Thursday, 7 May 2015

Legend in My Own Lunchtime

I finished Legends of Valour at lunch today. At least, I think I finished it...there didn't appear to be any kind of ending. I summoned the demon and freed the king, but he just seemed to wander around aimlessly rather than knighting me, or something. No ending screen, nothing, which seemed like a bit of a gyp. Ah well. So, Legends of Valour is a bit of an odd game, not really what I was expecting at all, but I did start to enjoy it once I got into it. I assumed it was going to be a big open world game, which it kind of is, but you're limited to one (admittedly very big) city. Your quest is to become the head of 4 of the city's guilds, once you become the head you're given a clue to find the king and a skull (which you need at the end of the game). In order to become the head of a guild you need to complete 5 quests, which rise in difficulty. The first quest for a guild might be to collect a scroll from another house across town, and the final quest might be to go into the dungeons and defeat a dragon. It defies categorisation a bit. I think it has to be an RPG purely because I don't see what else it can be, but it doesn't satisfy some of the core RPG tropes - for example, there are no levels; there aren't really any weapons and armour (sure, there are weapons, but they're all functionally identical); there's no XP; there are no classes; there are spells, but the wizard and cleric spell sets (that you gain by rising in rank at the guild) are basically the same. But I think it has to be an RPG - you run around performing quests, fighting monsters and gaining loot - you couldn't really call it an action game, as it's too slow paced, and it's not really an adventure as such, as you're not really solving puzzles...yeah, it's an odd one. Technically, it's pretty ahead of its time with a 3D world you wander around, a proper day/night cycle with different things happening at different times of day - even a weekly cycle with different things happening on different days of the week (as an example, there was a shop I needed to buy something from for a quest, and I couldn't work out why it wasn't opening no matter what time of day I went there. I ended up asking a passer-by what day it was, and he told me it was Sunday so the shop was shut. I went to the nearest hostel and slept until the next day, and lo and behold the shop was open). There's a massive city that you'll be completely lost in for the first few hours of your game time until you finish mapping it and start to get your bearings, and underneath that there is a massive dungeon, which you'll continue to get lost in even at the end of the game! There is a city full of random people wandering about - all of whom you can talk to (though only with limited questions), vampires and werewolves that come out at night, and an amazingly overzealous city watch who will pull you up and throw you in jail at the most inopportune times for the most ridiculous things, like snooping (which, as far as I can tell, is triggered by looking in house windows as you walk past them...something you can't really avoid). It certainly has its frustrating moments, and I did get close to giving up a couple of times, but it also has a certain charm that gets under your skin the more you play it...I just wish there'd been some kind of ending screen. Ah well.

Next up on the randometer is...Abuse! Blimey, I remember playing this one loads, I can't remember if I ever completed it. It's the archetypal run and gun game. A total change of pace from Legends of Valour, which is no bad thing.

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