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2012 In Review 031 - Legendary Heroes 
 PostFri Sep 20, 2013 8:41 am
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The place: Mexico
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My favorite NPC in the game.
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Blatant lies.
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One of the high points
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Foreshadowing
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Broken wallmaps jazz things up a little
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Says the monster who looks like a pirate
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Familliar faces when you least expect them!
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It's that kind of game... eventually.
This is a review of Legendary Heroes.

Pre-Thoughts:

Can't remember if I've played this one or not. I know it's an RPG, a Spoonweaver RPG at that so it should be at least decent. No idea what the story is, what it's about. Legendary Heroes isn't the kind of name that sticks in your memory.

During-Thoughts:

I have no money and gain no money from fighting rats, so I'm walking back to my house, across the damn world map to heal between battles. Does anyone ever think about WHY their inns cost money anyway? It's always either ridiculousy prohibitive or an amount that doesn't matter to anyone.

And for that matter, why bother giving 1 EXP for fighting the rats? It's never going to level you up or even play a factor, so just ditch it. All it does it make you feel like you're getting gypped for the time you're spending.

Second dungeon: Still no gold, still only 2 exp. You can sell the pelts if you really need money, or trade them for equipment which is kind of interesting but still feeling very puny.

Apparently enemies are never going to drop gold, it's all gonna be the pelts. Oh, and the third dungeon gives 3 EXP, so apparently that's the pattern.

Infinite shield rings, aww yeah

I think Myrtle just learned Tangle a second time

Not very invested in this plot.

Dinosaur village inn only costs 3.. WHY?!!! And the wall map here is broken?!

Dunno why most enemies are NPCs, but a few are default random encounters.

Thank goodness, I think it's almost over.

Mana potions heal HP instead of MP! How the hell does THAT slip through testing?!

SO DOES THE HASTE SPELL!

Thoughts-After:

Legendary Heroes doesn't know what the hell it wants to be. It starts as a boring, but competently made monster hunting sim, the kind of game where you try to profitably collect pelts from your fallen foes and grind forever to get the money you need to deck yourself out in even better monster hunting clothes and then go to the next town and do it over. Then in the second town you get roped into a "save a captured family member" plot, which turns into a "find an airship" plot, which turns into a "Run into every Spoonweaver game cameo EVER" plot, ala Pearl Tear. Only without the joy of super powered characters.

There's some good ideas in play, some bad ideas, and some good ideas that run contrary to the kind of game this seems to be. Starting with the good ideas, the two main characters Biff and Myrtle each have a distinct role in the party. Biff is the big damage, Myrtle is the support caster. What's nice is that Myrtle can still do some decent damage with her physical attack, so you never feel like she's a puny wizard.

Every town has a fetch quest for you, something like "Find the heirloom ring I lost in the cave" or "If only I had a lobster for this soup!". They pay pretty well and give you a little bit to look around for, so it's in your best interest to do them. My only complaint is that the maps are so big it can sometimes be hard to remember which of the boring NPCs in which of the generic houses in which of the giant towns is looking for something.

While we're in the good things, I'd also say that the game starts out with reasonable battles. They're a bit too slow to make you really want to grind them for loot, but the longest they take is two rounds of holding the enter key down to smash a dude up. As the game goes on the enemies sop up more and more damage and things get too slow for my tastes, but it started good.

On the bad side of things, mana potions heal your HEALTH, not your mana. Not to harp on it, because anyone can make a mistake, but in a serious RPG like this where you expect people to put in three or more hours of playing time you're really telling me that something like that can go through testing unnoticed? Timtim's Haste ability also seems to be untested, healing your HP above and beyond its maximum limit.

There's also a town full of dinosaurs where half of the houses are improperly wallmapped, more than a few typos, and a chest in the cave with the turtle that gives infinite loot. Not that that's a bad thing, the sudden influx of money was the only thing that energized me to see the rest of the game.

The goal of the game at some level seems to be the monster hunting, IE: Grind enemies until you're too strong for this town and go to the next one. However, 90% of the enemies are touch-NPCs who respawn everytime you return to the map. That kind of a design implies the battles are something you'd want to avoid. Very very rarely will you encounter a random battle that isn't an NPC. I gotta wonder why you didn't choose to go one way or the other with it.

I appreciate that if you're in real trouble and trying to leave the dungeon, you can dodge the NPCs, especially since there is no "run from battle" command. It makes you have to walk way farther to reach the monsters you want to fight though, so an optimum strategy would be to just fight the first one, walk out of the dungeon, then walk back in and fight him again. On top of that, the battles start to take like, 15-20 seconds a piece if you don't use your techniques which slows it down even more. I don't think I will ever have enough batwings to trade to that one dude. I think you could've found a better solution that would've better served both the monster hunting and survival aspects.

Also gonna say I am no fan of the plot. When it started as just a green dude looking for stuff to kill, I was underwhelmed but okay with it. When Myrtle forced her way into my party to look for her brother, I was frustrated with the thought of having to deal with a narrative, but okay with it. And then after the fetch quest, when TimTim joined the party I groaned that you were going to cross continuities, but came to terms with it. When the demo ends with a fight against the drunk from Deforestation, and the badguy Doomweaver getting trapped in a Spoon, I felt like I had wasted my time.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you're gonna make a joke game, make a joke game. Make it easy enough to get to each joke that someone sees them, and so that when they get to them they're still in the mood for a laugh. Don't build up your game as a legendary quest of epic heroes and then throw it all away for a couple of silly jokes! Not to say there's no place in serious RPGs for jokes, but you gotta keep it in balance.

At the end of it all, I feel like the game was somewhat pointless. None of the battles really come off as fun, and being so skimpy on EXP and Gold makes it feel way longer and lamer than it actually is. The maps could've been way smaller and been just as effective. Not to say that it was a bad game, it just goes so many different directions that none of it feels particularly compelling.

I'd still maybe recommend it as a decent RPG if you've got the patience and if you don't mind the total lack of a plot. It does a few cool things that are worth seeing, but it falls flat a lot too. If you're interesting in making a longer style RPG, you could take a lot of lessons from both the good and bad of Legendary Heroes.
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