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Legend of Legaia


© St. Petersburg Times, published July 26, 1999

In many ways, Legend of Legaia is your cookie-cutter role-playing game. The plot contains a tree of life -- several actually -- and the usual band of heroes: an unproven lad, an innocent girl and a noble warrior-monk.

The old formula works here because it is executed so well. Sony seemed determined to make Legaia its Final Fantasy, packing in colorful graphics, symphonic sounds and a unique fighting system.

Players will get a kick out of putting together martial arts combos, as well as discovering their character's hyper-art moves. The fighting system keeps Legaia from deteriorating into a chain of repetitive battles, which you often see in similar games.

The story in Legaia seems tighter than other role-playing games, with better-than-average character development. For the most part, Legaia stays on task, and there is something to be said for this simpler, three-character approach. Legend of Legaia may not be the most original disk on the shelf, but it sure has its pluses.

Grade: B+

Bloody Roar I System: PlayStation

Boy, was I surprised when I played Bloody Roar II and discovered the best fighter created for the PlayStation. Where were the ads to push this cool title, which I overlooked

Bloody Roar is good because it doesn't offer a bunch of characters with special moves. It gives you characters with the ability to morph into ferocious half-beasts that can decimate their opponents with one blow.

The trick is knowing when to use your beast energy to transform and how to take advantage of your carnivorous powers. Get hit too many times or miss your final attack, and you will revert to your human form, which could spell defeat.

Roar's graphics are fully 3-D, which shows how far PlayStation fighters have come since Tekken 3 was converted to 2-D to accommodate the console.

I had a small problem with the complexity of the character combos, but with practice you can use most of them with success. That is if you don't get killed by your opponent first.

Grade: A-

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