This title was reviewed on Xbox One, but is also available on Switch, PS4, PC, Android, and iOS.
I just can’t escape these can I? After having been given a break from KEMCO RPGs lately, another one has sneaked its way into my inbox for review. Unlike the vast majority of the KEMCO RPGs i’ve looked at, Legend of the Tetrarchs was developed by Hit-Point, who also developed Chronus Arc I reviewed back in October. Chronus Arc looked great and lacked the stock RPG feelof the Exe-Create RPGs, but faltered everywhere else. Does Legend of the Tetrarchs redeem Hit-Point or further place them in Exe-Create‘s shadow?
Like their last game, Legend of the Tetrarchs is quite solid visually. The sprite work is great, and wouldn’t look out of place on a SNES. The areas and environments also look decent, and they’re quite varied to boot. As with any KEMCO RPG, there are also some fantastic pieces of artwork for characters during conversations, and they are even variants of them for different emotions.
The story is full of mystical and supernatural trappings. The gist is that the world has four godlike deities, known as Tetrarchs, who sleep until they are needed. The Tetrarch of Light, Lloyd, is awoken to seal a crack in the world that happened during a great war, where a holy sword has been absorbing the dark energy seeping from the crack. However, the Ishbel, Tetrarch of Darkness steals the holy sword, and the dark power it has absorbed over the years, and has the town of Datt massacred.
You play as Len, one of the last survivors of Datt, as he tries to survive being hunted by those working for Ishbel while also attempting to stop him. It’s a pretty bland story, with Ishbel’s motivation being nothing more than wanting power. The worst crime the story commits though is how much it bogs down the gameplay. The first few hours are absolutely ridiculous, with you often sitting through 10 minutes of dialogue, taking a handful of steps and then being forced to sit through another 10 minutes. This isn’t unheard of with the likes of Metal Gear having long cutscenes and a ton of story in-between gameplay sections, but at least in Metal Gear the story is interesting. Unfortunately, in Legend of the Tetrarchs I began to doze off while mashing A to attempt to get to the next bit of gameplay.
When you actually get to some gameplay, you’ll find that it is your standard RPG fare. You explore an open world, getting into random battles, earning XP, and levelling up. You’ll be right at home here if you have played any JRPG. Combat is also very familiar, you and your party members (usually Weil and Chloe) will take turns slashing at opponents, with a variety of different attack types and spells, until you or your opponents die. Rinse and repeat.
Legend of the Tetrarchs is of decent length, but that is only because it is essentially bogged down by the cutscenes. The game’s mobile roots are on full display here too, with a very F2P-esque quest system. You get a list of quests, which are both story objectives and optional challenges to complete (such as kill X of Y), and completing these allows you to redeem them on the quest list for rewards such as coins and other items. When I’m playing a game on my console, I don’t want to feel like I’m playing a mobile title, because it cheapens the experience overall.
The game’s audio is decent. As with any KEMCO RPG, there’s no voice acting, but the game has plenty of sound effects and each area has a corresponding music track, and they’re well done overall.
Legend of the Tetrarchs is definitely the worst of the KEMCO published RPGs I’ve reviewed. While Hit-Point manage to keep their visual solidness from Chronus Arc, everything else falters. The story is bland and very intrusive, making the game feel like a visual novel more than it does a JRPG. Once you get to the gameplay you’ll find that it is your standard JRPG fare without any bells and whistles. There’s a massive list of KEMCO RPGs out there, and I’d recommend trying any of these over this one.