By Gabriel Jones 14.10.2016
In the Universe of Something, Un'Amak's greatest huntress Ikki has taken on her most dangerous task yet. She must recover the Fang of Alliance. However, the forces of evil assail her every step. Can she collect the three orbs of power, master unique abilities, and vanquish any that stand against her? Well, it wouldn't be much of a game if she failed. Hunter's Legacy is a Metroidvania, combining action and exploration to create an adventure not unlike the classics of the 16-bit days.
As per genre standards, Ikki's quest will involve a lot of jumping, some puzzle-solving, and a fair amount of violence. These aspects are convincing designed, so that while they don't stand out, they function properly and keep the game moving. The locales are diverse, and some of them are pretty inventive. There's an area called the Snowed Volcano. Ikki will come across tiny creatures that react to all of the fire and ice. There are a few instances where she will have to allow them to latch onto her, so that she can traverse through especially hot or cold sections. Even the less inventive locations offer a fair amount of variety, such as using floating leaves and the wind to progress, or relying on a friendly bird to hit switches.
In her travels, Ikki will come across both a healer and a blacksmith. Their services include raising her maximum health and strengthening her weapons. These upgrades require ore, which is found in optional caves scattered throughout the land. Needless to say, there's plenty of reason to explore. There's also a gnome who lives to hide in the grass. He sells larger wallets and quivers. Most players are going to cut every bit of grass they see out of habit, so this little bugger shouldn't be hard to find. This game makes frequent use of teleporters, so it's easy to get around and locate missing ores.
Where Hunter's Legacy falters is in the boss fights. The first encounter isn't so bad, but they become increasingly annoying. The second boss has a very small window of vulnerability, which involves hitting a spot that's hard to reach, even with the bow and arrow. The player is likely to have better luck with the third boss, if it manages to get caught in the corner. Otherwise it's a meandering and frustrating battle with RNG. The fourth boss only has one attack that directly harms Ikki, but it has a plethora of ways to push and pull her off the surrounding cliffs. It's simply not a fun fight.
Typically, a final boss is where action games make their lasting impression, and this game completely botches it. This fight is heavily influenced by RNG, because many of the boss' weak points are located in hard to reach spots. For example, the highest one requires the player to jump through a portal. These portals appear during one specific attack. However, if the boss doesn't do this attack, then Ikki is out of luck. While waiting for that one attack, the boss is probably going to do everything else instead, while slowly but surely picking away at Ikki's health meter. Getting the win doesn't feel like an accomplishment. It's more like finally being favoured by the Goddess that is Lady Luck. This dreadful finale drags down and otherwise competent game.
While Hunter's Legacy has some nice qualities, too much of it is spent on laborious boss battles. The other elements such as exploration and puzzle-solving are competently handled, and the dealings with minor foes are appropriately brief. Unfortunately, these feelings of goodwill are eroded and then all but erased by encounters that rely too much on randomness, and don't provide enough of a legitimate challenge. If someone is willing to look past that, then they'll find Hunter's Legacy to be pretty enjoyable. Although, that's a contradiction, isn't it? It's impossible to look past something that has to be done.