Action Hack'N'Slash Review RPG

Labyrinth Legend – Review

Not all games are destined to live a life of luxury. In fact, most live and die on the cluttered e-shops and storefronts – overshadowed by their titanic, Triple-A brethren. Some of these games are wrongfully snuffed out – some of them are discovered and heralded as the great works they are. Others languish outside of the public eye, existing only to scuttle in the shadows of incognitum. Labyrinth Legend is one such game.

Step Into The Labyrinth

Labyrinth Legend has a story, although it’s very much just background drivel designed to give you a reason to play – which is fine. There is a mystical land filled with promises of adventure and treasure. The catch? Nobody returns. Daring to adventure into the wilds leads only to death – but you, the local idiot, decided to give it a go anyway. Like your character, it’s simple, but it’ll do the trick.

Unfortunately, from the very first moments, Labyrinth Legend feels a tad off. Character creation lets you choose a class from a selection of three, and pick between a handful of avatars to represent you in the world. None of your options are particularly interesting, although the inclusion of a random werewolf avatar sort of threw me off for a moment. 

Once you make it in-game, the UI is clunky, and navigating the menus is even more so. This is exacerbated by the occasional menu option being in Japanese for no reason, before quickly switching back to English once you confusingly stare at it long enough. Things don’t get much better once you start playing.

Janky Combat

It’s clear the developers wanted to give Labyrinth Legend a sense of weight. Because of this, all of your actions have a delay to them. The issue is, it doesn’t work as intended. The game feels as sluggish and clunky as the menus, which is not a great feeling when you are playing an action game.

Labyrinth Legend is a dungeon crawler at heart, and as a result, you will be spending most of your time slogging through dungeons, slapping bosses, and then exploring new dungeons. Repeat this until the end. The genre itself has stood the test of time, but Labyrinth Legend feels distinctly archaic in design.

Combat is overly basic, progression is slow and underwhelming, and whilst the bosses are fun, they don’t save the game from feeling undercooked. It’s all about pumping those numbers as high as possible, and very little else matters. Sure you can buy new weapons and skills from vendors, but these are almost universally ‘meh’.

It’s Not All Bad

The core loop of Labyrinth Legend is simply too monotonous to be enjoyable, but there are some redeeming features that I have to mention. Monster Island is a cool mechanic that lets you craft monsters from ingredients. You can then take these monsters with you on adventures. This is probably the most fleshed-out system, and it’s fun to mess around with.

Graphically, the game is pretty nice too. Sure, the combat animations are very basic – to the point of almost looking unfinished – but the overall aesthetic is very appealing. It’s bright, vibrant, colourful, and has just enough flourishes to keep things looking snazzy. Combat has a nice amount of screen shake too, to make each hit feel impactful. I particularly enjoyed the footfall animations, which is not something I thought I would ever say in a review.

Finally, the music is outstanding. Every dungeon has its own track, and each track is this over-the-top mix of flute, bass, strings, and upbeat percussion. Some tracks felt like a mixture of Irish folk music and funk – which I couldn’t get enough of. Boss music is also great, having this amazing ‘power of friendship’ anime vibe to it; it didn’t fit at all – but was great all the same.

Verdict

If someone was to ask me how I’d describe Labyrinth Legend in a single word, it would be: underwhelming. This is a button-mashy dungeon crawler with next to no depth. The game feels clunky to play, and the content here simply isn’t interesting enough to hold much attention. That being said though, the music had me bopping along like a mad man. It’s almost worth a look just for that.

WAIT FOR SALE ON LABYRINTH LEGEND

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam)

If you enjoy Hack’N’Slash games, then perhaps you’d like our review of Utawarerumono: ZAN or Samurai Warriors 5.

Many thanks go to Nippon Ichi Software for a Nintendo Switch review code for this title.

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