small RPGS for DSIware that don't have a retro style would be possible if developers took a FF4TAY approach. I wouldn't mind paying for a few 200-500 point chapters provided that the game was well done and the total quest length was at least 25-30 hours (with an additional 10 or so hours of sidequests).
@phantom - I doubt many developers would be able to convince Nintendo that their episodic RPG, totalling 30ish dollars, would sell enough copies. Square Enix had the benefit of an established overcharging-foothold in the downloadable arena (not to mention already having the finished game, given its origin in cellphone gaming several years prior). If that wouldn't have had the FF4 license to ride on, it would've almost certainly gone down in flames. I think RPGs along the line of Guadia Quest in Retro Gaming Challenge would be a more realistic 200-500 point DSiWare offering. Gameloft can spam this kind of stuff out at little/no cost/time cause they large pool of experienced devs (despite what their products indicate), entirely too much money, all acquired quickly/recently, and mountains of random finished work/IPs to recycle.
But yeah...given the negativity of the review, 6 seems pretty generous....seems like a 4 or less to me, bearing in mind I was impressed by the original release 3 years ago given its native hardware. It's hard not to feel slighted when getting an old, weak game, with no cosmetic upgrades/changes (the extreme ease is due to how hard it is to d-pad/key with cellphone input) for more money than it originally released for. Gameloft didn't make any new friends with this title--although they have mountains of mindless i-Device followers, so I suppose their friend rosters are as full as they really need.
I know we have TTAY, but it's technically around 40 bucks.
And money well spent for the whole package it was too. There's a reason it is ranking high as one of my most played games on the Wii. I could have spent the same money on six different WiiWare games but would not have enjoyed them more or played them as long as I had played TAY.
meh done by the kings of shovelware i'll pass
Well, when I get a points card, I know I'm not getting this!
was hoping that they made the game better, but i guessed i hoped for too much.... this game really should've been only 500 points at the MOST.
Well, first try, never said it was gonna be as stellar as say, The World Ends With You, but at least Gameloft is supporting DSiWare.
Hey i got this despite the review and to me its pretty cool i mean besides the attacking being so easy, they backed it up with some really hard parts in the game like deflecting bullits and getting through WAVES, like 10 magic orbs every 4 seconds (in some areas) and its pretty good i didnt beat the game yet so, yeah....
Of course, the week after I run out of points...they'd release the one game I have been really looking forward too, ugh! Looks like I'll be picking up another points card very soon!
A decent review, but you have missed a few of the most glaring faults with this game.
1) Using magic is pointless, because the animation for casting the spell suffers such great lag, than in the kind of heated combat that is the point of action RPGs, there is no chance of getting the spell off without being hit first (which interrupts the spell casting).
2) The plot is dismal. It is not fast paced, it is woefully paced. In the 4 hour span this game takes to complete, you rescue a princess, fall in love with her, save a town, are betrayed by a king, kill the king, travel back in time to save the princess again, return, do some more saving and die. Then you find out you also managed to get the princess pregnant in that time period. All this plot is delivered in single line speeches, and I can honestly say I have seen better stories come from 10 year olds. That is no exaggeration.
3) The biggest problem with this game is this: it is on the DSi, which can play DS games. There are a LOT of good DS games, including those from the action RPG genre, that are a thousand times better than this, and many of those do not cost much more than this. For the same price as this I picked up a new copy of Shiren the Wanderer. For a little more I picked up a second hand copy of Kingdom Hearts (an action RPG). It is a little irresponsbile for you to not even mention this in the review, and to score this game as though it is the only RPG option on the DS. That is true of DSiWare, but 6/10 is about where a game like Children of Mana belongs - a DS game that is about 5/10 points better than this POS.
I disagree strongly with the review - its a 2/10 game, at best, but the criticisms in the game I agree with
You play as a boy? From the pictures in the review and the picture by the title, I thought you played as a girl until i read WaltzElfs review
Don't hold back, WaltzElf, tell us what you really think!
how many bloks is it?
It's only 75
This game is so stupid! i mean its a good game but not worth your 800 points, maybe 500. on the thing where it tells you what the game is about, it says that there are like, 26 places to go to, but when I played it, it only had like, 6 places to go which is kind of stupid. the game story is okay, but, for me, i don't recommend you get this game not worth it. for me 4/10.
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