Category Archives: $7.99

Several months back, mobile gamers were treated to Alphadia Genesis [$9.99], the first kind-of-3D RPG from Kemco, courtesy of developer EXE Create. Since then, Kemco's released another half dozen or so games, but they were all using older 2D engines, even EXE Create's Fanatic Earth [$7.99]. Well, we've finally got our second game using the 3D battle engine in Illusion Of L'Phalcia [$3.99], and it just goes to show that if you're dedicated to churning out an RPG in a span of weeks, it doesn't matter if you're using 2D or 3D graphics, the results are still going to be mixed...

It would be nice if, one day, all four of Kemco's development teams could get together and make an RPG that combines all of their strengths and covers all of their weaknesses. After just over one year of reviewing Kemco's near-monthly releases, I'm at the point where all I need to do is look at which team is behind a game to make a strong guess at which areas the game will succeed or fail in. This time, we've got Magitec's latest, Soul Historica [$7.99]. They're the developers behind Grinsia [$0.99], Chrome Wolf [$7.99], and Covenant of Solitude [$7.99], and if you've played any of those, you've probably got a good idea of how well you'll like this one...

At times, it's hard not to anthropomorphize Kemco as that student who is always in such a rush to turn in their assignment that they cut every possible corner. This behavior is particularly evident in the works of developer Hit-Point, who have so much potential that seems to get thrown under the bus in favor of churning out a half-dozen RPGs per year. Rusted Emeth [$7.99] is, sadly, a near-perfect example of both what Hit-Point does well and what they do poorly, another strike against my hopes of seeing this developer actually have some time and money for their projects. They're trying so hard to do something new, but on the way, they're making more sloppy mistakes than ever before...

Generally speaking, RPGs tend to stick to the same sorts of settings and broad plot strokes. Some big evil thing is threatening a typical fantasy world, and it's up to some plucky young guy and his ragtag group of accomplices to defeat the bad guy, save the world, and bring about a happy ending. Even the recent shift towards more dark fantasy settings still has us exploring a fantasy world of some kind, and still usually going after that big evil threat that will end the world. That plot outline loosely describes just about every game released by prolific mobile RPG publisher Kemco, and though I can usually find something interesting in the mechanics to catch my attention, it does get a bit tiresome at times watching the same story play out again and again. Of course, given the rapid pace of releases Kemco works with, a lot of the similarities are down to neccessity, but it's hard to deny that there's a certain stubborn streak running in the genre in spite of a few great counter-examples...

Die-hard Kemco fans, or sufferers as we are known to normal people, know that for whatever reason, Kemco's games usually hit Android before iOS. Typically, the iOS versions lag behind by a month or two, but there have been a couple of instances where Kemco skipped to the next game instead. As of this month, one of those two skipped titles has finally seen release on iOS, some eight months after the Android release. For any other publisher, that's not a very long time, but for Kemco, that's somewhere around eight releases ago, and as a result, Link of Hearts [$3.99] feels a bit outdated in several respects. Well, more outdated than usual, I guess I should say...

I'm not going to try to put one over on you guys. I wasn't exactly excited when Kemco's latest, Band of Monsters [Free], popped up on the App Store, since it hit right about five minutes after Agarest War [$14.99] and five minutes before Final Fantasy Agito dropped. I'd say I have an appreciation for Kemco's fare that exceeds many people's, but there's such a thing as too many RPGs at one time. Starting the game up, I was at least relieved to see it was from developer Hit-Point, whose system-based focus usually results in something interesting, if not extremely iterative...

Ah, Kemco, my old nemesis. After the release of the surprisingly high-effort Alphadia Genesis [$9.99], for the first time in quite a while, Kemco did not come out with a new RPG at the beginning of last month. Maybe they wanted to give the game time to breathe. Maybe they were anxious about what to follow it with. Whatever the case, iOS gamers have had to face a dystopian reality where we had no new Kemco RPG for a month and a half. Our long nightmare is over, however, because we've got a new release, and its name is Fortuna Magus [$2.99]. Android gamers got this one several months ago, actually, so we're a bit late to the party on this one, but don't worry too much. It's a pretty lame party...

'Shin Megami Tensei' Review - A Genuinely Classic RPG Gets Its English Debut

We've reached a point in gaming where, at least when it comes to major franchises, there are very few great JRPGs that haven't been eventually released in English. There are no lost Final Fantasy mainline games, all the holes in Dragon Quest have been filled, and even less famous series such as Ys and Monster World have had previously skipped over installments finally brought to English gamers. There are still a few significant gaps, though, and for me personally, none more significant than the missing games in the Shin Megami Tensei series. This is a franchise that, largely through the popularity of spin-off series Persona, has never been so relevant in the west as it is now. Sure enough, missing games connected to the franchise have made it over, one-by-one, with the entire Persona series now available in English and even the cursed Soul Hackers finally finding its way overseas, but we're still missing the games that started the whole ball of wax...

I kind of feel bad for this game. Not only did Journey To Kreisia [$7.99] release at almost the same time as Square-Enix's Final Fantasy VI [$15.99] iOS remake, but it's also having to live in the looming shadow of Alphadia Genesis's impending release. Kemco's RPGs aren't terribly high profile at the best of times, and RPG fans clearly have their attention elsewhere right now. I think that's too bad, because while this game isn't an outstanding RPG by any means, it's got a great sense of self-awareness. This aspect, layered on top of its familiar, competent EXE Create backbone, lends the whole adventure a fun feeling that separates it from the herd...

Kemco's latest in their line of monthly mobile RPGs comes by way of developer Magitec, whose name last popped up with Covenant of Solitude [$7.99], released several months ago. They are by far the least prolific of the teams Kemco uses on the English side, with just three of their games seeing release: Grinsia [$0.99], the aforementioned Covenant of Solitude, and this game, Chrome Wolf [$7.99]. Due to the breakneck release schedule of Kemco's games, we're used to seeing minor improvements at best from title to title, though in the last year or so, each of Kemco's development partners have made major engine changes or created new ones altogether. Everyone except Magitec, that is...

Originally launched way back in August of 2011, Dragon Fantasy [$7.99] is a quirky 8-bit throwback RPG with tons of humor and personality. We enjoyed the game well enough in our original review from back then, but subsequent updates addressed most of our negatives and Dragon Fantasy ended up blossoming into quite a delightful little experience...

I love sports games. I always have. Don't get me wrong, I'm about as competent on the football field or on the basketball court as a pet rock on stilts... I was always the kid at school during baseball games who would pray for the love of God for the ball to stay the hell away, but when it comes to videogames, there's just something that clicks...

Back in late October, the excellent Fieldrunners 2 HD [$4.99 (HD) / Free (HD)] for the iPad received an update which added a new Halloween-themed tower into the mix, as well as some technical improvements. On the iPhone that same update came to the regular Fieldrunners 2 [$2.99] shortly after, and notably it also added a fairly controversial IAP Coin Store where you could trade in your real money for the virtual kind...

We've still got our massive weekly traditional "coming tonight" post in the works, but the fanfare surrounding Mojang's official (and universal) Minecraft Pocket Edition [$7.99] building on our forums is too great to ignore. Initial impressions seem positive, although some have noted disappointment with how limited the game feels compared to the "full" version. There's no online play, for instance, only local WiFi, and your portable Minecraft worlds are devoid of both animals and creepers...

We're taking a break from our regularly scheduled iOS game programming to get the word out about a really sweet rapid prototyping tool for the iPad released by Two Lives Left, creators of Wheeler's Treasure [$2.99] and Pilot Winds [Free]. It's called Codify [$7.99], and utilizing the Lua programming language along with a ton of clever touch-based interface elements lets you quickly and easily throw together whatever game prototype you might be dreaming of...

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