This could be described as a Dungeons & Dragons simulator instead of your typical RPG. The map is pretty segmented like a Mario map and there are really no maps so much as there are goals to accomplish. All of these goals revolve around typical and simplified RPG combat. The catch is you also play your own dungeon master, so you can select your enemy type to fight and how many you will fight. You can't mix enemies together and fight them. The combat is VERY simple. There's little reason to ever deviate from spamming the attack button.
Everything you do is based on icons. There is no exploration. The visuals are beautiful, but the music isn't diverse. You'll hear the same music over and over. Quick battle loops that finish and start again. Since the game mostly focuses around combat, and you make your own challenges, and you can only fight 1 enemy type at a time, the game feels more like busy work. I can't even call it a grind. Just busy work. Fetch me 17 green apples. How do you get them? Random enemy drops. So you face 10 waves of 5 green plants. Only green plants. Why not green plants and magicians or something to spice it up a little?
That's another thing with this game, spice. You start the game selecting characters and their classes. Each character has its own passive ability and each class has 3 or 4 upgradeable abilities. When you level up through experience defeating enemies, you can level up a skill. That's all well and good if the passive abilities and spamming the attack didn't completely outweigh any skill.
When you visit a town, you don't walk to a store, you just click on an icon that will open up the store. The items are nice. Upgrading weapons and armor involves a gambling system. Sure it costs 150 gold to have a blacksmith upgrade your gear, but there's only a 35% chance he'll accomplish it. Seems like a gamble and a waste of gold.
That leads me to warn you of this. Microtransactions. Why grind for gold when you can just buy it? The microtransactions aren't in your face or annoying, but they are there and some people have problems with that, but really if you want gold, go kill some enemies, there's nothing else to do in the game. The whole 35% chance of a successful weapon or armor upgrade is a gamble for sure. So just don't do it.
Once you hit level 20, the real grind begins. There is an undefeatable boss that might end your game forever. After breezing through the game, he seems to be the benchmark of do you want to stop playing or invest in gold? After multiple playthroughs, he seems to be the one to slaughter your party 66% of the way through the battle. Since ressurection costs gold, when you run out of gold, that's it. That's the game, start all over again. Then it becomes one of the harshest grinds I've felt since the 8-bit era. Sure you could hasten the grind by buying gold for $5 and then using that gold to buy experience potions to level up, but leveling up your party 5+ levels still won't stop the boss.
That's why I say this game is busy work and you know some people are ok with that. In all, I would say its a fun game, but other RPGs are better. Since this is trying to be a Dungeons & Dragons simulator without being a true RPG its just lacking in some areas.
Posted: October 18th, 2013