Category Archives: Mobage

Japanese mobile-social RPGs, Mobages, gacha hell… whatever you want to call them, these free-to-play games are here to stay, and they’re getting better all the time.

Dragalia Lost: Loyalty’s Requiem

One interesting difference between “conventional” MMOs such as Final Fantasy XIV and mobile games with MMO elements such as Dragalia Lost is how they handle side stories and multiplayer “raid” content.

In your average MMO, raid content — typically defined as a series of significant challenges that are dependent on a much larger group of players than the game’s usual multiplayer aspect — remains present in the game after its introduction, but gradually declines in “relevance” as time goes on. In cases like Final Fantasy XIV, where there’s a significant narrative component, it remains worth engaging with to enjoy the story, but the more time that elapses since its original launch, the less helpful it becomes to players in mechanical terms.

In mobile MMOs, however, raid content is typically a limited-time affair, confined to an event that offers special rewards to everyone who participates for a short period of time. And that’s exactly what’s going on in Dragalia Lost right now.

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Dragalia Lost: What’s That Sound? It’s Daoko

If you’ve been playing Nintendo and Cygames’ new mobile release Dragalia Lost, you’ve probably noticed it has a rather distinctive soundtrack.

The reason for this is not what you might expect: rather than being composed specifically for the game, with the composer making use of a deliberately stylised approach to the overall audio aesthetic, the game instead uses an almost entirely licensed soundtrack, courtesy of Japanese singer and rapper Daoko.

If you haven’t come across Daoko before, well, what better time than the present to have a look over her previous work, including that which appears in Dragalia Lost?

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Dragalia Lost: Making a Solid Start

So, you decided to give Dragalia Lost a go. A free-to-play mobile game from Nintendo can’t be that scary, can it?

Well, if you’ve never given a game like this a shot before, there’s a surprising amount of depth to the overall affair that might not be immediately apparent. Dragalia Lost does a better job than most at introducing new progression mechanics gradually, but it can still be a little daunting if you’re a newcomer!

With that in mind, I present a selection of advice for those new to the game — particularly if you’re new to free-to-play mobile gacha RPGs in general.

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Dragalia Lost: First Impressions

I’d never heard the name “DAOKO” prior to today. After a few hours exploring Nintendo and Cygames’ new mobile offering, I can’t get her damn music out of my head.

Dragalia Lost, a much-awaited new RPG from two of the biggest names in both Japanese and mobile gaming — and featuring an extensive soundtrack mostly comprised of DAOKO tracks — launched its live service this week. While I haven’t really stuck with any mobile games for longer than a few weeks, I’ve had fun with several over the last couple of years — most notably Granblue Fantasy, Fate/Grand Order and Girls’ Frontline — so I thought it would be interesting to check this new one out.

While Dragalia Lost doesn’t do anything especially new and exciting for the genre, the whole thing is executed with such beautiful panache that it’s hard not to like it. So I’ll check it out for the next few weeks at the very least. Read on for some more detailed first impressions.

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Girls’ Frontline: A Closer Look

Last week, we took a first look at the latest moe anthropomorphism mobile game, Girls’ Frontline (or “Gun Ladies”, as my wife calls it).

Since then, the game has officially launched out of open beta and got well underway, so I figured it was worth taking a closer look. With that in mind, I’ve been playing it a whole bunch over the course of the last week or so.

Short version: it’s really fun, it has interesting mechanics and great art and it is fair and generous. Sounds like a winning formula to me!

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Girls’ Frontline: Moe Anthropomorphism Goes Bang-Bang!

Moe anthropomorphism — aka “girls who are also [insert things that are very much not girls here]” — is a popular trend, particularly in the mobile and free-to-play gaming markets.

We’ve seen a number of success stories in this “genre” of popular entertainment over the last few years, with probably the most famous example being Kadokawa Games’ Kantai Collection, which went on to spawn anime, manga and all manner of other merchandise.

It’s unsurprising, then, that other developers remain keen to capitalise on the public’s apparent hunger for “girls who are also things that are not girls”. One of the latest games to cater to this demand is Girls’ Frontline by Chinese outfit MICA, brought West by Sunborn Games. Since a fair few people on my Twitter feed have been playing this recently, I thought I’d check it out for myself…

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Granblue Fantasy: Spotlight on Lyria

Granblue Fantasy is filled with an enormous variety of awesome characters, most of whom are playable characters that can be drawn in the gacha.

From the very outset, though, you have two faithful companions who never leave your side: the protagonist’s feisty baby dragon-type thing Vyrn, and Lyria, the latter of whom in particular is a big reason I find myself continually drawn back to the game.

While initially appearing to be the same sort of “mysterious young girl” character seen in a wide variety of Japanese role-playing games over the years — and particularly in mobile-social RPGs such as Granblue Fantasy and its peers — Lyria quickly distinguishes herself as a thoroughly pleasant character to have around, making her an ideal companion for you, the player, as you proceed on your journey around this fantasy world.

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