Legends of Amberland: The Forgotten Crown takes direct inspiration from classic CRPGs from the early 90s, where movement was grid based and characters were shown only in small portraits. It embraces the history of the genre they are paying homage to while adding some quality of life mechanics, such as an onscreen map that helps to make the experience easier. This is a title that takes advantage of being on the Switch by using the touch screen, a feature I’ve rarely seen used. RPG veterans and newcomers alike will find much to enjoy in Legends of Amberland and its expansive world.
Legends of Amberland’s strongest aspect is the world building as everything feels alive and connected. A plethora of quests are available to you from the very beginning of the game, where you can leave the main quest to later as you get stronger by helping out citizens across the country. The main quest involves finding the lost crown of Amberland which has been forgotten by everyone in the land by a powerful spell. While a simple story that doesn’t push any boundaries, it is still interesting enough, especially in the side quests where more of the game’s world is truly expanded upon.
The core mechanics of Legends of Amberland is a simple turn-based RPG that is well executed and keeps to the genre’s basics. The game is actually easier to play touch screen which is a nice change for someone who primarily plays in handheld mode. The sound design of the game is very fitting of the fantasy setting and changes to set the mood for whatever location you are in the country.
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There aren't a lot of problems I have with Legends of Amberland as it fits its goal of revisiting the old RPGs from the early 90s however, there isn’t really any innovation beyond the map addition. The main problem I did have was that combat felt a little slow, especially later in the game. By extension though, I would mash the A button to do the previous action, forgetting that I had done a support spell from another character, thus recasting it. The only other issue I discovered was that magic users tended to fall off in power at the late game, especially when they ran out of mana.
Final Score - 93%
Legends of Amberland successfully achieves its goal of revisiting the classic RPGs of the 90s, although missing out on potentially adding in new innovations to spice up the genre. It is a high fantasy adventure that uses classic classes like the wizard, paladin and fighter, and races including Elf, Dwarf and Human; a game that can entertain any fan of RPGs or fantasy for multiple playthroughs of the game. Legends of Amberland is a fantastic addition to the Switch’s library of games and is perfect for anyone wanting to try out the genre for the first time or revisit it.
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