Review by Ramza FFT
"Been there, but I don't mind"
With the birth of the PSP comes the beginning of new franchises. Untold Legends is an example of such. It is also a one of its kind on the system thus far. So how does this hack and slash experience fare?
Story - The prologue at the beginning of the game rolls on, claiming that a new person has received the crown of the city of Aven. Not only that, it is also the closing in on the anniversary of the founding of Aven which was many moons ago. Your player, following the crowning, has won a tournament to become the guardian of the new throne. And so the game begins and the farther it moves the more apparent it becomes that Aven has a deep and troubled history. And now its history has come back to haunt it and its up to you to do something about it. To put it bluntly, the story is adequate but not amazing. It goes down an all too predictable path as slaying a greater evil becomes apparent during the game. Still it is what I have come to expect and have accepted, especially with this style of game.
Gameplay - The game features four unique classes. These classes include the knight, berserker, druid, and alchemist. The knight is the standard warrior type that has abilities to increase damage and defense. He can also be played as a Ranger type because he has many skills that allow for competence in use of bows. The berserker is bit of an unconventional looking character. Her combat skills include those that increase her speed and damage. She can also use throwing weapons with greater skill. The alchemist primarily uses magic skills. These skills include chain lightning, fire traps, and summoned creatures. The final character class is the Druid and he is also a magic user. The skills for a druid include summoning pet spells, and earth spells that conjure storms and earthquakes. These character classes all have about 15-20 skills that can be upgraded to level 20. The damage, level, or duration of all skills increase through leveling up and using skill points. The characters all seem pretty balanced but some of the skills appear to not have a significant change from one level to the next. The early skills also do not seem significant to use later in the game and made me feel as though I would be wasting precious skill points in leveling them up. So balancing of the skills is concern I would like to be addressed in future games in the series.
This game features the same great hack and slash action as many games before it, such as Champions of Norrath, and Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance. Those craving for a little more than the standard fare will not find what they are looking here. The game does not try to reinvent the genre gameplay wise but it sticks its predecessors closely. Those of us who enjoy a good dungeon grind (such as myself) will hop right in and have a good time adventuring, battling limitless enemies, leveling up (50 levels), and finding better weapons and armor to use. The game boasts over 100 dungeons, 110 monster types, 40 quests, and thousands of items, so it is a lengthy adventure indeed (around 20 hours).
Graphics - For a launch title, this game appears to do a good job in showcasing the PSP's graphical power. The game is fully 3D. It has crisp and diverse environments. Untold legends also has unique and detailed character and monster models, with some monsters that are very original looking, as well as some giant bosses waiting to be slayed. There is one graphical problem to note though and I'm not exactly sure what it is caused from. Some of the pixels will turn red or white on the screen, this usually happens after your character stands still and then starts moving again but it goes away shortly and does not happen all the time. Lastly but disappointingly, the in game cutscenes are all text based and include characters standing around talking to each other.
Sound - The audio in the game is a bit weak. I can not think of many memorable songs with exception to the prologue music. On top of that there is a lack of background music in general. However, the sounds found within environments and sound effects during battle are all spot on and well done.
Overall - This game can become a bit repetitive from the dungeon crawling but thus is the nature of the game. I personally like this style of play but for those who become bored of repetitive action I would recommend renting this game or looking for something different. Fans of this genre will enjoy more of the same that they have come to expect. The game also features a lengthy quest and some great graphics. Overall, Untold Legends deserves an 8/10.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/31/05
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