Category Archives: Role-Playing

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 [$14.99]. 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...

This week’s Final Fantasy: Record Keeper [Free] event takes us back to the world of Final Fantasy VIII and the epic battle against the Sorceress Edea. Balamb Garden: The SeeDs of Conflict not only offers the opportunity to unlock two more heroes of the game but also their memory crystals (assuming you pass the Elite Dungeon tests). Before you go forth and recall the record of one of the world’s most emo heroes (…whatever), let’s take a closer look at the event, its bosses, and the heroes themselves...

RPG Reload File 044 - 'Chaos Rings Omega'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we make the very most out of the assets we have. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their ultimate place in iOS's history, or just to take a deeper dive than our review typically allow for. I try to present a balanced plate from this admittedly wide genre from week to week, but I'm always open for suggestions. If you have a game in mind that you'd like to see featured, simply comment below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload. After next week, there's only one regular reader's choice Reload left, so if there's something you're dying to see, now's the time! Next week, we'll be talking about Sorcery! [$4.99], a request that came in via our Twitter account. Good times ahead!..

After an event that lasted a big longer than most normal limited time events (most likely due to the debut of Memory Crystals as well as the Festival of Gold which replaced the normal content), Record Keeper [Free] is back to its normal schedule of weekly limited events. For this event, entitled Princess of Alexandria, Record Keeper debuts content from Final Fantasy IX for the first time and offers some pretty cool high end rewards for players with the skills (and equipment) to pass them. As is the custom, we’ve run through the content and have some tips for players looking to unlock as much of the content as available...

I rag on Kemco quite a bit sometimes, but I really have to commend them for sticking to their guns even as the whole market has changed around them. Just about every month, we can look forward to getting at least one traditional JRPG, albeit with wildly varying levels of quality between titles. To the best of my knowledge, they are pretty much the last publisher on Earth regularly serving that niche, as even companies like Square Enix are shifting further towards the popular social RPG model that has captured the affections of Japanese gamers. I may not like every game they release, but I greatly appreciate what they're doing. Their latest iOS release in English, Legend Of Ixtona [$3.99], has the publisher taking on a slightly different, but no less traditional, model of RPG. It's an isometric turn-based strategy RPG in the style of Yasumi Matsuno's Tactics series of games, and although it's a bit rough, it's surprisingly decent for a first effort...

'Transistor' Review - An Action-Packed, Evocative Journey in an Amazing World

I love stories, always have; give me a book, and I'm a happy man. It's not surprising, then, that I always appreciate games with strong, emergent stories that seamlessly mix with the gameplay. Yet, all too often many of the games I play show a distinct disconnect between story and gameplay or contain any story elements in the few, obligatory cutscenes. Don't get me wrong, I also like games with fantastic gameplay and nothing else, but the games that stick with me are those with great stories. Fortunately, there are those rare occasions, those rare games whose story and gameplay are so intertwined that they blend beautifully. Transistor [$9.99], Supergiant Games' second game, is precisely one of those rare occasions where the story emerges from the gameplay and the gameplay emerges from the story, one of those rare games that prove the importance of cohesiveness in narrative and gameplay. That cohesiveness made Transistor one of my most memorable gaming experiences in quite a while; perfect it is not, but it is a fantastic experience that most iOS gamers will really enjoy...

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 [$14.99] 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...

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we strip everyone we beat and call it looting. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on important milestones, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews usually allow for. As the conductor of this mad orchestra, I try to bring a variety of RPGs into this feature from week to week, but I'm always open to reader suggestions. If you have a game you would like to see here, simply comment below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or tweet me at @RPGReload with your choice. The second-last regular reader's choice article is coming up in a couple of weeks, so now is the time to get your selection in. This is your chance!..

When I got my very first iOS device, there were a few genres in particular I had hoped and imagined would be well-represented on the App Store. I've talked before about my early search for a good Picross-style game, but the other kind of game I was looking for was a first-person, turn-based dungeon crawler, along the lines of Wizardry, The Bard's Tale [$2.99], or Etrian Odyssey. I felt that would be a pretty good kind of game to play on a smartphone, and surmised that there ought to have been plenty by the time I made my late entry. The problem is, even with the recent renewed interest in the sub-genre, it's actually pretty niche, and even the genre descriptor causes confusion thanks to the conflation with Diablo-style dungeon crawlers. I asked many people at the time, but nobody seemed to be able to point me towards anything that satisfied what I was looking for...

Considering one of the biggest features with the recent Final Fantasy: Record Keeper [Free] update is the announcement of Memory Crystals and the ability to beak the level cap, we knew it wouldn’t be long before the first ones started to hit the game. Lo and behold, this week’s limited time challenge not only offers players the opportunity to earn one of the first optional heroes (in case you missed it) but also offers the first two Memory Crystals. We’ve earned both already and offer some tips for those up for the challenge...

RPG Reload File 042 - 'Kingturn RPG'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where a single captured outpost can turn the tide of the battle. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit some old favorites, reflect on the classics, or just to take a deeper dive on a game than our reviews typically allow for. I try to present a balanced plate of RPGs from week to week, but I'm always open to your suggestions if you think I'm missing anything. Simply comment below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload with your recommendations or feedback. There are some changes coming up regarding the reader's choice articles, so if there's something you really want to see, you might want to get it in during the next month or so. You have been warned!..

I love surprises, especially when they have to do with unexpected game releases, and this one today ranks pretty much at the top of my "great surprises of the year" list. Transistor [$9.99], the great A/RPG from Supergiant Games, has just appeared on the App Store this morning. I had been waiting for this game to appear on the App Store for quite some time, but, to be honest, I wasn't even sure that Supergiant Games would bring their sci-fi RPG masterpiece to iOS. Apparently, not only have they ported the game over to iOS, but they are offering an "intuitive new touch interface" in addition to the game's classic controls. And the developers have included gamepad support, which I know will make many of you happy...

The folks over at DeNA have announced that their social RPG Final Fantasy: Record Keeper [Free], will be undergoing significant maintenance Saturday night from 10pm until 4am Sunday morning (PST). While routine maintenance isn’t significant enough to report on, the fruits of said maintenance are certainly worth discussing. Once the servers come back online, Record Keeper will introduce a host of new features to the game that will make it even more alluring...

RPG Reload File 041 - 'Guardian Saga'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where the best way to make friends is to beat the stuffing out of them first. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the mists of time forgotten to see how it holds up in our shocking world of the future. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the platform's history, or just to take a deeper dive than our usual reviews allow for. As the ringleader of this little circus, I try to present a show with a variety of delights for fans young and old. To make sure we're entertaining everyone in the crowd, though, I turn to you to help me out with the selection process once a month. All you have to do is comment below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload with your suggestion. A little birdie tells me there might be a shake-up coming soon for the reader's choice, so if you really want to see me play something, you should probably get it in somewhere in the next two months...

By now, I've lost count of how many free-to-play Square Enix games I've previewed that haven't made their way out of Japan yet. It's hard to say if Mobius Final Fantasy will be one of the rare ones that Square Enix chooses to publish outside of its domestic market, but if any of them have a chance, you would think it would be this one. With its strong production values and the participation of longtime Final Fantasy series development team members Yoshinori Kitase (Final Fantasy 6 [$15.99], Chrono Trigger [$9.99], Final Fantasy 10) and Kazushige Nojima (Final Fantasy 7, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy 10), Square Enix seems to be making a big statement about the importance of this game...

This week’s Final Fantasy: Record Keeper [Free] event lets players earn the world’s best thie…ahem Treasure Hunter from Final Fantasy VI fame. There are a lot of memorable characters in FFVI, but Locke always had a soft spot in my book, especially once you got to play his side story in the World of Ruin. This week’s event, appropriately titled Legendary Plunder is a Challenge Event takes you on a highly summarized jaunt through the first 3/4th of FF VI and eventually concludes with that faithful scene. For folks looking for a little help along the way, read on...

'Sproggiwood' Review - Wood, Could, Did

It's official, everyone: I'm nearly out of clever or interesting introductory paragraphs for roguelikes. So let's just just get down to the business of why you should consider a spot in your likely crowded roguelike folder for Sproggiwood [$9.99]. Hm, it feels like when I typed that name, all of the Aussies in the back of the room started snickering. Oh well. Sproggiwood tells the story of a mischievous little fellow named Sproggi, a guardian spirit who watches over a realm that is apparently doomed to destruction. Wishing to avoid that outcome, Sproggi does a little time manipulation to sucker a group of people called the Clogheads into helping out. The first of these is a humble farmer who Sproggi immediately tasks with taking out a dangerous boss jelly in a nearby forest. Sproggi warns you he's a bit of a silver tongue, so you'll need to mind that...

'Chaos Rings 3' Review - Put A Ring On It, This One's A Keeper

Chaos Rings 3 [$19.99] is hauling a lot of baggage with it. It carries the hopes of a series that seems to be hanging on by a thread, the expectations of a fanbase who were heavily engaged by the storytelling chops of the series to date, and potentially the future of original, premium mobile RPGs from Square Enix. Like the protagonists of the previous games, it's a creation pulled out of its context, struggling to find relevance in a changed world that offers little mercy. The entire game feels like it was heading down a particular path only to get yanked in an entirely different direction just before it was finished. This whole situation likely explains why this game has a lot of cruft and loose ends hanging from it. It feels like they threw in everything, the kitchen sink, and the whole housewares department while they were at it. As a result, I think this game has a little something for everyone, but few people are going to indulge in everything. It's just the sort of messy RPG that Square Enix used to fill our bellies with on a regular basis when they weren't quite so risk-averse, and I personally love it for that...

RPG Reload File 040 - 'Infinity Blade'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we don't ask how dad's gear gets back to his family every time. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the modern day. It's a little revisiting, a little reflecting, and a chance to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. As the host of this little program, I try to choose a wide variety of RPGs from week to week, but I need your help to make sure I'm not missing anything. That's why once per month, I turn the selection to you. Simply make your suggestion known by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. Since June's reader's choice has already been decided, any votes at this point will go towards the July reader's choice. The next reader's choice, coming up next week, is Guardian Saga [$0.99]...

I’m a big fan of this week’s Final Fantasy: Record Keeper [Free] limited time event. For one, the major reward is unlocking the record for Vanille, a character that I enjoyed when I played through Final Fantasy XIII. More importantly, the event takes place in FFXIII which means I get to listen to the game’s awesome battle theme some more. For fans of DeNA's RPG looking for some tips to get through this week’s The Fal’Cie of Pulse event, we got you covered below...

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