Category Archives: Role-Playing

Asdivine Menace [Free / $4.99] represents something of a benchmark for prolific JRPG publisher Kemco. While it's not the first time they've released a sequel, or even the first time characters have returned from a previous game, this is the first time they've put out an RPG where the story directly follows up on the game that came before, right down to sharing the same main character. While you don't need to have played Asdivine Dios [Free / $4.99] to enjoy this game, if you have, you're going to get a lot more out of it. Furthermore, playing even a short way into Asdivine Menace will completely spoil the story of Dios right down to the ending, so tread carefully if you haven't finished that game yet. It's not just a follow-up in story terms, either. Unlike previous Kemco sequels, this game actually keeps all of the gameplay systems from the last game, adding only a couple of new things of its own. For some, this game might prove to be too much of a rehash from a publisher that already recycles a little too much, but if you enjoyed Asdivine Dios, I think you'll be happy with where this sequel takes the story...

I think there's a pretty good game buried somewhere in The First Tactics [$0.99]. It's hard to be sure at times because there are so many bad choices with the presentation. If you can cut through the obvious vestiges of the game being designed as free-to-play, and somehow comprehend an extremely poor English localization that only makes things more confusing the more it tries to explain itself, you'll find a small-scale yet pleasingly complex turn-based strategy game. I'm just not sure if the good part of the game is worth dealing with the multiple barriers it's encased in, particularly in a genre that has so many strong examples on the platform that don't require you to jump through such hoops...




'The Quest: Cursed Stone' Review - On The Quest Again

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February 23rd, 2016 2:45 PM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $2.99, 3.5 stars, iPhone games, Reviews, Role-Playing
$2.99 Buy Now

In a lot of ways, Redshift's The Quest [$4.99] is one of the best mobile RPGs. Its huge open world is a great place to lose hours in, but its quest-based structure makes it equally suitable for shorter play sessions. You can enjoy it as a straightforward hack 'n' zap, skipping around from dungeon to dungeon smashing the monsters that get in your way, or you can dig in deeper, building crafting and alchemy skills, collecting flowers for recipes, reading books, and so on. Still, most games like this have an end, and when you run out of things to do, that's usually that. In the case of The Quest, however, a massive amount of content has been added through expansion packs, most of which have been handled by third-party developer Zarista Games. Their latest effort is Cursed Stone [$2.99], an adventure that sees you trying to save a small fishing town by restoring the magical stone that brings them luck...

Nothing like starting off the week with a surprise, and I'd have to say that Dungeon Raid [$0.99 / Free] developer Fireflame Games releasing a brand new puzzle RPG is about as big of a surprise that there is. For a little backstory, Dungeon Raid was released more than 5 years ago in November of 2010, and basically dropped the mic on the match-3 RPG genre with an incredibly solid character progression system layered on top of a fun and strategic matching game. You can still feel Eli's excitement in his original Dungeon Raid review from all those years ago, but the kicker was that in the months that followed several major updates made the game even better than it originally was by adding things like new classes and two new game modes. This was truly the pinnacle of the match-3 RPG genre, and it was about as perfect as a mobile game can get...

RPG Reload File 070 - 'Avadon: The Black Fortress HD'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where beards beat dragons 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 here and now. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the overall iOS library, and to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. I try to present a balanced plate of RPGs from week to week, but if you feel like I'm missing something important, please let me know. You can do that by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. You might not see it soon, but I will add your suggestion to my master list, so you'll be able to look forward to seeing it someday...

Redshift's The Quest is one of the oldest RPG series on the App Store, and to this day it's still among many gamers' very favorites. The easiest way to describe The Quest is that it's like a massive open-world RPG along the lines of The Elder Scrolls series, but with an old-school first-person game engine. It may not look like much in screenshots or video, but The Quest is an absolutely massive world teeming with interesting characters and stories. With its beefy original campaign and well over a dozen expansions released since 2009, The Quest is the type of game that just keeps on giving and most of us will never finish all the content on offer. At least I won't, I mean who has that kind of free time? Well, as we learned back in November, Redshift and developer Zarista Games weren't quite done adding to The Quest just yet, and announced yet another new expansion scheduled for release in early 2016. That expansion, called The Quest - Cursed Stone [$2.99], has just hit the App Store...

'Final Fantasy 9' Review - Celebrating The Series In Style

I had often wondered if we were going to see Final Fantasy 9 [$20.99] on iOS. As the only installment of the PlayStation 1 trio without a PC port, it was going to take a lot more work to get the game going on other platforms. At the same time, it's also the lowest-selling among its PlayStation peers, and while it seems to be generally more well-liked than Final Fantasy 8 these days, it's hard to say how well Square Enix would be able to financially justify what would have to be a high-effort port. Well, I guess the numbers must have finally worked out, because not only is Final Fantasy 9 now available on iOS, the quality of the port is well beyond my expectations. This is a great RPG from one of Square Enix's best eras, and it's been given an exceptional amount of care in the transition to mobile...

RPG Reload File 069 - 'Coldfire Keep'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where our fish are abnormally crunchy at all times. 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 bit of revisiting, a dash of reflecting, and a giant splash of taking a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. I don't know, it felt like a thing to write at the time. Anyway, I try to choose a good variety of games from week to week, but if you feel like I've missed something, feel free to give me suggestions by posting in the comments below, stopping by the RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. Since the schedule is currently planned through August, you might not see your suggestion for a while, but I will add it to the master list...

'Ys Chronicles 2' Review - Adol's Back, And He's All Fired Up

Last May, DotEmu surprised us with an iOS port of Nihon Falcom's Ys Chronicles 1 [$4.99], a PC remake of one of the best action-RPGs of the 1980s, Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished. Aside from a rough job on the English translation, the port came out surprisingly well. While the lack of an attack button has always caused some misunderstandings on other platforms, body-checking enemies into oblivion makes an awful lot of sense on a touch-screen device with no buttons to speak of. The game itself is just as great as it has ever been, with a blistering fast pace and amazing soundtrack that few other action-RPGs can match. The biggest downer of Ys Chronicles 1 is that it ends on a cliffhanger that leads directly into Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99]. The two games are frequently packed together due to their tight continuity and are best enjoyed as one complete adventure. DotEmu quickly confirmed the second game would be coming to iOS as well, and here we are...

Friends, when it RPG rains, it RPG pours, and we're all soaking wet after the last few weeks. With the release of Adventures Of Mana [$13.99] last week and Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99] this week, you'd think we might be able to catch a breather somewhere in between, but no, Square Enix went and dropped an 800-lb gorilla, on a Tuesday of all days, right in the middle of things. While we knew Final Fantasy 9 [$20.99] was close to release, I'm not sure anyone expected it so soon after a major release like Adventures Of Mana, but there you have it. Now, since this was as much a surprise for us here at TouchArcade as it was for all of you, it's going to take a few days to put a proper review together, so we've got some early impressions to tide you over until then...

If you thought you'd be able to kick back and soak in some Final Fantasy IX [$20.99] since its surprise launch earlier today, I have some bad news. Or good news, depending on how much free time you actually have and/or how massive your backlog already is. The classic Ys action RPG series continues on iOS with Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99], which just dropped mere moments ago from the fine folks at DotEmu...

'Adventures Of Mana' Review - The Secret Is Simplicity

Adventures Of Mana [$13.99] is a remake of a classic Square Enix game, something that could be said for more than half of the company's iOS releases. Yet it's quite different from the usual Square Enix remake in that it's positively restrained in how much it chooses to change from the original game. It's especially interesting in light of the fact that said original game, Seiken Densetsu/Final Fantasy Adventure/Mystic Quest (henceforth Final Fantasy Adventure), was a 1991 release for the original Game Boy. On top of that, there was already one high-profile remake of the game, 2003's Sword Of Mana for the Game Boy Advance, which changed and added in a lot of things. Seeing Adventures Of Mana essentially present an early handheld action-RPG without doing much more than re-rendering everything in 3D and cleaning up the translation is certainly unexpected, but it's also most welcome...

Hello, friends! We're almost back to the normal schedule for the RPG Reload Podcast, and that means we've only got one featured game this time around. Our usual roster of Eric Ford, Andy Fretz, and I take a look at Nameless: The Hackers RPG [$4.99] in this episode, and as usual, there's a lot of chat about other things beforehand. Each of us shares our thoughts on Crashlands [$4.99] and its many wonders. We also spend some time discussing some of the difficulties in factoring price points into reviews. We also got around to answering a reader question sent to us way back in the distant year of 2015. Admittedly, we go off topic for a while in the middle of the show, but it's all for the sake of droning on about games, so I'm sure we're fine, right?..

With Aralon: Forge And Flame [$4.99], the sequel to Aralon: Sword And Shadow [$4.99], a few months behind us, we naturally had to wonder what was next for Crescent Moon in the world of 3D RPGs. The market has changed quite a bit since Ravensword: The Fallen King [$2.99] released, and what once was a surefire hit is now a much more risky endeavor. Well, it looks like Crescent Moon isn't ready to call it quits on the genre just yet, as they today announced in the TouchArcade Forums that they had started work on a prequel to the original Ravensword. It's called Ravensword: Legacy, and while it's incredibly early in development, it's immediately clear that Crescent Moon is coming at things from a different angle this time around...

Many a song is sung about the Final Fantasy series from Square Enix, but if any of those songs is less sung than the other songs, it's probably Final Fantasy 2. An extremely experimental sequel that didn't fare too well in practice, Final Fantasy 2 nevertheless made some additions that are still a part of the franchise today. The modern version of the game is far easier to swallow than the Japan-only original release, but the game certainly does carry a reputation, enough of one that some people might not want to risk buying it. Personally, I like the game, as I outlined in an RPG Reload a while back. If you've never given the game a chance, the time has never been better, because you can get the game for the enticing price of $0.00 until February 14th through the Final Fantasy Portal [Free] app...

RPG Reload Presents - The History Of Handheld RPGs, Part Six

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload. This week, we're continuing our little monthly project looking at the history of handheld RPGs. That means that we will not be taking a look at a specific RPG from the App Store's past this time around. Last month, we looked at the brief but impressive reign of the Game Boy Advance, and the bounty of RPGs it brought with it. While it was mostly uncontested during its life, seeds were being planted in unexpected places that would sprout into the fiercest competition Nintendo would face to date of this writing. We'll be looking at those nooks and crannies today as best as we can. In total, this feature will span twelve columns, each one taking a look at a specific era in handheld RPGs. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I've enjoyed researching and writing them! Please let me know what you think by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. If you like this project and wish to support endeavors like it, please consider contributing to the TouchArcade Patreon. It's what makes these kinds of big features possible...

Last month Adult Swim Games launched Pocket Mortys [Free] into the App Store, and today it's received its first content update. In case you missed all the hubbub, Pocket Mortys is a riff on Pokemon that has you running around a bunch of wacky dimensions, capturing and cultivating a fearsome team of Mortys, and then fighting a huge cast of wacky "Morty trainers" in an effort to bring down the Council of Ricks and return to your normal dimension. Basically just another day in the lives of Rick and Morty. While a bit repetitive, Pocket Mortys was still extremely entertaining, and was stuffed with so much awesome fan service that it was hard not to like it. Today's update adds a whopping 19 new Mortys for you to capture and collect...

The East New World [$2.99] is pretty comfortable wearing its inspirations on its sleeve. The enemy designs map pretty closely to those found in Goblin Sword [$1.99]. The button layout is very similar to the one used on Sword Of Xolan [$0.99]. The basic gameplay of all of these games isn't that far removed from Devious Dungeon [$2.99]. That's not to say that The East New World doesn't have a few ideas of its own, but it's similar enough to Goblin Sword in particular that it feels like a reskin at times. You'll need to make your way through preset levels, searching out three crystals and two chests per stage, defeating whatever gets in your way using your sword. Pick up all the coins and gems you find on the way so that you can buy new gear in town between levels. Use your trusty double jump to avoid spikes and other hazards, and make your way to the exit somewhere on the far right-hand side of the stage. Very much a clone, to be sure, but it's at least a good one...

Last September, Square Enix announced that they would be releasing a new remake of the original Mana game on iOS, Android, and PlayStation Vita. That game, known as Seiken Densetsu in Japan, has had many names in English. If you're North American, you might know it as The Final Fantasy Adventure on the original Game Boy, or perhaps as Sword Of Mana, as its Game Boy Advance remake was called. If you're from Europe, you probably know the Game Boy game as Mystic Quest. Well, the game has yet another title now, as the English version of this remake is going by the title Adventures Of Mana, a nice nod to both of its previous American names. Oh, and the important bit: it's coming out worldwide for both iOS and Android this Thursday...

RPG Reload File 068 - 'Legends Of Yore'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where punch skeletons for apples. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing in modern times. It's a bit of reflecting, a bit of revisiting, and a chance to take a deeper dive than our reviews usually allow for. I try to present as diverse a selection of RPGs from week to week as I can muster, but if you feel like I've missed something important, please let me know. You can give suggestions by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. Since the schedule is planned pretty far ahead of time, you probably won't see any games you suggest soon, but you will see them eventually...

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