Gameloft’s Eternal Legacy borrows a lot more from the Final Fantasy series than its uninspiring name. A turn-based role-playing game full of exploration, treasure chests, and an inane storyline, Eternal Legacy is the definition of the Japanese RPG that was popularized in the 90s by Final Fantasy VII without actually being made in Japan.
- Come now little doggies! -
Borrowing heavily from the genre, Eternal Legacy feels like a combination of Chaos Rings and Final Fantasy XIII, with more of an emphasis on exploration. Using a party of three or less, players select commands to execute on desired targets and watch as the battle unfolds. There are options to use standard and special attacks as well as magic items, and character specific attacks can be used when a character has received or dealt enough damage. Each chosen action is represented in a queue of up to three actions, and when the active time bar fills, the character executes the desired action and keeps doing so on subsequent turns until the queue is emptied. Teammates, by default, are controlled by the A.I., but they can be switched over to full control if desired. The battles play out like a combination of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy XIII. Although the combat is enjoyable, it innovates in no way and lacks any of the Final Fantasy “flash” that might come from epic cinematic attacks or summons.
Eternal Legacy clearly tries to replicate the Japanese RPG experience to a fault, including many of the problems that come with the genre. This includes a poorly written storyline that artificially attempts to add depth, unrelatable characters, unrealistic acting, and an often-antiquated design sense. Still, the level of polish players have come to expect from Gameloft titles is apparent here with full 3D graphics, a clean user interface, and a lack of glitches. The environments are grand in scope and feature detailed textures, impressive effects, and a variety of color palettes. The characters, although well modeled, are poorly designed with costumes straight out of a cosplay convention. The characters themselves mimic familiar RPG tropes like the lone swordsmen, the princess who has never been on an adventure, and a quirky Rikku lookalike. Effects animation is well rendered, but character animation is slow moving, lacks force, and is evenly spaced, especially during cutscenes. The camera work is cinematic at times, but often cuts into level geometry during poorly placed close-ups. Overall, Eternal Legacy’s visual design, although copied from earlier titles, offers high production values.
- The polish is there, but don't expect anything truly original -
Eternal Legacy’s sound design is easily its worst offender. Although the piercing electric guitar rock n’ roll and battle grunts become grating quickly, the voice work in particular can be described as unbearable, featuring amateur actors who have a difficult time with pronunciation and emphasize words incorrectly and pause in inappropriate places. Fortunately, the option to disable the voice “acting” is available in the options menu and should be executed immediately in order to get the most enjoyment out of the sound design.
It’s difficult to recommend Eternal Legacy. Those familiar with RPGs will find that the game innovates the genre in no way and that the clichéd and uncompelling story makes it difficult to finish the lengthy quest. The impressive visuals and entertaining combat may be enough, but only for those who truly desire a full-fledged RPG on a portable Apple device.
GameDynamo's Score for Eternal Legacy (Mobile)
He's always enjoyed the artistic craft of video games and received a Bachelor in Fine Arts for Animation. He also creates his own games!
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