Lufia: The Legend Returns (GBC)

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scotland
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Lufia: The Legend Returns (GBC)

Postby scotland » January 29th, 2017, 2:12 pm

Picked up a copy of this game as I'm exploring the Gameboy Color library. I had to change out the CR32 lithium battery, but its good to go. Its the 3rd game in the franchise, but the first I've ever played. Its interesting in that this is a 2001 8 bit RPG, 10 years after 16 bit consoles had stolen the 8 bit thunder. Apparently, it was initially meant for the Playstation, but then adapted for the Game Boy Color.

The battle system seems complicated with a 3x3 matrix of positions, magic, scrolls, flowing power up to columns and rows, etc. However, the dungeons are randomly generated. In Lufia 2, there is a side quest called the Ancient Cave which is a huge randomly generated dungeon. Apparently, it was well received, so probably inspired the procedural dungeons in this game, Lufia 3. As a fan of Rogue-likes, I'm eager to try this game out.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Lufia: The Legend Returns (GBC)

Postby Retro STrife » January 30th, 2017, 3:28 pm

I've never tried the Lufia series, but I've always kept in mind, only because my best friend in high school always said Lufia II was his favorite game ever. Sounds like you tried Lufia II as well...what's your thoughts on it? For someone that likes RPGs but has very limited time for them, is it still a must-play? Or is one that can be passed over now?

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Atarifever
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Re: Lufia: The Legend Returns (GBC)

Postby Atarifever » March 5th, 2017, 7:25 am

*Bump*

How'd you end up liking this one scotland? I have $10 to spend on the 3DS eShop, and Lufia: The Legend Returns in on the Virtual Console there. From what I've seen, we have similar tastes in JRPGs, so I'd be interested to hear what you thought overall if you got around to playing it much.

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scotland
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Re: Lufia: The Legend Returns (GBC)

Postby scotland » March 5th, 2017, 9:05 am

Atarifever wrote: How'd you end up liking this one scotland? I have $10 to spend on the 3DS eShop, and Lufia: The Legend Returns in on the Virtual Console there. From what I've seen, we have similar tastes in JRPGs, so I'd be interested to hear what you thought overall if you got around to playing it much.


Funny you should ask...

I replaced the battery in this game, got about 10 hours in, and had an unfortunate accident. I thought about it a bit, but decided to rebuy another cartridge. So, now I am about 10 hours again (although curiously much further along) and have a better idea of the battle system.

At its heart, this is a classic turn based RPG with its feet firmly in the old dungeon crawls of table top. Each round of combat has each character having options from physical attacks, using magic, using an item, etc, and everyone in combat on both sides takes turns depending on their speed. So, a quick thief usually gets in the first whack. Graphics are standard 8 bit sprites and tiles. Colors are bright. Monsters tend to be palette swaps of others. Storyline is mostly moving from location to location 'doing good deeds', then go to town to rest, save and buy new equipment. More backtracking here.

There are some nuances. First, if you have ever played the rogue Fatal Labyrinth on the Genesis, this game is similar in dungeon exploration. Levels are randomly created (and recreated if you travel back to already explored level), and monsters are visible and can be avoided, and hidden doors. The dungeons are random, but so small and ordinary as to quickly get boring. Second, the party will eventually grow beyond 3 members. While only 3 members are active combatants, you can mix and match how the party is set up. The magic system is a standard one of attack/heal/buff/debuff spells, but its overlayed with a more complicated one about ancient texts and four kinds of magic that flow between members to enhance their magic.

I think its working its way to be an mildly disappointing to just average RPG. As a game on a portable, where you pick it up to play half an hour now an again, and you don't want complications you'll forget, or story points to remember, then its okay. Its nice that the party will eventually be 9 members strong, which is fun to meet all these people (and each comes with a bit of story). The first hour is painfully slow, having to click through all the dialogue and helpful old men with their guidance. Perhaps the magic system, story, and characters have more fun to unfold, but so far I'd focus my time looking at other choices.

Edit: Hit a hard boss, and was grinding a bit and trying the other kind of magic out when I blundered into a rare weapon drop. Suddenly, one of my characters is vastly overpowered...this puts a new spin on things...back to that boss fight now with my shiny new Alum (Alumina) Sword...

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Atarifever
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Re: Lufia: The Legend Returns (GBC)

Postby Atarifever » March 5th, 2017, 9:49 pm

As a rule, I like optional characters exactly until there is more than about 2 spares and a party of 3. More than that and I always feel like not using someone is potentially a problem, or I'll miss something, or I don't have the "right" team. In most games with optional characters, I have a bunch of level 1s left behind, while the first 3 people I get are working their way toward godhood from over-leveling.

With the detail you've just gone into, I think another RPG Crew review may be in order (especially considering the Critic's low number of GBC reviews in general).

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scotland
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Re: Lufia: The Legend Returns (GBC)

Postby scotland » March 17th, 2017, 4:16 pm

I think I am drawing to an end on this one,and its really stopped being much fun.

Its an endless procedurally generated dungeon crawl (actually, there is an Ancient Cave portion which takes this to the extreme). Its very tedious. The battle system, while interesting, could have been simplified, and far too many enemies have 1 hit knockouts even if you are massively overleveled or hit whole ranks (or the whole party) with knockout spells, confusion spells, etc. That's not even boss battles, just random dungeon enemies. When half your actions are shoving smelling salts under teammates noses instead of swinging your +5 Sword of Eviscerating, its time to load a new cartridge.

Also, that website https://howlongtobeat.com/ is laughable in underestimating how long this game takes.


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