THE LEGEND of TIAN DING REVIEW: A TAIWANESE TREASURE – PC
It is always refreshing to see different cultures represented in video games. The Legend of Tian Ding is joined by Intention to give you a deeper look into Taiwanese culture and history. This game combines fast-paced combat with platforming to make you feel like a true kungfu master. This game stands out from its competition thanks to its great gameplay and captivating background.
The Legend of Tian Ding is available to purchase on Nintendo Switch or Steam . Please inquire about your region’s pricing.
STORY – THE TREATMENT OF DADAOCHENG
The Legend of Tian Dingwas created in Taiwan in early 20th-century. Liao Tian Ding is often called the Taiwanese Robin Hood. He has returned to Dadaocheng just to steal from the wealthy and give to those less fortunate. This kind of thievery is not to be ignored, and the Colonial Japanese police are looking for the daring vigilante. The legend of an ancient vault is brewing in the background, igniting a race for hidden treasures.
The story of the game is based on real events . Although there are many versions of the character’s story, they all portray Tian Ding as a vigilante and elusive hero. While the game takes Tian Ding’s story and gives it its own twist, it still reflects his spirit. It creates a kind, easy-going, and powerful character that you can root for.
It is based upon real events so the amount of exposition between gameplay can be overwhelming. You may find long periods of text and dialogue that provide context and historical information. There are also unskippable cutscenes in between chapters that provide additional story. Although the voice acting can be charming and provide a break between chapters, it can sometimes seem a little too much.
GAMEPLAY – EVERYBODY WAS KUNG FU FIGHTING
Perhaps some of us felt the need to learn kung fu after watching Shang Chi. The Legend of Tian Ding fulfills this need beautifully. A dagger with a simple 3-attack combo is all you need to start. You can also steal weapons from your enemies. Each weapon has its own movesets. Some attacks can also double as movement abilities, allowing you to kick forward, up, or down. This combat is all about combining your skills to manage the enemies. You have complete control over your attacks and are not restricted to certain combinations.
These movement abilities can be used to climb platforms or jump across gaps, as it is a platformer. This freedom to move in chains is a great advantage, as it makes your movements effortless. Although the environmental hazards themselves are not particularly unique, the combination of the movement and them makes for great platforming. These environmental hazards also hurt enemies – sending them flying into spikes is always satisfying.
The game has many secrets throughout the levels. Those who don’t want to go secret hunting can take a break. Once you have found a secret area, you will be able to clearly mark it with a chalk treasure box on the background wall. It won’t matter if it’s an area you can use or the right way to go. The treasure chest will have an X marking once you’ve found the secret. This is a great way to replay levels and find the secrets again, so that you don’t return to the same place repeatedly.
DIFFICULTY IN PACING
Although both platforming and combat are generally challenging, they can be quite punishing during boss battles. This can be frustrating for some. However, there are ways to improve the experience by changing the difficulty at any moment.
However, the progression of the game can be uneven. You can unlock damage and health upgrades later in the game by dropping coins from enemies. As I replayed the levels, I started to accumulate coins. Once I was able to purchase the upgrades, I had enough money for most of them.
GAMBLING WITH STOLEN MONEY
If you find the story between gameplay too boring, The Legend of Tian Daingalso offers a minigame called Four Color Cards. Although the rules may seem daunting at first glance, they are easy to follow and you can perform most of the actions automatically. Simply try to make pairs using the cards you have and any discarded or drawn cards.
In between combat-heavy levels, this minigame can be quite relaxing. You can either go big or go home to wager more money if that is not what you are looking for. However, it is not a good idea to steal money from the wealthy and then gamble it away.
It’s okay to take money from the poor, right?
GRAPHICS AND AUDIO – STEP INTO TAIWANESE MANIHUA
The charming manhua aesthetic is used to deliver the game. The story between gameplay is inspired by classic Taiwanese comics. It features bright colors and thick, dark action, as well as shading lines. The game’s bold outlines and comic-book dots keep it that way even during gameplay. The streets of the hub world are alive and bustling with movement. People are seen selling their goods or driving rickshakes. This unique flavor gives the game a different feel than many other games.