Overlord Dark Legend is one of those Wii games that I found in the 5 dollar bin. It stayed in the backlog for quite a while though as the game just didn’t inspire much confidence. Still, I looked up a gameplay video and figured…why not? Anyway it’s a reasonably fun game with some nice mechanics but also some glitches. These glitches could be fairly big ones as well like in one of the final bosses. It was actually handy this time around though so I wasn’t really upset about it.
The plot follows the prince of an old kingdom. His Father went off to fight evil but while he was gone his step wife’s two kids decided to take over the kingdom even though the main character was supposed to take it over. Our young main character decides that he will take the kingdom back using the powers of darkness. He will prove once and for all who the most evil prince is. Can he really hope to stop his siblings and their armies of Elves and Dwarves? Well, The Overlord has his own army of Goblins so perhaps they are up to the challenge.
The execution may not have been amazing but the actual plot really wasn’t all that bad. A villain having to stop two worse antagonists in order to reclaim his kingdom makes you wonder if perhaps this time you should root for the villain. There’s also a big Elf vs Dwarves was going on in the background and you trick then into escalating it even further. Then there are even some Fairy Tales like the Gingerbread House here. That part actually gets pretty dark. There aren’t really any cutscenes so the game has to make up for this with the text and constant banter of your partner. That guy was a little annoying but he didn’t appear too often so it was never much of a problem. The NPCs were more annoying as their sound byte would just keep replaying over and over again. Once you’ve heard them once you were good. By the 19th time you will be ready to leave the Kingdom.
The gameplay is standard 3D and it’s a platformer. You don’t do much jumping so maybe that isn’t accurate but you traverse through the levels and typically try to get to the end or destroy something. You have a sword and a variety of attack spells, the main gimmick for the game is that you also have a bunch of minions following around. They come in different types like Fire, Water, and Poison. Each type has a different specialty in combat and also a special ability during the platforming parts like retrieving items from the water or inside a poison smoke ball. Dont worry about forgetting any of the abilities since the levels force you to use all of them at many points in the game. When fighting you can order all of them to help you or split them up. This has a good amount of potential with all of the strategy involved here but the Wii remote ensures that your decisions aren’t as precise as they could be. Throw in the glitches and poor A.I. and you’ll soon find yourself just sending the full group after any enemy you come across. It’s typically the best move anyway.
Speaking of poor design, there’s a boss in the game that you can defeat without getting hit once. This isn’t even due to a glitch. You fight a giant robot in a fire area. The part that the game forgot is they left you a high platform that was needed earlier. So just head up there and tell your Fire minions to attack. They will throw fireballs at the robot and eventually you will claim victory. The robot has no projectiles so he can’t fight back and the A.I. doesn’t even know what to do so the boss just ends up standing in place. It may be a cheesy way to win but the game really should have thought that one through. Despite this boss, the game does start to get a little difficult by the end. It certainly never stops being manageable but you do have to wonder how much harder the game could have been if it had continued on for another level or two.
The game certainly isn’t pretty to look at. That will certainly be one of your first thoughts while traversing through the game. The graphics are definitely pretty low tier for the Wii and the style itself doesn’t help matters. The level backdrops seem as if they were intended to be known a game like the Ocarina of Time but with the grit of the World of Warcraft. I can confirm that the game could not pull this off. There also isn’t much of a soundtrack to listen to here as it is all instantly forgettable. It feels like it was probably just a lot of public domain music. A game doesn’t need to sound or look good in order to be a quality title but those aspects would have helped.
The game is also quite glitchy as I mentioned earlier. One of the final bosses is supposed to slam you with his sword as you slam back. Once enough damage has been done then the boss will teleport around the level and start to gain health until you track him down. This was pretty tricky since the level is quite large and after a while you will simply run out of minions to fight with. I lost to this guy a few times but then something happened. I left the area by mistake and cane back. The boss restarted but this time he had forgotten how to heal or teleport. He just stood in place halfheartedly flailing around with his sword but not actually dealing much damage. Without his special abilities it was fairly easy to take him down for the count. A pretty big glitch but one I could work with. Honestly it was mostly the bosses in general who seemed to glitch a lot as it also happened in the gingerbread house. There were times where a minion would get stuck in an action or freeze inside of a boulder. It was just a very glitchy game and something that you would expect given the price.
There definitely isn’t much in the way of replay value either. Once you beat the game you can try to get some more upgrades and fight the boss but there is no real reward for doing so. That may work in some games like Mario Odyssey where it’s all about the pride but for the most part that just isn’t good enough. I want to have a reason for doing something and especially for a game like this one. The actual campaign is a reasonable length and will definitely last you some hours. It’s not short but certainly not long. I’d place the game closer to the middle as far as action platformers go.
Overall, Overlord is definitely a unique game. Playing as the villains is already something that you wouldn’t really expect and the Pikmin mechanic isn’t something you see often either. For good reason though as I prefer to just be running through the level solo so I don’t have to watch out for my minions. I suppose I’d recommend this game as there at least was some effort put behind it. It’s not exactly Shakespeare but it does have a real story and plot. It was fairly interesting and while the gameplay wasn’t polished, it’s hard to deny that the 3D hack and slash gameplay was intense. If you do check this game out, I’d recommend sticking to the Lightning.