Now for something completely different. The Legend of Tianding is a sidescrolling action game that features an engaging story, tons of Kung Fu, and really good art. However, what really makes this game stand out is the fact that The Legend of Tianding is based on the legendary Taiwanese folk hero, Liao Tianding (AKA. Liāu Thiam-Ting). Brought to you by CGCC and Neon Doctrine, The Legend of Tianding is the tale of the Taiwanese “Robin Hood”, a vigilante of Taipei city and wanted by the Colonial Japanese authorities. Rob the rich, feed the poor, and fight for justice in a story based on real events, real people, and real situations.
Starting with the art, The Legend of Tianding is actually very good and very stylized. It’s modeled after traditional Taiwanese Chinese Manga and definitely has that comic book feel to it. The art however is very bright and colorful and really pops on the screen. The environments are well done and based on the Dadaocheng area of Taipei City back in the early 1900s. That also trickles into character designs and the outfits they wear. The game has that authentic Taiwanese feel and it really shows that the devs took their time researching this era.
What’s really impressive however is using original and authentic Taiwanese dialect which is not the same as Manderin Chinese. I was actually pleasantly surprised when I first heard it during the opening cinematics and it brought a literal smile to my face. That’s because I’m actually Taiwanese and I don’t hear many things in media using it, aside from the Taiwanese news channels my parents watch. So that’s definitely a cool aspect of the game.
Basically the art and audio have already won me over, but the gameplay is another aspect that is really good in The Legend of Tianding. This game is mostly an action game with lots of brawling and fighting. Most of the fighting is based on traditional Kung Fu moves but also features weapon-based combat. When the game starts, you start off with some very basic moves. As you progress, you’ll find manuals that teach you new Kung Fu moves. These moves not only allow for more advanced combat and fighting combos but can also be used to reach areas in the game you would not be able to reach otherwise. I love the fact that some environmental hazards can be used to your advantage against enemies and the ability to grapple enemies with your sash and steal their weapon is a nice touch. It also makes you a bit more aware of what weapons you should be using at any given time. The action in this game is solid and very well thought out.
So based on what we’ve played, The Legend of Tianding is a worthy purchase, no doubt. It’s a fun game with lots of action and exploration with some really great-looking visuals to boot. I’m most impressed that this is a historically themed game based on true life events that actually work as a game. The use of real Taiwanese dialect is also a welcome addition and really adds to the overall authentic experience. With that said, The Legend of Tianding is a must buy in my book, whether it be on PC or Nintendo switch.
Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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