Posted on Nintendo Switch on January 18, Labyrinth Legend wants to be simple. The game published by NIS America does not bother with details and goes straight to the point, in the desire to offer a journey punctuated by action. Destruction of monsters, collection of weapons and objects, we tell you everything – at least, we will try – about this 2D retro title available on Steam and Nintendo eShop.
The story… there is none. We just have to be satisfied with a few introductory lines, scrolling at the start of the game. It is through this that the universe in which we evolve is depicted to us. However, to be able to follow, you will need to show some knowledge. The game only offering a very limited number of languages, you will quickly face the biggest constraint – a problem of understanding – if you do not master a little bit of the basics of the following three: English, Japanese and Portuguese (Brazil). Admittedly, the various interactions that there may be between the characters have very little importance in the title, however, they cannot be completely neglected. Even, we could say that it is an essential factor to have a pleasant time, because yes, in unfamiliar and totally unknown configurations, it would not be surprising to see the player become somewhat discouraged. But, again, know that this will not hinder your progress, or little. You can totally steer yourself with intuition and experience – if you’re used to this type of game, either an Action-RPG with elements of hack’n slash and roguelite), of course – for guides only.
So you can start your journey as Nightcrawler, Strider or Wizard. Different names therefore for very little change in the end.
And so, if you decide to go for it, you will start by defining your avatar. In addition to the name you want to give him, the choice of hero is up to you. Before starting the adventure, we indeed access a list of three classes. So you can start your journey as Nightcrawler, Strider or Wizard. Different names therefore for very little change in the end. When starting out, they have many weapons of their own, but that’s all. By defeating their opponents and collecting the loot left behind, they acquire the same weapons. Consequently, the initial originality is lost, except for the magician (Wizard) who will be entitled to items allowing him to perform his spells. Nightcrawler and Strider are only distinguished by very slight variations. When the first can flaunt his strength and operate a destructive charge, the second can count on his ability to parry blows. He is also able to return them, but for that it is mandatory to block according to a certain timing. Actions that may seem effective but greedy, the magic points being consumed in large proportions.
The appearance of your character is also a parameter to adjust. Woman, man, human or not, etc., it’s up to you. However, the proposals are not broad either. In addition, particular characteristics (hair color, eyes, etc.) cannot be modified. Anyway, no need for so much attention. Who will be able to distinguish this sort of thing in this pile of pixels?
Adventure is calling, but that’s no reason to be reckless.
Once the character edition has passed, you will find yourself inside a village, in which you will return several times in order to refuel, in order to leave for places that are not always very convenient. And if this key place will allow you to take possession of potions, weapons (such as swords, spears, hammers…), new skills – in exchange for a few coins recovered from the corpses of your enemies in particular –, it will also give you the possibility of improve your arsenal at the blacksmith, provided you provide him with the necessary materials. An arsenal that will be subject, most of the time, to a particular examination. Indeed, the number of places in your inventory being limited, you will have to clean regularly. It boils down to the removal of dispensable objects or a transfer: what you no longer need can be moved to a storage chest. But again, capacity is limited. However, there are a few palliatives to remedy this lack of space. All you have to do is buy additional slots in the shop, which will see their price soar over the purchases.
The various levels accessible via a world map will unlock as you progress. Some will appear simultaneously. In this case, you are free to approach them in the order you wish. Note, however, that your ability to clear the dungeon is highly dependent on your experience points. You will therefore find your path either difficult or easy, it depends. And then, the same course will offer higher levels of difficulty for a little more challenge. So, remember to prepare potions as much as possible and above all to improve your ability to transport them via the merchant. However, if you are carried away more than necessary by a spirit of challenge, it is quite possible that you will be disappointed: few differences are to be seen by modifying the level of difficulty. Only the bosses are apparently affected by it, apparently becoming a bit faster. A pleasant enough ballad, but…
His musical composition, very pleasant to hear, has a “madeleine de Proust” effect that will satisfy the most nostalgic among you.
Graphically, it is not very sophisticated: the game presents itself in its simplest device. However, what is shown is overpowered. The pixel art sets are decent and come with colors that aren’t too garish. And the landscapes that we discover and cross show diversity (forest, cave, volcano…) Then, the other positive point of this Labyrinth Legend is its musical composition, which is very pleasant to hear. And in particular, it has a “madeleine de Proust” effect that will satisfy the most nostalgic among you, especially if the person in question has already got their hands on the cult game one day. SNES, Secret of Mana. But, failing to revive memories, the soundtrack will punctuate your journey on songs that can be both joyful and punchy, as is indeed the case with the theme dedicated to bosses.
These are found after wandering the labyrinths for some time. Yes, each environment that we cross is similar to it. When we start the level, we find ourselves in the middle of a room. We advance until the discovery of a portal, which will guide you to the upper floor. Also, seeing it for the first time, we realize one thing: it is unusable. So we continue to examine every nook and cranny before coming face to face with the Keyholder, the enemy who, upon dying, will activate the passage and allow you to continue on your merry way. Generally, monsters aren’t too difficult to take down, provided you do it right. The task will only be easier if the enemies are found in limited numbers. So taking your time to eliminate them is necessary. Going straight ahead and thus creating, by your movements – because the creatures follow you -, a much more consistent melee is a very bad idea. Also, if you’re a little reluctant to take on small fry and want to save every hit point for a much tougher opponent (i.e. bosses), you don’t have to kill them all, except provided that this possibility is left to you. But if your goal is to gain experience and acquire new weapons, then give it your all. So, if you choose the path of blood, a variety of critters, goblins, ghosts, golems and so on will happily pass your blade’s edge..
Far from being a long calm river…
And strength, you will need it for the battle that awaits you at the end of the level. Bosses are what they are meant to be: fearsome monsters. You will probably lose on the first try and perhaps on the second, however from these failures you will arm yourself against their attacks by learning their patterns. Especially since the attacks change during the battle, which will surprise you. Only, the surprise is only slight, since this kind of change during a confrontation is something prosaic for the type of game that Labyrinth Legend is. Death is therefore a necessary passage to be able to overcome the dungeon master.
In addition, there is a lack of readability in the fights. Our attacks sometimes merge with those of the adversary. Therefore, it is very difficult to see anything and thus prevent any enemy offensive by dodging it. Even if it is true that each enemy announces himself before striking his blow and betrays himself by the appearance of an exclamation point above his head. A clearly visible element which, however, struggles to stand out when you relentlessly charge in order to eliminate it. The most cautious will therefore know how to act with moderation. However, this is somewhat regrettable since the rhythm comes to be broken.
Each defeat, regardless of your progress in the dungeon, will force you to start over from the beginning. The place in which you will reappear will then be different from the first time. And it will repeat on every try. All the chests previously discovered and emptied as well as the various objects collected from your defeated opponents will resurface. It’s up to you to see if it is necessary to recover them once again.
One last point before concluding: if you feel like it, you will also be able to play in co-op with up to two friends. An approach that must undoubtedly be fun, but, as your servant’s only faithful comrade is his loneliness, he unfortunately cannot tell you more.