LeGaia 2: Dual Saga - Review

A little bit of everything...
By: Solon

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 8
   Interface 7
   Music & Sound 7
   Originality 5
   Story & Plot 5
   Localization 7
   Replay Value 4
   Visuals 8
   Difficulty Varies
   Completion Time 30-70 Hours  

Isn't that Chun-Li from Street Fighter?
Isn't that Chun-Li from Street Fighter?
LeGaia 2: Dual Saga

   The sequel to Legend of LeGaia, a game which stood in the shadows of other RPGs from the beginning, is now released. Although about the popularity, nothing has changed. There are still few who know about the series. Now, LeGaia 2: Duel Saga has been released, and for those of you who think this is one of those boring RPGs your grandmother will give you for Christmas, you have yet to see the light.

   The only thing Legend of LeGaia was famous for was its battle system. However, there are some large improvements in Duel Saga that make other RPGs look old in comparison. Battles are built up through Tactical Arts and Magic. The characters have a specified amount of art blocks to input the different blows (the amount of art blocks increase as you level up). Certain combos can be performed to create....arts. There are lots of different arts; Normal Arts, Super Arts, Hyper Arts, Mystic Arts and Variable Arts. Each character also has an AP gauge with 100 AP at max. When the player performs a Normal Art, the AP increases (with 16, 20 or 24 AP, depending on how powerful the normal art is), however when the player performs any of the other arts the AP gauge goes down. So, to perform the most powerful arts one must first attack normally for a while.

   From the beginning of course, you don't have any of these different arts. The player needs to come up with the right combination, and it might take quite a while before you have all of them. The different arts are very cool though, and they just keep getting better. While not all of the arts are received from experimenting with different combos either, some can be found in dungeons as scrolls (mostly powerful special arts, such as Hyper Arts) or received from plot events.

   The Variable Arts are really cool arts performed by two characters at the same time... this always remind me of the techs in Chrono Trigger for some reason. Finally, we have the Mystic Arts. These are the most powerful arts in the game, they are very hard to get unless you read a FAQ or something, but they sure are worth the effort. The characters only have one Mystic Art each.

Hello, I'm evil and this is my power.
Hello, I'm evil and this is my power.

   Other than that, there is also magic. Each character has an Origin, which is similar to summons in other RPGs. Each Origin has a few different spells and can be very powerful if the player uses them in the right way at the right time.

   The interface is beautiful. I really liked it, and it's all a strange way. There is a lot to do when not in battle as well. In the camp screen (similar to the one found in Breath of Fire IV) you can Cook different meals that affect the party later on in battles. You can also combine tools, equip and items to create new ones, and finally the player can rest and save etc. The menus are all easy to use and nothing is hard to understand or anything. Item use and equip and other stuff similar to that is all used in the same way as other traditional RPGs.

   There is a lot more to LeGaia 2 than battle and cooking. The mini-games are everywhere! There is everything here; Hunter's guild, Battle arena, pop quiz, slot machines, roulette wheels, planting, gardening....and even knife throwing! This is a lot of fun, and all of these mini-games are well made, so that you won't just quit them and move on with the game at once. All of the above is combined with a soundtrack that is actually really enjoyable. The music is soft and easy to listen to. None of the tracks are annoying or disturbing (except the one in Centurion Challenge). The sound effects are also well made. The sword blows, the screams, the magic effects, it's all in high quality.

   So what makes this game original? Not much actually. This game has everything that any other RPG has; only that it is better made. The plot is the only thing that is a little boring, almost so boring I really didn't care about it that much. I knew from the beginning what was going to happen, and I just let it be through the whole game. It felt like I had seen it all before, in other games. Also, I would never play through this game more than once. It's fairly long, and on your first run you'll probably do everything you can with the mini-games, sidequests etc. The plot isn't anything you'd wish to experience more than once either, as I stated above.

Special Attacks
Special Attacks

   Hmm, then there's the localization. I thought it was good actually, not many spelling errors, and there's a decent flow in the overall dialogue. The voice actors did a good job here as well, much better than in other ps2 titles, such as Final Fantasy X for example.

   The visuals in LeGaia 2 are beautiful. While there are other RPGs for the PlayStation 2 that look better, this is still above average. There are no obvious glitches or bugs, and the scenery in the towns and dungeons are wonderful and highly detailed. The monsters might not be as beautiful as the scenery, but they sure are a challenge sometimes. The difficulty in LeGaia 2 varies a lot, as some areas or bosses can be REALLY dangerous if you haven't leveled up before going there (even if the earlier area you've just been to has been easy to beat). I found this quite frustrating, as I needed to stay and level up at a few places in the game in areas I hated.

   Other than that, most players will manage to complete this game without too much difficulty within 30-35 hours, and this is if you take your time in each city and fool around with the different mini-games. However, if you are one of those who have to do everything in every RPG you play, I don't even want to know how long you would have to play this game.

   In the end, LeGaia 2: Duel Saga is a good game. I'm glad I bought it, because it was a really pleasant surprise. I wasn't even one the few fans of the first game, but I still liked this one a lot. Even if this game will never be put into my PS2 again (it probably won't), it will always have a special place on my shelf, because LeGaia 2 is a memorable experience..

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