Let me say that Gameloft has found an absolute winner with Eternal Legacy !! My hands on preview of the game yesterday actually blew me away to how similar it was Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy XIII. For anyone who’s a fan of turn-based Japanese RPGs, Eternal Legacy for the Apple iPhone is looking like one of the most polished J-RPGs ever to reach the iPhone.
Personally I never knew it would have been possible to walk around with a JRPG that contains well over 40 majestic regions all rendered in full 3D with well over 60 hours worth of gameplay. Oh and did I mention it plays, looks and feels EXACTLY like FINAL FANTASY XIII all in the palm of your hand – yes I believe I did, but I wanted to make sure you were all aware of this because Gameloft should be commended on creating an amazing title that might look like Final Fantasy on the surface but the deeper you delve into it the more you will discover that a great amount of time and effort has gone into creating a massive unique world with a gripping and absorbing story and amazing unforgettable characters and enemies.
Eternal Legacy takes place in the sci-fi fantasy world of Algoad where robots and magic and guns and swords are all real. You take on the role of a young man by the name of Astrian who ultimately must save Algoad from total destruction and restore peace to the living bond between humankind and nature.
The first section of the game is a well designed tutorial that will introduce you to your hero and the games simple to use control system. Straight away I could see a huge improvement graphically over other Gameloft titles, character models actually have moving mouths when they spoke (also the voice acting in the game is superb – everyone I encountered in the first section of the game replied verbally, no more reading and that is a huge plus).
The first few battles will explain how to use your basic weapons, skills, magic, items, assigning battle commands and tactics to your two AI controlled team members which join your party within the first 10 mins of the game. At any point in time up to three characters can take to the battlefield, and as you progress through the game you’ll pick up teammates along the way and have the option to select and swap over your AI team that best suits your current situation. You can also queue up three different attacks one after the other in quick succession and then watch them execute as soon as your action gauge is filled. Best piece of information I could recommend to anyone already familiar with turn based RPG’s or new to the genre is to take your time and fully understand and read all the tutorial notes so you can enjoy what the game has to offer so you can play it to its full potential.
Battles take advantage of the full 3D artwork with character models nicely animated when performing regular, special and magic attacks. As with all JRPGs there will be an abundance of random battles, this is something that you can’t hide from. It what makes a JRPG what is it, so expect to run into many enemies along the way. One thing I discovered pretty quickly which I wasn’t very happy about was that all enemies you encounter and battle don’t have a health bar. Not sure if this was missing due to the preview build, but anyway this could make the game a little harder for some players, but then again it will keep you on your toes and make you strategize and think what kind of attack you should use next as you’ll never know how much HP the enemy has left. (On a side note ** usually JRPGs don’t often put health bars for enemies, this sort of information is usually either found out through a skill of some sort or left in the dark and to be estimated by the player if they have encountered them before)
Having the ability to choose your own path, do sub quests to gain extra items and much needed experience and interact with the environment, items, people and enemies plus solve puzzles to advance further the game, Eternal Legacy is certainly jam packed with so much content that you will find it hard to believe this sort of game can run on an iPhone. Fans of JRPGs or newcomers eager to get into this style of game should seriously consider picking this Eternal Legacy once it’s released in the iTunes store in the next few days as you won’t find anything else quite like it. Will you have what it takes to save the beautiful world of Algoad? I believe you can because I surely will surely going to be giving it my shot at it!!