GAME REVIEWS

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Legion

~ LEGION ~
Renovation / Telenet
CD-ROM
1990

Based on what I'd read about it, I expected Legion to be an amusingly awful game at best and a useless piece of trash at worst. As it turns out, I think it's a worthwhile shooter--and not a mere "kitsch classic."



Many people complain about its high level of difficulty, but it can't be all that hard if a Turbob Grafx rookie like me was able to complete it in a day. I acknowledge that its opening moments can be a bit discouraging, as you're at once forced to deal with relentless enemies who fire extremely fast bullets. But if you can survive the rough early going and power up a bit, you might just find that the game is beatable and enjoyable after all. Grabbing and strengthening the multi-way blaster and learning the layouts of the first two stages (and how to defeat their respective bosses) will lead to success in the long run. With a little bit of practice, you can reach the third stage with a full stock of lives and a high-powered gun that covers an enormous amount of space with its shots. Your craft won't seem helpless anymore, and you'll start obtaining shields to boot. Suddenly, the enemy armada won't seem so tough.



Legion does require practice, memorization, and strategy. But it's certainly not impossible, and the more you learn and the better you get, the more enjoyable the experience becomes. And the "getting better" process obviously shouldn't take much time. Before long, you'll have your once-hapless little ship soaring to all the right spots, reacting quickly to its speedy adversaries, and wreaking havoc with screen-spanning spreadshots.



The game is fair with just about everything it throws at you. But I'll concede that one level (the last if you travel the default path) is simply ridiculous, and there's little you can do but smash your way through it.



Legion's graphics, as you might have noticed, aren't very good, and its music is chip fodder. I like most of the tunes, though, and can live without fancy visuals in a space shooter if the action occupies my attention, which is the case here. And not all of the stages and sprites are write-offs.



So yes, I truly enjoy Legion. Sadly, I think I'm the only person who likes it. But I do recommend it to folks who want a decent challenge and won't give up if things seem rough at first. It's at least worth a shot, especially since it's cheap. With that said, I now refer you to a Legion review you're much more likely to agree with, a hilarious piece by my merry cousin Zigfriedolmevich.

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