Fans of the Cladun series of games should feel right at home with the upcoming Legasista by System Prisma and NIS America. It’s an action RPG with dungeon crawler elements played from a top down perspective, though not quite as retro looking as its predecessors.
Legasista takes place in a world that has abandoned science, instead fearing it as being in the same league as magic spells and curses. Knowledge of said science is confined to a tower called Tsuta, where a young man named Alto sets off in order to find a cure for his sister’s petrification. It’s a fairly simple premise for the story, but then, what more reason do you need to go exploring a mysterious tower?
The dungeons are randomly generated, and when you enter one, you can bring in three different characters. When the character you are currently in control of loses all HP, you then revert to the next character in line, but that’s only one purpose of this system. The idea is to select three characters with varying abilities so you are better prepared for the dangers that lie in wait for you. For example, you’d want a character in your party with a personality and class specializing in magic if the enemies you’ll be facing are weak to magic. This concept immediately made me think of Ys Seven, which gave you party members that were more effective against particular monsters than others, though you won’t have the A.I. controlling the other two in this instance.
If you should fall before fully completing a dungeon, you will not be able to bring any of the loot out with you. You do have the option to participate in time trails for some of these dungeons, as completing them may yield better rewards, and should make for a better challenge for those seeking one.
As for the classes and personalities, they are integral in the customization of your characters. Your job class dictates what skills and weapons you can equip, and as you level up, you will permanently learn abilities that can be carried over to another class (similar to something like Final Fantasy V). Personalities add more bonuses that can further enhance whatever job class you’re building a particular character to be, such as having traits that boost attack power would be beneficial for a melee class, for example.
Your characters’ appearances can be fully customized as well. The game integrates a paint feature that will allow you to design your character from the ground up, though you can choose to import pictures and have them transformed into a usable sprite as well. Once created, your concoctions can then be shared with your friends or other players. There are also plans to include DLC that will contain other NISA characters for download as one screenshot in particular depicted Etna and a Prinny from Disgaea conversing with one another.
While I have yet to try the Cladun games myself (I know, I have to get on that), System Prisma’s latest has piqued my interest with its customizable characters and its job class system that just invites experimentation. I’ll have to keep my eye out for it this summer. Legasista releases August 21st for PlayStation 3 as a digital download.