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Legaia 2: Duel Saga (PlayStation 2) artwork

Legaia 2: Duel Saga (PlayStation 2) review


"As a fan of the original Legend of Legaia, I was pleasantly surprised to find this gem while fishing through the bargain bin of my local game store. I was unaware that there even was a sequel, but then, Legaia has always been more of an underground fandom, and like its predecessor, Legaia 2 came on the scene without fanfare or lineups and humbly presented itself to us. "



As a fan of the original Legend of Legaia, I was pleasantly surprised to find this gem while fishing through the bargain bin of my local game store. I was unaware that there even was a sequel, but then, Legaia has always been more of an underground fandom, and like its predecessor, Legaia 2 came on the scene without fanfare or lineups and humbly presented itself to us.

For those of you who remember the original Legaia, you'll remember that it was a highly stylized, charmingly cliched RPG with enough unique features to make it stand out from your average RPG of the time. One of these unique features was the battle system which, I'll admit, had me baffled at first. What was a fighting game inspired battle system doing in an RPG? Yet, like other aspects of the game, it grew on me until I was busting out combos faster than a real fighting game.

So, what does Legaia 2 offer us as a sequel?

Well, Legaia 2 is a classic RPG, and by classic, I mean it doesn't try to be new and unusual. Instead, it takes a well known formula and delivers a fun, solid RPG with a simple but well done plot and a mildly revised version of the original battle system. Does it do anything amazing? No, not really. Is it good at what it does? Yes, very.

The battle system of Legaia 2 is, as I said, a mildly revised version of the system from Legend of Legaia. Instead of massive upgrades and a rewrite of the system, the developers chose to stick with what works and add on a few tasty morsels to make up for that, and I don't think anyone's really complaining. The psuedo fighting game battle system is just as addictive as ever, with a larger inventory of Arts to pull off, the addition of a new combo special attack for 2 characters and more 'Art Blocks' to let you whip out longer attacks. As good as the originals with some pleasant bonuses.

Visually, the game is heavily stylized, with anime style character and exaggerated stereotypes. Take, for example, one of the earlier characters you get-the slightly perverted old Japanese martial arts teacher that carries a bottle of what is presumably alcohol [likely Sake] on his hip. The graphics themselves are nothing special, and don't particularly stand out by current standards, but they aren't horrible either. They're functional but not fantastic and they get the job done.

So, how about the plot? Simple and fairly predictable. You have three crystals that hold the balance of the world, a group of people born with a 'spirit' of nature in them and can call upon that power, and a group of villains who want to take advantage of this power and use the crystals to create a new world order, etc etc. You start in a small village as the orphan teenager Lang, who is charged with guarding the Aqualith,which, as you can guess, is one of these mystic crystals and, just as you likely guessed, is the first stolen. Feeling responsible despite the fact that the guy who stole it is close to final boss material power, Lang starts out on his journey to recover the aqualith and-surprise of surprise, discovers along the way that he is a 'chosen one' who gets to save the world. It all sounds familiar, and it is, but rather than feeling like you're being forced to watch a bad remake of a tv show you hated anyways, this is more like rereading a favorite book that you never get tired of, even if you have read it so many times that the cover fell off.

That's really what makes this game so good. It takes classic RPG elements and delivers a game that is nostalgic, fun and a pleasant way to spend 30 some odd hours. I definitely recommend this to any serious RPG fan.

Rating: 8/10

Lavieta's avatar
Community review by Lavieta (November 16, 2007)

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