Review: Eternal Legacy HD
If you're looking for a long term adventure with lavish graphics, then take a look at our review of Eternal Legacy. This adventure game takes full advantage of Symbian^3's graphics acceleration, providing impressive Japanese style graphics. That's only half of the game though. Read on to find out whether Eternal Legacy's gameplay make the price tag, and the whopping 300MB download, worthwhile.
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Eternal Legacy HD
Eternal Legacy tells the story of Astrian, who takes arms against the Algoadian state. Carrying a chip on his shoulder ever since Algoadian police persecuted his parents, he's on a quest to find Varsh Stones, which are the primary source of energy in their world. He's accompanied by Taric and Shira, a brother and sister from a village which has also been mistreated by the Algoadians. Finishing the party is Lysty, daughter of an Algoadian general, who joins Astrian to find out the truth about what is happening to the people her family rules.
Astrian, Taric, and Lysty
Eternal Legacy's plot unfolds via set-piece animations in regular intervals through the game. If you have the patience to sit through them, they can help you to become more absorbed into the game's world. In each animation the characters are voiced by actors, but there are subtitles too. This goes some way to explaining the (relatively) huge 300MB download. These set piece animations also serve to launch and conclude quests throughout the game.
Example of Eternal Legacy's story telling
The story and graphics encapsulate a fairly standard role playing game (RPG). Every time the team gets into a fight, each member earns experience points, which helps them advance to higher levels, which in turn unlocks new combat abilities. Speaking of which, each character has a health and mana which they need for combat, represented as bars in the bottom right corner of the screen. For those not familiar with RPGs, mana is the magical resource needed to perform special abilities. During the course of the game, you'll pick up various potions, including those for health and mana, which can top up your levels, or help out a member of your team, during combat.
Example of the combat interface in Eternal Legacy
Despite the impression given by the glorious graphics, Eternal Legacy is fairly constrained. While you can run around (and ride creatures) in amazing 3D environments, you always have an arrow telling you where to go. Don't get me wrong, this is a time saver, but it also reminds you that there's no exploring to be done, you are on a set course of actions, which you have to stick to. The game controls will be familiar to anyone who has used contemporary dual stick console controllers. There is a virtual thumb stick on the right or left (depending on your preference) to make Astrian move around. Meanwhile, dragging anywhere else will alter the camera angle. As you move around the game world, you only see Astrian; other members of the team don't appear until you enter combat. Similarly, enemy characters only appear on their own, until you engage in combat, at which point they're joined by two allies, making most fights a three on three affair.
Being guided around the world
Not all combat is obligatory, you can avoid fighting if you want to, but this means you'll score less experience points, and will therefore take longer to unlock higher skills. Combat is initiated by colliding with an enemy, so if you can avoid bumping into them, you can avoid a fight. Once combat begins, the game switches into a completely different mode. The combat mini game is simply a process of queuing up to three actions at a time. Those can be combat moves, or using potions to enhance yourself or your team. It's turn based combat, so you have to wait for each enemy to perform an action, then likewise for your team, and so on and so on until all members on one side have been defeated.
Your team giving a triumphant pose after winning a fight
One added feature of Eternal Legacy combat is that of combat classes. Berserkers will do as much damage as possible without considering consequences. Predators can cast spells and curses to impede the enemy, while defenders will cast spells to protect the team. Finally, there is a healer class too. Apparently, you can choose any member of the team to take on any of these roles, but you must know whether they they have the skills to match! There's no running around in Eternal Legacy's combat mode, therefore there's no concept of range or cover. No, you haven't misunderstood -you cannot move during combat! As well as performing using potions, you can add 'fragments' to both your weapons and armour, which will enhance your abilities during combat.
Lysty performing her healing abilities
The visuals and music in Eternal Legacy are a real treat, and I think many people will be amazed to see their 'humble' Symbian phone deftly rendering such detailed graphics so smoothly. Certainly, these graphics wouldn't have looked out of place on any of the major game consoles only a few years ago. This does of course come at the cost of battery life. I noticed from extended play sessions that a lot of energy was being lost from my C7-00 as heat. The rendering was clearly pushing the graphics accelerator.
You have to look for these crystals to save your progress in the game
Eternal Legacy's gameplay can feel quite stilted, you are constantly switching between set pieces, running around, and going into combat mode. The latter actually gets quite repetitive, and I found myself intentionally avoiding fights just so I wouldn't get stuck in yet another menu bashing session. Having said that, the combat mode is more entertaining once you are facing a challenging foe, which sadly doesn't happen all that often.
As mentioned above, you can ride creatures to hasten your journey
While playing this game, I found myself comparing it to Crusade of Destiny, a very similar RPG which I reviewed earlier this year. While the graphics of CoD are comparatively childish, the gameplay was much more fluid. Exploring was encouraged, using and obtaining equipment was much more straightforward, and combat was an integral part of interacting with the game world, rather than a bolted-on mini-game.
Comparing the childlike graphics of Crusade of Destiny to the Manga inspired Eternal Legacy
Overall, Eternal Legacy HD is an impressive title to show off to your friends, and if you like this sort of game you'll be able to while away enough time on it. However, given they're both of equal price, Crusade of Destiny is probably the more enjoyable experience. That is unless you're a big fan of Japanese style video game art!
David Gilson for All About Symbian and Ovi Gaming, 19th July 2011.
Reviewed by David Gilson at