Category Archives: Social RPG

Readers with better memories than mine might recall a game I looked at way back at the 2015 Tokyo Game Show called Empire of Angels from developer Auer Entertainment. At the time, I wasn't aware that the game was a spin-off of a popular Chinese SRPG series, but I enjoyed its 3D visuals, light action elements, and its gorgeous... vistas. Since then, we've seen a release in the main series on iOS in the form of Empire of Angels 4 [$9.99], but there had been little word on Auer's free-to-play action-RPG spin-off Empire of Angels: Lunar Phantom [Free]...

RPG Reload Glossary - What is a Social RPG?

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where I sometimes have to throw dinner together from scraps of leftovers. While I had planned to do a developer interview this week, my day job has become rather busy all of a sudden. Because of that, I haven't been able to conduct the interview as I had originally hoped. I gave some thought to the idea of taking a week off, but we haven't missed a Reload in three and a half years and I don't plan on changing that. Ultimately, I settled on an early debut for an idea I had been planning: the RPG Reload Glossary. The Glossary is a place where I can define things and go into their histories a little so that you, the reader, know where I'm coming from. I'll be doing a Glossary entry every month or two as long as I can come up with ideas for it, so if you have anything you want explored, let me know in the comments...




It's starting to look like Nintendo is looking at a monthly schedule for new features for their hit free-to-play title Fire Emblem Heroes [Free]. We got a bunch of new characters and stories around the beginning of March, along with some new features like the Voting Gauntlet and improved experience point gains. You can argue about whether or not those things were big improvements or not, but it at least shows the developer's commitment to working on the game on an on-going basis. For April, Nintendo is looking to add a couple more new things to the game, largely in response to player feedback...

So a funny thing occurred a few weeks ago. Games came out both for one of my favorite anime of all time and what is unconditionally my least favorite, both from the same publisher. One Piece is a consistently wonder- and adventure-filled story full of excellent world building, irreverent silliness and absurdity, interesting fights, and genuine heart. The other anime is empty wish fulfillment for 14 year old boys and is basically the anime for young teen male equivalent of Twilight. Relevance to this review? None whatsoever. Such is my hatred. Anywhosers! This is One Piece: Thousand Storm [Free], and its freemium elements are mighty, but it’s a pretty good time for fans...

Fire Emblem Heroes [Free] has already proven to be a smash hit for Nintendo, at one point topping even Clash of Clans and Game of War in the App Store's Top Grossing charts. That said, the combination of a well-known brand and Nintendo's name almost ensures that any release from the company will make a mark in the charts. What Nintendo has yet to pull off is keeping an app there. Though Fire Emblem has slid a little bit, it's still doing quite well. In hopes of keeping that fire burning, Nintendo has sent out a notice detailing a few changes coming to the game in the next few weeks...

'Fire Emblem Heroes' First Impressions - Went Free to Play and Lived to Tell the Story

I'm a pretty big Fire Emblem fan. That used to be a small group, but it's gotten to be quite large of late based on the success of the recent Nintendo 3DS releases. I know some fans aren't happy with the changes in the series that brought about that success, but I'm thrilled because I don't have to worry that Nintendo is going to smuggle it away to whatever closet or crawlspace they've locked Advance Wars up in. Fire Emblem Awakening was basically the last chance for the series, and was designed to be an epic last hurrah if things came to that. As I sit here today several years later, Fire Emblem is bigger than ever. So big, in fact, that Nintendo selected it to be one of their first mobile ventures. You really never know...

RPG Reload Feature - The Curious Case of Premium Spin-Offs of F2P Hits

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, your destination for all things mobile RPG. In addition to the other kinds of articles you'll find under this banner, I'll also occasionally be writing not about specific games, but about a topic connected to mobile RPGs. This week is one such installment. We're taking a look at an interesting phenomenon that has started to occur with increasing regularity in the Japanese gaming market. Mobile gaming has long since overtaken the other gaming markets in Japan, and the result is that a lot of the most popular modern gaming IPs have their origins in the mobile market. We're all used to seeing cherished old console franchises trotted out wearing free-to-play skins on mobile, but in Japan, the opposite case is beginning to happen. This article will take a look at some of the most famous examples, with a little extra analysis on the sales performance of those games and the possible motivations behind creating them...

Disruptor Beam's Star Trek Timelines [Free] is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a limited event called Convergence Day. This event will bring a new crew to the game that includes new versions of Ferengi Quark and C.O.P. Founder Picard. In addition to the new crew, when players celebrate their own anniversaries of playing Timelines, they'll each get a special reward avatar, Alfa 177 Canine, and all players will receive a Supply Kit, additional crew slots, and discounted Dabo Wheel pulls throughout the celebratory weekend. If you're into the game but haven't played in a bit, this might be the weekend to get back into it...

While we didn't care that much about Final Fantasy Brave Exvius [Free] in our review (Shaun gave it 3.5 and talked about how it felt out-of-date compared to other games of the genre), it's still a Final Fantasy game, and those usually have quite a following. The reason the game made the news again is one you wouldn't associate with the franchise: Ariana Grande. Apparently, the developers have decided to court the young ones by featuring a character called DW (Dangerous Woman), which is based on Ariana Grande's persona in the album with the same name. I don't think Final Fantasy has ever featured a character like this one, so it's interesting to see how social RPGs are moving further into blending fictional and real worlds...

If you had told me five years ago that slingshot RPGs were going to become a thing, I'd have been happy to hear of a future where Squids [$1.99] was so influential. Of course, Squids isn't what really kicked off this craze. No, the current wave of flick-and-flail casual RPGs that are cropping up can be laid at the feet of Monster Strike [Free]. It's only natural a hit of that magnitude would inspire similar games, but it's impressive just how sophisticated some of them are becoming. Gamevil's entry into the proverbial arena is Knight Slinger [Free], and it might just have the best production values of any game like this yet. In terms of gameplay mechanics, it doesn't mix things up too much, but there are some new things here that veterans of Monster Strike might like to play around with...

Fresh off its debut of Cinderella last month, Gameloft’s Disney Magic Kingdoms [Free] updated this morning with new characters, quests, and attractions. This time, however, the characters are out of one of their live action series...

'Justice Monsters Five' Review - Justice Denied

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September 2nd, 2016 6:00 PM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in 2 stars, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Pinball, Reviews, Social RPG
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You know, I actually had a small shred of hope for Justice Monsters Five [Free]. It looked like a take-off of the enjoyable Monster Strike [Free], had some nice-looking artwork, and its status as a Final Fantasy 15 spin-off, the first playable non-demo anything based on Final Fantasy 15, lulled me into thinking it was going to be of a certain level of quality. Plus, Square Enix has gotten better with their free-to-play efforts of late. They're all quite serviceable if not very exciting or innovative. Unfortunately, I was almost completely wrong about this game. The production values are good for what it is and it's not a broken game or anything like that, but those are both of the nice things I have to say about this shallow, dull affair...

Street Fighter Puzzle Spirits [Free] is actually a couple of years old now, and only just arriving in more countries worldwide. In some ways, it feels its age. It's less refined than the usual spins on Puzzle & Dragons [Free] we see these days, giving it the feeling of something that was slapped together to cash in on a craze before the tide went out again. It initially comes off as crudely simple, but if you give it a little time, that basic simplicity gives way to a very satisfying set of mechanics. Unfortunately, one other way shows the age of this game. While many social RPGs have loosened up a little on the monetization squeeze in recent times, Street Fighter Puzzle Spirits has its boots firmly planted in the past. On your throat. What remains is a fun game that can get frustrating in a hurry if you're not willing to pay up...

It's that magical time of the year, friends, when Japanese game companies start pulling back the curtains a little in preparation for the annual Tokyo Game Show in September. As usual, Square Enix is getting an early jump on things, showing things like an arcade version of Theathrythm Final Fantasy, new content for the arcade version of Dissidia Final Fantasy, and a spin-off of Dissidia for mobile. Yes, it's a spin-off of a spin-off. Insert meme image here. Titled Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia, it's due out for iOS and Android sometime this year...

There's nothing quite like finding a cool game we missed several months back. It's like getting a new cool game, except it's usually had a bunch of updates to make it even better! Such is the case with Celsius Heroes [Free], an interesting take on the Puzzle & Dragons [Free] formula of social RPGs. The game was pointed out to me a few weeks ago by a member of the TouchArcade forums, and I've been looking for an excuse to mention it since. As the game just got a big content update, this seems as opportune a time as any...

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