Legion: The Legend of Excalibur
I wasn't going to fault Legion for its blurry graphics or annoying, repetitive speech (you'd have to work the turkey-leg counter at the Renaissance Festival for 20 years to hear "To the Death!" more times than in two hours of Legion)--I just turned down the sound and ignored co-workers asking why I was playing a PS1 game. What I was after was the gameplay, a Baldur's Gate Gofe-like action-RPG with light real-time strategy mixed in. What I did eventually come to fault Legion for is its balance and fine-tuning--namely, there isn't any. You're supposed to guide up to four main characters and supporting troops by issuing commands in real time during battle. Now it's bad enough to be navigating menus while enemies are hacking you up into tiny bits, but when those menus make even simple orders for your buddies difficult or impossible, it's downright aggravating. And without the strategy element to back it up, combat (by which I mean tapping the same button over and over) gets repetitive quickly, especially with stages and bosses that alternate between "cake-walk" and "Charles Manson-insane" difficulty levels. To top it off, despite some nice cutscenes, big chunks of the story don't make sense or seem to be missing. The medieval setting, different offensive and defensive level objectives, collecting and buying special magic items-- you'll find a few inspired moments here, but it's the problems that are legion.
Imagine this scenario: Behind glass, you watch a focus group play Legion. Level one: The group bellows at the silly English-accent voiceovers. Level two: Half the room smashes their controllers in frustration and clears out due to having to complete one of the most difficult missions in the game (with no midlevel saves). An hour passes during which much cursing ensues. Another quarter storms out grumbling about how oafish allies arid camera problems got them killed. Finally, the last handful nods off from the constant running to and fro from battle to power up, since the combat interface is impossible to use on-the-fly. Success or failure? Oh, c'mon.
It may take some liberties with the Arthurian legend, and it may be fairly derivative in terms of some of the gameplay ideas, but Legion is actually pretty fun. It suffers from bad voice-acting and over-sensitive collision detection in the environments, and it has some annoying progress management features (like only saving between "quests"), but there's something undoubtedly charming about the whole thing. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance fans will get a kick out of it. Those seeking something a bit more in-depth will find the party management, which lets you direct hordes of troops at once, quite entertaining-even if it can be a bit hit-or-miss.
Download Legion: The Legend of Excalibur
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Legion: The Legend of Excalibur is a hack-and-slash, mission-based fighting game ala Jak and Daxter or Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. In Legion, you journey through the mythological world of King Arthur. On your way, you will encounter many familiar foes and heroes, including Morgan le Fay, Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot, Gwenevere, and Percival.
Legion is fairly challenging until you learn the ropes. Almost all of your healing comes from the town priest, and until you locate him on each mission, you are on your own. Even after you find him, it can be tedious to walk back to town for healing when you are fighting halfway across the map. In addition, the only savepoints come between missions, so you'd better not die unless you want to replay 15 minutes worth of the level.
What's really disappointing here, though, is the lack of character movement options. You cannot jump, duck, crouch, run, or many of the other motions you would expect. It's pretty much walk, hack, walk, slash, wash, rinse, repeat as needed. Because of this, the game suffers from a sense of 'sameness' after a while, and replayability is an issue with the game's mission-based format and no multiplayer support.
Graphically, I wouldn't say that there's much to speak of, especially compared to the likes of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. The voiceovers are comical, but not in an intentional way. Unless you are a collector of all things relating to King Arthur or Camelot, you might want to steer clear of this one.