Legrand Legacy: Tale of the Fatebounds is another attempt to build upon past successes of the JRPG genre, but it focuses on a key few inspirations. Rather than some broad and generic focus on 16-bit era games, it instead seems to use the likes of The Last Remnant and Tales of Vesperia as a basis for its ideas.
The story follows an amnesiac gladiator named Finn, bound to fight in an arena until the end of his days, until he is purchased to act as a bodyguard for an older man who seeks his assistance in freeing his kidnapped daughter. Unfortunately, Finn comes to realise that there is more at stake than a simple ransom.
While the basic skeleton of the story is a well known one, the presentation here is what counts. Much of it is structured so that the common story elements are not obvious until long after they have come into play, or it executes them well enough that it’s hard to hold it against the game.
The combat system itself is a surprisingly fast-flowing alternative to the usual turn-based mechanics. With quick-time events utilised to judge critical strikes, parties and attacks are balanced by various row formations, which allows you to swap characters in and out of combat at a moment’s notice. While the usual mix of tank, DPS and healer is in play here, the classes in question are usually tweaked so that they do more than simply fill out a single expected role.
As ever, there are a few definite moments where the developer dropped the ball. The keybindings on PC are ill-placed and there is no option to rebind them on here, while the options menu is notably bare-bones. There are minor innovations and the story has its own identity, but the storytelling devices feel archaic; it takes over an hour for things to properly pick up. Because of this, it would be easy to understand why some players might write off the characters as simple archetypes at first or tire of the constant bickering between group members.
PC limitations aside, the worst you can truly say about Legrand Legacy is that it relies too much on past lessons over experimenting with new ones. It does more than enough to make it stand out as its own entity despite this, and Semisoft clearly understood the fine line between derivative mimicry and inspiration. Even in a month which has seen the release of Subnautica, Dragon Ball FighterZ and Monster Hunter World, this is not a game to be missed.
LEGRAND LEGACY: TALE OF THE FATEBOUNDS / DEVELOPER: SEMISOFT / PUBLISHER: ANOTHER INDIE, MAYFLOWER ENTERTAINMENT [KR] / PLATFORM: PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW