Thursday, January 20, 2011

Review: 10 things I hate about Eternal Legacy (iPhone/ iPad)

Eternal Legacy is everything I dislike about a bad game. Rather that try and do a normal review, I'll just list the 10 most glaring faults, and hope that I never see another games developer try and follow in Gameloft's footsteps.



1) Let's copy Final Fantasy, and not even try and hide the fact we are!

Yeah good work, Gameloft. You've managed to come up with Final Fantasy VII.2 a.k.a the design the Square Enix intern came up with and which management took one look at, laughed heartily, and sent said intern to go buy some more coffees.

There is nothing original in Eternal Legacy.

2) You know how Final Fantasy games have a perky teenage girl-type character? Let's Americanise her!

So that, like, means she'll like totally talk like the kind of brain-dead cheerleader-type character from those Z-grade movies.

Which is probably where they got the voice talent from. Totally.

3) You don't need a plot for a Final Fantasy knockoff!

You know how most modern JRPGs are interesting because you get interesting characters participating in an interesting plot? Well, this game has neither. Walk through a corridor, fight stuff you don't care about, enjoy a 10-second cut scene you'll sleep though, rinse and repeat.

There is nothing in this game that you haven't seen before. I've said that before already, but it applies double here.




4) Let's make the combat as boring as possible!

Eternal Legacy allows you to only control one character. The other characters are AI (terrible AI) controlled. On top of that, it's possible to queue up to three attacks at a time. This might should intuitive, but what it really means is you'll queue up a few attacks, and then watch some boring combat play out in auto for a very. long. time.

5) Horrible graphics are OK for RPGs!

Really unfortunate here. Gameloft usually does OK in the technical department. Not here. Environments are boring, enemy design is palette-swapped too often for designs that were bad in the first place, and combat lacks any kind of flash.

6) Sound too

Good RPGs have sweeping orchestral scores, or at least music that is charming and fits with the on-screen action. Eternal Legacy does not. Ugly or (at best) forgettable rock trite, and the worst voice acting I've heard since the early PlayStation era.

It's rare I turn the music off when playing an RPG. I did here.




7) Easy is fun, right?

Not all easy RPGs are bad - Costume Quest and Faery: Legends of Avalon are both quite playable. But when it's so easy that you have too much money right from the outset and you level faster than the game can palette-swap the enemies, and all that's left is a game that doesn't even ask it's owners to play it.

8) We know this game is bad, but let's release it anyway!

Gameloft knew Eternal Legacy is more attractive in theory than in practice. When the developer releases a good game, there's a demo available for people to try before they buy.

No demo is on the App store for Eternal Legacy. Why do you think that is?

9) Let's make a racing mini game, but guys, don't spend long on it, please

It's possible to race an ugly lizard thing to complete a race-against-the-clock mini game. Or, at least it's possible in theory. The programming for the racing is so clunky and unwieldy that it's not worth the effort in any sense of the word.

10) This game will kill people's love for RPGs, but it's ok, we'll profit!

Gameloft is capable of competent games, and has produced some of the most popular and well-regarded games available on the App store. But it's also capable of some woeful games, and the fact that this game got through even by those quality-control standards suggests that Gameloft is an uncomfortably cynical and dispassionate company that cares nothing more about it's audience than flogging off a few games.

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