Publisher: NIS America
Release: February 16th, 2021
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Also on: Playstation 4
Fallen Legion: Revenants is an action RPG that is a sequel to Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory. The game revolves around two characters: Lucien, a politician within Welken Castle, and Rowena, a ghost (also known as a revenant) whose son is captured and trapped within Welken Castle. The two form a pact to help free the people from the tyrannical ruler, Ivor.
There is quite a bit that makes this game stand out from other side scrolling RPGs. First, it’s an action RPG. You control Rowena and her exemplars – weapons that take on an anthropomorphic form. Your team will automatically run until they encounter an enemy. The battle system is fairly straightforward. Your characters will be on the left hand side of the screen, with the ability to move between three different squares. This is important as those squares could have an area of effect from either friend or foe. You move the characters with the control stick, but you can’t move each character independently though.
Each exemplar is designated a button on the controller, either Y, B, or A; and Rowena is controlled by pressing the X button (this is based on the Nintendo controller). The exemplars have a meter that will fill next to the letters, and the number of spaces that are filled in the meter is equal to the number of attacks you can do with that character. For example, if Zulfiqar (the sword and shield exemplar) has all three spaces filled on his meter, he can attack up to three times. The meter refills over time. If you are really good, you’ll work the attacks in as combos between the three exemplars on your team. At first, admittedly, I was doing a lot of button mashing. It wasn’t until I got to the first boss that I started to understand the strategy aspects of timing out your attacks and learning when to block as well.
The exemplars and Rowena also have the ability to deliver deathblows, which are similarly based on a metered system. Unlike the meter system that determines attacks, this meter is filled when you land a blow against your opponent. And unlike the attack meter, this meter is shared. When you have a point saved up in your deathblow meter, you can unleash a special attack. Each exemplar has their own unique attack, and Rowena has magic that utilizes the special meter. Rowena also acts as support for the team and can throw down a heal which uses a point from the special meter.
Leveling in the game is quite unique as well. As you battle you will collect enhancements called Archeus. The better job you do in battle the more of these enhancements you can claim. You infuse these enhancements with the exemplars. You also level your exemplars by completing challenges, which will allow you to equip Masteries to your exemplars. For example, a Mastery that Alleister has is called One-Two, which will allow the party leader’s spell damage to increase to 25% after Alleister pulls an enemy. To equip this Mastery, you need to pull an enemy thirty times. It’s a unique way of challenging players to level their characters and gets you thinking about how you battle (instead of just button mashing). As you progress, you’ll find new exemplars to join your team, but you can only take three exemplars with you at a time which makes you think about how you want to play the game and what your playstyle is going to be.
As mentioned earlier, the other character that you control in this game is Lucien, a politician in the Welken Castle. As you progress through a level, Rowena may be presented with a fork in the road and needs Lucien to figure out which is the best route to take. This is done really well with a swipe cut scene, where Lucien’s scene comes in and you are given a short amount of time to question the other politicians in the castle to figure out which route Rowena should take. Once the timer is up, you must decide on a path for Rowena. If you don’t get the answers you need or don’t trust the answers you get, you have the ability to have Rowena take the advice of Lucien or she can select the other option available. It’s a unique way to incorporate branching in the game.
For all the positives that the game has going for it, there are a few things that hold it back. For one, the story is not easy to follow or understand. I haven’t played the previous game in the series, but I’m not sure if that would have helped me understand what is going on with this game. I’m not one that needs a lot of backstory, but I would have liked some backstory in this game. It was hard for me to put together exactly what was happening. It was equally difficult to keep track of the different characters that you run into with Lucien.
Another aspect that I found disappointing was the lack of save files – you only get one. For games that offer branching story, having more than one save file will allow you to try one path, and if that path didn’t suit what you were looking for, you can also go back to the point where you saved the game before you made a decision. Granted, having only one save file does put more weight into your decisions, but it feels like it’s standard to have more than one save file in most RPGs.
My only other complaint is that there are a lot of loading screens and it felt like I spent a lot of time reading the same tips on the loading screens over and over.
Final Grade: B
I really like the change of pace that Fallen Legion Revenants has to offer in the RPG genre. The character design and voice acting were well done and the battle elements certainly make for an interesting twist on side scrolling RPGs. The diverse amount of exemplars really allows you to build a team that best suits your style of play. The story could have been explained a bit more (especially in the beginning), and the lack of save files is disappointing, but overall the game is a challenging and enjoyable experience. If you are looking for an RPG that is different from your average turn based affair, give Fallen Legion Revenants a try.
Review code provided by NIS America