February 05, 2006

Untold Legends Better Left Untold

Untold Legends was the RPG video game given to me for Christmas. A bit more than a month later I have finished it - pretty good playing time for an RPG --- but if only there were some other good points about it.

I guess it was in English. But I think that's only a plus if you live in English speaking country, where English speaking games are readily available, its not exactly the bonus it was for me. (Or maybe you don't speak English...) And even so, the dialogue, story and general annoying whining, stupid missions and idiocy of world's general populace made me sort of think the game might have been more fun if they had been speaking in tongues.

From the moment you step in this game starts to piss you. Firstly it switches your operator button from O to X causing no end of annoyance when you start, or when you finish playing and try to use the PSPs other functions and continually cancel when you mean yes. So you try to deal with this, and pass through some very lame simple character customization to find yourself trapped in a world of fish-tank view with no escape as you watch helplessly as your avatar resemples little more than a mouse trapped in a maze.

Oh, and then the story, not only are you a knave surrounded by veterans of war to scared and stupid to do anything right, but then just as you rescue the dimwitted princess the third (or fourth) time she goes and turns evil, so you have to kill her, at the behest of the entire city-who-loved-her-dearly. If only they'd turned evil too.

Another point that this game loses in that dungeon levels respawn their critters EVERY time you reenter them. And don't always respawn gold/treasure chests. Due to the unimaginative hack and slash nature of gaming, and the lack of much creativity in monster modelling or modes of attack - this is extremely tedious. Monsters always seemed to be an average/low match to my might and only gained an edge if ganging up 3/5 or more on one depending on the monsters.

Weapons and Armour proved always confusing as most of the time higher level weapons and weapons I couldn't yet reach seemed to do less damage than quest, or sometimes normal items I had already acrued. Annoying and pointless.

Finally the hub nature of town, requiring a tour back to the same home base for quests/stores/healing/travel etc. is extremely annoying in a hack and slash. Its a little annoying in a story-based RPG (which normally have a few towns, or at least a few small stores scattered about teh world outside the major base). This combined with the above mentioned dungeon respawning everytime you visit a place really sucked and added to (pointless, gringing, annoying) gameplay time.

I kept playing this game to see if it got better. 40 days later it still didn't. It's officially shite.

However the premise of hack and slash for PSP with multi-player capability is a good one. If the designers of Untold Legends had taken more of the good things from Dungeon Siege. They are producing a sequel, it could be worthwhile with a decent plot, depth in characters, a linear story-map, character overhaul, better weapons and variety, dialogues that don't make you want to scream, and most of all a freaking decent over-the-shoulder camera angle - but I guess then it wouldn't be UNTOLD LEGENDS anymore...

... that'd probably be a good thing.

In other news- I finished Metal Gear Acid. Its story was confusing (for being in Japanese) but a million times better than Brotherhood of the Blade. Hell its better than a lot of video game stories. And, at first you think "Strategy Stealth Card Game PSP" WTF!!!? -- but gameplay is actually challenging and interesting once you get used to it. IT's now available in English - maybe now someone can explain to me what the hell marionette puppets are doing hijacking a senator's jumbo jet and making demands from the CIA. Please.

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