By now, most App Store gamers shouldn't really be surprised by Gameloft's method of operation. Basically, they “borrow heavily” from a popular style of console game and come up with their own version of it. Opinions are mixed on whether this is right, wrong, good, or bad. But regardless of your feelings towards Gameloft, it's hard to argue with some of the compelling gameplay experiences that they've brought to iOS that we might not otherwise have. One of the newest offerings from them is called Eternal Legacy [$6.99], released earlier today, and is a riff of the most recent Final Fantasy console games.
I've spent a bit of time with Eternal Legacy today, and like most of Gameloft's other titles, it's not bad, and offers a comparable experience to the game that they draw inspiration from. For what is supposed to be a story-driven game, the borderline laughable voice acting detracts from the experience some. But the story itself is fairly engaging, and the turn-based battle sequences are a lot of fun. Plus, it has feminine male characters that carry huge swords, so really, what more could you want?
Enemies roam around the 3D environments in Eternal Legacy, so you have an idea of when you'll be engaging in battle. There can be up to 3 members in your party, but you'll only have full control over the main character by default, though you can change this in the options. You can choose from a number of different attacks, skills, or items to use during battle. Up to 3 of these can be queued up and a small timer gauge denotes when each move will be executed. The secondary characters in your party will perform moves on their own, but you can choose the demeanor of those moves, such as if they should attack enemies or focus on healing your party.
You will also have full control over equipping each character in your party, and there are a ton of equipment and weapon options. Also, you can collect rare fragments that can be fused with your equipment to add special properties to them, like fire damage or healing. There's quite a lot going on in Eternal Legacy, and the game does an excellent job at walking you through the process each time you do something new. The menus are all clean and easy to navigate, and the default setup of the gameplay is very conducive to gaming on the go.
For anybody who has been looking for a fully 3D RPG experience that is similar to a contemporary Final Fantasy game, Eternal Legacy should quell that desire pretty well. The battling is entertaining, with plenty of weapons and gear to equip, the magical skill attacks have over-the-top animations and graphical effects, and there appears to be a sufficiently interesting storyline if you can look past some of the terrible voice acting (or better yet, turn it off altogether in the options screen). The environments are pretty linear, but look nice visually and still contain a good amount of areas to explore and secrets to discover.
If you're looking for some more information or further impressions on Eternal Legacy, check out the thread in our forums which has been abuzz with activity regarding the game all day long.
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