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iPhone  header logo

Eternal Legacy

For: iPhone   Also on: Android

Homage missile

Product: Eternal Legacy | Developer: In-house | Publisher: Gameloft | Format: iPhone | Genre: Adventure, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.0.0
 
Eternal Legacy iPhone, thumbnail 1
Like a heat-seeking missile, Eternal Legacy has turn-based role-playing in its sights and won't stop until it reaches the target.

There's no hiding the inspiration behind this facsimile of Japanese-style role-playing. For all its borrowing and leveraging and copying, Eternal Legacy has difficulty hitting its target.

Still, despite its formulaic approach and atrocious voice acting, there's some fun to be gleaned from this unlikely effort.

Part of the family

Much of what makes Eternal Legacy enjoyable is its familiarity. As spiky-haired hero Astrian, you're tasked with spearheading a revolt against the corrupt government of Algoad.

A cast of characters rallies to your cause from a naive princess to a hot-headed best friend accompanied by his younger sister. There's magic-infused technology, bizarre mounts, and a turn-based battle system that rings a few bells.

You can't escape the been-there-done-that vibe, yet it's handled with enough care that copycat complaints are misplaced. While plenty of direction has been taken from the best games in the genre, Eternal Legacy offers a synthesis of features and elements that makes it feel like a blend of several role-playing games rather than a clone of any particular one.

The battle system, for example, employs turn-based mechanics and predefined roles that determine the behaviour of your characters. Opting to cede direct control of your entire party, you can set roles that guide characters' actions during battle.

The Healer role focuses on curing hurt party members, whereas the Berserker role launches an all-out blitz against the enemy. It's a system with recognisable features, but as a whole it's distinct.

Embattled

Of course, this doesn't excuse the game's shortcomings. Problems with the battle system, limited character development options, lame side quests, and horrible voice acting squander the goodwill accrued by other features.

As a result of the action queue, which allows you to line up as many as three actions at any given time during a battle, you end up sitting and watching battles more than participating in them. Even when you opt for direct control over your party, you end up waiting around much of the time.

Another particularly irksome feature is the inability to cancel actions once they've been set in the queue.

During battles special limit break abilities are only available when you've dished out and been dealt enough damage, yet the ability is permanently displayed in the action menu - why not show it only when it's available rather than taking up space in the menu?

Character conventions

Not enough options are provided for customising your characters and it often feels as though the game is doing much of the development for you. Upon levelling up, attributes are automatically increased and skills unlocked at predetermined levels.

To be fair, this is standard of Japanese-style role-playing games and so it seems churlish to knock Eternal Legacy too hard for emulating this approach. Furthermore, you are given control over weapons, armour, and ability-granting crystal fragments.

Quests vary from the intriguing to the mundane, with most side quests aligned with the latter. There are plenty of fetch quests that act as little more than filler - they're boring and indicative of lazy design. Main quests fare better and the occasional boss battle offers up some thrills.

Voicing concern

In general, there's a lack of attention to detail that prevents Eternal Legacy from surpassing the games from which it draws inspiration. Dreadful voice acting is one example - the characters sound forced, making it preferable to play with the sound off - yet there are others that contribute to the game's generic feel.

While it's great that enemies appear on the exploration screen, allowing you to see the before a battle starts, their behaviour is laughable. Enemies walk stupidly in circles, moving in the same predictable pattern over and over again.

An effort to polish these rough edges and fix minor mistakes would improve the experience, yet Eternal Legacy can be enjoyed in spite of these flaws. It never manages to rise above its generic station, though, targeting better role-playing games with its average gameplay.
 
Eternal Legacy
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 13 December 2010
A highly formulaic role-playing game, Eternal Legacy has some redeeming qualities that support limited enjoyment
 
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