Fantasy Hero ~unsigned legacy~ (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Gabriel Jones 07.04.2018

Review for Fantasy Hero ~unsigned legacy~ on Nintendo Switch

There was once a time where peace and harmony were all anyone had ever known. By every metric, it was utopia. However, in just one night, the world was forever changed. The sky shuddered as a brilliant light tore its way through. Shortly afterwards, millions of fiends landed upon the Earth. Without provocation, they indiscriminately killed everyone in sight. Although a few brave men and women fought back, they couldn't withstand the might of what are now referred to as Decoders. Twelve years have passed since the great cataclysm. While hiding away in forgotten lands, the remnants of humanity happen upon the lost Hero Artes. Perhaps, with this miraculous discovery, they can destroy the menace that has caused them so much pain.

Idealistic youths with dreams of saving the world, cruel villains who just want to eradicate it; this is a road gamers have walked down time and time again. Why do they do it? It sounds selfish, but it is probably because they are chasing entertainment, a cheap vacation from the harsh realities and confines of life. Becoming the hero and saving the day has become a mundane process, like driving to work or organising socks. The real joy is found in actually playing the game and figuring out how it all works. Perhaps, buried underneath tired tales of good versus evil, there is something brilliant that draws one's attention. The well-executed mechanics and smart design-decisions come together, resulting in many hours of fun.

For any critic worth their salt, the incentive to play a new game isn't quite as clear-cut. They are not interested in finding the bad in the good, or the good in the bad. What they are after lies deep within - the one thing that carries a game to greatness, or drags it into the abyss. Once this piece of the puzzle is uncovered, everything else immediately clicks into place. On that note, Fantasy Hero ~unsigned legacy~'s major failing is that it never actually tries. It feels like the barest of effort was made. After ensuring that the product was viable for consumption, everyone dusted off their hands and walked away, never paying any mind to whether it's actually fun.

Screenshot for Fantasy Hero ~unsigned legacy~ on Nintendo Switch

Before the game begins in earnest, the player must choose one of four characters. They all have their own weapons, hero artes, and bizarre names. The most talkative of the main characters goes by the name Acress Breathbeat. There's nothing more inspired than a name that sounds like it was taken from a newspaper headline. Isn't that right, Euphegenia Doubtfire? Anyway, this critic decided to choose Ashta Little Husky. She's the socially awkward girl genius. "Roboton," her remote-controlled robot, can be summoned to wreak havoc on Decoders.

After a short tutorial, the player is dropped off at the hub village. There's really not much to talk about, due to the almost complete absence of NPCs. The basic essentials, such as the item shop and blacksmith, are available, but don't expect much of anything resembling idle conversation. Unless there's a need to upgrade weapons or stock up on healing jellies, one should make their way to the bulletin board as soon as possible. In typical action RPG fashion, heroes can take on a multitude of quests to progress the storyline and earn experience.

Screenshot for Fantasy Hero ~unsigned legacy~ on Nintendo Switch

The combat is really basic and unexciting. Ashta is capable of performing a basic combo by mashing the Y button. This combo is the solution to almost every encounter. Most of the Decoders can be knocked down with the combo, which leaves them open to more attacks. Although the inventor can mix things up with dash-attacks or combo-finishers, its better just to keep enemies grounded as often as possible. The repetition sets in very early on, and never lets up. Even after Ashta has gained a few levels and learned new skills, her strategy doesn't evolve. The alternatives to button-mashing are just too slow. A lot of enemies throw projectiles, and staying in one spot for too long is a good way to catch a fireball in the face.

The single most interesting aspect of combat is the ability to dodge. It's performed by pressing the jump button shortly after hitting the attack button. At first, this ability seems to be just for show, but it quickly grows in usefulness as players are able to switch targets or avoid projectiles with ease. There is a very real sense of satisfaction that comes from utilising this neat ability. Unfortunately, this is about as good as the game ever really gets.

When the situation becomes desperate, it's time to break out the Hero Artes. In Ashta's case, it's her trusty Roboton. When the hero gauge is full, she can summon the robot to destroy her adversaries. This match-up is almost hilariously one-sided, as Roboton does large amounts of damage, and has a massive pool of health. The catch, of course, is that once the hero gauge drains, the mecha ally flies off, leaving Ashta to fend for herself again. Still, this ability is great for trivialising the otherwise frustrating boss battles.

Screenshot for Fantasy Hero ~unsigned legacy~ on Nintendo Switch

Speaking of, frustration seems to be a common theme in Fantasy Hero ~unsigned legacy~. None of the heroes can take much punishment. A few unlucky hits and they are done for. During certain missions, enemies will suddenly appear from thin air, and then immediately attack. Death via ambush is an overly common occurrence. Also common are debilitating status effects, such as poison and freeze, which will destroy the player-character in seconds. The cruellest twist of the knife is that if the mission is failed, then it has to be retried from the very beginning. Some sort of checkpoint or lives system would have been appreciated.

Then there's the most glaring oversight of all: no multiplayer. Back when this was released on the PlayStation Vita, it supported up to four players through an ad-hoc connection. In the Switch version, there aren't any options whatsoever for teaming up with friends. Perhaps sometime in the future there will be a patch, but that doesn't seem likely. It's also baffling that despite this omission, characters still retain ally-centric skills. Ashta can heal allies with her specialised laser, but good luck finding a target for it.

Screenshot for Fantasy Hero ~unsigned legacy~ on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

2/10
Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

All that really needs to be said is that Fantasy Hero ~unsigned legacy~ is an effortless slog. Considering the glut of action RPGs, it's understandable that there would be derivative elements, but this one doesn't even try to do anything unique. Worse, the lack of balance or polish results in a series of escalating aggravations. Before long, the very concept of "fun" is set ablaze, until nothing but ashes remain.

Developer

Arc System Works

Publisher

Arc System Works

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  2/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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