Legaia 2 impressions

We had a chance to check out Eidos' latest Fresh Games title, Legaia 2: Duel Saga.

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At Eidos' E3 booth this year, alongside the likes of Hitman 2, Tomb Raider, Deus Ex 2, and TimeSplitters 2, the latest Fresh Games projects were being shown, including Legaia 2 for the PlayStation 2. Fresh Games is an Eidos publishing arm that handles localized versions of what would usually be import-only titles, such as quirky Japanese titles like Mr. Mosquito and Mad Maestro.

Legaia 2 picks up where the last game left off, and it utilizes a similar art style and similar themes. Also familiar to those who played the first Legend of Legaia will be the combat system, which makes use of multiple button and direction combination strings to perform combo and special attacks. These combinations, known as tactical arts, allow for a huge array of different moves per character, including special hyper arts, such as the sleeping dragon attack.

Assisting the hero and his companions are a number of "origins," who represent elemental forces and accompany the group on their adventures. These origins bestow powerful abilities upon the game's characters that can be used while traversing overland and in battle. For example, the demo we played had the main character, Lang, associated with the origin Galea, whose domain is fire. Galea could perform a fire punch at will and lend strength to Lang's sword swipes. Maya, the healer of the party, was tagged with Rivas, the water origin. Rivas lets Maya invoke a healing ability on the overland map and perform arcane, meditative gestures that wound her opponents in battle. The third character of the party, Kazan, was under the domain of Deva, the stone origin. Kazan can summon Deva for a smashing attack on an imposing obstacle when walking through a dungeon, and in combat, Kazan deals out damage using martial arts.

Visually, Legaia 2 looks fairly dated, with simplistic character models and fairly plain backgrounds. The game's music was placid and soothing, if a bit subdued for an RPG. The final version of the game should include voice acting segments and a lengthy storyline that integrates wandering moments where players can engage in a number of different minigames into the main plot. Legaia 2 is currently slated for a fall release. We'll have more information as it becomes available.

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