Named after the 1980 computer game Rogue, "roguelike games" feature procedurally-generated levels, challenging difficulty, and an emphasis on dying, only for the player to come back stronger. Wizard of Legend, a new title for Xbox One, is the latest roguelike to make its way onto Microsoft's console. Sadly, despite the fact that it's fun overall, Wizard of Legend rarely capitalizes on its potential due to a lack of variety in gameplay.
Gameplay: Not bad ... but also not great
In Wizard of Legend, you play a young wizard that wishes to prove him or herself by completing ancient trials. These trials include an ice, fire, and grass dungeon — each of these contains two stages and a boss level. One you pass these, you take on the Master of the trials. To help you on this quest, you can find and equip a myriad of different magical skills and items, ranging from enchanted gloves to massive fireballs to electrical storms.
These can either be obtained randomly during play or purchased from shops found both inside and outside of the trials. This means that even when you die, you can return with a new piece of equipment or magical attack that might give you the edge you need. However, no level will ever be the same as before; true to its roguelike name, every non-boss level in Wizard of Legend is completely randomized each time you enter it.
This type of procedural generation is done in order to make the levels feel fresh, but unfortunately, it's pretty lackluster. There are only a few factors that can change each time a level refreshes itself: pathways, placement of traps, and enemies. With so few variations in play, it all ends up feeling repetitive, and it's only made worse by the fact that Wizard of Legend has a rather low number of unique enemy types.
Ultimately, there's a great amount of variety found in the arsenal of the player, but a woeful amount in that of both your foes and the level design themselves. Due to this, Wizard of Legend sometimes starts to feel like a broken record instead of an engaging experience. Thankfully, the combat mechanics themselves are fluid and fun, which reduces the impact of the monotony.
Presentation: Retro style done right
While the gameplay is flawed, Wizard of Legend doesn't disappoint when it comes to the visual department. Featuring a pixel art style reminiscent of games from the Nintendo Entertainment System and a plethora of bright, vibrant colors, it is a joy to look at. The magical spells and attacks all look amazing, and the different effects for fire, ice, electricity, and earth really bring these arcane arts to life.
Musically, the title is fantastic. Though there isn't a large collection of soundtracks, the ones that are there perfectly fit the situations and locations they're placed in, which adds to the atmosphere of the game tenfold.
Bottom line on Wizard of Legend for Xbox One
Though there are some glaring flaws in the gameplay systems, it's still a fun title, and the enjoyable visuals and music help make it worth your time.
- Good variety in the player's arsenal.
- Strong gameplay foundation.
- Excellent presentation.
- Major lack of level and enemy variety.
You can get Wizard of Legend on Xbox One now for $15.99.
This review was conducted on an Xbox One, using a copy provided by the publisher.
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