If you, like me, have been around the mobile gaming block a bit, chances are that you have a certain image in your mind of what Asian free-to-play games look like.
You’re almost certainly picturing energy bars, timers, feathers, coins, gems and an overwhelming array of things to do, all of which seem dead set on distracting you from completing the actual main story of the damn thing.
Well, if you’ve ever felt like this, Pokémon Masters is a refreshingly straightforward breath of fresh air… or at least it is right now at the time of writing, a little after its official launch!
Continue reading Pokémon Masters: Friendly Free-to-Play
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
A while back, I wrote about how Granblue Fantasy spreads out what would be the “endgame” experience of a more conventional MMO throughout its entire duration. And, unsurprisingly, given the developer the two games has in common, Dragalia Lost works in much the same way.
Dragalia Lost doesn’t have linear progression. Sure, you have a player level, but that’s more a measure of how long and how much you’ve played rather than anything else. And sure, you have character levels — but there are numerous ways to build these up, plus a strong emphasis on building a selection of teams and characters rather than just one “main” group.
The nice thing about the way Dragalia Lost does this — much like Granblue Fantasy also does — is that it provides the fun, mechanical, progression-based aspect of MMOs without one of their most irritating aspects. Let’s take a closer look at what I mean.
Continue reading Dragalia Lost: You Don’t Pay My Sub
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
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
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
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!
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