At the time of writing I am, as you’ll well know if you’ve watched any recent videos or read my blog on Patreon, ill.
When I’m ill, I want to do mindless things. And in the world of interactive entertainment, there are few things more mindless than mobile games. So with that in mind, I downloaded Arknights. This is the new release from Azur Lane publisher YoStar, and a game a lot of people are talking about on social media right now.
Then I decided to play CocoPPa Dolls by United Inc. instead. Why? Well, why not?
Continue reading CocoPPa Dolls: I’m a Pretty Princess
I thought I’d sworn off mobile games. But when one comes along that promises a single player-centric experience and boasts talent that previously worked on titles such as Chrono Trigger and Luminous Arc, I pay attention.
I’d actually already had my eye on Another Eden: The Cat Beyond Time and Space for a while, since it released in Japan a while back and seemed to be very positively received. Now, it’s finally available in the West, so I thought I’d dip in and see what it was all about.
Read on for my first impressions, based on a couple of hours of play on the recently released Android version.
Continue reading Another Eden: First Look
Hot on the heels of Loyalty’s Requiem, Nintendo and Cygames’ newest mobile title finds itself in the midst of another special event — this time in celebration of Halloween.
So far this is very much in keeping with Cygames’ previous way of doing things in titles like Granblue Fantasy, and indeed a common approach with free-to-play mobile games in general. It certainly keeps things interesting and lively!
Let’s take a closer look at the event, what it involves and why you might want to engage with it.
Continue reading Dragalia Lost: Trick or Treasure
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
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!
Continue reading Girls’ Frontline: A Closer Look
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…
Continue reading Girls’ Frontline: Moe Anthropomorphism Goes Bang-Bang!
The controversy over microtransactions in full-price triple-A games has been brewing for a few years now, but it finally came to a head with EA’s release of Star Wars Battlefront II.
To recap: Reddit poster “MBMMaverick” was frustrated to discover that he had paid $80 for the game only to find that a favourite character, Darth Vader, was locked behind either an extremely long grind or having to pay further real money for a chance of unlocking him through the game’s loot box system. And with the variable character abilities and other unlockables in the game, this meant that the game most definitely had an element of “pay to win” about it, since those with the cash could simply pay up and get better things with which to dominate other players.
EA’s response became one of the most downvoted Reddit comments of all time, sitting at a mighty -676k points — that’s minus six hundred and seventy-six thousand — at the time of writing. And things didn’t get any better from there.
Continue reading Microtransactions: The Battle Isn’t Over
I’ll freely admit that, up until the time of writing, I’ve had little to no familiarity with the Fate series as a whole aside from recognising various Saber incarnations and Tamamo no Mae on sight, and having some complicated feelings towards Astolfo.
But with the North American release of Fate/Grand Order — accessible outside the US by using a service such as QooApp for Android to download the app — I decided that I’d jump in. (I’m also planning to jump right back to the beginning of the series and the Fate/stay night visual novel in the next few months, so please look forward to that.)
And what do you know? I’ve been having a grand old time with a game that, while superficially similar to other mobile-social RPGs such as Granblue Fantasy, successfully distinguishes itself with a strong degree of audio-visual polish, some interesting mechanics and one hell of a lot of words. Pretty appropriate for a work whose source material is notorious for being roughly on a par with Lord of the Rings in terms of length.
Continue reading Fate/GO: Servant to the Gacha
There comes a point where something becomes so popular that it’s impossible to ignore, even if your initial reaction to it is “I’m not sure I want to get involved with that.”
Such is the case with Granblue Fantasy, a free-to-play mobile game developed by Cygames and published on the popular Japanese Mobage platform.
Granblue Fantasy is an interesting case because not only is it still immensely popular on its home turf even three years after its original release, it’s also managed to pick up a significant English-speaking following, even without an official release on high-profile digital storefronts such as Apple’s App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android.
So why this game? What sets it apart from the myriad other free-to-play games on the market? Only one way to find out: let’s take an ongoing look at it from the perspective of a newcomer.
Continue reading Granblue Fantasy: Acknowledging a Phenomenon