Legend is a 2 player beat em up released originally on the Super NES in 1994 in North America and Europe, and re released on Steam in 2015, which is how I came across it. It looked like an interesting beat em up that I picked up during one of the many Steam sales and decided to play recently. I haven’t played too many 2D beat em ups so I’m not in the position to judge how it stacks up to Final Fight, Streets of Rage, or Golden Axe, but I can certainly say I had fun with it despite a few minor gripes.
Story wise, Legend is basically “evil wizard rules the world go kill him.” Not much to expect from a game literally titled “Legend” I suppose. All you need to do is add a princess to rescue and it will be every 80s/90s game ever. Graphics wise, the game is alright but not anything special. The sound effects are also decent but somewhat cheap sounding. The music is epic and heroic like a medieval fantasy game soundtrack should be. The only problem is that some themes are overused and also used in ill fitting levels, and that they reuse the same baseline across multiple tracks.
The gameplay mostly comes down spamming jump kicks and jump slashes to keep the enemies on the ground while you use regular attacks to finish off other enemies. It requires that you carefully manage the amount of enemies and not just button mash your way through. It starts out easily enough but later adds long ranged attackers and enemies that can block attacks so it can get kind of tricky, but it’s still manageable even with one player… unless you’re playing hard mode which just does the standard “make everything hit harder and take more hits,” which went a bit overboard considering I could barely get past the first mini boss.
There is a major element of timing involved where you need to get a handle on just the right moment when you can knock a boss over or get a hit in, because otherwise they will knock you on your ass repeatedly. This is also the case because your movement is painfully sluggish and there is no diagonal movement meaning that whenever you hold down two directional buttons your character stands there like a dumbass. You also get the ability to use magic to nuke the screen, but you need to collect magic jars to use them and it costs more to use one depending on the difficulty level.
Overall I don’t have much to say about Legend, but I did enjoy it and would recommend it to fans of 2D beat em ups. I’m pretty sure it’s not as good as the most well known classics given that this was made by a much smaller development team, but nonetheless it is a fun and enjoyable experience. An original SNES copy is way too expensive to recommend to anyone other than collectors, but considering that it is only $5.00 on Steam at full price and even less during sales, It may be something to check out.
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