It’s been far too long since ‘Arc the Lad: End of Darkness’ effectively brought the franchise to a screeching halt on the PlayStation 2 in 2005, and although the Arc series as a whole has never brought the kind of mass acclaim that other venerable RPG franchises have, it’s been time wasted for those who got to experience its other entries. Now, a mere 16 years later for those in the west, the series is seeing an attempted resurgence on mobile.
After two sequels on the PSP and a spinoff action title, the Valkyria Chronicles series finally finds its way back to console after interest peeked in the IP after a successful remaster of the original game for PS4 and on Steam.
Aside from a single adventure game release in 1982 by Sierra, the unique world setting of Jim Henson’s film ‘The Dark Crystal’ has been curiously unexplored in video game form. Though it’s always been a cult classic, a recent resurgence in interest led by a series of young adult novels and comics cumulated in Netflix commissioning a prequel series subtitled ‘Age of Resistance’ that also came with its own Tactics RPG tie-in.
At one time the name Langrisser was a serious competitor with Fire Emblem and Shining Force in Japan. Five solid entries spanning from the Mega Drive (where it was renamed as ‘Warsong’ for western release) to the Sega Saturn era abruptly ended for the series to go dormant only to make an unexpected appearance on mobile devices in 2019.
Galaxy of Pen and Paper sees a return to the series by its original development team, Paradox North after briefly handing over the reins of the franchise to Paradox Interactive (who recently made the original free to play) while they made their Power Rangers tribute Tactical RPG ‘Chroma Squad’. You’ll learn that the developers liked Chroma Squad quite a lot throughout Galaxy of Pen and Paper, largely because the characters in the game keep talking about it.
If there was ever a poster-child for the table top wargaming experience on mobile devices it would be the original Demon’s Rise, a game that saw a slew of post-release content that quickly fleshed it out into one of the more satisfying and varied tactical experiences of its generation. Now, Wave Light Games Inc. are seeking to better it with a sequel.
As if sensing the gap in the mobile market left by the tragic loss of ‘Avengers Alliance’ and its sequel, DC Legends springs onto the scene offering bite-sized super-heroics set within an alternate take on the DC Universe.
Warlords is in many ways a good example of how far mobile games have come. A hex-based Strategy game with RPG elements that would once have been small a sprite-based 2D title that in the modern market is a huge, sprawling 3D feast for the eyes.
It’s hard to put ‘The First Tactics’ into perspective, one the one hand it offers some fun tactical combat across a number of different scenarios, but on the other it may be the worst case of ‘Engrish’ I’ve ever encountered.
Essentially a remastering of the unreleased ‘Shining Force: Gaiden’ and the Game Gear exclusive ‘Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya’, Shining Force CD manages to bring two relatively light experiences together into a more meaty package.