Review: Battleheart Legacy

My work and some personal stuff still leaves me playing significantly less than I’d like. But it’s also the dog-days of summer where many players are vacationing. Even the twice-weekly Deathwyrm raid runs are a little harder to fill. But Fall will be here soon and things will settle back. I’ve not yet touched Update 36 for that reason so more comments on that on another day.

Naturally I cannot play DDO at work but I find bits of downtime where I’d like to stay awake with a game. I turn to my iPhone 7 and have searched for single-player RPG adventure games on it. One was Oceanhorn, a total love-letter to the 1990s-era game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and a very clever game, although short and with limited replay options.

But when I found Battleheart Legacy, I found the closest thing to soloing DDO on a mobile device that I’ve ever seen.

The app maker I trusted: Mikamobile made the Zombieville USA games that have worked for several years of fun play. Battleheart Legacy is the second of a series of games (The original Battleheart appears to flirt with the appearance of the first Nintendo Final Fantasy game and I’ve looking forward to buying it).

This second Battleheart is so rich with content and features, not to mention humor, that I find myself laughing often.

The interface avoids dedicated virtual buttons for movement and easily uses the touch an area to move to a place feature, which also works great for classes with teleportation effects.

Like DDO, you begin with selecting a character from a somewhat limited assortment of appearances. All start with a simple sword and street clothes. You can also clone a save file to take that version in a different direction. All behavior is saved automatically, and you can pause the game simply by returning to the iPhone home screen.

BH-1

These names seem familiar…

The tutorial is short and simple and can be easily bypassed if you wish. There are dialogue options you can choose to be as lawful or snarky as you want. While there are no alignments in BH, you can behave as good or evil as you’d like to be. However, going dark might literally kill off your NPC helpers, especially if you turn on Crazy Mode.

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The Barbarian trainer is skeptical. You are armed with sass, however.

You can opt to have a helmet visible or not visible (if the armor has one) but this is as far as you go in appearance options. The armors you do get and weapons over time do change and look pretty spiffy, however.

The game is polished, attractive and leaves you plenty of freedom enough in travel to kill yourself if you don’t pay attention. Dungeons that don’t match your level are clearly marked. DDO players will find the character skills and gear interface to naturally easy to use.

Two towns have an academy where you’ll find class trainers. Six are easily found: Bard, Paladin, Wizard, Ranger, Knight (fighter) and Rogue. But events and exploring other rooms lead you to discover that there are SIX additional classes: Battlemage (similar to Warlocks), Witch, Necromancer, Barbarian, Ninja and Monk.

BH-Monk

Oh, yeah. And no funny finishing moves finger-breaking combos, either.

BH instantly got my love at the discovery of the Ninja and Monk, obviously. The Ninja is similar to the Monk but with dual-wielding swords and a lot of high-speed attacks. The Monk is all-unarmed and very, very durable with the right tweaking.

And tweaking you’ll love in this game. BH encourages you to use abilities and skills from other classes and there is no limit to how much you can train. However, you have only a few gear, ability and passive skill slots. A Monk can use Bard skills, Rangers can add Rogue skills, and none of this affect your character’s abilities. It’s all as versatile as you want it to be.

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Mix-and-match skills from any class you wish to give you what you want.

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The training window for a class.

I started with the Ranger. You hold a bow in one hand and use your sword if things get too close. You get an animal companion that helps hold aggro, although it’s a little squishy.

The Attributes list to the left actually scrolls to show additional attributes, like Dodge.

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BH-Attrib

Scroll the left side to see more detail on your stats. Here, trained abilities can be switched out from other classes on the right.

Leveling is easy and you can repeat dungeons over and over and loot over and over to gain gear to sell. As you gain levels, the smithys slowly give upgraded equipment. There are quests to gain ore for each to gain a bonus item or higher level gear. Quests range from dungeon crawls to arena mauls, including a death arena where you can get the best gear in the game if you can survive long enough to kill at least 80 enemies.

The end-game prep quests, to collect three shards, are located in high-level dungeons that will easily eat you even at high level. Best to enter at a much higher level than dungeon level to improve your odds.

Magic and abilities are cooldown based, eliminating mana management. To improve the speed in which you reuse abilities, you can get items that give you a chance to instantly reset a cooldown or decrease the cooldown time. You can improve critical hits on attacks and spells, increase the critical hit multiplier, enjoy passive HP regeneration, increase Dodge, find classes with Evasion, and increase movement and attack speeds. Every item buff stacks if you can find items that support any of these abilities.

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Smiting Paladin encourages smiting. Neat.

Everyone gets just 5 health potions that fully restore you while in a dungeon. You’ll want to find passive health regeneration or life-stealing items and spells to stretch your HP, since there are no NPCs I’ve seen so far that assist you. These potions are automatically restored on returning to the map.

Your abilities are shown in slots below that are easy to access. Targeting, movement and graphics are perfect on an iPhone 7 and should work fine on iPhone 5s or better, or newer iPads.

BH-Combat

Health and white experience bar with abilities below that restore after cooldown make for a simple and sublime interface.

The humor and writing is simple and funny. This NPC welcomes you in the first Academy training hall and clearly tells you how you are destined for greatness.

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The hidden class trainers often have an attack option if you piss them off. You don’t want to try this unless you don’t care to use the class and if you like to die very, very quickly. A couple of them challenge you to a duel to qualify for training, and a few you cannot find until you find them in a random encounter that activates if you travel around the map too long.

Battleheart Legacy has very good replay value, with difficulty levels as well as reset options that allow you to keep your skills but reset your level for a new challenge. The world is way, way smaller compared to other RPGs or MMOs but it is large enough to enjoy.

BH-map

Touch to move to a dot and then touch the destination option on the upper right. Quests to complete may show this yellow exclamation point. You might get stopped by a random encounter.

The game is a steal at $4.99 US and has no in-app purchases; you get everything you need to enjoy it.

While it’s been around for three years, the app maker has been about since the smartphone app was invented and keep all of their games compatible over many years with iPhone. There also appears to be an upload/download option of character files.

You’ll love this game if you’re stuck somewhere, or not.

Here’s a nice 14 minute video review to let you see how it looks and works.

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