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
I don’t play a lot of games on my phone these days, because a lot of them are touchscreen-controlled garbage, bad knockoffs of games that I didn’t really want to play in the first place or microtransaction-infested pits of misery and despair.
However, once in a while a game comes along with none of those issues. A game where you can pay once and just play it; a game where you’ll never see an ad, never be asked to pay again and not be bugged every ten minutes to “rate 5 stars on the App Store”.
And sometimes that game is even good! Here’s Take It Easy, by Ravensburger.
Continue reading Puzzler Essentials: Take It Easy
It’s event time again in Cygames and Nintendo’s Dragalia Lost! If you’ve not played a game like this before… get used to this endless and occasionally exhausting cycle!
The Kindness and Captivity event, which will be running until November 12, concerns a young Sylvan girl who seeks the aid of Euden and the gang in driving the Imperial forces out of her village.
Naturally, things aren’t quite as simple as they first appear, and, as these things tend to go, things culminate in a battle against a rather large and ferocious beastie.
Continue reading Dragalia Lost: Kindness and Captivity
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
You’ve almost certainly played Zoo Keeper at one point or another over the years.
Originally developed as a Web-based game by Tokyo-based animation studio Robot Communications, Zoo Keeper was subsequently ported by developer-publisher Success to a variety of platforms over the years, including Nintendo DS, 3DS, Game Boy Advance, iOS, Android and PlayStation 2.
The latter of these, inexplicably rebranded to the even more generic-sounding Zoo Puzzle (or, more accurately, the questionably punctuated Zoo “Puzzle”) in Europe by publisher 505 GameStreet, is the one we’re primarily concerned with today.
Continue reading Puzzler Essentials: Zoo Puzzle
Many Japanese video game, anime and manga enthusiasts have probably considered learning the native language of their favourite entertainment at some point… but it’s a daunting prospect.
The fact you have to learn two new phonetic alphabets (hiragana and katakana) plus a whole swathe of pictograms (kanji) that represent various concepts or parts of speech means that it’s not a simple case of just jumping in and learning new words for things. You have to learn a completely new way of reading and writing, too.
The potential rewards are great, though, since learning Japanese allows you to access a whole host of entertainment that doesn’t get localised. And with the region-free nature of most modern computer and gaming systems coupled with international Internet shopping, importing games, DVDs, Blu-Rays and manga is trivially easy today.
So where do you start? Well, there are all sorts of ways you can tackle this challenge, but the new iOS and Android-based Japanese course from free language learning organisation Duolingo is as good a place as any to get your studies underway.
Continue reading Duolingo: A Daily Way to Practice Your Japanese
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
Since starting to play Fate/Grand Order, I’ve cleared the prologue story chapter and moved into the next Singularity… but from thereon I haven’t made a great deal of progress in the narrative.
The reason for this is that I’m finding Fate/GO’s core battle gameplay to be so enormously appealing and enjoyable that I’ve been having a blast doing nothing but the daily quests. These are a series of narrative-free challenges of varying difficulty set up to provide you with an easy way to acquire experience-yielding cards for fusion, currency to pay for various character powerups, mana prisms to produce bundles of helpful items, or simply to test your skills.
It’s testament to Fate/GO’s excellent mechanics that “the daily grind” isn’t a chore, and is instead an interesting and varied way to try out varied party combinations from day to day.
Continue reading Fate/GO: The Joy of the Grind
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