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.
Continue reading Dragalia Lost: Loyalty’s Requiem
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?
Continue reading Dragalia Lost: What’s That Sound? It’s Daoko
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.
Continue reading Dragalia Lost: Making a Solid Start
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.
Continue reading Dragalia Lost: First Impressions
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.
Continue reading Granblue Fantasy: Spotlight on Lyria
One interesting thing about Granblue Fantasy when compared to a more traditional MMO on computer or console is the fact that what we’d typically regard as the “endgame grind” is actually spread out throughout the whole game.
This is partly due to the game’s overall structure and progression: you’re not levelling up a single character and thus there isn’t a “level cap” to reach because at any time, you can switch out your party members, your weapons and your summons to create a new experience for yourself.
Aside from this, however, it allows players to get into the multiplayer content — often restricted to high-level play in other mobile-social RPGs — almost right from the outset.
Continue reading Granblue Fantasy: The Grind Never Ends
Japanese mobile-social gacha-based RPGs — or “mobages” as they’re colloquially known today, after the social network many of them are hosted on — were originally described when they first appeared as “card battle” games.
Looking at Cygames’ previous title Rage of Bahamut, it’s easy to understand why. Everything about the game had the feel of a collectible card game about it, from the simplistic battle system (which primarily consisted of ensuring your numbers were bigger than the enemy’s) to the fact that the main incentive to collect all the available units (through blind draws) was to see the beautiful artwork. About the only thing missing was the ability to actually trade “cards” with other players.
In recent years, while the basic structure of these games has remained similar — draw cards, level them up, upgrade them to higher rarity versions, challenge more and more difficult content — there’s been a noticeable shift away from the “card game” feel in favour of something a lot more interesting. And Granblue Fantasy is a particularly good example of this evolution.
Continue reading Granblue Fantasy: More Than Just a Deck of Cards