Game: Fallen Legion Revenants
Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG
System: Nintendo Switch (also on PS4)
Developer|Publisher: YummyYummyTummy | NIS America
Age Rating: EU 12+ | US Teen
Price: US $39.99 | UK £35.99 | EU € 39,99
Release Date: February 16th, 2021
Review code provided with many thanks to NIS America
Third Times a Charm
Fallen Legion Revenants is the third entry in the Fallen Legion series. The prior two games in the series were released as a definitive edition on Nintendo Switch called Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory. These games are 2D side-scrolling RPGs with a unique battle mechanic that feels quite different from other games in the genre. It mixes this with some political storytelling. But is all this enough to stand out from the crowd?
Ghosts and Politics
The story is that the world is covered by a strange substance called Miasma which has turned people into monsters. Survivors have taken refuge in a floating castle. But unfortunately, this castle is ruled by a completely mad fella called Ivor. So not the best apocalypse to be a part of really. You control Rowena and Lucien. Rowena is a vengeful ghost on a quest to rescue her son who has been locked up by the nasty Ivor. You control Rowena and a few minions in the battle sections of the game.
Lucien is a charismatic political type who solves his problems with words rather than with the sword. You control Lucien for the more story-driven sections of the game, but we’ll cover both of these in more detail later. Both characters are quite interesting and I enjoyed getting to know them in the story segments and learning more about the world around them. I haven’t played the previous games in the series so I did get a sense that I may be missing some of the lore about the world. But as things progressed I didn’t feel totally lost.
Battles With Rowena and Co
You will spend most of the game playing as Rowena in the battle segments. Here you get to control up to 3 minions or Exemplars as the game calls them as you attack several waves of enemies with a boss encounter at the end. Each Exemplar is mapped to one of the face buttons and you push those buttons to summon them to attack. They have a limited number of moves and, once exhausted, they need some time to charge up again to attack. As you attack you build up a meter earning a mana orb which will allow each Exemplar to perform a special attack.
Rowena floats above the battle and doesn’t directly attack but she does offer support moves to the Exemplars below and can also perform special attacks if you have any spare mana orbs. Another main feature is parrying. When an enemy attacks you press the left shoulder button at the right time to deflect an oncoming attack. Press it at the right time and it will gain your characters some extra buffs and can help you get the edge in battle. If an Exemplar falls in battle they can be revived by holding their face button down for a short period but the more times they fall, the longer it takes to charge. If all Exemplars fall, it’s game over and back to the beginning to repeat the whole thing again.
The battle system is pretty good but I found it to have a pretty steep learning curve. The game does provide tutorials but these go by very quickly and I often found myself forgetting key battle tips until I just sort of picked them up by trial and error. I also found things can get incredibly hectic on screen. When there are four enemies attacking, I often get quite stressed and just ended up spamming the attack and parry buttons hoping I would win. This is not a game that breaks you in gently!
I also found things to be incredibly grindy for some enemies but especially bosses who take so long to defeat. I often could only play one battle segment at a time in handheld mode as my fingers started to hurt from all the button presses. Now I will admit some of this might be put down to me just not being very good at the game but if you’re looking for a nice chilled RPG, you may want to stay clear. Though I wasn’t very good, the battle system was my favourite part of the game.
Lucien Uses His Words
When you’re not fighting monsters you’re playing as Lucien. He kinda just wanders about talking to people. In all seriousness between battles, he can talk to people to upgrade your weapons and abilities. When battling with Rowena the game will sometimes cut back to Lucien, where you have to make some moral choices or possibly decide where Rowena heads next. Some of these segments are under a strict time limit where you have to talk to a few NPCs then make some important vote or decision which may determine the direction of the plot.
These moments sound interesting but the time limit made it hard to get all the information you needed plus the stress kinda made it hard to focus on the text. There was also a horrible moment in this game where making the wrong decision led to a game over when I was midway through a battle with Rowena which was very frustrating. Rather than giving the player a choice and living with consequences, I felt like you had to make the right decision. This design didn’t make me particularly keen to replay the game and see how things would have turned out differently, due to fear of restarting a segment again. I liked the idea behind the Lucien segments but they didn’t compliment the experience as well as they should have.
Graphics and Length
Graphically the game has a nice detailed paper-like art style. The character sprites are detailed and I particularly liked the dark feeling of some of the backgrounds and enemy designs. There’s a sort of steampunk feel to the costume designs which I was totally into. The environments get a little repetitive though. You do see a lot of the same backgrounds over and over again and they have a habit of repeating themselves.
The game is a decent length at around 20 hours of gameplay. The experience does have a habit of dragging on longer than it should and the game has a lot of tedious load screens, though they do give handy tips on the gameplay. There are new Exemplars to find and use in battle and the game does offer different routes through the experience but as mentioned I wasn’t too keen to see these other routes due to fear of getting it wrong. I highly recommend trying the demo which is available for free on the eShop which will give you a taste of whether the battle system will work for you. Your save from this will also transfer to the final game.
Conclusion – Unique Style
Fallen Legion Revenants has some great ideas but they don’t all come together as well as they should. The battle system is deep but not friendly to newcomers. The political talking sections were a good idea but just didn’t seem to compliment the experience.
Overall, it’s an original concept with some flaws. Worth a look if you want to try something different from the norm. But for a third entry in a series, it seems it should be a bit more refined at this point.
Final Verdict: I Like it