Over the past couple of years, Kemco has been churning out SRPGs for iOS at a seemingly unhealthy rate, but I will not fault them for their dedication to the genre. I’m a fan, after all, and between larger adventures on the Nintendo 3DS, I’ve found Kemco is a reliable place to turn.
Case in point, I’m currently between Stella Glow and Fire Emblem Fates. So, what to do in the down time? Legna Tactica. This latest iOS release from Kemco is especially appropriate following Stella Glow (think Final Fantasy Tactics, if that’s more familiar), as they share gameplay styles (along with quite a bit more, as is common of the trope-driven genre). Combat takes place on an isometric grid, and your characters can move a certain number of spaces before executing an action, be it a melee or magic attack, a buff, etc.
As the game goes on, you acquire many new warriors you can add to your party, and you get some control of where to place them on the battlefield. Getting to know their strengths and weaknesses, then leveling them up (of course), will be your key to victory.
Of course, before all of that, there’s the story. Your main character is Leck, who—along with his friends Miana and Astar—is training to become a knight. Astar has the talent, Miana has the patience and wisdom, and Leck…well, Leck has the attitude and, of course, that special something. The relationship between these three is somewhat tenuous from the start, and the adventures on which they’re sent will shake things up further. You’ll make decisions along the way that will somewhat affect them and the numerous others who will join you, but the game stays focused on the story except for when you push into sidequests.
Those bear mention, because the system isn’t all that great. Battles will reward you with TCP that you can use to purchase items and upgrades, and you’re going to need them. If you’re impatient, you can purchase them with actual cash from the iTunes App Store. Your other option is to revisit previous battlefields or take on side quests, which will also yield other rewards.
The trouble is that the side quest options become almost as tiresome as simple level grinding because they too often repeat themselves. You’ll get one done, claim your reward, then basically be asked, “Hey, want to do it again?” I’d prefer fewer side quests that yield greater rewards, some kind of connection to the story, or even just different objectives. Too much of the same thing can numb you to your actual objectives.
It doesn’t help that the battlefields of the main story are somewhat uninventive, too. It’s perhaps unfair to compare to Legna Tactica to Stella Glow, but the latter presented a tremendous variety of terrains on which to fight. Legna Tactica’s all tend to be pretty much the same. They’re too large and open for the tiny battles they contain, and the terrain advantages are dubious, at best.
That’s not to say the combat isn’t fun, however, and the turn-based battles are easy to control and execute once you learn that a two-fingered swipe can move the screen; the UI will otherwise get in your way quite a bit. I would like to see how much damage a particular attack will inflict, because it otherwise takes quite some time to figure out how best to use your soldiers and their weapons.
There are many soldiers, by the way, and perhaps the game’s greatest attribute is the way the story is constantly shuffling them around. Party members come and go, so it’s important to keep everyone leveled up as you never know on whom you’re going to have to rely next. You’ll quickly develop your favorites, but everyone is entertaining (if not familiar), and often quite funny.
Legna Tactica could use more polish in its level design and UI (especially the inventory purchasing/management system), but it’s an enjoyable adventure that’s worth its current asking price of $3.99. Even when it goes up to its standard price of $7.99, you’ll get your money’s worth, provided you don’t sink too much more into its mostly unnecessary IAPs. You won’t want to play it for prolonged gaming sessions, but its good story and quick, simple combat make it a great diversion between larger adventures.
Requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (see iTunes store for model requirements)
Price: $7.99 (on sale for $3.99 at press time)
Availability: Now at the iTunes App Store