Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory is finally out for the Nintendo Switch, and combines both Flames of Rebellion and Sins of an Empire in one package. While I did enjoy some elements of the game, such as the story of Cecille and art style, the gameplay, decision making, and progression were mediocre.
Rise to Glory is the tale of Princess Cecille and Legatus Laendur fighting for control over the empire which they both had served. While Cecille is trying to protect her heritage with the advice of her talking book, known as the Grimoire, Laendur has rebelled against the empire to become the emperor. The story of Cecille was compelling because of her differing opinions with the Grimoire. Compared to this plot, Laendur’s felt lacking due to the single track mind of his character.
The art style is gorgeous and unique, and manages to mix it up with story book and anime inspired aesthetic. I personally enjoyed watching these anime characters running and battling through colorful fairy tale villages and castles. These visuals alone set this title apart from similar entries into the genre.
Combat consists of commanding a party of three characters and a commander. Each character is mapped to a certain button that you assign at the beginning of each stage. At first, this combat seems strategic with timing blocks and spells, but after a few hours of fighting the same types of enemies, these mechanics become redundant with no new obstacles or difficulty spikes. The exception to this are the boss battles, which are quite unique and do require strategy in order to survive, but these difficult interactions are scarce and make the bulk of battles feel forgettable.
A lot of what drives both Fallen Legion entries is making decisions for your followers in between each battle which can consist of building a bank or sending units to help another infantry. With each of these decisions, the player is given three random choices of what to do that give party members temporary buffs and determines army morale. While in practice, this mechanic adds the twist of getting different power ups, the impact of these decisions are just explained to you by various characters and never shown, which, in my opinion, kill the world building they attempted to create and should’ve been used exclusively for character variances.
Where both entries in this collection fall short is in the progression system. There is no leveling, but there is an evolution system that will happen at random points after using a character for so long. Besides temporary buffs, you are rewarded random permanent perks by finishing levels and collecting gemstones. Beating a level provides random upgrades to characters that you may never use and gemstones. Gemstone drops, from my personal experience, are always geared to be beneficial to the party members that I frequently used, but there are only 3 equippable slots, so choices of using these stones are limited. While this system works, I felt as though it took the control out of my hands to upgrade my team as I saw fit and put me at the mercy of the game.
Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory, is in a word: average. While the art style and Cecille character arc were interesting, everything else was not as riveting. While the gameplay works mechanically, after fighting the same enemies for hours on end, mashing the same buttons for the same result becomes boring. While I enjoyed playing this in quick bursts, as a RPG, this title just doesn’t meet the mark of similar franchises on the Nintendo Switch.