The Legend of Tianding Review

If you have ever played the popular game Guacamelee, you’ll immediately recognize the battle system in The Legend of Tianding. This Taiwanese beat ’em up boasts comic book-like visuals that are the first thing to impress you.

This game follows a similar story to Robin Hood, where the character takes money from the rich and gives it to the poor. However, it does it in a different setting – Taiwan. The game is entirely in 2D, and despite being a beat ’em up, you can move freely through the hub area. Here you can give money to the poor to earn collectibles and help others in need through fetch quests where you have to collect items.

The levels are well-designed, each with the same level of detail. The levels sometimes have multiple paths to take, which can contain collectibles and enemies. This results in you going back to the previous path or going forward and returning to the same path. Enemies will either be standing around, or they will spawn when entering areas where chests are already located. If you defeat all of the enemies, the chest will open where they’ll receive money and a collectible. There are also secret areas to find, some visible and others that have to be discovered.

The combat is fantastic, and you can clearly tell that Guacamelee was an inspiration for this game as it uses the same kinds of moves and traversal mechanics. You can juggle enemies to keep their combo going, punching and kicking them as they see fit. At other times, you have to use these same mechanics to cross an otherwise impossible-to-reach platform. It all works perfectly, and the disarm ability is a cool addition. If you hit an enemy enough times, they can execute a move that disarms them and gives you the ability to use it. For example, they can steal a rocket launcher and really dish out some damage. There are different kinds of weapons you can choose from, always using their favorite or using them all by the end.

There are multiple enemies of different strengths. The stronger ones have a purple health bar, indicating a lot more health and power. The game also has several boss fights that can be remarkably hard, with a lot of patterns and skills the bosses use. You need to remember what to do and when, but it can still be discouraging.

One aspect of the game that some might dislike is grabbing on to hanging stuff like rings and then throwing themselves into a specific direction. If you don’t grab it properly or chose the wrong direction it can mess up very easily. It took a while for me to get it right and actually execute it correctly.

Visually, it is a stunning game with its comic book-style animations and panels that truly make the game stand out. The models of the characters are reminiscent of comic book heroes, with exaggerated details that are still subtle enough to not be overwhelming. The environments are rich in details and colours, making them a treat to explore.

One of the best features is the way it encourages you to find collectibles and stackable buffs to make their characters stronger. This not only keeps the game interesting but also allows you to decide for yourself how you want to spend your time with the game.

The voice acting, while in Taiwanese, is well done, particularly for the narrator and the game’s score. While I cannot accurately judge the delivery of the lines due to my lack of knowledge of the language, it certainly sounds authentic. The music has an Asian flair that is difficult to describe, but it undoubtedly adds to the game’s charm.


The Legend of Tianding is a solid beat ’em up that offers a unique twist by allowing you to collect stackable buffs, making it a great way for you to customize their experience. The platforming and combat mechanics are superb, and fun. Overall, if you enjoy beat ’em up games, I highly recommend giving it a try.

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This game was reviewed based on Xbox S|X review code, using an Xbox S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.

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  • Fun and exciting combat
  • Great storyline
  • Graphically beautiful for something that is 2D
  • Would have been nice if had English voice acting but it's not a deal breaker
Written by
For me it started out on PC, back in the Wolfenstein 3D and Commander Keen days. Now I play across all platforms, but I'm gaming every day, mainly on xbox. I'm easy going, with a full-on achievement hunting addiction that I always say I will give up, but i never do! Gamertag: nuttywray

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