Although it features reasonably unique character designs, interesting concepts, and a huge explorable world, Legend of Alon D'ar fails in execution with substandard quality in nearly every respect.
The Legend of Alon D'ar is, at first glance, a typical fantasy-themed RPG set in the original world of Chandar, where brave heroes are challenged to fight menacing evil. To pen the epic tale of Alon D'ar, Stormfront Studios has brought in veteran author Christy Marx, perhaps best known in the gaming industry for her work on Sierra's Conquests adventure series. The story of Alon D'ar is typical sword-and-sorcery fare, pitting the hero Jarik against an overpowering menace while also challenging him to learn about himself. Although it features reasonably unique character designs, interesting concepts, and a huge explorable world, Legend of Alon D'ar fails in execution with substandard quality in nearly every respect.
At first glance, Legend of Alon D'ar will appear unimpressive, and as you progress through the fairly extensive story, little will dissuade you from this opinion. While the game does move at a steady pace, the few frames of animations and very low polygon count character models detract from an already disappointing environment. The water in particular looks positively bad, as if constantly about to spill out into a tidal wave. Legend of Alon D'ar does boast some very large environments that could attract players who enjoy exploration, but the few landmarks and sparse foliage, combined with the lack of an auto map, makes such ventures rather painful. When adventuring into the wilderness, you may notice flocks of birds flying together, as well as other such subtle background details that could have been noteworthy had the rest of the game measured up. A tolerable camera would have possibly helped Legend of Alon D'ar be more playable, but even this is yet another caveat to prospective purchasers--finding the right angle for the camera is a constant struggle, and the auto-realignment it naturally imposes will pull the vantage away from where it needs to be, even under manual control. The sound is par for the course, and some of the ambient effects heard while exploring can be quite pleasant. The sparse voice acting adds very little to the experience, though, and significant strides could have easily been made in the audio presentation.
Many of the things that RPG enthusiasts have taken for granted in recent years are sorely lacking in Legend of Alon D'ar, and they are immediately noticeable. The inventory system is painful to deal with, as similar items do not stack with their like, and characters are limited to only a handful of items apiece. The game's battle system, which will undoubtedly fluster even the most seasoned gamer, is a lesson in futility. To compensate for the real-time aspect of combat, weapons have a recharge time between attacks. In the span of this refresh period, monster mobs will inevitably tear you apart, leaving you with a confused look on your face as you wonder what just happened. Scrolling through items, magic orbs, and alternate weaponry in your inventory in the middle of a battle will cost you your life more often than not, making healing potions all but useless.
Collecting a large number of special items is another improperly implemented device used in Legend of Alon D'ar. While the rewards for the painstaking process of finding items--such as silver acorns and tree frogs--may appeal to those with undue amounts of time on their hands, this element of the game is as much a chore as any other. Similar side quests are strewn throughout Alon D'ar, but none are particularly compelling, and most feel like simple chores.