KEMCO seems to be releasing plenty of RPGs for the Xbox, which is great considering that for a while there weren’t many to play on the console. In Legend of the Tetrarchs, you get to relive the old school days of the classic JRPG genre. From the music to the battle system, it’s all here. It’s a tale of good versus evil (like usual). There are ten total characters to find and use, all with their own set of abilities. You level them all up at the same time so you can play around with the roster without feeling stuck always having the “main character”.
This main hero is Len, though the term hero blends itself as the whole party as a whole instead of pure focus on one protagonist. You don’t even have to have him in your party if you don’t want to. This title seems to average around 25 to 30 hours to complete, so if you love an RPG with a decent length that won’t consume your life, look no further.
Here’s what I liked:
Level Up — Unlike most RPGs, you actually don’t increase your stats by leveling up. Instead, you gain money and items. The money will help you strengthen your gear (up to five times). Treasures you collect increase stats in a small amount but affect every character at all times. You also level up your abilities instead, giving an interesting twist to the grinding experience. A lot of money is needed for the strongest items (they’re purple). I actually like this system a lot. Enemies are always the same level wherever you fight them, so you can’t mistakenly get your level too high and make the game overly difficult later on.
Plenty of Options — There are loads of items and gear to collect. Some are obvious, like armor and weapons. There are also treasures which seem pretty unique. They are always in effect and some of them can stack if you get multiple copies. With so many characters to play and use, it allows for some decent customization. One of my favorite features is how you can move around the world. You can leave dungeons, or “move” around the world map. This helps a lot with backtracking. If you don’t mind spending the extra money, you have yet another choice. You can purchase additional content that makes the game very easy. You can double attack damage, ignore random encounters, and even triple your experience. I will admit, I wanted this to be easy so I purchased double damage (which I figured would be needed for the achievement requiring 50,000 damage in one hit). It’s an obvious money grab but it let me speed through and enjoy an easier version of the game. You don’t have to use real money, but again it’s all about options.
Let the Computer Fight — There is a great feature that allows you to not only speed up the battle but also let the game take over for you. You can hit a button and watch the fight, or you can multi-task and mess around on your phone or do a chore around the house. This really helps the grind that undoubtedly finds its way into most RPG titles. While fighting enemies for gold and experience, I let the computer handle it because it almost always won. You regain all your life and SP back once a fight is over. There are no consumable items, so you don’t have to worry about the AI using them up. I don’t know why, but I loved not having to actually do most of the battles. There was one specific battle that took around 40 minutes (don’t worry, it was a special enemy). I don’t remember the fight because I was playing a game on my phone at the same time! The AI did my battling for me. I’m sure it made much better choices than I would have made.
Here’s what I didn’t like:
Vague Objectives — When you complete quests, you typically gain new ones. They often mention new places you need to go, giving you little insight on how to actually find your way there. I spent a good chunk of time wandering around, aimlessly going into towns trying to figure out what I had to do. It became frustrating searching every town attempting to find the exact location I had to be. Sometimes it would be places I already explored, one even being a dungeon I had completed. I just wish there was a more clear goal outlined for you.
Personality — Admit it, you’ve played an RPG that had such a deep story with character connections that infiltrated your heart. You’ve encountered a twist or a character death that made you cry. You won’t find that here. I never felt any care for any of the heroes. It felt like they were just reading scripts. They never got personal, only talking about whatever was going on at that moment. There was only one scene I felt almost made it emotional, however, it’s so predictable that it didn’t create any type of mood change. I liked the characters for the abilities and design, but the personalities were as bland as some of their names.
The Map — I’ve never seen such an atrocious looking map before. It’s pixelated to the degree of feeling being legally blind. Go into a town and pull up your map. Here you’ll find absolutely nothing except routes to get to unnamed buildings. Why wouldn’t they just label them? The world map is better, but also avoids giving you much detail. There are no “quest” markers or anything to help you navigate. You can basically teleport to locations instead of running to them (after you’ve unlocked them). However, without any explanation, there are certain places you cannot travel to with this method. Some even include the safe zones which are marked with a blue sphere. There really needs to be a makeover on the map system. Often running out of the map puts you in a different section of the town. It’s too much trial and error.
While you won’t be “wowed” by Legend of the Tetrarchs, you won’t be disappointed. It does enough to be unique but still feels like a classic. There are great systems in place to make it a new experience. The downfalls are with the map and quest descriptions not giving you enough information. What really stings is the character development. There isn’t any. It causes an odd and offset balance to traditional RPGs. There are great ideas for leveling up and equipment, but poor execution with the story and basic principles of the task at hand. I think it’s a very decent RPG, but nothing you’re going to want to play a second time.
Score: Reader’s Choice
Legend of the Tetrarchs was published by KEMCO and developed by Hit-Point on Xbox One. It was released on May 8, 2019, for $14.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.