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Fallen Legion: Rise To Glory & Revenants Review

Initial release date: August 26, 2022

Developer: Yummy Yummy Tummy, Inc.

Publisher: Nippon Ichi Software

Genres: Role-playing video game, Action game, Adventure game

Platforms: Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X and Series S, PlayStation 5

"Review Copy Provided By NIS America"

The Fallen Legion series has been one of the newer turn based strategy RPGs that have been at the forefront of titles NISA has been working on and I’m all for it. Here we are in 2022 with a rerelease of the of 2018’s Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory (which was initially two separate games in the form of Fallen Legion Sins of an Empire and Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion and then combined on Steam as Fallen Legion+) along with 2021’s Fallen Legion: Revenant for next generation consoles (and PC for Fallen Legion Revenants). Both games have incredible gameplay, story, graphics, and the like and both are endearing and enthralling experiences that kept you coming back for more and more even though the sequel may not have been as good as the original in my opinion. So are these titles worth you diving into? We’re going to dive into that and much more.

The story of Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory gives you two opposing perspectives on the political upheaval that is taking place in the fantasy world of Fenumia based on which character you play as. On one side of the conflict, you can play as Princess Cecille, the young princess on a journey of ascending to the throne. This story follows her journey to power to bring peace to her empire (Sins of an Empire). The other campaign of the story gives you control of Legatus Laendur, a military commander on a quest to overthrow the royal family. His motivation and purpose unfold as the story progresses offering a deep and rewarding experience for the player. The two stories are designed to compliment each other and offer a rich, fulfilling world for players to explore. The story is truly the star of this ARPG, with many well thought-out moments offered in both campaigns. As the player, you will have to make some pretty tough choices in a matter of seconds that have kingdom altering impact on the story. This mechanic of split-second decision making was one of the elements really kept the story engaging as I progressed through both campaigns.

Fallen Legion: Revenants takes place in Welkin Castle, a floating paradise housing the remaining of humanity, while the world below it is ravaged and warped by a devastating plague. Rowena is one of the main protagonists looking to revive her dead son while the politician Lucien seeks to overthrow the ruler of their world. The story is, admittedly, a very slow burn that takes a long while to get going because it spends the opening act and midway point to set up the world and the stakes that you will see and experience. It is a great story that will unfortunately be not experienced by a lot of gamers due to how long it takes to get In gear and the fact that it will ask of many to do a lot of extensive reading and remembering aspects of the lore and story; I will say that once it is in gear, it's in full throttle until the climax of the game so take that into consideration.

When it comes to Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory; there’s no real variety between Cecille and Leandur. The gameplay/combat is a mix of fast-paced linked attacks, timed blocks and spell casting (all mapped to a face button) coupled with the ability to control up to four characters at once, Legion can feel very action-packed, intense and fun. There were several times in my playthrough when I felt like I was waiting around for an ability to charge or was awkwardly standing around waiting for an enemy to attack. If it was a turn-based system it would make sense but in this real-time ARPG the pacing of combat felt off.

Even with its surface level simplicity, Fallen Legion as a whole has done a great job of creating a rather complex combat system under the surface. With everything from unique tributes (your party characters), a wide range of spells, relics that temporarily buff combat encounters and the aforementioned linked attacks, there is a lot of ways to bring your foes down. The systems are all well thought out and, once you understand their basic function, work really well together. When the system was firing on all cylinders it was a blast to play but as with the story delivery at times, there were some very off pace moments that made things feel a bit clunky.

When it comes to Fallen Legion: Revenants; the gameplay is a combination of not only your standard button prompted turn based RPG but also has aspects of utilizing investigative skills and interrogation along with exploring Welkin Castle and seeing what all is going on.

There will be moments where you will need to interrogate various people for both the main story and the side quests. Interrogation sections break down into you needing to pay attention to various cues and details such as you needing to take notice when an NPC states that they spoke to someone and who specifically along with you needing to pay attention to the what dialogue choices you select and during what events as the outcomes of your choices will ultimately determine the route you will take in your journey.

When it comes to the combat sections, you will end up using either Lucian or Rowena who will be accompanied by up to three party characters as you go about slaying monsters and the like. The turn-based combat is very hands on and will not allow for you to blindly button mash your way through sections as you will need to have a good understanding of what the mechanics are, your character traits and abilities, and the enemies you are facing in order to have an idea of how to win battles. You have the ability to not only attack but also to block incoming attacks of which will require you to master the timing to be able to pull off which will leave your opponent wide open to being attacked.

Your recruits are all assigned to a button and have their own set of attacks and defensive maneuvers that they can utilize at the press of a button. One example is of a character named Burgundy who is able to shoot potions and kick potions at enemies. How you position your team also matters from a strategic standpoint since you will need to decide if you want to have someone up close on the frontline or in the middle or back row; all of which affect how much and or how little damage you do as well as receive.

The visual flair of the games is similar to that of Dragon’s Crown and Odin Sphere with a gameplay execution in the leagues of Valkyrie Profile which means that it’s a perfect blend of both hack and slash and RPG that’ll give fans of both a blast with the Fallen Legion series, whether it be for extended gameplay or in short bursts. The art is absolutely AMAZING, and while the animations are not the most fluid in the field especially when compared to its contemporaries in games like Indivisible where the animation is incredibly fluid.

Not much to touch on here other than everything sounds fantastic from the music to the sound effects to the voice acting. Not a bad aspect to this section.

This collection of games, while great in many ways, is not so great in others with a perfect example being how utterly slow the story and pacing can feel at times along with there being moments where there is an overload of information dumping and plot exposition dumps. I’m not even kidding when I say that it can feel like there is no forward momentum with the plot at times in either game as the pacing can be at times worse than a snails pace until the game finishes up its world building to get the story in motion. That alone is going to lose this game many players and gain itself a metric ton of detractors.

Often, in Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory, I would try as much as possible to go back and forth between the story lines, ensuring I kept up equally with both sides of the conflict. Doing as much immediately began to reveal some flaws that while minor are still worth noting, primarily on the side of Flames of Rebellion arc. The flaw in question is that there actually wasn’t much story to speak of in terms of what was going on and I think Leandur was attempting to catch up with Octavia to stop her from reaching the capital, but there was such an overflow of information in these cutscenes that it may honestly cause players to lose track of the overarching plot Fallen Legion is trying to convey. It’s unfortunate because clearly, the world of Fallen Legion is, at least in its intention, a rich one. There’s a lot going on in terms of politics and intrigue, as well as an interesting royal and gentry hierarchy that would make for great filler in future titles.

In Fallen Legion: Revenants; the interrogation segments can really feel at times like they are vastly more fun and interesting than they actually are and after a while will become routine and monotonous to have to keep doing just to advance the scripted story events.

Lastly, is the fact that the animations aren’t as smooth as they could’ve been which is a shame as given this art style this game should be running like smooth wine with fluidity of animation like no other game and yet it just doesn’t and many animations just come off as choppy.

Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory & Revenants are both games with, unfortunately, a lot of half baked ideas and poorly implemented sections and mechanics that do drag the experience down several notches to the point where it feels like the developers decided to cram into this game so many different elements without figuring out how these different aspects can all work cohesively. It’s a shame because I genuinely had a great time with these games even through its plodding points and I can see a lot of people would potentially enjoy this game. If you are a patient gamer who doesn’t mind reading a lot and enjoys a tactical experience, then this collection you will most definitely enjoy; on the other hand, if you are an impatient gamer who needs to be hooked from the beginning and doesn’t care much for sitting and doing a lot of reading then this is not at all the games for you.

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