Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory is a game that has previously been released in 2017 on the PS4 as Sins of an Empire and on the PS Vita as Flames of Rebellion. When you play Sins of an Empire you play as Princess Cecille who belongs to the Fenumia empire. In Flames of Rebellion you play as Cecille’s rival Legatus Laendur. However, with the arrival of this title on the Switch, you can play as either Legatus or Cecille. All you have to do is switch between characters (see what I did there?) before you start and you will play that game. Cecille has, as an aide, a talking book called Grimoire. It has a mind of its own and is rude, which Cecille takes exception to. In addition to a talking book, she has her most trusted adviser Maurice. Legatus is leading an army to overthrow the royal family. His older brother Bryn is his trusted adviser along with a squire named Antoinette. She shares being of Bywrnis descent with Legatus. If this doesn’t make much sense, don’t worry, the game won’t really help you understand it any further either.
The game is separated into areas that are shown on an overworld map. As you complete each level you are free to move on to the next one. During the battles that you encounter in each level, you will be given choices that are said to greatly impact your experience. The choice is typically something like a prince of a country has decided to raise taxes and they give you three choices, each with a reward for choosing it. These choices will manifest themselves later in the game during certain levels that you are transported to. The thing is, I had no clue what anything meant, who these characters were or what this had to do with anything. Basically, I went through with the overall idea that anything that sounded like a negative thing for the general populace, I chose the solution that seemed to favor them more than the other two. Sometimes, all three choices seemed kind of like jerk moves to me, so I picked the one that had a perk that I really had no idea how it would help me but sounded good.
Along the way you can pick up gems and they have perks attached to them. You can equip up to three and they did seem to have an impact on the battle field. Whether gem A is better than gem B I had no clue and the game wasn’t too keen on giving me much information on what was better than what. So, I would use three gems and if I lost a battle I would just switch gems (this just keeps working).
The hand drawn sprite characters in Fallen Legion are very well done. They are extremely detailed and one of the best parts of the game. They animate quite nicely and the battles, which get chaotic, don’t seem to make the Switch chug at all. Between levels you are treated to some still images of the characters with dialogue to read. Cecille talks, then Maurice, and the Grimoire spits his verbiage as well. Same goes for the Legatus side. The still images aren’t quite as nice as the sprites in-game, but still aren’t awful by any means.
I really did like the music in this title. It didn’t get annoying and jammed along backing up the action in the game. I would have to say it is an enjoyable background for what can be a confusing and difficult stretch of gameplay. There isn’t a whole lot of spoken dialogue, but when there is it is done well, and I have no complaints.
The battles are done in a 2D side-scrolling action-RPG kind of way. You will tap A to have one of your Exemplars do an attack and B to have the second one do the same and so on; using A, B, and Y for each of up to three you can have in your party. You will push X for the leader to execute their supportive or attack moves. You are also able to chain together attacks for extra perks and such at the end of each level. The game grades you on how well you did with each category, such as defense and attack. I believe that S is the best ranking and I kept getting D for a defense score. I found myself just button mashing for a while because I just didn’t get that into the battles, and there didn’t really feel like there was a great reward for being super mega awesome at timing the defensive moves. Most of the time I was just kind of bored with the play style. Add that to the fact that I had no clue if the choices I made were hurting or helping and it wasn’t an engaging experience for me even though it was still fun to try to chain together attacks and defeat the enemies as quickly as I could.
Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory would be a good purchase for someone who perhaps didn’t have both copies of the original games on either the PS4 or Vita and enjoyed them enough to want to play as a character they didn’t get to play. If you were really into the side-scrolling action-RPG genre I would think this would be a solid title for you as well. If you’re sort of on the fence if you’d like this type of game there may be other titles that may do the genre more justice than this one, but certainly this isn’t a bad experience if you would choose it to be your first entry into it like it was for me. While I was mostly just winging it the entire time I played and didn’t become engrossed in the story, it may be a different experience for gamers who think this type of game is their jam.
Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory was reviewed using a final retail Nintendo Switch download code provided by the publisher.
Jay has been an avid gamer since the Intellivision days. His hobbies include building PCs, 3D modeling and printing, and spending time with his children and dog.