Dark Legend had all the right elements to be a great game.
It's a shame. A dirty shame. I really loved the first Overlord. I was super excited for this game being announced for the Wii. Wii controls just seem like a perfect fit, and the graphical style would work well on the Wii too. Well, they got that much right atleast. Everything else.. ehh.. not so much.
The Wii controls are really fantastic. I think they work better than the 360 game. The camera works just fine too, despite the lack of buttons. The graphics hold up really well for a Wii game, that is, until all the texture pop ins and bugs start to wear thin. There were some areas in the game that were really impressive, but it seems they ran out of time or budget to fix all the kinks.
Dark Legend also felt gimped. The humor is toned down, the "choices" are tone down.. aka there are none. You're suppose to be evil in this game, and I'll agree that your final deed in the game is pretty evil and messed up, everything else felt like a kid pulling pranks.
The game was so easy. There was literally no challenge at all. The original Overlord had the right amount of challenge to get you through the game without it feeling like a baby game. Heck, even Little King's Story was hard at times. Dark Legend is just a cake walk. That's why I would find it hard to recommend for anything. It's extremely short (7 hours if you skip sidequests and extra exploring) and extremely easy.
It's a shame, because they fixed so many things about the original Overlord, at the same time screwed it all up too.
Dark Legend is a simple action rpg with RTS elements thrown in. Just like the original game, you order your minions around to gather items and to fight. In this game, you can only control a maximum of 20 Minions. While that sounds like a steady decrease amount of minions to control, they seem tougher and stronger than the original game. So they don't die as often and you don't have to pick up things that require a mass amount of minions.
You control them with the Wiimote's pointer. You point at any object or area and can tell them where to run. Picking certain units is MUCH easier with the Wiimote than the 360 game. You can scroll through your minions with the Left and Right D-Pad, or pick all with the Down D-Pad. Up controls your magic, but seriously, magic is useless in this game. I never once needed to use magic, and I never tried to use magic. Why even bother putting it in?
You gain new Power ups, like Max HP, Max MP, new weapons and armor and more minions by finding special items on the battle field. One thing this game really lacks are Pikmin elements where you need to pick up an item, and defend your units at the same time. Once your Minions pick up an item, they'll take it back to the nearest waypoint in the matter of 2 seconds. Usually, all the special items are right beside the waypoint too.
Speaking of Pikmin moments, there's almost zero puzzles in this game. There were some in the original Overlord, I remember them being kind of fun. However,there are NONE in this one. I really don't consider anything in this game a puzzle because they spell out EVERYTHING to you. The main minion guy is annoying about this, he's like Navi from Ocarina of Time but you can't tune him out.
The Forge is a big improvement over the original game atleast. In the original game, you had to forge new weapons by sacrificing your minions. In this, all you have to do is spend money that you gathered in battle. You can buy up to 9 weapons, and 9 pieces of armor. You can't modify them in any way though. You can even level up your minions now, but I never quite felt the "upgrades" when I used them. They still felt like the same faceless minions as before.
You get money almost to easily in this game, so there isn't much for a "carrot on a stick" feeling. Once you unlock new armor or minion levels, you can almost be certain you can afford everything.
There are only a few sidequests, and none of them give you a real reward. Boss fights are extremely simple. Almost insulting. The rest of the game is easy to navigate through too.
----------Characters / Story----------
You play as the youngest sibling of a fallen royal family. Your father is gone on a mission to recapture his pride, while you and your siblings fight over power. It's your 16th birthday and you are given a evil glove to control minions. That's about it.
This was billed as a prequel to the original Overlord, but there's no tangible connections other than a couple wink wink moments. Neither story is compelling enough to worry about timeline differences.
With that said, Dark Legend has better characters than the original game.
The graphics are inconsistent. Some smaller rooms, the frame rate moves perfectly, other rooms it just chugs along. Sometimes you'll see texture pop ins. You eventually forget you're playing a Wii game because it looks so good at times. Then again, you'll see some areas in the game that look like sub-PS2 games.
Dark Legend is buggy as hell too. The game crashed on me 5 different times. It even crashed on me the first time I beat the final boss.
The music is good, but I'm pretty sure its just recycled tracks from the original game. The voice work is hit or miss. The main minion is awesome, but some of the human characters are poor. Oh well.
The world map is a big improvement over the original game. In the original Overlord, you navigated your map by warping back to your castle, and then opening a Menu at your starting gate. You never had a sense of the world, other than what you explored.
In this game, you get a real map, which is all darkened out. When you unlock new areas on the map, they open up. It even has a sub-map which dissects each area you're in too. However, it shows the entire map right off the bat, so you get a sense of how small the world is too.
While the game flows very linearly, you never feel trapped. So you can wander around the world at your own pace. It's just a shame they didn't throw in more sidequests.
----------Time to Complete Game----------
The final boss was so freaking easy. I didn't even know it was the end boss. It felt like a mini-boss leading up to a dungeon boss. This game just doesn't feel complete. It's like they got half way done with it and called it a day. So disappointing.
Anyways, you get nothing for beating the game. You can go back to your previous save file and do whatever you want. Sadly, there is nothing else to do in the game.