This is going to be a week long series!
A lot of people seem to be searching for good information on RPG games on Android these days; myself included. After all, who doesn’t want to make an informed purchase when a game may or may not suck after 15 minutes?
However, what I found after clicking everything on the first page of results from Google for ‘Android RPG’ is that there aren’t any good, in-depth reviews or recommendations for them beyond a select few titles.
I’ve decided to do the work for you, and for the community at large. I’ve been playing 2 games from KEMCO_GAMES and 3 games from GAMEVIL Inc.that I wanted to talk about at length. These are the kind of titles that are somewhat off the beaten path, or somewhat anonymous due to all kind of blending together – the kind of titles that in a world of Angry Birds, Star Traders RPG Elite, and Game Dev Story would fall between the cracks and leave the average Android Market consumer in the lurch for knowing whether or not to invest their time or money in.
Without further ado…
RPG Alphadia KEMCO_GAMES
$5.99 (Currently on sale for $3.99)
As we start in Alphadia, we’re greeted with pleasant music and a feel we’re immediately familiar with as gamers – the Japanese-style RPG. This jRPG starts you off in a sleepy, isolated town where your main protagonist Ash and his best bro Karim are serving guard duty. Suddenly, a strange foreign woman and her escort come barrelling towards your town, big mean guard types bearing down on them. They’re hurt, and you can see they need help, and so… you help. Before you know it, their troubles become your troubles, and your adventure has truly begun.
The graphics and sounds of the game are very reminiscent of classic jRPGs, such as yes, Final Fantasy 3. While the characters and monsters are well drawn, the world of the game doesn’t have a great deal of detail; forgivable, if only because it runs seamlessly. The music and sounds, while not bad, are something you won’t really miss when you’re playing the game muted. Like many RPGs of this ilk the close-ups of characters during dialogue are prioritized over any other graphics – they look great. You’ll have no issues identifying the sprite-toon for the characters as they speak.
Another nice thing is that at least on the Galaxy Nexus, the game speed (but not the sound/music/dialogue) seems to have been ratcheted up to around 150% – you fly through towns and the world map, and your toons seem to constantly be jogging in place. This would annoy me on a non-mobile game, but on a phone it is welcome, as taking assloads of time just to get around is non-condusive to spontaneous gaming. I also greatly appreciate a game that I pay for just once, and never again get hassled to pay for anything (no ads that I’ve noticed, no ‘cash shop’ or ‘pay2play’ style stuff happening).
A few hours in, the story seems to have good depth, and while being somewhat… predictable (this is a classic style game, after all) it is keeping me engaged enough to continue playing. The characters you start with aren’t exactly flashy, but you do meet some interesting ones along the way. Ash’s little sister is kind of adorable.
Sadly, I’m out of good things to say. This game has one enormous flaw; it is entirely too easy. I did the first fight manually, but I’ve done every fight since in auto, without coming close to having a character die or even need healing – INCLUDING boss fights. The fighting is essentially nothing but an excuse to showcase their monster models and give you money and loot, because no skill whatsoever is required to defeat any given enemy. This is closer to a play-along novel than a game due to its simplicity.
If you even manage to find yourself in a situation where you’re struggling to win fights, you can simply go anywhere, run around, and level your guys to the rooftops without problems. The scaling of baddies to experience given is not tuned at all.
The controls are a joypad and one big button superimposed on the screen – I’m not really much of a fan of this style of control, but when you have phones where your only input method is a touchscreen, its a necessary evil. They didn’t do a terrible job of it here, and the controls are responsive and intuitive. Menus and saving/loading are functional, if a little clunky. I didn’t really bother with the equipment/skill screens, because leaving auto-attack on constantly just kills everything.
If you’re looking for a challenge beyond remembering where to go for your quest, this will not be a good purchase for you. If you want a cute game with an engaging story as an easy diversion, this will be fine. Despite how badly I’ve panned this game, I do not regret my purchase and will still play it to the end just to see what happens – sometimes not having to think isn’t such a bad thing.
- Pretty and classic feeling jRPG
- Game lacks any semblance of challenge.
- Characters and story are engaging enough to keep you playing.
- Worth it for 4 bucks, would be a stretch at 6.