Thursday, May 23, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
In dungeon-crawlers like Diablo, game designers have taken the normally sedate RPG concept and taken it to a new, action-filled plane of existence.
With Dark Avenger for iOS and Android, Boolean and Gamevil go even further by stripping away all of the usual storyline nonsense and throwing you straight into the melee without any exposition whatsoever.
Your objective is to cut through the seemingly endless flood of undead monsters which populate the many dull and foreboding Dark Avenger stages.
You use gold and gems to purchase items in Dark Avenger. Both are readily available so long as you're prepared to drop some real-world moolah.
3,300 gold will cost you 69p / 99c, but if you're feeling particularly flush - or perhaps stupid - then you can grab 434,000 for an eye-watering £65. Seven gems are 69p / 99c, while 910 are £65.
Along the way, you'll pick up gold and loot, the latter of which takes the form of either usable items - such as health-giving potions - or equipment you can utilise to make the fight that little bit easier.
The experience points you gain during combat boost your level ranking and unlock special skills to employ in the thick of battle. These skills come with a recharge cost and consume magical power, but they can make a real difference when you're surrounded by aggressive skeletons and are low on stamina.
The sheer number of items to collect and the ability to upgrade your character result in a real sense of progression here, but Dark Avenger is undone by its repetitive action (your character has a single three-hit combo which you'll need to spam for the entire duration of the game).
Enemies with ranged attacks force you to think tactically about how to prioritise your own offence. In the end, though, Dark Avenger really does just boil down to hitting monsters repeatedly then moving onto the next room.
Due to the less-than-expansive nature of each level, the repetitiveness of the action is less obvious, for you have opportunities to purchase new gear in between each stage. The promise of upgrades can only hold your attention for so long, however.
Going for gold
Of course, with this being a free-to-play release, in-app purchases make an appearance. Some of the rarer items cost gold and gems - the latter is a premium currency that is only available in large quantities if you're willing to spend real cash. Also, when you fall in battle, you can revive yourself using gems - another incentive to open up your wallet.
The problem is that Dark Avenger's gameplay rarely becomes exciting enough to entice you to reach for your credit card. And while it offers a few hours of entertainment at no cost, it won't keep your attention for long enough to make a real impression.
Download Dark Avenger for Android
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Describing Kemco as the most active publisher of smartphone JRPGs would be pretty much bang on the money.
Well, Kemco's at it again this week, releasing a new role-playing game on both the App Store and the Google Play Store.
Tales as old as time
On the Android side of things, Kemco has just launched Bonds of the Skies. In it, The Big K tells the story of Eil, who may or may not be the god of wind.
As usual, the whole package is reminiscent of RPGs of the 16-bit era, so, yes, loads of bobble-headed sprites and quaint towns where no one minds if you wander into his house and steal from him.
Interestingly, the turn-based battles take place from a first-person perspective, with your characters represented by their character cards rather than a collection of pointy-haired pixels.
Bonds of the Skies has been optimised for the Xperia Play, by the way. Just sayin'.
Bonds of the Skies for Android
Bonds of the Skies APK download