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Wizard of Legend Review

Wizard of Legend Review

With the year or so I’ve spent with the Nintendo Switch, I’ve found that pick-up and play titles that support short bursts of play have taken up the majority of my time. Wizard of Legend, a procedurally-generated, roguelike dungeon crawler, fits that mould perfectly.

Set in the kingdom of Lanova, Wizard of Legend tasks the player with competing in the Chaos Trials, an annual event that expects combatants to traverse a number of increasingly difficult dungeons filled with traps, magic and monsters. The eventual winner of the trials earns the title Wizard of Legend, solidifying themselves as the most proficient wizard in Lanova.

The Chaos Trials feature three elemental biomes, all with their own end of level and end of biome bosses to conquer. Alongside fighting the enemies on each level, players must also contend with a number of traps and pitfalls, which can also be utilized against AI enemies.

Players unlock spells and attacks as they progress, both in the dungeons themselves and the wider game. There are over 100 spells and attacks to unlock, all of which have two states: a normal attack and a much stronger one that is usable once a player has filled their overdrive meter. This attack deals more damage across a wider area of effect, but players must fight more aggressively in order to fill it, creating an element of risk and reward in battles.

There are also a number of equippable items that modify the player’s abilities and attacks. I found myself equipping a charm that gave my attacks a knockback effect, using it in tandem with the holes that enemies can fall down. There are countless combinations of this nature found throughout the game, so there’s a lot of fun to be had in creating a build that fits around your playstyle.

The coupled terms of ‘procedurally-generated’ and ‘roguelike’ are always going to draw comparisons with other games in the genre, and in that respect, Wizard of Legend does take some cues from the genre, most notably The Binding of Isaac. Whilst not as polished as the Isaac games, Wizard of Legend distinguishes itself through brutal difficulty. The game punishes players for their mistakes, demanding fast reactions and the ability to read multiple enemies at once on screen. It’s actually a little too difficult at times: I found myself struggling to progress further than the first area when I first started playing. For some this level of difficulty is welcomed, but I feel it may be too demanding for others.

The mix of elements gives Wizard of Legend a really interesting look, with lots of different particle effects and colours appearing at any one time on screen. Unfortunately this can severely impact performance at times, with the game stuttering during particularly intense moments. It’s never enough to spoil the experience, but it does ruin a moment if you are ever in a battle, especially with how much the game demands of player reactions.

A local co-op mode enables players to run the Chaos Trials together, adding an extra level of depth to player customisation. This mode can be played with a single Joy-Con, making it a perfect game for friends to drop in and out of. This is a welcome addition as I always found The Binding of Isaac's lack of multiplayer quite frustrating, considering that the genre lends itself so well to co-operative play.

Wizard of Legend is a welcome addition to the library of procedurally generated roguelikes, offering players a challenging arena-based dungeon crawler with unforgiving combat and a vast number of abilities to choose from. Occasional performance niggles can ruin the experience, but they are few and far between.

 

8.50/10 8½

Wizard of Legend (Reviewed on Nintendo Switch)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

Wizard of Legend is a welcome addition to the library of procedurally generated roguelikes, offering players a challenging arena-based dungeon crawler with unforgiving combat and a vast number of abilities to choose from. Occasional performance niggles can ruin the experience, but they are few and far between.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Thomas Hughes

Thomas Hughes

Staff Writer

I like to play games, find me writing about how yer da hates season passes

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