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Wizard of Legend: Be quick or be dead


A true wizard knows when to put the fire in insane amounts of firepower.

A true wizard knows when to put the fire in insane amounts of firepower.

An arcade/arena action game where you move like a ninja, pull off combos like a Street Fighter, and fire off spells like an arcane machine gun.

In Wizard Of Legend, you play as a wizard (of course) tackling the Chaos Trials. Except it’s not the kind of wizard you’re probably imagining – you’re not playing as a geriatric old Gandalf, or a baby-faced Harry Potter on his first day in Hogswarts.

Oh, no, you’re playing as a whole new class of wizard – one who dashes about like a ninja, chains combos like a Street Fighter on turbo, and rapid-fires spells like your wand is a machine gun.

If you’re looking for a fast-paced spell-slinging action game that will test your skills and reflexes, then best put on your finest wizarding cloak, because Wizard Of Legend is about to make you feel legendary.

Battle mage

Wizard Of Legend’s beautiful, fantasy-themed, pixel art visuals might make you think the game is a rogue-like dungeon-crawling RPG (role playing game), but you’d only be partially correct.

The game isn’t an RPG at all – there’s little emphasis on story, and no levelling/progression system to grind XP for.

Instead, the game is a whole new class of rogue-like arena brawler, where the thrill comes from honing your skills to master the lightning-paced action of the game and learning to read (and hopefully counter) your enemies’ moves, with very little room for error.

TELEGRAPHING: Learning to anticipate the actions of one enemy is easy, the challenge is handling multiple enemies at a time.
Learning to anticipate the actions of one enemy is easy, the challenge is handling multiple enemies at a time.

Wizard Of Legend has more in common with games like Doom or Bayonetta, than Final Fantasy or Zelda.

The story setup is pretty simple: you’re a wizard who’s taking part in the Chaos Trials, a magical competition that sees you fighting your way through a series of randomly-generated dungeons so you can take on members of the Council of Wizards in gloriously dangerous, element-themed boss battles.

Magic cards

What makes the game so ­engaging to play – and replay – is the wide variety of spells available, combined with the structure of each dungeon run.

There are over a hundred spells for you to unlock in this game (and about as many “relic” items with passive effects), each with its own explosively animated visual effect, but you can only equip four spells (and one relic) at the start of each attempt at the Chaos Trials.

This isn’t unlike building a “deck of cards” from your larger ­collection to take into battle, (ala Magic: The Gathering) so at the start of each dungeon run, you’ll need to decide whether you’re going in as a kung fu specialist with the Flame Strike and Lightning Aspect arcana, or an elusive ­trickster with the Frost Feint dash and the mind-controlling Mentis Imperium arcana, or whatever it is that Earth mages do.

FLAME EMPRESS ZEAL: Im fighting a mad kung fu master of fire magic, and my main spell is ... a few splashes of water. This will go well
I'm fighting a mad kung fu master of fire magic, and my main spell is ... a few splashes of water. This will go well!

Playing around with different combinations of spells and relics is the key to Wizard Of Legend’s replayability, as it staves off the inevitable feeling of repetition you might get from going through the same three elemental dungeon areas over and over again.

You can find more spells and ­relics during each dungeon run, but only items you permanently unlock with hard-to-earn gems will remain in your collection after you’re inevitably knocked out and have to restart the Chaos Trials.

That’s right, if you “die”, you have to restart the dungeons from level one – this is a rogue-like after all, and that leads me to my next point: the game can be pretty tough.

Dancing with death

For all the fun the game can be when you’ve reached a zen-like state of mastery where you can predict enemy movements through sheer experience, it takes a lot of practice and an embarrassing amount of defeats to get there.

The game does not make things easy for new players: for starters, the one trait this game’s ninja wizards share with classic “RPG wizards” is that they’re glass cannons.

Lots of firepower, but barely enough health to withstand a ­gentle fart, made worse by how ­difficult it is to find healing in this game. (This isn’t Cleric Of Legend, dangit.)

Another issue is that you have to figure out a lot of details yourself: the game doesn’t really tell you what each spell and relic does until you’ve purchased them, and the only way you’ll learn to read the telegraphs of your enemy’s attacks is after you’ve suffered a few (dozen) cheap shots.

The game can be a challenge, but it’s a challenge worth mastering – the satisfaction of finally figuring out (and dodging) the attack ­patterns of that one boss that keeps beating you, for example, is ­something that makes you really feel like a champion spellcaster.

TWICE THE FUN: Having a partner in local co-op means twice the fun, but good luck figuring out what's happening the flurry of magical explosions.
Having a partner in local co-op means twice the fun, but good luck figuring out what's happening the flurry of magical explosions.

As an added bonus, you can also bring a friend along to help out in your dungeon runs, as the game (at least on the Switch) has a local co-op option.

It’s really quite fun blasting the living daylights out of enemy knights and archers with a buddy, but given the natural firepower of a single mage, it admittedly does get difficult to tell what’s going on on the screen when there are two ­reality-warping master sorcerers throwing fire dragons, summoning thunderstorms, and shooting ice daggers all at the same time.

Good news is, everything else in the room is almost guaranteed to be obliterated once the dust settles.

I am legend

Wizard Of Legend comes highly recommended if you’re looking for a fast, responsive, skill-based action game that’s also a visual delight. The game’s available on multiple platforms, including PC/Mac/Linux, PS4, and Xbox One, though I ­personally enjoyed my copy on my Nintendo Switch since it lets me play the game anywhere.

Just remember that, however you choose to play, there’s no one “best” way to win the Chaos Trials.

Haha, just kidding – my way is absolutely the best. Equip the stun-locking Bolt Rail basic attack, life-stealing Vampire Sunglasses, golden Awe cloak, and every possible multi-hit Lightning spell, and you too can be a wizard of legend!

Pros: Fast paced action game with responsive controls and satisfyingly powerful spells, beautiful pixel art. 

Cons: Can be brutally difficult to start.

Wizard of Legend
(Contingent99)
Arcade brawler for multiple platforms
Website: wizardoflegend.com
Rating: 4 stars 

Science Technology , arcade , brawler , difficult

   

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