Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code
Review by blueninja4444
"It‘s The PSP Exclusive That Feels Like A Bad Port...."
Untold Legends? Why does that name sound so familiar? Ohh wait, the back of the box tell you The SEQUEL to the #1 Action RPG on the PSP system. Ah, that's right! This is the sequel to Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade! Brotherhood of the Blade was generally considered disappointing and lackluster so it should be interesting to see how the almighty highly anticipated Warrior's Code turns out......
The graphics in this game are pretty good. These guys knew what they were working with and made the best out of it. All of the backgrounds look great, but some of the enemies lack details. Also, sometimes your environment has pieces solid material you can walk through without any effect, such as walking through tall grass (taller than your character) and the grass not even moving. Another minor complain is the occasional invisible wall where the wall effects extend past where the actual wall graphic ends forcing you to walk slightly around, well, nothing. One last minor disappointment: Very little interaction with your environments. Some randomly scattered barrels may be around to break, but that's it. However, my nitpicking doesn't overshadow some beautifully drawn environments. 8 out of 10 for sure.
Sure, the BGM is great. But the BGM also has a slight tendency of, well, giving off the wrong emotion. Nothing is more exciting than calm gentle music while you're being attacked by hordes of villains, and fast paced the world is coming to an end dramatic music while you're running around in circles asking Where's that last bad guy at? or What am I supposed to do next?. The sound effects and VO's are ok, but nothing special.
The controls in this game are extremely inconvenient, and we tend to hear that a lot when we talk about PSP games, but not PSP exclusive games! This game makes you use the L button as a shift button a lot, which really shouldn't have been made necessary. And on top of that, this game tends to lean more towards the hack n' slash genre of gaming but there's no hack button! Just a slash button. X is by default, your average attack that doesn't take any energy (the blue bar), but there's no other button to make it more varied. In X-Men Legends 2, X and Circle were your hack n slash buttons which gave more variety to the player, but instead, in this game, you'll find yourself smashing in the x button over, and over, and over, and over again. Why? Because quite frankly, most of the enemies in this game are not worth investing your MP on, and the MP attacks get two buttons: triangle and circle. Why would they have 2 special attack buttons and only 1 normal attack button? That makes no sense and takes away the variety of what you can do. Sure you can hold in X for about two seconds to get a more powerful attack, but those two seconds can lead to you losing a lot of health. The controls could've been better... A lot better.
While I was playing this game I found myself asking: Is this story going to pick up? Is this story going to become interesting? Is this story going to become worth NOT skipping on my second play through? Sadly, no, the story is very lackluster and it won't make you say Wow! or anything. It seems like this game tries to be like Final Fantasy and creates its own universe and timeline, but let me put it this way: There isn't ever going to be an Untold Legends DVD based on this game.
The gameplay is decent, at best. One of the most promising features of this game is the beat transformations that is, after a while of fighting you can morph into a mutated beast with strong attacks for a while. Sadly, these hyped transformations don't make a lick of difference. For the most part you'll barley do any more damage, and your defense is practically the same. Transforming ain't even worth it. And the hack n slash? It's just too repetitive. There are plenty of Hack n Slash RPGs that manage to pull off fun, original, and non-repetitive gameplay, but this sure isn't one of them. Now, I know I would be a criminal if I didn't mention this but there is a a new thing called attack of opportunity which really belong in a 1 on 1 fighting game or martial arts game or something, and basically what that is: It uses your enemy's mistake against him. However it's so infrequent and the timing has to be perfect it's not even worth mentioning. But it is also worth noting that the gameplay experience is slightly more fun in multiplayer mode. Playing Ad-Hoc with a friend can be fun and allows for more planning and less random movement. One example of the variety multiplayer Untold Legends can add is having one strong player on the front line, stabbing everyone to death, while a weaker character hides in the back shooting everyone. Try shooting everyone in 1 player mode and you'll be dead in 2 seconds. Multiplayer mode saves what could've been a real terrible score.
Replay Value: 6/10
This game might try to trick you into thinking it's got great replay value but don't let it fool you. Sure, there's plenty of characters to choose from, but the way this game plays you'll be tempted to not use all of those character. Heck, you'll be lucky if you find going through the game with 2 characters, at the most, rewarding. The fact is the game just doesn't change enough. There's no variety in the story. There's no variety in the buttons either. The only melee attack is the X button... Now I know I've already made this comparison but compare that to X-Men Legends 2: Rise of Apocalypse which has 2 melee attacks, and a jump button for extra air attacks. Running around constantly pressing X all the time, is not going to make you want to play through the game again with multiple characters. And since the Circle and Triangle buttons are not worth the power you invest, that marks X basically your main button. However, the game is nice and long on a single play through, so the replay value isn't a total bust.
Load Times: 8/10
Now, I know load times isn't usually something that gets it's own review section, but after playing the many PSP and DS games, maybe it's about time we do consider it in the review. The load times in this game are great and that's one of the obvious advantages when you're playing a PSP exclusive game. Great load times, nice and short.
Ya know, for a sequel to the #1 action RPG of all time this could've been better. Ya know, this could've been a lot better. It's so lackluster in practically every area that it's not even funny. Story is bad, sound is meaningless, gameplay suffering in single player modes and limited replay value all bring down what could've been a great game. Rent this game before you buy, if you even buy at all.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 04/21/06
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