Category Archives: Social RPG

'South Park: Phone Destroyer' Guide: How to Win Without Spending Real Money

South Park: Phone Destroyer hits that perfect balance between offering everything you love about a specific IP with approachable, enjoyable gameplay in a freemium setting. Of course, being freemium, Phone Destroyer certainly has its fair share of pay-to-win potentials and skill/pay walls. However, it’s also one of the more forgiving games in terms of being able to continually play the game. With the following tips, players will be able to maximize their time and skill and extend that play time even further...

One thing the developers behind the hit Nintendo mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes [Free] have learned is that seasonal variations of characters go over really well with the player base. With Hallowe'en being a relatively big deal in many countries around the world these days, it's an easy slam dunk to dress up some favorite Fire Emblem characters in costumes and let the fans have at it. That's just what Fire Emblem Heroes is doing with its new Trick or Defeat event, which is scheduled to run from October 30th through the end of November. As usual, Nintendo has released a video showing off the new heroes...




Through rain, sleet, or snow, Fire Emblem Heroes [Free] continues to get significant monthly updates to respond to feedback from its rather large playerbase. For a while now, players have been looking for something to do with the massive amounts of colored badges they've accumulated through training their characters in the training tower. While they were originally used to rank characters up, such events are few and far between enough that just about everyone is sitting on a major stockpile of various badges. The latest update of the game, Version 1.8, finally gives everyone something else to do with those extraneous awards...

TGS 2017: Hands-On with Glaciwaker Entertainment's 'Smith Story' and 'Slime Legend'

One of the things about making your way through the indie game section of the Tokyo Game Show is that some of the games you play come from developers who haven't yet found a publishing partner and are unable to take their game worldwide as a result. One such developer at this year's show was Glaciwaker Entertainment, a Taiwan-based developer who had two interesting games at their station. Both of these games have already soft-launched in a few regions but haven't yet made the jump to a wider launch...

With the arrival of the Choose Your Legends event in Fire Emblem Heroes [Free], we had a rare opportunity to speak with the game's directors and ask them some questions. Most of the talk centered around the development of the game, with some extra questions to try to get at some of the team's future plans for mobile. A big thank you to Nintendo of America for arranging this interview and facilitating it, and to Mr. Maeda and Mr. Matsushita for giving up their time to talk to us today. Before we get to the interview, I'd like to talk a little bit about the subjects...

Egglia: Legend of the Redcap [$9.99] is an example of a game that betrays expectations to its own detriment. Because the development team consists of some key people who worked on Square's Mana series, the game's look and marketing might give you the impression it's a similar game. It's not. The game carries a relatively high price tag and no IAP, factors which usually point to a more traditional gaming experience, but Egglia also requires you to maintain an online connection and deal with a lot of timers and social RPG elements. On a fundamental level, you might look at the game's previews and screenshots and think you're getting something along the lines of a standard JRPG. But it's not that, either. Sadly, I think if you come into the game holding too strongly to any of these reasonable expectations, you're a lot less likely to enjoy the game for what it is. I suppose that's at least one major thing Egglia has in common with the average Mana game...

Historically, it's hardly been a rare occurrence for the Japanese games market to look almost completely different from those of the rest of the world. While easy internet access and converging technologies have brought previously distinct regions together, Japan is still often marching to the beat of its own drum. The mobile market is another fine example of that. To look at the Japanese App Store charts is to see almost an entirely different group of games than you might see elsewhere. Many of these games never get an English release, and when they do, they rarely catch on. The latest to try is Fate/Grand Order [Free], a social RPG/visual novel hybrid that has been tearing up the charts in Japan since its release nearly two years ago...

The King of Fighters '98 [$2.99] is widely considered one of the best entries in the KOF series, and the iOS version that's been around for a few years is quite a bit of fun. But as long as that port has been available folks in the Eastern parts of the world have been playing a weird free to play mobile game based on it called King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Online, or KOF'98 UM OL for short. After enjoying quite a bit of popularity in Asian markets, KOF'98 UM OL [Free] has finally released out West...

Gamevil's been part of the mobile gaming scene for pretty much as long as there has been a mobile gaming scene, and part of the reason for that is their ability to read the market and adjust accordingly. They've gone from flip-phone sports games and hack-and-slash action-RPGs to puzzle-RPGs, Adventure Time tie-ins, and gorgeous social RPGs. Though they favor a free-to-play model these days, they always put a lot of effort into delivering a polished experience. As a result, they're one of the more prolific social RPG publishers of today. One of their other strengths is in finding good development partners to work with, and the latest team they've hooked up with is Singta...

We really liked Terra Battle [Free], the free-to-play social RPG, when it came out back in 2014, and even though the game has been adding content, it's been a while since we've heard much about it. Today, though, the developers are adding characters from Final Fantasy XV and are trying to bring lapsed players back to the game. Starting today, three new limited edition quests will feature Final Fantasy XV characters and exclusive new music by Nobuo Uematsu. The quests will be all about Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto fighting against Final Fantasy staples such as Behemoth and Titan. Once you complete the quests, you'll have a chance to roll the S-Class adventurer Noctis...

Well, that came a little quicker than expected, didn't it? In yesterday's story about the latest update to Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes [Free], we brought word that the game would soon be getting a cross-over event with the characters of the upcoming Nintendo 3DS game Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. Surprise! It's here already. Now is your chance to recruit Alm and some of his most trusted warriors to your team...

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...

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