Initial impressions of the martial arts hack-and-slash platformer made by MegaFun Games was met with high anticipation. The opening credits of the game, set in a fantasy Imperial China fared well with its impressive particle effects. But it immediately fell flat on its face with the butt-clenching-cringe-fest that is the voice acting in this game. The voice actors’ performances are comparable to the voice works of the notorious Resident Evil, which is made worse with the fact that most cutscenes in the game are unskippable. This made it hard for me to empathise with the characters as I was too busy making sense of (read: laughing at) the dialog that felt like a direct translation of a script written in Chinese.
Okay, lets ignore the fact that there wasn’t any context in the opening credits to get players to be invested in or the uninspired (and predictable) use of a revenge plot line against the antagonists simply called “The Organisation”. There must be some saving grace that this game has to offer? Well, kinda. After stumbling about, from the single text line tutorials in the game, lack of any indication or explanation of crucial features (weapons equipped, purchase of passive abilities and potions, etc.) and playing further down the chapters to unlock all of your character’s abilities, there is semblance of a complex hack-and-slash game here. Albeit the rather convoluted control scheme of buttons to execute different individual attacks, I can see fans of Devil May Cry and Castlevania potentially be at home here and enjoy the game.
However, the unfair advantage of later enemy types introduced made it a rather frustrating playthrough. The enemies were able to magically resist damage after a certain amount of attacks which prevents prolonged combos, normally a staple in most hack and slash games. Why put a combo counter then? There are so many design choices that brings to question its purpose. For example, most enemies are able to block almost all manner of attacks, they are able to dodge or teleport from your attacks without any animation cues, players are not able to cancel an attack combo or feint to circumvent this. Not to mention the sudden inclusion of dated quicktime mechanics while does not add to the gameplay in a meaningful way. This in turn, undermines the core gameplay set in place and does not make it an enjoyable one.
In conclusion, there are some things that MegaFun Games have got right with Hidden Dragon Legend but there were too many questionable game design decisions that made it a very stiff and rough experience. I think this game would only be able to live up to its name by becoming a footnote in the history of games made by MegaFun Games. A stepping stone to building something better.