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Published 22.09.2021 00:00
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The Heroic Legend of Eagarlnia review

The Heroic Legend of Eagarlnia isn't a good game by a lot of conventional measures. It's grand strategy design features a lot of the things you might expect from a game like Civilization VI or Demise of Nations, but it's menu design is clunky, it's tutorial is long while leaving out a lot of important information, and the only way I tend to find success in it is by keeping a lot of save files and reloading when things play out unexpectedly. That said, I also can't pull myself away from it. There's something magnetic about The Heroic Legend of Eagarlnia and I can't help but feel it's problems add to its allure.

Grow into greatness

The goal of The Heroic Legend of Eagarlnia is to establish the most powerful kingdom in the land, and you do that by using a small collection of starting hero characters and cities to produce income, recruit more loyal subjects, train your armies, establish treaties, and--of course--fight with neighboring kingdoms to grow your empire.

All of this plays out on a map screen in a turn-based fashion, where you spend most of your time tapping through menus to select the appropriate commands. The basic flow of a turn consists of issuing commands to as many hero characters as you have available to achieve as much as possible per turn while still being careful not to overspend out of your treasury. Things you want to achieve in any given turn are entirely up to you, though there are missions that appear from time to time that reward you for performing specific actions in a specific way.

Anime kingdom simulator

Because the amount of things you can do in a given turn is dependent on how many heroes you have in your kingdom, The Heroic Legend of Eagarlnia places a heavy emphasis on recruiting new characters into your retinue. Each of these heroes has a full set of stats and attributes that determine how good or bad they are at a variety of different tasks (including combat), plus an assortment of active and passive abilities that predispose them to fulfilling certain roles (e.g. Treasurer, Warrior, Diplomat, etc.).

At the start of a game, you have six core heroes that are determined by the country you select to play as, but there's a whopping 313 characters in the game's full cast. This means you have opportunity to collect a ton of additional heroes into your kingdom, as well as experience a lot of variety among the people you fight against. On top of each character's base stats, The Heroic Legend of Eagarlnia also has a loot system that allows you to buy or scrounge up equippable items to each hero to further adjust their stats to your liking.

Overwhelmingly obtuse

If this sounds like a lot, just know that I'm barely scratching the surface of everything else in The Heroic Legend of Eagarlnia. There's a real-time battle system with "weapon wheel"-like strategy, quests you can send heroes on for resources to push your armies past their normal capabilities, an entire negotiation system where you can do anything from form alliances to lobby opposing heroes to defect to your kingdom, and more.

It feels impossible to delve into all of this stuff in a review because it's super complicated and most of it isn't terribly well-executed. Even once you get a handle on some of it most of the information you need to inform whether you want to take an action is obfuscated behind menus that you can't back out of once you commit, so I learned early on to keep a few different save slots handy to reload. There are so many things about The Heroic Legend of Eagarlnia that are confusingly and needlessly unclear or difficult to do, but the core of building up a retinue of heroes, growing my army, and executing all kinds of complicated strategic maneuvers was compelling enough for me to play a heck of a lot of it, and have a pretty good time while doing so, too.

The bottom line

The Heroic Legend of Eagarlnia feels like it fell out of a bygone era of games that are loaded with systems that you just have to "figure out" how to deal with or exploit. If some of its systems were cleaned up or streamlined, it would definitely be an easier title to recommend, but I can't deny that I've kind of been enjoying developing my own methods for navigating through its thick and confusing web of gameplay systems, even when doing so is frequently onerous.

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