Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Drew Hurley 18.06.2018

Review for Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory on Nintendo Switch

Perspective is a funny thing; the difference between a hero and a villain can often be down to who is telling the story, and in Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory on Nintendo Switch, this story is told from two different perspectives. Set in the mediaeval fantasy land of Fenumia, this can either tell the tale of a Princess ascending the throne of her deceased father or of a beloved general fighting against a corrupted tyrant.

Originally there was Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire and Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion. Sins of an Empire told the story of Princess Cecille, daughter of the recently deceased Emperor, teaming up with her father's most trusted advisor; a book - an ancient grimoire with the ability to summon heroes from history as servants to the summoner's whims. Cecile has much to achieve to take the throne; her father was not liked and the people are eager for a new ruler. She travels across the land, enlisting aide and growing in power. Her quest is made much more difficult by what once was her most trusted general - Legatus Laendur. Laendur is the other side of the coin; the other perspective on this story. He comes from a land that was overtaken and swallowed up by Fenumia, and now he's ascended the ranks and become loved by the people who took everything from him. Now, with the Emperor dead, he has the chance to bring his lost home back, but he cares more about saving the empire. He knows the grimoire is actually a terrible object, one that will twist Cecile, and he hopes to just destroy it; at least, at first.

Screenshot for Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory on Nintendo Switch

It's not the first story to tackle the multiple points of view style narratives, and the story itself looks good at first, but the writing is horribly bloated. It packs in so many references to superfluous information. There's a bombardment of details on shadowy groups of ruling classes within the world, and there are so many named characters that have no real impact on the story, back-stories of divine figures... it all feels too overloaded for this type of game and the core narrative itself suffers in the meantime. Both sides have a simple enough story but both feel heavily dragged out and, worst of all, both are lacking in any real emotional resonance with the audience. There's nothing to connect with the flat characters about and there are no big impacts in the story that are memorable or will stay with the player after finishing the game. It just lacks… punch.

Billed as a turn-based game, it doesn't really feel or look like one. On the graphical front, anyone seeing screenshots of Fallen Legion would expect it to be a 2D side-scrolling beat 'em up. The whole experience is made up of hand-drawn gorgeous art. There are some gorgeous fantasy environments to trek across, with some verdant forests, icy tundra, and castle parapets. Atop these beautiful landscapes are some stunning 2D sprites. The quality of the art is complemented by the designs of the characters; some really great designs with a general style reminiscent of Odin Sphere.

Screenshot for Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory on Nintendo Switch

The battles themselves are… perplexing. Regardless of playing as Princess Cecille or Legatus Laendur, the adventure plays the same. The hero stands behind a wall of summoned "Exemplars," warriors of various styles that do the dirty work. Each Exemplar is mapped to a face button and they have a stamina bar that fills up, allowing up to so many attacks. These can be combo'd up to a set amount and if an attack lands within a certain special point in a combo, the chosen Exemplar can deliver a huge attack. That is, if the combo can reach that. Enemies tend to try to interfere. Attacks break combo chains unless blocked with a timely hit of the L trigger, leaving the enemy weakened or stunned. Meanwhile, the protagonist stands in the rear with a host of magic spells to throw, such as healing the Exemplars or attacks to pitch in.

In theory, the combat system sounds promising, but in practice it fails. At first, hitting any attacks and occasionally landing a parry is good enough to get through the stages with little issue, but after the second act, there are some really frustrating encounters that force a re-examination of the combat system, to step back and understand how to exploit it correctly. The issue is that even when it's mastered, the combat still feels cluttered and disorganised, and generally not very enjoyable.

Screenshot for Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory on Nintendo Switch

Between the battles, little prompts will appear for events going on in-game. These pop up as three little cards to choose from, with a brief explanation of the scenario taking place - deserters in the army, captured brigands, small besmirchings from officers; a whole host of little moments. These each give an option on how to respond. A traitor can be jailed, executed or pardoned, with each choice giving different rewards, such as a small stat bonus for this match, or an item to use. There's something else to consider, though. The morale of the army is constantly in flux. Making brash decisions just for good short-term rewards can sow distrust amongst the troops.

There are six hours or so of playtime per story, although that will shoot up considerably based on mastering the combat and some particularly tricky boss encounters that feel really out of place. The difficulty spikes up for them - and this isn't all bosses, just three encounters - then drops back down afterwards.

Screenshot for Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 4 out of 10


Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory is the type of game that requires playing first before purchasing. It looks great, with some gorgeous hand-drawn art, and some cool looking combat. That combat system looks like a fresh take on the classic Valkyrie Profile, but once getting hands-on, it's quickly evident it doesn't live up to its promises. The premise is solid on both the action and the gameplay, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. The story is horrendous, hugely convoluted, lacking any sort of pivotal moments, or interesting characters. The combat system is too manic and messy to master, leaving it as a real disappointment, overall.




NIS Europe





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

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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