Category Archives: Retro

'Final Fantasy 7' Review - Square Enix's Classic, With A Few Clouds In The Sky

With the exception of some of Nintendo's Pokemon games, there is no Japanese RPG more famous and high-selling than Final Fantasy 7 [$15.99]. That might be the only non-controversial thing a person could say about the game. It's the JRPG's Star Wars, a game that changed the course of the genre in many ways. It proved there was an audience for RPGs in the Western market, but it was also a bold statement for consoles adopting optical media and perhaps even Sony's entire mission with the PlayStation. Here is the future, its commercials screamed, and though they were pretty deceitful in one way, those commercials helped pave a new road for console gaming's future. For many people it was their first JRPG love, and the passion it drove in its fanbase pushed Square into the limelight worldwide to the extent that they could push a ridiculously-budgeted CG movie into wide theatrical release. It spawned spin-offs, sequels, prequels, and merchandise galore. And now, in 2015, you can play it on the phone you keep in your pocket...

'Mazes Of Karradash' Review - A Fun, Light Dungeon Crawler

Here's the thing: I love RPGs an awful lot, but there are plenty of times during my day where it would be somewhat futile to try to get anything done in bigger games. Yes, I could grind up a little, but that leads to my characters being overpowered, and that's not much fun. So I'm always on the lookout for something a little bit lighter that still provides a nice, classic RPG punch. The latest game to occupy that role on my device has been Mazes Of Karradash [$1.99], a dungeon crawler that feels both classic and modern in different ways at once. It combines vintage first-person dungeon crawling and turn-based combat with a simplified gear system and a splash of roguelike elements to create an enjoyable challenge that doesn't require a major commitment...




Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we need food badly. Each week, we dig into the archives to find an RPG from times past, all just for the little old purpose of seeing how it holds up today. It's a bit of reflection, a little revisiting, and a chance to dive deeper on a game than our usual reviews allow. As ever, I try to present a sensible spread of titles to represent this vast genre from week to week, but if you think I'm missing something cool, please let me know. You can make suggestions by commenting down below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. We've only got one last regular reader's choice article coming up in August before starting the new format, so if there's something you want to see soon, let me know now...

'Dinofour' Review - Craig, Stop Eating Crayons

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July 8th, 2015 8:04 PM EDT by Brittney Broder in 4 stars, Action, Adventure, Platform, Puzzle, Ratings, Retro, Reviews
$1.99 Buy Now

Dinofour [$1.99] is a charming retro-inspired puzzle platformer where the goal is to guide four dinosaurs to their egg at the end of the level. Each of the four dinosaurs has a different color and power to assist you on your quest: red breathes fire, green can move boulders, blue can fly, and purple can manipulate gravity to walk on the ceiling. The game was created by the new indie developer Craigeatscrayons and is the first launch of the Melbourne-based company. As far as first projects go, Dinofour set the bar high with playful yet challenging level design, interesting mechanics, and a vast amount of available content, including 3 worlds, over 70 levels, and secret areas and collectibles...

'Pixel Dungeon' Review – Simple Name, Legendary Game

Eons ago, a roguelike was created, and lo, all was good. The game was highly praised, and many flocked to bask in it’s simple but difficult glory. This congregation became a community, discussing the game’s many elements and even creating a wiki, raising the lowly game to great new heights. The roguelike grew over time, incorporating new mechanics and levels, but still something was amiss. This game was not to be found in lands of iOS. Thus a prophecy was born, that this game would come to iOS, heralding a great new age of…. Something, something. That’s getting tiresome. Long story short, Pixel Dungeon [$2.99] is here, fools!..

I hold two very strong opinions about the Dragon Quest series, one of which is agreed upon by many, and the other of which is slightly more controversial. First, Dragon Quest is like pie in that there is no bad one. My least favorite is either Dragon Quest 2 [$4.99] or Dragon Quest 8 [$19.99], but I'd still hand over a weekend to replaying both, no questions asked. With that being said, the other thing that I believe is that the series hit its creative peak with Dragon Quest 5 [$9.99]. That's not to say subsequent games didn't sometimes hit some very high notes, as my pie opinion shows. But if there is such thing as a work that a creative mind invests in so completely that they leave a big piece of themselves with said work forever, Dragon Quest 5 would be a huge example. That's an ominous way to begin a review of Dragon Quest 6 [$14.99], I'll admit, but I felt it was important to be upfront about that...

About two weeks ago, Jared and I were discussing when we might see Dragon Quest 6 on iOS. Let's face it, we kind of got a flurry of Dragon Quests to the face last year, but since Dragon Quest 5 [$9.99] released in January, things have been awfully quiet. Much to our surprise and delight, Dragon Quest 6 dropped on the Japanese App Store out of the blue late last week. It's likely to be at least a couple of months before it makes its English debut, but like Dragon Quest 4 [$14.99] and 5, this version of the game has seen an English release before, so its chances are pretty good. If and when it does, you can probably expect it to cost $14.99 the same as the other two games in the Zenithian Trilogy. I've put the Japanese version through the paces the last few days, so I figured I'd give you some impressions to mull over while you wait...

'Desktop Dungeons: Enhanced Edition' Coming to Tablets in May

When Desktop Dungeons (DD) was originally released as a paid game in 2013 (it existed as a freeware game prior to this release), it quickly found a place on many PC screens because of its addictive one-more-dungeon gameplay and its very challenging and intricate design. DD's developers, QCF Design, have been planning on bringing the game to mobile platforms for quite some time. Finally, that day is drawing near as DD has been updated to the Enhanced Edition on the PC, which means the mobile version of the game will be releasing at some point in May...

RPG Reload File 031 - 'Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we never try to brush a wookiee's teeth. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's huge back catalog. We revisit the game, expand beyond the borders of a typical review, and see how it's doing in the wild future that is today. The RPG genre is an incredibly broad one, and I try to bring a balanced plate from week to week. I want your help with that, however, so once per month, I'll be featuring a game selected by you, the readers. Simply make your selection known by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or tweeting to @RPGReload. Next week's article is one such choice, and will feature Undercroft [Free], as selected by TouchArcade forum user DrJD. Thanks Doc, I like to get a physician's opinion once in a while!..

RPG Reload File 029 - 'Shining Force'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we discover that there's a little Jogurt in all of us. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past for a little revisiting, a little reflecting, and a bit of a deeper dive than our regular reviews typically allow us. The RPG genre is as vast as the ocean, and I try to schedule games in such a way that we get a balanced plate as we go along, but I need your help with that. Once per month, the selection of the game falls to you, the reader. Simply let me know which game you'd like to see by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. The winner will be randomly chosen and featured in April's reader's choice article. I don't know what it will be, but I'm pretty sure we're fresh out of SEGA games now!..

There are a lot of pieces of Pixel Heroes [$6.99] that would have had a much stronger effect on me a couple of years ago. The well-designed faux-retro graphics and sound, the roguelike elements, and the referential sense of humor are all things that have appeal for me, but even the marriage of these particular aspects is getting a bit too familiar to be exciting. That means the game has to carry forward on its gameplay, and it's honestly a mixed bag. This is a challenging streamlined RPG that doesn't take itself too seriously and offers a lot of replay value, but its repetitive nature and tedious combat eat away at the fun, bite by bite...

RPG Reload File 028 - 'Phantasy Star 2'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where men get discounts on piano lessons for reasons not divulged in the localization. Each week, we jump into the time tunnel and grab an RPG from the App Store's past to give it a play in modern times. It's a bit of revisiting, a bit of reflection, and a chance to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. The RPG genre is a wide one with a lot of different kinds of games in it, and I try to present a good variety in this feature from week to week. To help me out with that, I turn to you, the reader, to choose what I'm playing once a month. Today's article is one such reader's choice, and the next one at the beginning of April could be yours! All you have to do is tell me the name of the game you'd like to see me play in the comments below, in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by via a tweet to @RPGReload. I'll randomly choose a winner each time, so even if your choice is unpopular, it still has a chance. Go for it!..

'Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition' Review - One Of The Best CRPGs Ever Is Now On iPhone

Okay, yes, this is a pretty late review of Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition [$9.99]. The game initially released on iPad about a year ago, and we didn't do a write-up of it for various reasons. There are plenty of reviews of the original Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows Of Amn out there, and given the existence of the first game's Enhanced Edition, we sort of assumed there wasn't much demand for one of our own. With the game's recent update that moves it to being a universal app, we've had a lot of requests from readers for a review of the game. Well, I guess we had that one wrong, but nobody's perfect, right? With that explanation out of the way, let's break down this port of one of the all-time greats of the genre...

'Pinball Arcade: The Addams Family' Review - And Now, This Mamushka Is For You

The developers behind The Pinball Arcade [Free / $0.99], FarSight Studios, are nothing if not extremely passionate about pinball. They've been in the games industry a pretty long time, over 20 years now, but they didn't truly find their niche until the 2004 release of Pinball Hall Of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection on the PlayStation 2. Its initial release was perhaps a little too early to catch the renaissance of video pinball, but it at least did well enough that they followed that up a few years later with The Williams Collection. With Williams tables being a lot more well-known among Americans, that release ended up doing pretty well, earning high praise for its faithfulness to the real machines. While this was all happening, digital storefronts started to become more popular. Soon, retail retro collections were becoming retro themselves, with a la carte offerings proving more popular with fans. It was a natural fit for the type of work FarSight was doing, and so The Pinball Arcade was born...

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we never run out of amnesiac magical princesses. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing in the amazing land of tomorrow. It's a bit of revisiting, a bit of reflecting, and the chance to take a deeper dive than you would usually see in our reviews. Any and all RPGs are welcome here, and I try to put together a reasonably balanced plate from week to week. In order to assist me with that, I need you to vote for a game you would like to see me play and write about. Simply drop your suggestion in the comments below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload. This is your last chance to put in your choice for the March reader's choice article, as it's coming up in just two weeks. Make it count!..

Much as I love it, I have to admit that video pinball is a very, very strange thing. They're sort of like those homemade recipes for Ecto Cooler that you can find around the internet: a shadow of the real thing, an attempt to replicate an incredibly tactile but now nearly-extinct experience. For most people, there haven't been any pinball tables around their locale since Clinton was in office. I wouldn't be shocked if many of our readers have never laid eyes on one in their lifetime. But for those of us who love them, if we can't wrap our fingers around a real machine and build the callouses on the palms of our hands by slamming them into the side of a wooden box to nudge a steel ball a half-centimeter off its course, we'll take what we can get. We'll take the video pinball. Because even though there's an unquestionable component of the game intrinsically tied to physical sensations, the games themselves have strong merit on their gameplay. The lights and sounds pulled us in, but the gameplay is what kept us coming back...

It's been just under a year since RPG fans were treated to the first ever official English release of Atlus's Shin Megami Tensei [$7.99], the game that launched the brand Atlus built its company around. It's a great port that mixes various pieces of different remakes to create the ultimate version of the game, though its UI in portrait mode sure does look strange. It was on the RPG Reload list of the best iOS ported RPGs of 2014, owing largely to its unique atmosphere and teeth-gnashing challenge level. There's really nothing else quite like it on iOS, and now you can own it for just $3.99, half the usual price...

'Dragon Quest 5' Review - The RPG Of A Lifetime

Dragon Quest 5 [$9.99] is a rare jewel. This is a game that carried the burden of being a sequel in one of the most successful franchises of all-time. In the pre-merger days, it's safe to say that Enix as a company depended on the performance of Dragon Quest games. It's the very definition of a AAA installment in the middle of a long-running series. Such products are not where we would expect to find the unique voice of the game's creator telling such a small and personal tale. That's just what designer and writer Yuji Horii did, however, and the result is perhaps one of the finest stories ever seen in an RPG. In my opinion, the series was never able to top this installment, but that's fine, because not many games in general have...

'Lowlander' Review - More Highs Than Lows

Of all of the Ultima games you would expect someone to want to make a tribute to, Ultima 2 has got to be near the bottom of the list. Oh, it's no Ultima 9, to be sure, but I've always seen it as the little road bump on the way to Ultima 3 and 4 more fully realizing the concept of the series. It's a familiar story for sequels, I suppose, but by playing things a bit too safely, it had to succeed without the novelty of the original game and all of its faults. It was still a pretty good game in its time, but relative to the series on the whole, I think it's kind of underwhelming. I'm sure a whole list of people might disagree with that, and at least one of the names on the list would be the developer behind Lowlander [$1.99]...

There's no two ways about it, sometimes an RPG fan just gets the urge to play a good, classic CRPG. While iOS offers plenty of options for the gamer who wants to revisit 90s CRPGs or early roguelikes, adventures that recapture the 1980s era of Ultima and the SSI gold box games are a bit harder to come by. Fortunately, we've seen a few developers try to fill the gap in recent times, and one such game is the iPad-only Dungeons Of Chaos [Free (HD) / $1.99 (HD)]. While it doesn't quite have the scope of some of the great games of old, it's certainly got the feeling down pat. For many, that might be a turn-off, but for some of you, and you probably know who you are, you're going to find this one hard to put down until you've finished it...

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