+Extremely light dialogue that obligates players to moral choices.
+Combat is easy to learn and easy to adapt to, but patience is key midway in.
+Extremely nice art style, music, and sound effects
-The full story requires both the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 versions.
-Cutscenes are sparse and told through static animations
-Combat can, at times, become too difficult
What do you do if you are a princess or a prince and you are handed the keys to a kingdom? Those keys also come with a magical, talking book, and its insurmountable amount of knowledge. This talking book isn’t just talking. It’s one that served as you father, the kings, prized possession with its limitless advice and knowledge it contains that can help you become the ruler you need to be for your people. It is a book that will help you take on the tasks needed in order to restore your empire, and help your peoples.
This is exactly how Princess Cecille’s story begins. Her father has died. His empire has come into chaos since his passing, and not it’s time for you and your Grimoire to take control of Fenumia’s lands in order to set things right. Much of the game doesn’t see Cecille in combat however. Instead her Exemplars, which are mental projections from the talking Grimoire. They are some of the most celebrated warriors in the realms history and they are there to fight alongside her and help her overcome all obstacles that are thrown before her.
Let alone do they manage to overcome them, they also come at a cost. They can die and they must be resurrected by Cecille and Grimoire if this happens. Could you actually trust a sassy, annoying, and rather troubling Grimoire whom seems to have its own agenda? That’s the very thing one must consider when in her predicament while your empire is on the brink of destruction.
Like many games of its type, Fallen Legion puts its storytelling in a rather minimalist way. Much of its story is rather sparse, mostly made of small cut-scenes, which are little more than static images you’d see in graphic novel style games. It’s not a bad approach, to a game as small as it is. It allows players to jump straight back into the action and beat some troublemakers down before moving on once more. For those looking for voice acting, you’ll find little of it, and cutscenes are actually rather short.
This leaves the game to have just a small serving of light reading, which won’t prove to be a chore, but it does prove to leave much more to be desired for those wanting a lore heavy game. Even with fifteen hours invested on the PlayStation Vita version and a mere ten on PlayStation 4, you’ll find that Fallen Legion is a game that is about getting to know your characters, dealing with political turmoil, which is done after each find, and ultimately beating down enemies in classic side-scrolling approaches. This means much of your time is spent in combat more than it is reading or even ruling your empire.
Much as expected from anyone, Cecille learns to call for aid by the Exemplars from the very beginning. Since they are the heavy lifters of this game, they’re also the ones that will be taking the brunt of the damage, and not much else. They also serve combat in an old-school turn-based fashion. Their commands have chargers. Too many attacks at once and they’ll need to recardh while Cecille recharges her spells. This is quite easily done through time. Cecille is controlled using the Vita or the PlayStation 4 controllers triangle button. She has several functions she can do as well on her own. She can heal her party, damage a few enemies with a fire spell or she can revive a fallen Exemplar.
Exemplars as stated are your main attackers. Because the game utilizes the controllers face buttons, you will find yourslf using X, Square, and Triangle more-often than not. This will allow your to slam into enemies while using your AP (attack points) in order to lower your foes health over time. To master combat in the game, you will want to time your attacks with caution. This will allow one attacker to b recharging while the other two are dealing their damage, which allows your combo meter to build up, and allowing one of your Exemplars to overwhelm enemies with a powerful attack.
This approach to combat doesn’t mean the game will be easy later on. By the time I had hit the six hour mark. By that time lining up combos, interrupting my enemies, and learning when to attack was the best course of action. This allowed me to rotate my tea as needed in order to stop my defenseless stratagem from being torn apart. Why? I was being too reckless and enemies became a little more of a nuance than before. I found blocking, parrying, and even timing attacks would be just and serve my chances of survival a bit more, and it did.
I would often find my foes in defenseless states where they could take quite a bit more damage than before. In turn I also found that combat wasn’t the biggest part of the game as I thought it was. Instead, Fallens Legions moral choices are the real winner here. These choices aren’t just “the good” or “the bad”. Rather they are choices that can very well decide what your fights outcome can be. Some will be tied to a buff, which will allow you to have better chances of survival, but the risk is you will find villagers displaced or questioning what has become of Cecille.
Those moral obligations can sometimes offer a chance to find your team with mightier attack power than before, but you will find your own people being displaced and without a home. Not like they needed their beds, food, or even protection from the elements, right? Now imagine if a boss fight was coming up next. Would it be worth it in the long run? Chances are it will help you overcome that boss fight, but at the cost of your empires trust.
What’s more unique is that the PlayStation Vita version is a much different story, but plays the same way. Instead you find yourself playing Cecille’s rival by the name of Laendur who will see events transpire in almost the same way, but it’s worth grabbing if you found Cecille’s adventure enjoyable. Plus, what does it hurt giving your Vita a little love? It deserves having the dust brushed off it and the handheld given a good whirl. That’s just what Fallen Legion offers when it comes to being a game. It’s one about moral choices, attention to detail in combat, and ultimately letting you decide the fate for your people.
Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire – PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita
Developer: YummyYummyTummy Inc.
Publisher: YummyYummyTummy Inc.
Release Date: Available Now
While the art, combat, and even sound is quite astonishing, Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire won’t capture the audience like a title such as Final Fantasy will. However, what it will capture is an audience who wants a game that’s easy to pick up and put down as a time burning. It’s a game that deserves the recognition for what it is. It’s a brilliant cooked up indie game that decides to forego the modernized approach that most games take and seeks to draw in fans of games such as Dragons Crown. Truth is? It just might work.
Our review is based upon a retail version we received from the games publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 7 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.