Black Legend: A Steam Review

Turn-based is one of my favorite genres in gaming because of how the gameplay ranges in such a broad spectrum. You can go hardcore into turn-based strategy and play legendary titles like Civilization and Age of Wonders, or even maybe dive into a more tactical setting like Fire Emblem. The genre even branches out into Turn-Based RPGs like Final Fantasy, and Persona, which are iconic franchises that have been around for over a decade. Black Legend, however, takes an interesting turn in mixing a free roam setting with tactical gameplay. I did not get to spend as much time as I had wanted in this title, but overall I found it to be very lackluster. While the gameplay feels very satisfying in a tactical sense, there are a lot of areas that can use a lot of improvement when it comes to the free roam standpoint as well as overall performance. This game can be purchased on all platforms for $29.99 and was developed and published by Warcave.

Black Legend takes place in the city Grant, which is cursed by a dense fog and infested with the fanatical Mephistian cult. You create your character and lead a band of mercenaries to aid the resistance and take back the city by uncovering the dark truth behind the cult’s activities. The concept for the story was greatly executed, and the atmosphere did well in drawing me into exploring the dark and deadly city. The game gave an overwhelming feeling of desperation and curiosity with cultists lurking around every corner. One of my biggest issues lies with the free roam part of the game. As I previously stated it did a good job in enticing players to explore, but with any free roam RPG a sense of direction is extremely important.

The game tells you where to go via cutscene and quests, but there is no direction on where the objective will be. The game fails to provide players a map or compass, leaving players to memorize street signs or wander until they land upon the objective. RPGs with free roam need these features if they are going to have location-based quests. I do like that you can engage any NPC in the game and that they will give you random side quests or bits of information to aid your investigation of the cult. This aids in drawing players more into the environment and helps to take away the navigational frustration in a way. I do wish that they would organize the menu more as far as class and quest information goes. I also wish the shops were more customized and showed the player items that are already in inventory.

The gameplay was a huge redeemer for this title because it gave you endless options for character placement and development. The combat system was very well designed and adds a sense of difficulty even in normal. You get the freedom of having a small area to preemptively place your characters before the real combat begins. Then you get gameplay that mirrors Fire Emblem or XCOM on a smaller scale, taking turns with each character and enemy. You can pick from 15 different character classes to assign your mercenaries such as sharpshooters and alchemists, and stack different humors, or actions, in one turn to strategically take out your enemies or move your characters. The possibilities for combat are abundant, and if that isn’t enough for players you can change to a high difficulty which includes permadeath.

However as previously mentioned the menu layout is not well designed by any means with the lack of information for important areas such as weapon assignment per class. A lot of the unique abilities for the different classes felt useless in combat as well. I often found myself turning to guides because of the lack of information and viable classes in general as well as ability set-ups. The combat can also take ridiculously long regardless of difficulty right off the bat, leaving players bored until more abilities and combos surface. 

One other issue I take with the game is the optimization and performance. The game runs well on PC, but on consoles and Steamlink the optimization suffers tremendously. The button mapping is more geared for keyboard and mouse as opposed to a controller which is leaving many players frustrated. Frame rate issues and glitches are rampant on consoles as opposed to PC depending on build. There is also a game-breaking bug that forces the player to restart the game completely. Crashes are a plague on consoles both with new generation and old generation. The only issues recorded with PC regardless of build tend to be installation issues, which are generally fixed by reinstalling the game.

It’s not that I would not recommend the game, but I encourage players to look into it before purchasing. I would urge console players to refrain from playing it until these performance issues are addressed period. The game has good qualities and a lot of potential, but it suffered from poor execution. The combat is great as well as the story, but all the issues overshadow what the game has to offer. I hope the developers can take this as a learning experience if there is to be another entry for the title.

DVS Score: 5/10

Indivisible Nintendo Switch review: it’s all in your head

Finding a good role-playing game is one thing; but finding one that retains that level of excellence while, at the same time, doing something groundbreaking with its gameplay…well, that’s something else entirely. Not many RPG’s take chances these days when it comes to a product outside the box. And that, friends, is where Lab Zero Games’ Indivisiblestands out.

Previously released for other consoles and PC, the game received a surprise release on Nintendo Switch, even throwing the development team for a loop. But it turned out that they had nothing to worry about, as the game retains every bit of its quality as the other ports. In fact, being able to take it on the go just might be the ticket for hardcore RPG fans looking for something off the beaten path.

A Unique Girl With a Talent For Gathering Allies

The game revolves around Ajna, a woman consistently getting battle training from her father. In fact, that’s how the game begins, before an evil warlord by the name of Ravannavar shows up to wreak havoc. In a flash, he destroys her village and kills her pop, but manages to leave behind one of his warriors – who ends up in her head.

That is quite the battle group.

It turns out that she can “absorb” these special helpers as part of her battle group, without them running alongside her. However, in the heat of battle, she can call upon them to appear out of the blue and fight, making for a great group-based experience.

Combining inventive role-playing battles and typical, well-polished platforming, Indivisible pulls off a nice trick. But we’ll talk more about that with the gameplay.

Everyone Gets In On the Fight

The gameplay revolves around a real-time battle system, where each character has button prompts that you can press to unleash attacks on foes. At the same time, you can also hold down their respective buttons to enter a defensive stance, though some boss enemies will certainly test how well you do with it. There are also special attacks, which are quite useful against those with a somewhat larger energy bar.

This is a splendid system, and it combines with the game’s platforming segments rather well. Here, Ajna runs around, using wall jumps and other moves to get to her destination, while occasionally engaging in a real-time strike to prompt a new battle with an enemy. Though not entirely exciting, these segments frame up nicely with the fights to create a worthy, well-rounded experience.

There’s something here for everyone, even those who wouldn’t normally get into role-playing games. And the fact you can grow with your characters and make them more powerful over time – a nice touch considering the odds you’re up against – is pretty cool as well.

A Strong Shift To the Switch

With the developer not even knowing about Indivisible’s sudden release on the Switch (did 505 Games not send the memo…?), there were concerns that the port may not quite be up to snuff. However, worry not, as the game looks just as good on this platform as it does the other.

One huge benefit is the game’s gorgeous art style. Granted, this is the same studio that worked wonders on Skullgirls; so with that in mind, it may not entirely be a surprise. Still, the gorgeous colors, beautiful attention to detail and stunning animations are a delight to look at, whether on the go or playing at home. The battles can be a little hectic, but the same could really be said for any RPG, so it goes with the territory.

Even the platforming segments are fun.

Indivisible also features charming music to go along with the action, along with voicework that’s nothing short of top-notch. Each character has something to contribute here; and actually gives you a reason to stick around, rather than skipping over everything (though you still can if you want). It’s a journey that’s well worth the time, from beginning to end.

Don’t Be Divisive, Get This Game

In the end, Indivisible has proven its worth on other platforms. And we’re happy to report that it does so on the Switch as well. Despite no one really expecting its release, Lab Zero Games’ work continues to shine with its innovative gameplay, sparkling presentation and well-told story. Even those that aren’t into this sort of game should find something to like – and that’s hardly something we’d call dividing. Pick it up, you won’t be sorry.

RATING: 9/10

A splendid action/role-playing tour-de-force, Indivisible puts on a show on Nintendo Switch.