Day 3 – A game that is underrated:
Wow, where to start with this one. There are so many hidden gems out there in the gaming world. Once again, I went and made a list of the games I personally find underrated and need to be experienced at least once. And this is the gem I chose.
Legend of Legaia for the PlayStation One
I discovered LoL when I was on holiday in Ireland and I still enjoy playing it to this day. Still have my original copy from 2000 aswell! There was a sequel for LoL on the PlayStation 2 couple years later, but it lacked the charm of the first game. So what is Legend of Legaia?
The game takes place in a world where humans and objects called Seru live together in peace. The Seru could connect with humans and grant them incredible powers. And of course that all changes. A mist suddenly covered the world and all peace with the humans and Seru went right out the window. This mysterious mist turned the once peaceful Seru into monsters who then started to attack their once human companions. The human civilization was on the brink of collapse and those who survived the devastation that happened 10 years ago now live in remote regions.
Our 3 heroes are Vahn, Noa and Gala. Vahn is from a small village which has a wall built to keep out the dreaded mist. Noa is a young feral child raised by a wolf and Gala is a warrior monk. They band together to find and revive ten Genesis Trees which have the power to destroy the mist in certain areas, along with the mist generators. But they have special Seru equipped that are not affected by the mist. These are called Ra-Seru. They grant our heroes elements of fire, wind and lightning.
There are twists and turns in the games, like any good RPG and the story is easy to follow. Its not bogged down with complicated terms or battle system and also features some mini games like fishing (RPGs have got this obsession with fishing!) and there is also a casino area you visit.
The battle system is one of my favourite and for the time of the games release, very different. Its turn based like most RPGs. However, instead of just landing one attack on an enemy, its up to the player to decide how the attack will work. You are given the choices of High, Arms, Low and Ra-Seru and chose which combination of moves you wish to create. If you select low on a flying enemy, you will miss them. So you have to plan your attack out for each enemy.
If you input commands in a certain way, these become Arts which do different bouts of damage to enemies and also have their own animations. But remember to have enough AP (Art Points) to execute the moves. Its basically like mana points. You raise AP by attacking or using Spirit which is defence. Magic is also still present and you gain this by killing certain Seru and “absorbing” them. The more you use a spell, the more powerful it becomes and unlocks more abilities.
What I also love about the game is seeing your equipped armour and weapons. This is something I adore when featured in any game because to me it means more time has been spent customising instead of just the same outfit staying on the character throughout the game. Looks wise, the games characters remind me of those from Final Fantasy VII, they don’t look realistic, yet have a certain charm to them. But they look different in battle, they have more human features than just looking like stacked blocks.
As I mentioned earlier, there was a PlayStation 2 sequel of the game, but sadly this didn’t grab me as much as the first game. I felt no connection to any of the characters, all of them annoyed me, and the only good thing from the game was the battle system was still present. However I still completed it, but it is still weak, in my opinion, to the first instalment.
It is a shame the series never got that third game or the PlayStation store has not brought back either game for players to download. Most copies of the PS1 version can be quite expensive, but if you do get the chance to play it, I strongly recommend you give the game a try. It truly is such an underrated RPG gem.