Category Archives: Role-Playing

It's that time of the year again when tons of great games can be had at deep discounts, and for RPG fans, that means it's time to get some of Square Enix's usually relatively pricey games at bargain prices. It wasn't too long ago that Square Enix held a Final Fantasy sale that included many of these games, but this sale also includes some spin-offs and a few non-Final Fantasy titles. Some of the price changes are still rolling out, so if you don't see the sale price in your store yet, just hang in there, they'll be along soon. Here's the list so far:..

RPG Reload File 019 - 'Bastion'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we hear creepy voices narrating our every action in our heads, or maybe that's just me? Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the light of modern times. I try to cover a wide spread of RPGs in this feature, but just to keep things spicy, I turn the decision over to you, the readers, once per month. All you have to do is comment below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or tweet me at @RPGReload with the game you'd like to see me play. When the time comes each month, a roll of the dice will determine whose selection wins. Every vote has a chance, so make sure you make yourself heard!..

I don't think I'll ever be accused of being stingy with my words, but if I were to wrap this entire review up into a short summary, here it goes. If you enjoyed Record Of Agarest War [$14.99]'s seventy-something hour campaign, spent dozens of hours more to fully complete everything, and still find yourself wanting another full-sized game offering a similar experience, you should buy Record Of Agarest War Zero [$14.99]. That's essentially the only scenario where I can see recommending this latest release from HyperDevBox, because just about everyone else with an interest in the Agarest series ought to be starting with the first game anyway. Agarest Zero tells a new story with new characters, but the underlying gameplay offers virtually little of note over its predecessor and actually streamlines a few things out that I'm not sure needed to be ditched...

It's been just over a year since FDG Entertainment and Cornfox & Bros. dropped the seafaring adventure Oceanhorn [$4.99] in the App Store, and today to celebrate how wonderful this past year has been FDG has dropped the price on the game for the first time ever, down to $4.99 from its normal price of $8.99. We loved Oceanhorn a year ago in our original review, and then back in August a huge content update was released adding even more great stuff to an already great package. Oceanhorn has also been consistent with updating for new iOS features and hardware, most recently getting an update last week that took advantage of the power in the latest iPhone and iPad devices...

'Dragon Quest 5' Preview - Import Impressions

It's been about five years since I last played through Dragon Quest 5. If you haven't played it before, I should start off by saying that this is a game that has a lot to say, if you choose to listen to it, and exactly what you hear is going to depend on where you are in your own life. That's because Dragon Quest 5 takes a very unusual approach to its story, following the personal journey of the main character from his birth all the way through to adulthood and the responsibilities that often come with it. I can't say too much about the story without spoiling things that ought not to be spoiled, unfortunately. What I can tell you is that Dragon Quest as a series is quite interested in exploring destiny and fate as concepts, and Dragon Quest 5 is perhaps its most nuanced take on the whole notion...

Tower Of Fortune [Free] developer Game Stew is a hard developer for me to get a read on. I mean, I think if you look hard enough you can find a designer's fingerprints all over just about any game, but you don't even have to do that with Game Stew. Their games are instantly recognizable thanks to their consistent, unusual presentation style. If you do choose to look a bit harder, you can see that also carries over to the gameplay, even if some of their games are ostensibly in different genres from each other entirely. It's interesting because even though their games are generally quite unique from almost every angle, once you understand Game Stew's way of doing things, you can reliably count on certain elements being present. Specifically, you're probably going to have quite a few trappings of the roguelike genre. Being predictably off-beat certainly isn't a bad thing. Tim Burton doesn't seem to be suffering for it, at least. The big problem with having that kind of reputation is that you need to keep coming up with ways to keep your audience's thirst for oddity quenched...

RPG Reload File 018 - 'Final Fantasy 2'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we pummel each other to get stronger. Each week, we take a look back at an RPG from the App Store's past. It's a little bit of reflecting, a little bit of revisiting, and sometimes just an excuse to take a deep dive in a way that doesn't suit a regular review. The RPG genre is a pretty wide one, and all kinds are welcome here. I try to keep a good balance of different ones from week to week, but I need your help now and then. Once per month, I'll be playing an RPG selected by one of you. All you need to do is vote for the RPG you'd like to see by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. When the time comes, a roll of the dice will determine the winning game, and much fun will be had by all...

Stoic Studio Announce 'The Banner Saga 2' and Confirm Eventual Mobile Release

Stoic Studio announced today that the follow-up to The Banner Saga [$9.99], their lush, Ragnarok-themed tactical RPG, is coming to all the big non-mobile platforms some time next year. The sequel will be called, unsurprisingly, The Banner Saga 2, and it should start where its predecessor left off: in the beleaguered city of Boersgard, with Bellower's corpse smoking in the cold wind...

'Dragon Quest 3' Review - The Stuff Of Legends

This is the fifth Dragon Quest game I've reviewed in 2014, and by now I'm sure I've hammered in the significance of this series to the JRPG genre, if nothing else. After starting the year with Dragon Quest 8 [$12.99], one of the more recent and certainly the most technologically advanced installments in the series, we took an odd side path to Dragon Quest 4 [$14.99] before heading back to the beginning of the series. I'm a firm believer that Dragon Quest games are like pie in that there's no bad one, but the first two games require a certain understanding of the context in which they were released to fully enjoy them. They're very much formative works of the genre, and as such have all kinds of prickly bits and loose ends hanging off of them. Dragon Quest 3 [$9.99] is where that proviso can be safely removed...

Last month we learned that Sega would be bringing their popular free to play social strategy RPG Chain Chronicle [Free] to territories outside of Japan, and as of today the game is now available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. If you live in a region that's not one of those listed, Sega states "Additional territories to follow" so we'll just have to wait and see when that will be. Chain Chronicle has been published in the West by gumi Inc, and here's a look at the official launch trailer...

Hello, friends. Are you enjoying Dragon Quest 3 [$9.99]? You may have already read my import impressions of the game, and I'll have a full review ready for you soon, but I'm here today to talk about a different Dragon Quest game. With the release of Dragon Quest 3 in English, the rest of the world had finally caught up with the Japanese App Store. Such things cannot stand, however, so I'm afraid I must report that Dragon Quest 5: Hand Of The Heavenly Bride will be hitting Japan next week, on December 12th, for the price of 1800 yen, or about $15 US. An English release will surely follow, but there's no information as to when at the moment...

RPG Reload File 017 - 'Silversword'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we do our best impressions of our cool uncles. Each week, we take an RPG out of the vaults of the App Store's past to reflect, revisit, and dive a little deeper than a usual review allows. Most of the time, you are subject to the tyranny of my selections, but in a stunning show of benevolence once per month, you get to choose what I play. Well, not always 'you'. It could be that guy, or maybe that nice woman over there, or maybe even that weird dog chewing on the tennis ball in the corner. But it might be you! How can this wonderful thing happen, you ask? Simply vote for your choice in the comments below, in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload, and your selection will be entered into the running. At the end of the month, an appropriate set of dice will be rolled to determine a winner. It's an RPG solution to an RPG problem!..

'Arcane Quest 2' Review - A Quest For Heroes

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December 1st, 2014 2:30 PM EST by Shaun Musgrave in $1.99, 4 stars, Board, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Role-Playing
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Like any lifelong enthusiast of role-playing games, I've got a few memories that are embarrassing to relate in mixed company. Since we're all friends here, I'll let you in on one of them. In junior high school, or middle school as some of our readers might call it, our class planned a trip to one of the islands in the lake my hometown sits beside. It's kind of a popular beach for those who have the means to reach it, and there are even a couple of food stands and a vague attempt at a boardwalk. Well, everyone was pretty excited about this trip, and when the day arrived, people came with bags packed with swimming gear, water guns, and sports equipment for the park. My tight little group of RPG-loving friends and I had our swimsuits and a couple of Super Soakers. I mean, we weren't totally out there. But instead of bringing a volleyball or anything like that, my good friend had Milton Bradley's HeroQuest board game tucked under his arm. We spent a good portion of the day sitting in the park beside the beach, making our way through a few campaigns...

I've been reviewing games for more than 15 years now, and one of the things that is still sometimes hard for me to sort out is how much value to place on creativity, or I suppose, how harshly I should criticize a game that lacks it. I don't think every game needs to reinvent the wheel, but I also think it's important that some games do strive to do new things. Otherwise, we'd all still be playing Pong and Space Invaders clones and nothing else. That said, a well-made game whose only real fault is playing it safe can still be quite enjoyable. Swords Of Anima [$2.99] is quite well-constructed, surprisingly so given that it's a rookie effort from a small developer. It's also a fairly rote take on the turn-based SRPG genre, so if you're looking for something that shakes up genre conventions, this one's probably not going to do it for you...

One of the things I love about RPGs is how wide and diverse the genre is. There are so many different things an RPG can do well to make a name for itself, whether it be telling a great story, having deep character customization options to play with, bringing an interesting world to life for players to explore, using interesting combat mechanics to force you to think in new ways, or any other of the genre's fine traits. Generally speaking, no two RPGs are quite alike, and some of them are so different from each other it's a wonder we fit them into the same genre at all. I enjoy digging into any RPG and trying to find that thing that makes it special, and even if it's not to my personal tastes, it's always interesting to see how it works and who it might appeal to...

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