Fantasy Hero: Unsigned Legacy is an action RPG by Arc System Works who is famous for games such as the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series. They are releasing more games outside the fighting game genre lately (there is also Magical Beat, a rhythm game that will be out soon), so this is quite exciting news for ASW fans.
In Fantasy Hero, the game’s world has been overrun by alien beings known as Decoders and humans were driven away from their homes after being attacked. After twelve years in the game’s setting, you are introduced to (and will be asked to choose from) the four main protagonists in the game such as:
- Acress, a justice-obsessed swordsman
- Haul, the mysterious Crow with a penchant for guns
- Ashta, inventress with a giant robot and a bone to pick
- Mask, a well-muscled luchador
Each of these heroes have different fighting styles — Acress of course specializes in slashing, Mask wrestles, Haul is the ranged shooter guy and Ashta uses a robot to attack with. The game sets you off and introduces you to your wild band of party members (all the protagonists are working together but you get to control only one during the game). A woman named Gram gifts you with your Hero Artes (equipment that makes you super strong) after returning from a two-year expedition and sends you on a quest to become stronger and take back your land. You play the fairly easy to go through tutorial and eventually do the missions (core of the game) while progressing in the game’s story. Easy peasy.
Is this real life? (AKA the good stuff)
- Good visuals – I always appreciate good character designs and especially like cel-shaded graphics in RPGs. Fantasy Hero has interesting character designs for the protagonists especially Mask (my favorite because luchador), but the other guys like Haul, Acress and Ashta aren’t bad either. The environment is not mind-blowing and could probably use more inspiration and uniqueness but it still works.
- Character customization – Fantasy Hero has a good system of customizing skills for your characters and make them play either as a DPS or a support unit. There is also assigning of stats which can really make each character you play unique from your friends.
- Fully voiced characters – All characters are fully dubbed with Japanese voices and have some popular seiyuus doing them. There is no option for English voices however, but then again who plays with that.
- Game Controls – The game is easy especially if you have experience in RPGs. There is no way you will have a hard time learning the controls as it is very simple and streamlined. Attacks are assigned to two buttons, movement to the left analog stick which is really everything you need to play. Skills and items are mapped to your directional and command buttons later on and can be activated by pressing the LB button.
- 4 Player Local Co-Op – I like playing with friends in games so this is a good addition. If you want someone to get into multiplayer games like Monster Hunter, you can start them up in Fantasy Hero as the game is fairly easy to learn and get into mostly because of the simplified controls.
- Mission Division – The bulletin board where you can get missions divides them into main and side (and DLC), so you can easily breeze through the story if you want to. However, during the first few hours of the game you are compelled to do the side missions to learn controls and the basics of the game.
- Difficulty Toggles – You can make the missions harder if you are more confident of your level and skills and can get more rewards from it which is a good touch. New players can stick with recommended levels or if you just want to enjoy the game and run through it.
- Near System – Like 3DS’s street pass, you can get gifts from others players if you bump into them which I always enjoy in handheld games.
Is this just fantasy? (AKA the bad stuff)
- Generic story line – Cookie cutter storyline in RPG: get. Unknown monsters suddenly invade peaceful land and drive people out of their homes yadda yadda. I wish they would’ve gone the extra mile and make the plot more engaging but it is what it is.
- Dialogue font – Not that big of a deal but the dialogue is hard to read at times because of the kerning / spacing. I wish that they patch this game to improve readability.
- Entire Map view – It would have been so much better if they assigned a button in the game to view the entire map instead of going inside the main menu (accessible by the start button) and going through it to access. It somewhat breaks the game’s momentum especially if you are in a mission.
Caught in a landslide (AKA can go anywhere)
- Super linear gameplay – I am all for linear gameplay in RPGs but I know most people like variety and choices. The game is straightforward as straightforward goes.
- DLC – Extra missions can be acquired in DLCs. Again, not many people might be up for that but it won’t hurt if you don’t get them. Here is what’s available in the game:
- Mission Pack #1 “Birth of the Sacred Treasures” – 5 new missions with new weapons and equipment
- Mission Pack #2 “Then and Now” – 5 new missions with post-story content
- Character License and BlazBlue Color Set
- Character License and Guilty Gear Color Set
- Character License and Special Color Set
- Character Color Pack (Ashta, Haul, Shout, or Acress set)
- Basic Upgrading – The game has super simplified upgrading in equipment. You just go to the NPC with the stuff required to upgrade and you can choose an effect whether to have a higher damage output or increased effectivity. There’s not much to do with changing the looks and other stats like in other games.
No escape from reality (AKA the verdict)
If you are looking for a lighthearted action RPG, Fantasy Hero is not a bad choice. Priced reasonably at $14.99, you definitely get your money’s worth from the game content, especially since you can go play local multi on it. It’s also a good idea to have new players start on this game to learn the basics of action RPGs and Monhan type of games. The game also works on the PlayStation Vita TV so that’s great.
Fantasy Hero: Unsigned Legacy releases on February 10th in the Americas, and February 11th for select countries in Europe, Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand. The game is exclusively available for PlayStation Vita as a digital download on the PlayStation Network. The game is currently available in North America.
Disclosure: 30lives.net has received a review copy of the game from Arc System Works.