See that frog up there? His name’s Filmia, and he’s one of seven selectable protagonists of Atlus’ The Legend of Legacy, releasing for 3DS in North America on October 13. He’s great. We like him a lot. But you shouldn’t pick him on your first playthrough. Read on to learn why, and get some other handy advice so you’ll be ready to play on launch day.
1. Don’t pick Filmia.
All seven of the game’s playable characters will be available in short order, and Filmia’s a cool frog, so definitely use him. Why you shouldn’t pick him first, though, boils down to this: he’s a one-dimensional fighter. That’s doubly true for mercenary Owen and treasure hunter Liber. The game uses three stances to determine roles on the battlefield, and these three are very good at one of them and abysmal at the rest. When you need someone to stab things with a spear, there’s no doubt that Filmia’s your guy. When you don’t? He’s a liability. As you head out, you’ll find that your protagonist is locked into your active party at all times, so until you’re more familiar with the game’s mechanics, go with someone who can adapt more easily to different strategies. (May we recommend Garnet or Meurs?)
2. Talk to colorful characters.
We mean that literally. You’ll want to expand your party to the full seven options as soon as possible, and you do that by chatting with the remaining four in town. As it so happens, the usual townsfolk are washed-out and sepia-toned, so when you walk by someone with some brighter-hued attire, stop and say hi. (It helps that the town’s small enough that a quick stroll through everything’s just a minute or two.) You’ll have everyone in no time!
3. Take a nice stroll when you can.
Grinding is a valuable thing in The Legend of Legacy, and you should take time to level up attacks and unlock new skills before taking any new party member into a dangerous area. The tide of battle can turn very quickly, so it’s important that you’re totally prepared before the rough tasks pop up. A great way to make this more productive is to use this grind time to fill out maps of older areas. You can sell complete maps for more money, but it’s also just satisfying to have fully-drawn views of areas as you walk around, and those last few percent can be a pain to finish out. But hey, if you’re just taking a relaxing afternoon trip? Sure, you can swing by a few remote corners.
4. Ship it.
Gold and good gear are both in short supply in the game, so you’ll need to take every step to make sure you’re well-equipped. As soon as you’re able to access the town of Initium, go to the docks and send out a 300-cost Cog ship. It’s likely the only one you’ll be able to afford, and even then, investing in a ship? Why? Well it’s a roll of the dice, but paying for a ship and letting it explore for a while (yeah, in real time) to find goods can mean a super-powerful sword or some nice head armor, and usually a trinket or two to recoup some costs. In fact, even the “bad” outings generally pay for themselves, so all you’re losing is time when things go south. Just know that we’re talking about waiting a day or so, not a couple of minutes.
5. Live to fight another day.
Since The Legend of Legacy replenishes characters’ health at battle’s end, avoiding death is more of an issue than just keeping HP topped up between fights. There are long-term effects, of course; a party member falling in battle gets a temporary hit to max hit points until you get back to town, and SP used for powerful attacks still just replenish one per round. Still, enemies generally try to bring it and kill you in one shot, and sometimes the tide will turn against you. If you don’t want to waste hours of leveling work, you of course want to return to town and save often, but also keep this in mind: running away is a legitimate choice, even in smaller battles. Get away, bank that experience and set out again, and if you’re having trouble staying alive long enough to get back through, you should take one of those walks around to beef up a bit.
Those tips should make your entrance into the world of The Legend of Legacy a lot more welcoming! Stay tuned for our review next week. In the meantime, maybe check out the demo? It’s available in the 3DS eShop, and progress transfers over to the full game.
(And yes, we know you’re going to pick Filmia anyway.)