Review by Emidas

Reviewed: 05/26/05

Hack-and-Slash goes portable; a review of the first RPG for the PSP

Introduction - Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade was the first RPG to hit the PSP Stateside. Developed by Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), who is widely known for its work on the popular Ever Quest series, Untold Legends is your typical hack-and-slash RPG with its own twists. This was one of two launch titles I bought, and was definitely worth the $40 price.

Game play – 7/10 - The game play can either make or break you as an Untold Legends fan. The game play is identical to any Baldur’s Gate game, and, if you are a fan of Baldur’s Gate, you will be extremely pleased. For those Mainstream Role-Playing Gamers who bought this game just to have an RPG, you may be in store for a little different gaming than usual. All Battles happen in Real-Time, and the controls are relatively easy to master. One button to slash, you can assign two buttons for your “techniques”, analog moves you, and the L+R buttons are used for healing/restoring your power. Game play gets a 7/10 because you have to be a hack-and-slash fan to truly appreciate this type of game play, while other mainstream gamers will likely steer away from this type of fighting.

Story – 6/10 - The storyline is pretty linear for the most part, with the whole “save the world” routine almost a given these days. The storyline has its ups, its downs, and its twists, to be sure; but I think the storyline would fit better in a horror novel rather than a video game. Again, nothing spectacular about the story, but it’s not half bad either. I’d buy the book, if it were to be converted. I give the story a 6/10 for it being slightly better than average.

Graphics- 8/10 -The graphics are a lot better than most people would think for a handheld. I would relate the graphics to Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, for the Xbox. Average graphics for an Xbox, but then again, this is for PSP, not Xbox. Graphics are definitely more than expected here, and this game really lets you see the true power of the PSP. This game being 3D already makes its graphics better than 90% of most handheld games. This game makes you feel like you are right above your character, right there, in the action. I’d give graphics an 8/10 because I base this score off of the PSP’s ability to produce graphics. I think some points could be more finely tuned, but a great looking game nonetheless.

Sound – 5/10 -The music is little more than your usual generic Final Fantasy music. Nothing special, but not nails-against-the-chalkboard bad either. If you play this game for 10 hours, then put it down, within 5 minutes you won’t remember how the background music goes. The sounds, however, are decent. It actually sounds like you’re swinging a sword when you swing, it actually sounds like a monster’s dying when you slay one, and it actually sounds like you’re walking when you’re…well, walking. I give it a 5/10 for being just average.

Replay ability – 10/10 -The ability to replay this game over and over is one of the main reasons why I love this game. The ability to restart the story at any point in your characters development is cool, seeing as how if you can’t beat a certain boss, you can simply re-start the story over, and you’ll be much stronger by the time you get back to that point. Also, having 4 character classes to choose from gives you even more replay ability. I’d give replay ability a 10/10 just because of how much there is to do in this game, and the ability to start with one of 4 different characters.

Final Recommendation – 7/10- This game gets a 7/10 overall for being a good game, but there is more to it than that. If you are a fan of hack-and-slash RPG’s, then I would give this a 10/10 recommendation to you. Likewise, if you prefer the mainstream, Final Fantasy-type of RPG’s, then I would score this game as a 5 or 6 out of 10 to you. It all depends upon your preference of gaming. If you liked Baldur’s Gate or Champions of Norrath, buy this game immediately; otherwise, you may want to rent before purchasing.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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