The first thing you will pick up as you scour each dungeon is that this title represents a very streamlined approach to the traditional dungeon crawler formula. Some could argue that this is a good thing and takes some of the tediousness away from the experience. I am far from a fan of this approach. I like loot; well I love loot, the more of it in a game the happier I am. This leads to a little disappoint when playing the game as while it has loot, the use for that loot and the thrill of collecting is lacking. New armor or weapons you find are automatically equipped, leaving no room to play around with different weapons and armor for different enemies and emphasizing the hack and slash affair of the genre. Expect to get heart pieces to improve your health, and to get more powerful as you go along but keep in mind the money you earn is really just points and has no practical use.
Another delineation from the norm is that there are no randomized levels, each time you play the game you will be treated to the same locations. This may make it seem like your dangerous journey through dungeons and any secret locations you may find will be less appealing in subsequent playthroughs but trust me, the idea for static levels was a good one. Each dungeon is a class on how level designs should be made for this genre. They are made in such a way that just running through them you get a nice taste of what the dungeon has to offer and enough of the games progression currency of choice (Stars) to move on; however if you stick around and take time to explore you can find all the Stars in the level and find out all the secrets the area has to offer. This leads to an addictive and surprisingly fun sense of exploring a dungeon to the game, rather than just trying to get in and get out.
The weakest part of the game has to be the combat. The controls are very simple and offer very little in terms of variation. You can block and dash with L1 and R1, attack with Triangle (heavy) and Square (light)…that is pretty much it. The standard enemies take only a swing or two before they are destroyed by your awesome might which makes even fighting large groups of zombies or skeletons an easy and sometimes boring affair (unlike say one involving that hot girl from work). Besides the ragamuffins you face there are some bosses that look awesome but fail to be that fun to fight. Most have very large health pools and require learning a set pattern to win. Once the pattern is learned the fight is really simple but having to die and go all the way back to the start of the level to get it down gets old really fast, by which I mean causes you to explode in a supernova of wrath and fury that consumes your very soul. The cool environments to explore and the awesome puzzles really made me dread the moments I had to actually fight.
Since we talked about the worst it is only fair to talk about the best next- the puzzles. Every dungeon is filled to the brim with puzzles that you must pit your mind against to continue on. There is certainly no lack of diversity or complexity in these parts; you will be using switches, moving platforms, lasers, mirrors, and saber tooth tigers riding dragons (okay that last one is a lie). Eventually you will come to recognize all the parts of the puzzles and you will see the same pieces over and over but never does the game run out of unique and clever ways to trick you and test your mental mettle. There is a legitimate feeling of accomplishment when you finally best the puzzle and can move on to the next challenge. Warning: if you are a doctor, lawyer, astronaut, or doctor lawyer astronaut cowboy this game will not make you feel accomplished.
When the game is done and you have saved the day, Labrynth Legends proves itself to be a fun game that’s definitely worth your money and time. The combat is at times boring, the bosses are not that fun to fight and it is not the deepest story, but in the end the puzzles and environments are sure to win anyone over. For an inexpensive PSN game you really can’t get any better, and as I said before my cat loved the game for some reason…really…he would just sit still and watch me play for hours. So for me the reason to love this game is double: it is a great game and for once my cat can have something to do rather than tear up everything I own…
- Great Puzzles
- Wonderful Level Design
- Interesting Visuals
- My Cat was a fan
- Combat is shallow
- Bosses are tedious
- Story felt cliche and bland
Final Grade: B+