I've nearly finished writing a guide for Elven Legacy
and its expansion packs. I wrote a review of Elven Legacy
earlier this month. It's not the most complex SRPG but it's the best fantasy SRPG I've played since Fire Emblem DS, and there's been a vacancy of strategic fantasy SRPGs lately on consoles. I also like the fact that the game is a legitimate challenge so if someone has gotten gold medals without cheating you know they've earned it. Elven Legacy was released just last year so this is not an old game by any means. There is a demo of Elven Legacy you can download here
I do plan on playing the predecessor to Elven Legacy called Fantasy Wars. This is a slightly older SRPG but the game engine and mechanics are more or less identical to Elven Legacy. Both games have a fairly robust map editor although it's disappointing that you can't create new units in the editor. If you're a PC wargamer and want a slight change of pace from yet another WW2 slugfest, or if you like the Fire Emblem series and want a good fantasy SRPG to play, these games are definitely worth a look.
If you're interested in picking up Elven Legacy and all 3 expansion packs, follow this link to Direct2Drive
Here are some thoughts about the Elven Legacy expansions:
The Ranger pack is a human-army campaign without a lot of strategy to figure out. Unlike Elven Legacy, you get flooded with thousands of gold, tons of recruits, and piles of artifacts. I have to wonder why they made Hard mode so easy in comparison when it's pretty obvious anyone trying Hard mode is looking for a challenge. There are no bonus missions and your hero ranger Cornelius is ridiculously powerful in his later levels. The game does drop its AOE obsession, though. The plot and characters in this expansion aren't as weighty or important to the fictional world so I didn't feel a lot of reason to keep playing this one.
The Siege pack ramps the difficulty back up for the first couple missions. It's probably the most difficult campaign, although it does get easier as the campaign goes on. In Siege you play two campaigns in one with two separate heroes with their own armies to manage. The bonus missions return but they are much easier than the originals, which is a disappointment. I have to make note that there are a lot of typos, badly translated text, and even some untranslated or missing bits of text, and a bug that makes one of the bonus missions more difficult than intended. Despite those technical issues this is a great expansion for strategy seekers.
The Magic pack mixes the combat up with a campaign revolving around hero summoners. Instead of an army that levels up through the campaign, your hero will be creating a disposable summon army on the fly each mission. This opens up some different strategies to explore and might be refreshing for players getting weary of the previous campaigns. The difficulty is somewhere between Siege and the original Elven Legacy. Bonus missions are back and they are harder than Siege, but easier than the original Elven Legacy. It's a good final expansion that attempts to do something new with the Elven Legacy engine and pulls it off pretty well.
Finally there are 7 skirmish maps that are independent of any campaign. These are all well designed and strategic missions with varying objectives and more gold medals to try for. If you've played through Elven Legacy and all 3 expansions, rest assured there are 7 more missions to finish before you can consider the whole thing done.
Screenshots: [img=http://i50.tinypic.com/96yhdi_th.jpg] [img=http://i48.tinypic.com/wj9u1l_th.jpg] [img=http://i45.tinypic.com/34dlb20_th.jpg] [img=http://i45.tinypic.com/22hyk5_th.jpg] [img=http://i45.tinypic.com/akjy91_th.jpg