Iron Maiden - "Iron Maiden: Legacy Of The Beast" (Other Products)
Reviewed by xFiruath on July 8, 2016
Although its not nearly as widespread as you might expect, heavy metal and video games have actually collided more than a few times in the past, and as avid gamers we're always stoked when something new comes along. The latest in the metal-meets-gaming phenomena is “Iron Maiden: Legacy Of The Beast,” a mobile entry that pulls from the mythos created in Maiden's artwork.
As it turns out, Eddie's soul has been shattered into myriad shards by a nefarious cult. To regain peace of mind, he's got to go take them all back while engaging in a death of death with all the children of the damned. Along the way you'll get a killer soundtrack and loads of references and in-jokes for fans of the band.
I'll admit I came into this with much trepidation – mobile games meant to generate income are generally less than pleasing on a mechanics level, and tie-in games are usually the bottom of the barrel. My expectations plummeted when after installing there was a sluggish five minute load time to download additional content. I began to ask myself: can this really have that X factor that makes a great game?
My opinion radically changed immediately after upon seeing that killer opening cinematic, and it become clear there was a ton of polish put into this game, despite being a freemium mobile title. The 3D aesthetics and constant metal trappings will remind you of “Brutal Legend,” although the gameplay is radically different.
What sort of game would an Iron Maiden album make? A turned based RPG as it turns out, with monster catching/raising thrown in for good measure. While the art style goes a different direction, the base gameplay has a lot in common with “Final Fantasy Brave Exvious," so if you've been consumed by that mobile smash hit you know pretty much what to expect with Iron Maiden's foray into gaming.
An overland map shows you where you can go next, and each location includes several linked battles leading to a boss fight. Combat follows a mobile, tap-focused version of a JRPG where you choose from regular attacks or magic skills. Touch screen tapping is worked into the combat (tap when the circles overlap at the right moment for bonus damage for instance), while your more powerful abilities charge over several turns and require you to tap rapidly to boost their powers.
At the end of battle comes the looting, where Eddie will pick up the in-game currency of gold and ironite, along with talismans to equip for boosting stats. If Eddie is lucky enough to find soul shards, he can also summon new allies to join later battles. As with many mobile games these days, the idea is to complete the levels while hitting specific objectives (land X number of perfect hits, use X special abilities, have at least X number of allies survive the level) to get a full 3 stars and unlock additional content without paying any money.
Besides the main Iron Maiden-themed character, there are a ton of interesting allies to unlock over time, like possessed floating mines, rock golems, owl cultists, hell hounds, and even flying skulls. Imagine any beast or wizard that's ever graced a metal album cover and there's your potential roster of power slaves.
Since you can level up and equip your pets, there's a bit of a monster collecting feel to the game, especially when you start evolving them into new forms. Even Eddie gets in on the evolution action, changing over time as you unlock new versions like samurai Eddie, vampire Eddie, vampire hunter Eddie (for balance I guess?), pharaoh Eddie, wicker man Eddie, etc.
Now for the downsides: as a freemium game, there are of course limitations put in place that try to get you to lay down the cash. Most noticeable is the time mechanic: while not a matter of life and death, it is annoying. Starting a level uses a set amount of “sands of time” and you primarily regain sands at specific real-world time intervals... unless you spend money. A small amount of time is also earned for beating a level or logging in on consecutive days, but overall if you plan on playing for hours at a time you will hit a point where you can't keep going further until either waiting a few minutes or paying a little money. I'm not a fan of that business model, but honestly its just the nature of the beast, as they have to make money somehow off a free game.
Other than the freemium elements, “Legacy Of The Beast” is a very solid gaming experience for a mobile title, and I'd recommend downloading to your Android or iOS device without hesitation. Iron Maiden fans will be in heaven, but even if you just like RPGs and need a new mobile game to try out, this one's an excellent choice with its stunning graphical style and well developed gameplay.
Highs: JPRG turned based combat with a little Pokemon/Monster Rancher thrown in, and all of its wrapped up in a heavy metal package
Lows: The limitations of the mobile platform mean you'll see the same backgrounds a lot, and the freemium elements are annoying
Bottom line: It turns out Iron Maiden album covers lend themselves well to mobile RPG format - who knew?
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