Review: Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion – PS Vita (6.5/10)

Platform: PS VitaGenre: Action RPGDeveloper: Yummy Yummy Tummy
Publisher: Yummy Yummy Tummy Yummy Yummy Tummy
Release Date: July 18, 2017 July 25, 2017
Price:$19.99 USD / $26.99 CAD£15.99 / €19.99 / $29.95 AUD
File size:647 MB614 MB patch (Version 1.02)
Review by 2 Old 4 Gaming

I played Fallen Legion back in 2016 at PSX and I really enjoyed it. The hand drawn characters and environments looked amazing on the Vita’s screen and after playing for a few minutes I was sold on the game and couldn’t wait for its release. Playing the full game now, I enjoyed it but it didn’t live up to the expectations I had for it.

Story

Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion PS Vita

The Vita version has a separate story to the PS4 version. In Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion you follow the story of Legatus Laendur, Hero of the Fenumian Empire and General of the Emperor’s armies. When the Emperor dies, his daughter, Cecile, intends to take his place but Laendur learns that she has fallen under the influence of an evil, magical book named Grimoire that consumes the souls of innocents. Laendur decides that he should become the new Emperor and he races to beat the Princess before she arrives at the capital and claims the throne. Laendur tried to attack the book but only cut away a few pages. He used the magic from the pages to summon dead legendary warriors to fight for him – his Fallen Legion.

The set up for the story had me interested in the game from the start. You had a hero on a righteous quest to save the land from an evil book, but as the game progressed the journey took its toll on Laendur and he became more and more evil over time. Pushing his men to breaking point, turning on allies and taking food from villagers with the assumption that the end justifies the mean. Now in theory the idea of playing a game where a good man gets corrupted in his hunger for power and turns on his allies as he becomes more and more paranoid is a solid premise but the problem with Fallen Legion is that the actions of Laendur were erratic at times and there wasn’t a decent pay off to his story.

Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion PS Vita

It didn’t make sense that any soldier would want to follow a General that would sacrifice them without a care or thought. It made the game’s story feel a bit hollow and lacking. I’m ok with games telling their story and not giving me choices about what the protagonist does and doesn’t do but I started to get a bit frustrated at how Launder was acting. The game tried to justify his actions very late on with a couple of story twists, but they didn’t work for me. It didn’t explain why he made these decisions other than he wanted to be Emperor at any cost. To me, it wasn’t a character whose story I wanted to follow.

Gameplay

Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion PS Vita

The battle system primarily uses the 4 face buttons and the left shoulder button. You take three warriors into each stage as well as Laendur. Each warrior has a button to initiate their attack, square, circle or X, and Laendur can heal, revive or perform a magic attack with triangle. Each warrior has an action gauge that indicates how many attacks can be performed and the gauge recharges over time. You defend with the left shoulder button and if you hit defend just as the enemy attacks, you reflect the attack, you get an extra action for your warriors and you can stagger the enemy.

There is also a combo meter. If you string your warriors attacks together then the last warrior will carry out their special attack. Enemies can interrupt your combos if they land a successful attack but if you perform a perfect block and avoid damage then your combo continues. The battle system is pretty smart and unique. It seems simple when you start playing but balancing the number of actions for each warrior paying attention to blocking and choosing the right moment to heal can really keep you on your toes.

Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion PS Vita

However, I found as I kept playing it was difficult to keep track of everything on the screen and blocking was the most important element to concentrate on. So I ended up just tapping the attack buttons at random in the hope of achieving a combo and focused on blocking any attacks from the enemy. I also encountered a lot of slow down and split second pauses during the battles when enemies were attacking at the same time as me. This became a problem at times as it resulted in mis-timing my blocks. I found I needed to wait to let the enemy attack, block and then launch my combo.

Special attacks can be upgraded so when I wanted to upgrade a warrior’s special attack I would aim to end the combo with them, but other than that I found just hitting the buttons at random to be effective as long as I made sure to block at the right time. This may not sound like a good thing to be button mashing your way through battles but I did still enjoy that fights and I found myself quite addicted to the game.

Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion PS Vita

When I started playing Fallen Legion I found it quite difficult. The first boss of the game gave me a lot of trouble but once the controls clicked and I settled in to my block and button mash approach to the game I found it pretty manageable. I died a few times at bosses but generally I got through the game without too much trouble. I found I was taking more damage with some of the non-boss enemies when there were multiple enemies on screen. It was hard to keep track of all of them to block all the attacks, especially with the slow down during hectic battles, and my combo gauge kept getting interrupted, stopping me from doing real damage to them.

During stages you can make decisions that the developer has said will permanently affect the world. The decisions can include how to deal with hunger in the army or how to punish a treacherous general. The problem with this aspect is that the game doesn’t give you enough information to know the impact of your decision. There is a morale bar, and that’s it. Also I didn’t notice any major impact to the game of the morale changing. The best way to explain my frustration with this aspect of the game is with a couple of examples.

Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion PS Vita

Early on I made the decision to buy extra food for my troops and morale went up. When I made a similar decision later on, the game told me I was spending too much money and morale went down. Later I sent some bandits to prison. Morale up. Similar decision later and morale went down because the prisons were full.

The game doesn’t give you any stats to track to know how much money you have or how full prisons are so I didn’t know what impact my decisions really had. I later took a bribe and then fed my soldiers again and I had no indication of whether that was good or bad for morale. When you make one of these decisions there will be a reward associated with it or an upgrade to one of your units but you don’t have stats for your warriors either so it’s hard to tell how big a difference the upgrades make.

Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion PS Vita

It’s also not clear if the upgrades are permanent or they are just valid for the rest of the level. The warrior stats are represented by a hexagon grid but having numbers available would have been more useful in managing your troops. The idea that these quick decisions can have a permanent impact on the world is an interesting one but it wasn’t executed well enough to make it truly matter to the game. I feel like the developers wanted a streamlined system but the result of this is lack of context and impact for the decisions that you make.

I also want to add that the load times when you start a new stage take 30-60 seconds. This did get a bit frustrating over time.

Graphics

Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion PS Vita

The game looks gorgeous. The hand drawn characters and backgrounds look amazing. It reminds me of Grand Kingdom in the look of the human characters with monsters similar to Dragons Crown. That’s no bad thing. Both Grand Kingdom and Dragons Crown look beautiful and so does Fallen Legion. The boss monsters were the highlight and looked amazing.

As already mentioned, a lot of slow down and split second pauses happen during the battles when enemies are attacking at the same time as the player which can result in mis-timed blocks.

Music & Sound

Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion PS Vita

The music of the game was good and evokes the feeling of going on a fantasy adventure. It was a shame then that there wasn’t much variety in the music. Hearing the same music throughout most of the game made it feel less special.

Conclusion

Although Fallen Legion has some issues, it’s still an enjoyable and addictive game once you get used to the controls. The gameplay is fun even though it involves a lot of button mashing. The story is interesting and the graphics are beautiful. The game is let down by the protagonist’s personality and vague systems. Fallen Legion feels like a game that could have been up there with one of the greats of Vita games, but it will have to settle for being a pretty good game with some drawbacks.

Note:

I experienced a game crash during the fight with the game’s final boss. The crash resulted in my save and entire progress being wiped. The developer has been contacted and they are looking into the issue but it’s unknown at this point if this is a software issue or hardware issue. Since it is under investigation at the time of the review, I wanted to inform readers of the bug but since it is unclear if it’s the game’s fault or not, it had no impact on the review.

Review Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion:

 

The review was written and provided by 2 Old 4 Gaming. All screenshots are from the PS Vita version. The review is based on a review copy which was provided by the publisher.

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