Review of Avatar Legends on XBLIG: Buy
THIS IS SPARTA!
I loved this game. The Avatar Legends is a shining example of something that I have wanted to do with my Avatar since I first created one. I’m playing an actual, fully fleshed out RPG with viewable asset changes to my Avatar (swords and shields that looked the same on my character and in menu). You’re playing as your Avatar, whom has been pulled from it’s safe haven on the Dashboard into this new and dangerous realm. None of the other Avatars whom have come have been able to open a special chest that only the ubiquitous “Hero who will save us all” can. Now that it’s been established that you’re the (Avatar) Hero, you must prove to others that you are who you say you are.
This being a somewhat story driven RPG (and in 3D no less) that seems to almost want to be an offline MMORPG, there isn’t the widest variations on the enemy types. You have Orcs, Orc Warriors, Yetis, Skeleton Warriors, Skeleton Archers, Dark Knights, and Large Dark Knights. A couple of the enemies have samey sort of palette-swaps but nothing awe inspiring. All that said, I like the way all the enemies looked. Once you got used to each enemy’s range and attack pattern you could nuke them pretty efficiently. The difficulty of enemies is determined by what area you’re in not what level you are so don’t guess the wrong area to start in or you may kneecap yourself. Level-ups come at every 100 EXP (didn’t know that until I looked at the help menu and no, there is no EXP bar) and give you 10 option points every time.
The story of your Avatar saving the world gets lost a little after the beginning and becomes engulfed in Fetch-Quests, Search-Quests, and Kill-Quests that have interesting dialogue options associated with many of them. Some quests have multiple means of solving them. Sometimes you’ll get dialogue options related to your Speech, Intelligence, or Strength loadouts in addition to the “I’ve found the object you are looking for” or “I have Gold” options. There isn’t a Paragon/Renegade portion to the Speech option. It’s just how well you communicate to others. You can talk your way into people giving you more gold or even items they may otherwise have never even mentioned.
I found the jokes in it amusing for the most part. There are some definite inside jokes that I wouldn’t have gotten years ago related to programming and developers that I follow on Twitter. There are the almost standard “funny death epithet” on the gravestones. The jokes I liked best weren’t jokes. They were the responses you could make to things people said like screaming, “THIS IS SPARTA!” in response to “Are you ready?” and other rather inane dialogues that every RPG has. I wish I could interact with the items in my menu. There are several books that I found or was given that were funny but after you’ve read them they’re just dead weight in your backpack.
I think the story isn’t stronger to avoid the paradox of “you must save the world now” versus “you have all the time in the universe to help everyone you’ve ever met”. The main game is at least a good 6 hours of play on Normal with you only doing what’s absolutely essential. There’s another few hours I spent doing everything I could do easily and another 5 to 8 hours I spent grinding for money to buy my Perfect Town, finding the in-game collectibles to acquire the Ultimate Weapon, and walking over almost every square inch of the maps looking for hidden Easter eggs or treasure chests.
There is a World/Story Builder that I’m glossing over because I can’t get it to work no matter how many times I try to build something simple. It crashes and makes me very angry.
Multi-player is also available. I tried that briefly and found it somewhat janky. That’s more to do with how XBOX treats multi-player across systems than anything wrong with the game. There are griefers already, so if you’re not into… other people… don’t worry. You’re not missing out on much. It does seem to have a rather novel Prestigeing system so check it out with friends if you can.
At $3 (240 imaginary space dollars) this game is a must Buy for anyone looking for the kind of game that neither Zelda or FFXIII fully gave us. I keep looking for more to do in the game and keep finding plenty to occupy myself. I know I’d love something else even half as good soon to do with my Legend of an Avatar.
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