Liege Dragon (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Nayu 19.08.2021

Review for Liege Dragon on Nintendo Switch

History repeats itself in the world of Liege Dragon with a once defeated evil dragon desiring to kill every person that takes on a human appearance causing havoc in Bolgia. EXE-Create and prolific RPG publisher KEMCO bring together an amnesic, a princess, a mercenary, and a minstrel, as the ones who can save the world by collecting the Dragon Tools of the Three Heroes. The evil dragon is not the only villain, nor is their journey without peril, puzzles or confusion.

One of many game features KEMCO does well is characterisation. Even before he utters a word it seems clear Abigore is evil with his demonic evil grin and frown. Obviously not all who frown are evil, but his hatred for humans is blindingly obvious. He orders horrendous acts that cost many lives, making thwarting him a priority to save the world, and his character easy to hate. He is in stark contrast to the playable party. Protagonist Yuran's true identity is hinted at from the start, but mixing RPG clichés with a twist are part of the charm of KEMCO titles. Using formulas for both characters and plot in ways associated with role playing games make Liege Dragon feel familiar.

There is no mistaking the fine plot twists that aren't always predictable and make Yuran's adventure so engaging. Character growth and development is important: from the start the danger and heartache of the tale is made clear by watching multiple innocent characters die, some who mean a lot to Yuran due to their kindness. This spurs Yuran on to seek peace despite it requiring more death and hardship. Yuran isn't alone in his quest, or necessarily the best character. Due to her high position in society, from the outset Princess Louise is willing to sacrifice a lot to save her people. She puts herself second in priority, like a true princess she is more concerned that those in her kingdom are safe than ensuring she leads a comfortable, easy life.

Screenshot for Liege Dragon on Nintendo Switch

She pushes aside her own grief to do her royal duty; her subjects are affected by her loss because of their loyalty to the deceased, but just like the princess they know their duty and they carry on with life. It is unfortunate that Louise can't remain in her initial outfit throughout the tale, and initially is not a playable character, yet after certain story events she wears a disguise that doesn't fool anyone in the main party except Yuran who has no clue Hilda is in fact Louise. Much humour arises from everyone, but Yuran realising her true identity but keeping it quiet for the sake of appearances is hilarious.

The princess's personality is so admirable that despite being an only sibling she is thought of as a sister to the female minstrel Silky. Silky will do anything to help Louise, even risking her life to try and find her when the princess is kidnapped. Her musical career isn't a mere characteristic - she leaves clues of musical scores tied on trees to show Yuran and Rugal her path when she dashes off before they can stop Silky going out alone: that is an inventive way of leaving clues. Silky has a secret of her own, which she worried would affect how the group view her. However upon revealing it they show that friendship transcends what are trivial matters; Silky is an equally valid member of the party whose healing traits are useful in battle.

Screenshot for Liege Dragon on Nintendo Switch

Rugal the mercenary clearly had a big secret he was hiding from everyone, especially with his use of carrier pigeons to share information with a mysterious recipient. Not knowing if he was truly good, or if he was a spy for Abigore, was a plot thread for a fair part of the tale, providing anticipation for when the truth finally gets revealed and ended up being unexpected. Witnessing the group learn to trust each other's strengths and rally around to protect their weaknesses added to the game's enjoyment. Battles are plentiful as they should be in an RPG. The main party isn't actively seen on screen, just static images, but the monsters are shown in 2D and look numerous at first since they are depicted in groups that diminish as they are defeated.

The adjustable battle speed makes it easy to whizz through the battles, should players wish to do so. The turn-based system will be familiar to many, but the way magic is developed for each character is different from the norm. Instead of gaining new magic spells upon leveling-up, instead magic stones associated with that magic trait (including elementals like fire and water) are gained upon a successful battle. Each magic spell requires a certain amount of crystals to be unlocked. This system allows choice in how to allocate magic to each character, adding more variability to the available magic and letting players decide what battle style to use.

Screenshot for Liege Dragon on Nintendo Switch

The normal methods of travel are supplemented with warp circles that must first be discovered before they can be used. This makes it easier to spend time levelling up the party close to a warp circle, then returning to town for a supply top-up before heading back out on the quest. Aside from the main story there are optional side-quests whose rewards vary in usefulness, but always provide an opportunity to get to know the main party better - what feels like KEMCO's trademark RPG feature of walls that can be entered at specific points and frequently leads to treasure made exploring dungeons extra fun, as there was no knowing where the wall entrance would appear or where it would lead.

Sometimes there are several in one area which proved tricky, when it wasn't clear where the entrances were. Using highly detailed backgrounds for buildings, villages, dungeons, and forests, complemented the stylish character designs. Even when standing still there is movement in every NPC and non-NPC… humour happened despite some of the dire straits the plot depicts which made it entertaining.

Screenshot for Liege Dragon on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

The vibrant detailed scenery coupled with memorable characters and a strong captivating plot make Liege Dragon a welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch library of RPGs. The easy-to-understand game play is perfect for newcomers to the RPG genre, and KEMCO also gives veterans an opportunity to play on harder difficulties to test their battle strategy. A mixture of familiar KEMCO game mechanics and new ones make the age-old story of good versus evil feel refreshing and engaging.

Developer

Exe-Create

Publisher

Kemco

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

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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