Review by NeoWingsX
"Hack-n-Slash RPG in its purest form"
Untold Legends is one of Sony's entry titles to the fledgling PSP library. Those familiar with Champions of Norrath or its sequel (Return to Arms) will feel at home with Untold Legends, since the gameplay is the same. For those of you who aren't familiar...well...let me break it down for you guys, then.
UL's graphics are pretty decent for the most part. The lightning effects are pretty fancy, and the backgrounds and character models are fairly good, but Untold suffers from one continual flaw, repetition. The environments seem nice, but it all will look so familiar. Same thing goes for the badguys, while you'll encounter new ones that will look fairly cool, you'll just keep seeing the same type, with the appearance of little variety. Of course, you're job is to make sure they don't stay living for very long, but it would've been nice to see a little more variety. However, overall Untold is fairly impressive for an entry title. The same goes for character creation. You have the ability to choose what hair color, style, skin color your character has, but the choices are so limited, it feels sorely lacking. Plus you cannot swap genders for classes. If you want to be a knight, you're a guy, period. You want to be an alchemist, you're a female, period.
You'll probably want to play with the volume down or off, as the music feels flat and uninspired. The music isn't a critical element, but when you're in a tough battle, the right music can give you that extra sense of fight, as if the fight itself was an epic one. Untold lacks that element, that feel.
The controls are fairly simple and straightforward, but feel a little funny due to the PSP's design. You move your character using the analog stick (or rather the analog faceplate), attack with X, use special techniques with square and triangle, and block using the "L" shoulder button and square. The reason the controls feel funny is due to the placement of the faceplate. Your hands aren't exactly on the same level, thus you tend to feel a slight cramp. Again, this really isn't UL's fault, but this gives you an idea of what the controls will feel like. However, you'll easily get used to this and ignore it, so it really isn't a large problem. However, switching spells is a bit of a pain. If you want to switch spells in the heat of battle, you'll have to use the directional buttons, then select a spell with a corresponding button. This is a pain because it leaves you idle when trying to switch, since you must use your left hand to switch spells and to move. So this forces a sense of preparation.
As stated in the title of this review, this is a hack-n-slasher, period. Sure, you have classes that are magic classes, but everything boils down to who can strike who down the fastest. This is both good and bad. Good, in that you are guaranteed to encounter a LOT of action, almost never leaving you idle or without a fight to encounter. Bad in that the formula leaves the game feeling very shallow. People craving a more RPG element will not find it here. Yes, you can level up, learn new skills/spells, upgrade skills/spells, but this is NOT a turn-based game. This is all real-time action. The story is also paper-thin, so if you're looking for a deep, meaningful story...you're not going to find it here. This game appeals to those who want a straight-up action title.
With that said, you also have a long game ahead of you. There are TONS of weapons, armor, items, etc to collect, and you can upgrade your armor and weapons with special attachments, allowing you to customize your armor and weapons to your needs. Want a flaming sword? With the right stuff, you can make that. While the game has the tendency to get repetitious, it most definitely does NOT lack in longevity. This is a long title, a good choice for those who are going on trips or vacations.
For what Untold lacks in one department, it shines in another. To truly boil this down, if you want a straight-up action game that will last you a long while, Untold is what you want, period.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 07/15/05
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