The Book of Legends, developed and published by Aldorlea Games, is a standalone RPG made in RPG Maker. The game is developed as a reminiscent of the old style 16-bit sprite games like Final Fantasy 3, which having played the game I feel they have achieved it with its sprite graphic style and turn-based battle system.
In keeping with the old style 16-bit genre, The Book of Legends with its pretty simple overarching story encompasses all the virtues that we recognise today in the traditional genre. The storyline opens with the awakening of Azutura “the Demon of Fear” from its dormant state; this is due to the increasing numbers of thieves, rogues and bandits that are plaguing the world, which in turn creates fear in people’s hearts thus triggering the awakening. The game opens up on a group of people discussing a way to rid the world of the demons influence; the solution to the problem comes in the form of a magical relic created by the best alchemist in the realm. This relic possesses mysterious vapours that will inevitably put the demon back into a deep slumber for a few more decades to come. The task is placed upon you to venture fourth to rid the world of Azutura by delivering the relic to the house of Fear and use the vapours on the Demon. Even though there are more than 30 playable characters in this game, the task is given to Jordan specifically because this notorious traveller possesses supernatural strength giving him the ability to stand alone against the demons and other enemies in the realm. To add a twist to this rather simple storyline, you get robbed! That’s right on the first day of your travels, while asleep in your camp in the Moondrop forest, a group of thieves jump you and steal your relic intended to save the realm! And so begins your journey to recover the relic and put the Demon back to rest.
The Book of Legends offers tons of features that will keep any hard-core or casual Role playing gamer entertained for hours, boasting more than 300 discoverable areas that contain over 100 different types of enemies it’s no wonder they can offer 50 hours of playtime. Contained within these many hours of gameplay the extremely compelling storyline comprises of crucial choices that can influence the game and the outcome, giving the player multiple endings to experience. The games characters are what really make this game noteworthy, the way they interact with each other is enjoyable to watch, each character has his/her own individual personality which stands out from the rest. There is tons of witty banter that is thrown between the party members making it entertaining to witness, this really makes you feel that the group is just a bunch of random people with their own backgrounds brought together for a common goal; it is evident of this through the banter that as they don’t always agree. One such party member, for which the game should win the award “I didn’t see that one coming”, is a cow… That’s right you read it correctly… a cow! Not only is there a cow available to join your party, there are a choice of other indigenous creatures, but I’ll let you discover them for yourself.
As previously discussed the game is designed similar to an old style 16-bit sprite game, so you are looking at a turn-based RPG using the action menu as a way to conduct attacks. The menu offers a list of commands to choose from these are; attack, skill, defend and escape all things you would expect to find. The spells are available to you use through the skill command and weapons are generally used through the attack command. Those of you used to this style of game will feel right at home, saying this, the controls are easy to understand for those of you who are not familiar with this genre. Your skills are obtained through levelling which is done by killing monsters, as for your weapons and armour; these are generally found in chests and shops. Much of the combat is what you would expect, most of the combat is quick and over in a matter of seconds, however during your search for the relic there are significant figures that attempt to intervene in your quest these fights can take considerably longer. One notable issue with the game is its navigational guidance around the realm, I spent most of my time roaming around attempting to find the actual location of my quest when I ended up everywhere but the location I was looking for. Mostly this ended in my death as I stumbled into creatures much stronger than my party.
The graphics in the game are very typical of the sprite style genre, unlike those old 16 bit games of the past the sprite animations here are much sharper and more defined. The physical and spell attack animations in the game are simple yet smooth and vibrant. The environments are easily distinguishable between the different regions (forests, deserts and towns) by the colours used and obstacles placed in and around your path; this effect is also visible on the world map. Much of the background sounds while adventuring the world is just music, this changes on locations and when important parts of the story occur but suit the overall feel of the game. Other than the background music only animation sounds are present such as; spell explosions and weapon slashes. There is no voice acting in the game as dialogue is read by the player.
Overall the game is a good pick up I would certainly recommend it to fans of the RPG genre, with large worlds, character pool, spell count and those all-important choices it’s a definite interest to fans of old 16 bit RPG games.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.