The sequel to Sega’s dungeon crawler ‘Shining in the Darkness’ took a radical departure from the foundations set down by the first game in the series, throwing a lot away and keeping the setting. What they produced in Shining Force was a game that aimed to further the relatively new Tactical RPG genre in a way that hadn’t been done before.
After the release of Grandia expectations were high for a sequel. Game Arts had created a fast-paced title with the spirit of fun at its core and the follow-up upheld these ideas for the most part while layering on more mature tones. A must-have for Dreamcast owners, players on Playstation 2 or the PC would be sorely disappointed.
I spent a lot of time considering how much money is too much money when thinking about buying Final Fantasy Dimensions. This game has a prelude that’s a free demo, and then charges for each Chapter after that until you have the whole game, or you can man up and buy the lot at a reduced sale price. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that if the game were on the Playstation Network I’d happily drop £20 on a new game based on the aesthetic of the classic games in the series (1-5). I wasn’t disappointed.
Gameloft has made something of a reputation for taking whatever triple A title is the current flavour of the month and producing a toned down version for mobile devices. If you want a Halo clone or an endless runner based around whichever superhero is in the cinema then they’re your one-stop-shop. Eternal Legacy is what happens when they turn their attentions to the JRPG genre.
From the outset it should be stated that Tears to Tiara 2 has more in common with a Visual Novel than it does with a Tactics RPG. If it weren’t for the application of a rich combat system I’m not entirely sure that we’d be seeing a review for this game on My Boxed Universe at all. The game is predominantly dialogue and conversational scenes between characters with only three battles in the first several hours of play.
For all of the games based on recreating the idea of a pen and paper RPG, few actually take that genre to heart. There are a thousand games that use the Dungeons and Dragons license or parts of the background system driving it all but they tend to be graphical powerhouses, flaunting graphics over dice rolls. Syrth is a pen and paper game for the internet generation.
When you hear people say ‘games aren’t as hard as they used to be’ they’re probably referring to Front Mission 3. This game is hard. I mean balls-to-the-wall hard. It’s the kind of hard that saw a generation of players throwing controllers into walls and screaming aloud in rage to God above and cursing Squaresoft, but at the same time it’s one of the most rewarding games of the original Playstation generation.
When the iStore first started coming to the attention of mainstream gamer’s there was something of a deficit when it came to a quality RPG showing. SquareEnix was quick as every to place Final Fantasy I and II onto another system and Zenonia was getting a lot of attention as one of the first ‘made for mobile’ titles but things were sparse. Enter Chaos Rings, a quality title with a PSOne production value and a premium price point that would have the world asking the question ‘How much is too much for a mobile game?’
Battrix does things a little differently, taking one concept that’s been seen a few times before and pushing it to such an extreme that it feels fresh. It seems to be the only app on the iStore by Opus Studio Inc, which feels like a shame because it’s competently made and promises great things for any follow-up titles that sadly won’t be appearing. Still it makes this title something of a hidden gem.
Terra Battle is what you get when the creative director behind the Final Fantasy series takes on the mobile market. It’s creative, clever and stylish whilst also managing to be fun, something that many mobile titles forget when striving to stand out from the crowd. More importantly in has a longevity that will keep you playing for months if not years.