Black Legend Switch Review

All For One And One For "Patience"
User Rating: 7
Black Legend Switch Banner

I’m a sucker for turn-based strategy RPGs. These types of games rely less on my aging reflexes and more on my brain, and in some cases my patience. So it would seem like no big surprise that I’d jump at the chance to play a turn-based strategy RPG game based in the 17th century and one that offers fifteen classes to unlock. This is where we play a drum roll please and introduce Warcave‘s Black Legend. It’s an RPG that looks very Dark Souls-like in presentation. The game exists on all major platforms but we took a look at the Nintendo Switch version.

Every RPG Has A Back Story
Black Legend Switch Classes

Your equipped weapon determines your class.

In Black Legend, you’ll control a customizable character in true RPG style. You’ll be tasked to combat a cult that has trapped your city within a deadly fog. Along the way, other mercenaries will join your cause which leads to team-based strategies, and turn-based encounters. You’ll explore the city from a traditional third-person perspective. Once you enter an encounter, the perspective switches to a top-down view resulting in your party of four mercenaries entering a turn-based battle.

It Takes A Lot Of Class
Black Legend Switch Character

All the typical RPG standards are here; inventory, journal, etc.

Like most strategy RPG games, Black Legend allows you to pick a class, customize your skills, weapons, and armor as well as customize the same for your party. There are quite a few classes to choose from. There’s a total of 15 available classes. The class assigned to a party member is determined by the weapon they have equipped. So obtaining a new weapon means you now have access to the classes that use it. This makes it easy to customize your group as you prefer. Black Legend‘s class system includes classes like Buccaneer, Guard, Marauder, and the Doppelsoldner (i.e. greatsword user).

Humor Me For A Minute On Combat

Black Legend Switch Combat

What makes Black Legend‘s combat stand out among other similar strategy games is its alchemy system or “humor” mechanic. Unfortunately, it’s a topic that’s not explained clearly enough in the game and it’s something you need to get good at to succeed.

Webster defines one variant of “humor” as “in medieval physiology: a fluid or juice of an animal or plant”. When applied to Black Legend it means you’ll use elemental skills that proc “instabilities” on your enemies. You can combine these, then use them to create massive damage attacks. This affords you another combat strategy technique that is different than the usual weapon selection and positioning. Basically, depending on which class the player chooses for each of their mercenaries, the party member will have color-coded abilities: black, red, white, or yellow. Using one of these abilities puts a colored marker on the target. Using different combinations on a single target is a must for end game strategy and these can stack multiple markers on a single target at a time, hence combining them. Having these markers on the target generates a caustic attack, causing larger amounts of damage than normal.

During encounters, you select and equip your team, then place them on the typical combat grid. Initial placement is very important, as you’ll want to make sure characters are able to defend themselves and each other while being able to land attacks. Positioning, i.e. which way they are facing, and grid placement are important as well. You can even have mercenaries climb on boxes to create a height advantage.

Of course, each mercenary has an action point count which limits your movement and attack options each round. So there’s a lot to consider. Slow character movement and animations during a battle don’t help reduce the length of battles which can go on for a while. At times this really throws a monkey wrench into the game’s momentum.

Portly Endeavors

Black Legend Switch Place Units

The game played pretty well in docked and undocked mode. There was an occasional move glitch that is a bit annoying but not game-breaking. Undocked mode suffers from the “tiny text” syndrome making some text hard to read.

Note: Our copy was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch with a code provided by PR.

COMPARE TO: X-Com Series

Summary
With its 17th Century setting, large 17th Century-era class selection, and an alchemy-based combat system, Black Legend stands apart from other turn-based RPGs. It looks and plays distinctly different enough from other games in its genre on the Switch to merit some attention. Its steep learning curve and the long battles, however, might turn away those with little patience.
Good
  • Class selection via weapon use
  • Alchemy-based combat subsystem
  • 17th century lore
Bad
  • Steep Learning Curve
  • Usual nitpick of text being small in undocked mode
  • Some glitches
  • Battles can seem to drag on
7
Good
Written by
Scott is a comic book, music and gaming nerd since the late 70s. Gaming all began on the Colecovision and Atari 2600. He buys and reads new comics every Wednesday from his LCBS and helps run an online Heavy Metal radio station.

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