A concept dreamed up 15 years ago. Nine years of development time. And, in the year 2022, an actual launch. RPG Time: The Legend of Wright, which I had the pleasure to review, has been a long time coming, but it’s finally releasing on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation on August 18, following its initial launch earlier this year on Xbox. A unique RPG, The Legend of Wright uses both cardboard cutouts and a comic book style to convey its story and gameplay. It just might make you smile with its creativity.
Adventure Through the Eyes of a Child
RPG Time: The Legend of Wright takes place in a classroom after the school day is done. The young aspiring game designer, Kenta, has a title he’d like you to play. This is the titular Legend of Wright. Utilizing drawings, cardboard, and stationery, Kenta weaves a tale about Wright overcoming the forces of darkness to save the lovely Princess Lay. He really gets into it, too. Throughout the journey, you will see Kenta’s face in the corners, donning masks of the different characters you meet, with text boxes changing color to portray their different personalities. He’ll always be moving cutouts of key players around, showing just how much thought he put into his game. It’s quite charming.
More Than Just an RPG
Some of the time, The Legend of Wright sticks to RPG conventions. You’ll traverse areas in a comic book style, visiting towns and completing sidequests. A magnifying glass can be used to highlight objects on a page to learn more about them or find hidden tiny ninjas. You’ll engage in some battles where you gain experience points and level up. You can eat various food items to heal yourself. And you will meet a merry gang of heroes who will help you on your quest. But more often than not, the game will flip the genre on its head.
Perhaps you will enter a game within a game, using a tank to smash blocks and find keys inside a dungeon. Or you’ll engage in a battle using Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. Maybe you need to learn an ability but must complete a game of Tic-tac-toe or Minesweeper before someone is willing to teach you. There are math problems, logic puzzles, board games with a die made out of a pencil, fighting game commands with quarter-circle movements, and bullet hell shoot ’em ups to conquer. Variety is the spice of life in The Legend of Wright.
Even the traditional RPG battles are different than what you may be used to. Enemies can be slashed with your sword, but they will often have shields and a particular weakness you must exploit. One must be hit by balls you hit back with a timed bat swing. Others have to be hit at a particular point on their body. A gun must be shot in an FPS-style segment to hit obstacles in the background to damage the boss in the foreground. Trust me, you will always be surprised and impressed with what is around every corner.
Held Back from Greatness
While there is creativity galore in The Legend of Wright, there are some drawbacks to its gameplay. For one thing, Wright moves at a snail’s pace. What’s worse is you need to use the directional buttons on the Switch to maneuver him. It’s fine for a Pro Controller, but using the Joy-Con can cramp the hands, especially in some sections that require precise movement (the maze section being a particular nuisance). The group of people you befriend does not join your party for an extended period of time either, which is a huge bummer.
There are also times when a friend will be telling you the solution to a battle, but the method of achieving it is unclear. Thankfully, you can use a hint when you perish to figure out the answer, but there were a few I wish were not so obtuse. Also, while the genre-flipping is almost always welcome, there is one at the end that is not. I will not spoil what it is, but it is so frustrating that it almost ruined the endgame for me.
The Review Verdict on RPG Time: The Legend of Wright
Regardless of my criticisms, RPG Time: The Legend of Wright shines quite brightly. The little touches are what really do it for me. It’s the way little doodles you draw yourself show up later on as part of the story. Or when you use a slot machine to create a random super special attack to destroy a foe. When you tell Kenta what insects and monsters you are scared of in real life and he uses that information in a brilliant way to try to frighten you later on. Games like this do not come out very often and must be applauded when they do. So, if you are a fan of RPGs or literally any type of game in general, do not hesitate to pick this up. It will brighten your day.
A Nintendo Switch review code for RPG Time: The Legend of Wright was provided by the publisher.