Demon Legacy

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Project of the Month winner for May 2009
Title: Demon Legacy
Author: Nightblade
Reviewer: madriel222

One of the most downloaded projects in recent history, the completed version of Demon Legacy is a game that offers players a fresh perspective on destiny, power, and the human condition. Though not polished, this reviewer will tell you up front that it is a worthy addition to your gaming collection.

Plot (9/10)
This is certainly the area where Demon Legacy makes its mark. Clearly a polished writer, Nightblade breathed life into each of his characters with a certain individuality. Unlike most authors of his calibur, Nightblade never falls into the pit trap of making his characters sound similar by way of his elevated vocabulary and sentence structures. The characters are kept within themselves, developed nicely, and force the player to relate to their condition.

One of the more interesting aspects of Demon Legacy is how it handles typically cliched elements of role players.  We see the typical start to a love story, where the female begins the tale angry at a male she’s known for quite some time, but it never quite blossoms. We see the stranger from, well, let’s say “unfamiliar land,” but she is far more than even those with the wildest imaginations could have expected. Like the classics, we meet our villain very early, but he is made complex, and the player becomes conflicted. Is he really evil? Nightblade plays with these thoughts from the beginning through the end, keeping the player on his toes.  Admittedly, the final twist of the game seemed very predicatable to this reviewer, but it was an event that had to occur. The author, after all, did such a lovely job building up to it.

Visuals (5/10)
Demon Legacy is not exactly breakthrough material in the graphics department.  While there were no agregious errors, the mapping lacked detail, lacked imagination. Objects were sparce, at best, and natural areas reminded me more of Biodome than anything else. Granted, the mapping was far better late in the game, but it just couldn’t make up for the fact that vast majority of the game was subpar.  Knowing that Nightblade is a fantastic mapper made me think that Demon Legacy may have been his  first project, and that we see his evolution as a mapper right before our eyes.

The battle graphics were once again acceptable, but not nothing spectacular. Custom animations and a solid job spriting makes it a little easier on the eye. One cannot help but notice, though, the disparity between what you see on the field and what you fight in combat. For example, there is a point in the game where your characters battle an assassin. Whereas many developers would have used that assassin sprite as the monster graphic, Nightblade chose a ripped knight graphic. It just did not fit. Like the rest of the graphics, the battle backgrounds were fine, but not eye catching.

Audio (8/10)
As I admit in virtually every other review, I do not think that I am qualified to judge a game’s soundtrack without a solid grasp on music theory. That said, as a casual listener, I can make some conclusions.

With regards to tempo, pace, and selection of instruments, Nightblade does an excellent job making a coherent and fitting soundtrack to reflect the mood of his project. A good soundtrack, like this one, reflects the mood, a great soundtrack, though, would enhance the mood, instead. I would have really liked to have heard a definitive “theme” to Demon Legacy that is repeated, at least in some form, at crucial parts of the game. There is so much emphasis to be had in a piece of music, so much meaning, and I cannot help but think that Nightblade just did not tap into music’s full potential within this project.  It is still a good soundtrack, and everything fits nicely, but it is very nondescript.

Mechanics (4/10)
Choppy mechanics hurt Demon Legacy, and actually caused me to drop the game the first time I tried to play it through. The battles are little more than button mashing. As long as the player healed at opportune times, he could simply autoattack his way to victory in every single battle. I found each fight, from the meager level one monsters to the final boss, could be won in this fashion. Extremely disappointed, no battle truly matched the epic tone that Nightblade created in his story; they were lackluster.  Skills were generally so underpowered that it usually serves the player better to save the magic for healing purposes. There were some creative elements, like flashy boss introductions and monsters divided into pieces, but the mechanics could not make them interesting.

That said, Nightblade included minigames that were relatively enjoyable and traps that were exceedingly clever.  With such great dungeon designs, I wanted more. It would have been to Demon Legacy’s benefit to put fighting on the backburner, to fight only when necessary, and let the player versus the environment aspect really take flight. Some parts of these dungeons, though, left a lot to be desired. Needing to go into the menu in order to pick out a stone in front of a statue that needs a stone seems a little ridiculous to this reviewer. It would have been simpler for the player, and the developer, to just cut out the middle man, errr…middle menu.

Conclusion:
Despite some bad scores in a couple key categories, Demon Legacy is still worth your time. It will take you approximately 20-25 hours to beat, based on my completion time. Push through the sketchy graphics, endure the button mashing fights, and just watch the scenes. Listen to Nightblade’s story, it’s a good one.

As a whole, I give Demon Legacy a 6.5/10

Game Download:  http://www.queenscourt.org/games/DemonLegacy.rar
« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 03:36:03 PM by madriel222 »




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It's nice to see a new review being posted, but if you could link to the project, then that might be a good idea.

Anyway, it was a nice, coherent review. Good job.