Tags Posts tagged with "Mobile"

Mobile

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Square Enix has been on a roll as of late in churning out mobile ports of popular game franchises (Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest) in the midst of several lack-luster original mobile games such as the Chaos Rings franchise. Indeed Square still has ways to go before lining itself up with mobile games publishing giants in Japan like Gung-Ho, Gumi, Gree, and the like.

Enter the company’s latest original entry into the free-to-play mobile gaming platform: Heavenstrike Rivals ( released globally in March 2015) is a turn-based strategy game under the art direction of Ryoma Ito (FF Tactics Advance) and the musical scoring of Ryo Yamazaki (FF: Crystal Chronicles). The game is played on a 3 x 7 (Height x Width) board where two players take turns in placing units with the ultimate goal of dealing enough damage to take down the opposing team’s captain. As simple as it sounds, things get complex when you factor in the different unit classes, unit races, levels, and ranks (upgraded units).

Heavenstrike Rivals: Captain skills sometimes spell the all the difference in combat.
Heavenstrike Rivals: Captain skills sometimes spell the all the difference in combat.

Captains are not only an avatar representation of you in the game, they can also equip a skill ranging from direct damage, buffs, or healing. These are charged after usage by turn (6-9 turns) If used strategically, can instantly turn the tide of battle. If anything, Heavenstrike Rivals plays more like a collectible card game (CCG) placed on a grid board than your typical square grid strategy game like FF Tactics and similar games. Heavenstrike Rivals features six (6) unit classes and four (4) unit races: Humans, Ogurs, Felyns, and Lambkin. Each class has an inherent skill and an extra ability based on the unit type and its rarity. Unit class and race are also the basis for buff and debuff skills.

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Heavenstrike Rivals: Fighters are pretty underrated due to their short attack range vs ranged units.

Fighters (movement range 2) normally have high HP and moderate amount of ATK. Their class skill is the ability gain 1 ATK every time they hit an opposing unit or the opposing captain. The longer they stay alive in combat, the higher their ATK will be.

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Heavenstrike Rivals: Defenders break most rush strategies.

Defenders (movement range 2) have the highest base HP in the game and have the ability to taunt opposing units to prevent them from changing lanes. This forces attacking units to deal with the defender and prevents them from attacking your other units or your captain.

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Heavenstrike Rivals: Makes opponents suffer for putting their units in a straight line.

Gunners (movement range 1) are indirect damage units capable of hitting all targets 3 spaces in front of them. Best used against enemy formations who run in a straight line.

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Heavenstrike Rivals: You can beat an opponent with one attack from Scouts given the right amount of buffs and assuming they survive long enough.

Scouts (movement range 3) are the fastest units in the game who are able to attack opposing captains by their second turn. They have the lowest HP among all units but are offset with extremely powerful damage dealing capabilities through their double strike skill (attacks twice per round).

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Heavenstrike Rivals: Mages are extremely powerful units. Many people hate these units.

Mages (movement range 1) attacks have splash damage. They deal half the amount of their base ATK to all adjacent units which is ideal for clearing out crowds of enemy units should they happen to be bunched up. These units can attack units or captains 3 spaces in front of them.

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Heavenstrike Rivals: Priest keep your offensive units alive longer to maximize their utility in battle.

Priests (movement range 1) heal the unit with the lowest HP in the board once per turn. They are support units with low ATK and moderate HP to keep your attacking units in combat alive for as long as possible. They can attack units and captains two spaces in front of them.

Each unit class has either an ETB (enter the battlefield) effect or activated ability (by chance) as a skill which varies per unit. Tthe higher the rarity, the more powerful the effect. These abilities on top of the class based ones create a deep strategic environment where timing and synergy of your units with each other is key to controlling battles. This system in my opinion is what really got Heavenstrike Rivals going for me. Players Heavenstrike Rivals start out with two (2) mana and can accumulate a maximum of ten (10) mana after the first five (5) turns in combat. Units have varied casting costs from 2 to 4 mana. A player can have a total of ten (10) mana worth of units at any given time so as much as timing is the key to beating your opponents, you must also keep track of how much resources you will spend to field your units. There are cases when you max out your mana to field units and your opponent can isolate them in one side of the battlefield and create an opening for them to attack your captain with impunity. In this case, you could potentially lose the battle without any way of turning the game around.

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Heavenstrike Rivals: Microtrannies, they’re never cheap.

New units can be earned through completing story missions, normal missions, daily missions, and special missions. But the quickest way to earn powerful new units is through recruitment which requires cores (the game’s cash currency). Cores can be farmed from a daily quest (1-3 cores per day) and completing story quests. As a starting player, you can accumulate over one hundred (100) cores by playing the daily core quest and completing all story missions. It takes five (5) core to recruit one 3-5 star unit or 45 core to recruit 10 3-5 star units. Statistically speaking, you will at least gain two (2) 4 star units which are more then enough to help you plow through story missions. As such, you cannot escape the fact that Heavenstrike Rivals adheres to common standards in Japanese mobile games which easily translates to spend money to recruit better units. But like most of these types of games, there are system events which will give you better incentives for recruiting at those times. You can simply save up your core for 10 recruits and consume them during these system events. All 2-5 star units can be upgraded to increase their stats and effect abilities through unit promotion and maxing out their levels. Legendary units (5-star) when promoted will become 6-star or basically “broken” units.

Ace Quickshuffle is one of the most hated units in Heavenstrike Rivals
Chance Quickshuffle is one of the most hated units in Heavenstrike Rivals

Units with skills (outside class skills) can level-up their skills up to 4 times (to level 5). One skill level can be gained through promoting the unit to its final form, the rest leaves little to be desired. The only other way to increase skill level is to train units with the exact same unit. In other words, you need at least 4 of one specific unit to max out their skills and based on my experience, maxing skills out matters. Fortunately, most functional units can be farmed from story missions, daily missions, and special missions. Units you can farm for are actually just as important as legendary units you can gain through recruitment.

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This part will actually need some time and effort through gaining unit experience and acquiring promotion items farmed through daily quests. Upgrading units will certainly help you plow through story missions but these are really meant for you to keep up with the weekly PVP leagues, one of the biggest endgame features of Heavenstrike Rivals. If you get down to it, the AI of Heavenstrike Rivals does some pretty stupid moves (occupy one lane and keep staying there regardless of battlefield conditions) in missions as well as with your squad should you chose to use the game’s auto-play feature so the best place to get your competitive gaming fix is in the weekly PVP league. Newbies will probably fall to the bottom of the ladder due to the lack of 4-6 star units and completely upgraded regular units. The difference is overwhelming and it might discourage you granted that top players receive high tier units as rewards, as such is how mobile games operate. Game balance is skewed towards paying and long time users. Catching up to them is a matter of leveling up relevant and powerful low cost/lower rarity units (most of which can be acquired or farmed in daily and weekly missions) to their full potential. Outside of regular daily missions and recruitment using cores, Heavenstrike Rivals features weekly missions where you can farm powerful super rare units (4 star).

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Farmable units are just as important as high rarity ones in Heavenstrike Rivals

I find that these units are commonly used in PVP and have great utility in PVE missions so they are must-farm units. For new players, you could miss out on the previous characters, but it is up to Square Enix to ensure that old and new player alike will be able to enjoy these farmable characters eventually. There currently are sixty-two (62) story missions for the first chapter of Heavenstrike Rivals each with increasing levels of difficulty. There is still no word on when the next chapter is set to be implemented but as most story-driven games, chapters are released in a span of more than 1 month intervals. The story of the game isn’t exactly compelling or poor, I just find it a necessity for the flavor of the game. I found that the AI is able to circumvent regular squad building rules such as (2 per unit type restrictions imposed on players) as compensation for rather shifty game-play logic. After completing the story missions, you will gain access to a high stamina and high difficulty cost dungeon which randomly rewards you with high EXP and gold along with unit EXP items, new units, and even cores.

As a relatively heavy user, I haven’t spent any money on buying cores but I have assembled a pretty strong line-up of units, the difference is my units haven’t reached maximum promotion so the odds against me when faced off with higher level squads but I will be able to catch up in due time. The PVP metagame in Heavenstrike Rivals can change on the fly like with its latest PVP league that just concluded this week which banned the usage of the Defender unit class. This modification strongly reinforced fast moving units like Scouts being able to get in range with your opponent’s captain easily since there are no enemy units which can taunt your offensive units to delay imminent attacks. With the addition of these type of PVP events, things certainly are about to get more interesting.

Heavenstrike Rivals is focusing a lot on PVP. So far, it's pretty balanced. You just need to grind to catch up.
Heavenstrike Rivals is focusing a lot on PVP. So far, it’s pretty balanced. You just need to grind to catch up.

The visuals of Heavenstrike Rivals are vibrant and well animated but they seem to be quite heavy on resources for a mobile game. You need Android 4.1 and up or iOS 7.0 for Apple devices as a minimum requirement so older and weaker devices will not be able run the game at all. Each unit type per race have a template form factor but their costumes and design vary widely. You can clearly see a great degree of character design put into each unit type and this definitely puts extra value into collecting units. The music in Heavenstrike Rivals utilizes an orchestral ensemble and produced some of the best mobile game music I’ve heard but the voices of characters are pretty generic and bland.

Heavenstrike Rivals makes hardcore and casual PVP equally rewarding.
Heavenstrike Rivals makes hardcore and casual PVP equally rewarding.

I am hooked Heavenstrike Rivals but it does demand a certain level of dedication and play frequency which I am unable or unwilling to fulfill most of the time, hence losing some opportunity to acquire the maximum attainable daily grind benefits. However, it isn’t that much of a turn-off as I do enjoy the PVP content even if I am frequently mismatched with extremely powerful squads. The next step for furthering game balancing could be setting squad cost requirements based on unit rarity and maximum level to prevent paying users to simply field a team with top units and maxing out their stats to dominate PVP. The game at its core is a strategy game after all. It is a pity that this game found its way to the mobile platform, I would pay for a retail version of the game (minus the micro-transactions).

Other things I would like to see in future versions of Heavenstrike Rivals: friends lists, PVP directly with people in your friends lists (playtesting), and daily Login bonuses. Come on, every other game in the same genre does it, why not here?

 

One would be remiss by dismissing Yasumi Matsuno’s (Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII) next big project Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians as yet another example of golden-age videogames talent “slumming it” through the usual channels of Kickstarter and mobile gaming. Co-developers Playdek are no slouches—the team was responsible for  Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, in my opinion the premiere trading card game sim out there for mobile devices.

unsung-heroes2The game is scheduled for release on iOS and Android devices sometime next year, however Matsuno and his development teammates over at Playdek have turned to Kickstarter to drum up funds to not only bring it to more platforms (PCs/Macs, as well as the 3DS and Vita handhelds), but also to help bring in fresh, familiar talent to the project. Stretch goals include adding luminaries such as Alexander O. Smith (responsible for localizing many of Square’s great RPGs), as well as vaunted composer Hitoshi Sakimoto. To reiterate, the Kickstarter isn’t meant to hold the game’s release hostage: “Playdek and Yasumi Matsuno will continue to develop Unsung Story regardless of whether or not funding is met. The main focus on the crowd-sourcing isn’t to create the game but rather to bring the game to the platforms requested by our fans and to help further the immersive world being created by Mr. Matsuno.”

Before getting too excited, remember that Matsuno won’t be exactly as hands-on with the game as he was with prior projects. Speaking out on Twitter, Matsuno echoes, “There was some concept art [for the game] that I’d never seen in the article, but I like that it doesn’t have the typical look of my projects. My involvement in the project is limited to providing the original design plan, the story, and the setting, so I have no idea what the actual game will look like and what the UI will look like.”

The project has a fair chance of meeting its funding goal, with $136,549 already raised as of this writing.

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Although some apprehensions have been raised about the feasibility of Dragon Quest VIII making it to mobile devices, it looks like Square Enix has actually pulled off what seemed to be the impossible, and now have a final working build of the game ready for public consumption. The company has released a teaser video of their progress, in the form of a Square Enix representative playing the game on what appears to be an iPhone 5S. After reviewing the footage, all we can say is… yikes.

So what makes us so squeamish about this footage? Let us count the ways:

  • The framerate appears to be very low; and that’s on a phone that’s barely half a year-old. This will probably run like chop city on my iPhone 5. What really worries me is that this is supposedly the final version of the game, ready to ship.
  • It took about nine seconds from initial loading to landing on an actual menu screen during a battle. Not good; Dragon Quest has always been known for its brisk battles. Granted VIII was an exception to this, but still, this is a mobile title meant to be played in quick bursts where brevity is always appreciated.
  • I actually like the fact that the game is played in portrait mode, but controlling the camera and menu actions appeared to be cumbersome even for what’s supposed to be a cleaned-up promotional video.

“Blah blah blah, let’s wait for the game to acually ship before reserving judgment,” right? I don’t know, man—this promo video doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. At all.

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If you remember, Capcom announced earlier this year that Breath of Fire VI will be coming to smartphones in an immensely entertaining (in terms of Internet reaction and Schadenfreude) press release. Quite frankly, it seems that the company is going into its post-generation cyclical “scumbag mode,” which we’ve seen several times in the past; in just the past two years Capcom has angered and alienated its own fanbase by way of:

  • Cancelling the much-anticipated Mega Man Legends 3
  • Also cancelling any future Darkstalkers games because the HD remakes did not sell
  • Releasing a half-baked mainline Resident Evil title and tarnishing the series’ remaining goodwill
  • Questionably releasing HD remakes of their Dungeons and Dragons arcade games mere months before spiritual successor Dragons Crown
  • Refusing to release a physical version of the latest Ace Attorney title despite clear demand from fans
  • Announcing a fourth iteration to Street Fighter IV as a separate stand-alone title
  • Arguably exploitative/shady DLC practices (Asura’s Wrath being a prime example of this)

And now, it appears that Capcom won’t be winning any of these fans back as the company has announced plans to invest into the mobile scene (an arena where they previously dabbled with using outsourced developers) by opening a new mobile-centric studio in Osaka to the tune of 4 billion Yen. Capcom has gone as far to say that the profits used to fund this venture came from excellent sales of their latest Monster Hunter title, and that it’ll bring the company a much-needed financial shot in the arm.

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I posted about this a few weeks ago and now it’s out! Nobuo Uematsu’s e-book Blik-0 1946 is now out in iTunes and Amazon for the Kindle (sans the soundtrack).

There are 4 iTunes packages for Blik-0 1946:

Blik-0 1946_image(1)Blik-0 1946 is a story about a robot named “Blik-0,” created by a reputable artificial intelligence scientist, Dr. Mabuse. Blik-0 is a robot built with functions that let him emulate the human heart and brain. As he experiences life the way humans do, he starts to struggle with feelings and emotions like sadness, heartache, anger, and love.

There are three original tracks included in the iPad version composed by Uematsu entitled “Blik-0 1946”, “Ah, But Why?” and “So Close”. The e-book is also enriched by illustrations made by Hiroki Ogawa who designed and illustrated the EARTHBOUND PAPAS’ official character, which is featured on the jacket of the band’s début album, Octave Theory.

You can find out more at the Blik-0 1946 official Facebook page.

Blik-0 1946 is only available on the US iTunes store so you will not be able to find it on the Asian / Philippine store. If you have a US iTunes account though and some spare credits lying around, be sure not to miss it.

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The last time I showed any interest in fishing was when Grander Musashi was still playing on cabled TV. No. I think it was when I couldn’t find the Super Rod in one of the latest generations of Pokeyman. Needless to say, this sport isn’t generally my thing.

Enter Fish Island from NHN Singapore. If anything, this free little 3D fishing delight is a social game with RPG elements aimed to hook you right from the get go – that is right after you’ve made peace with the utterly disheartening loading screen in the beginning.

Like any other social game, you are greeted with routine update checks and a request to register an account. Fortunately, you can opt to register as a guest, or log in via Facebook; sign up for an NHN account if you’d like to play the game across devices.

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You are then free to choose your avatar. I chose Max because I was hungry and it reminded me of a certain house that fried chicken built. Having picked one, an NPC will give you your very first set of equipment free of charge and teach you the ropes to becoming a legendary angler.

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fish_island3The goal is to bait the biggest, baddest fish there is for the whole world to see. Gameplay has never been so simple: tap to throw the line, and tap to catch the fish. As it is a social game, there isn’t much of a difficulty curve to keep things challenging. But since it also is an RPG, the fish has HP!

Sea creatures dart from left to right in varying speeds. To catch them, tap whenever the fishes land on a white dot (think whack-a-mole) until their HP is reduced to zero. Missing the rhythm means a lost heart, so be careful. A timer is also placed in the upper right corner of the screen. It is important to note that the fishes must be caught before the time runs out.

A fish can be released or kept after every successful battle. I suggest keeping the chase and selling them at a later time. Quests come in the shape of fishing as well so it is better to be thrifty and scrounge up money whenever possible to be regularly supplied with necessary bait.

Opting to keep the fishes allow you to move them to a snazzy aquarium where they pay you rent by the second. The quality and grade of the fish will determine how much they give you back. Keeping a lot around will help ease any financial burdens you have in-game.

fish_island4Finishing the tutorial and spending time in Fish Island will lead you to the realization that it also revolves around a “catch-em-all” theme. With over 600 species to put in an aquarium and record in a fishypedia, every bite-sized round of fishing can turn this game into a refreshing buddy for long, boring trips to work and elsewhere.

Lastly, the shop offers a wide array of items for sale. Looking for the right fishing rod, bait, line, and costume can prove to be quite an expensive hobby. Fortunately, once you’ve earned enough experience, the accessories are eventually sold at reduced prices – like a passive skill you don’t have to worry about.

All in all, Fish Island is a refreshing online game. It would definitely have been better had it been playable offline, as well. Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful and thrilling experience similar to real world fishing – minus the sun.

THE GOOD:

  • Cute 3D visuals coupled with soothing and unobtrusive background music make playing the game enjoyable.
  • Social ranking is a plus.
  • This game is no Grinch – quests are easy to finish; rewards are happily earned at every turn.
  • Characters are fully customizable.

THE BAD:

  • Storage systems won’t allow you to keep a lot of anything. Either use them prematurely, sell for a price, or pay for an expanded storage.
  • Game is pretty repetitive. It would probably good to add nets and spears to the mix.
  • In-game items are insanely expensive.

THE IN-BETWEEN:

  • The dual currency in-game means the involvement of real money somewhere down the line.

 

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This bit of news probably sounds more scary than it actually is. According to Bluebox Security CTO Jeff Foristal there is an APK code loophole which will allow malware to be loaded undetected under the guise of an authentic app. This issues apparently dates back to the Android 1.6 (Donut) firmware which according to Forristal could affect 900 million devices. This said exploit if abused by hackers could mine data from messages, emails, to stored passwords and other sorts of data to the point of hijacking devices to create a mobile botnet.

While this all sounds so scary, the fact that the exploit has been around for four years and nothing major has happened with Android devices so far may mean this exploit is being panned out to be a bigger issue than it actually is, or maybe not. Our Android devices could all be slaves in a great botnet that we are not aware of. Forristal will reveal more details publicly at the 2013 Black  Hat security convention later this year. In the meantime, you will probably want to steer away from downloading all the apps you can find on Google Play (hooray for an open market, eh?). Actually, with or without the exploit, you should be careful with the apps you download.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

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Award-winning action RPG Bastion is now on sale for only 99c (PHP 40-ish)!

For those who actually know the game, it’s important to stop reading now and download the iOS port immediately. For those sporting a curious look, Bastion was first published in 2011 for the Xbox. It then made its way through various ports, the last of which was the iOS in August 2012.

The game revolves around the narrated story of “the Kid” who is one of the few survivors of The Calamity that destroyed the land and turned everyone against each other. The kid’s goal is to power the eponymous Bastion to bring back harmony to his world.

Set in a floating, fantasy-themed environment, the Kid travels around, collecting Cores to recharge the Bastion. With award-winning visuals, soundtracks, gameplay, and narrative, this is a port worth spending a few bucks on (or less, for that matter).

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Very much like Backyard Monsters, also with a lot of depth.

GungHo Online Entertainment, publisher of the hit mobile game Puzzle & Dragons in Japan and Clash of Clans and Hay Day developer Supercell have announced a major cross-promotion event that will start from June 24 and run for two weeks. Puzzle & Dragons is GungHo’s monster-themed puzzle RPG which is available for iOS and Android. It will feature special clash of Clans content which includes a themed dungeon and exclusive monsters during the event period. Supercell’s strategy game Clash of Clans  and farm simulator Hay Day will both feature extensive cross-promotions for Puzzle and Dragons.

Puzzle & Dragons is Japan’s top grossing app of all time with over 14 million players in the country. It has also set an unprecedented level of financial success with sensational news of making $3.75 million per day and $118 million in the month of April alone. The premise of Puzzle & Dragons is rather simple, you capture, collect, and evolve several hundred types of monsters (like Pokemon) to build your team to take on dungeons where you have to link gems of the same color together, chain these links to form combos to deal more damage and beat down monsters (it’s like Bejeweled with combat mechanics).

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Pokemon and Bejeweled does make a killer combo.

Clash of Clans has ranked as a #1 grossing app overall on the iPad in 135 countries. According to App Annie’s Store Stats. It was also reported that it was the US’s top grossing iPad game for 104 consecutive days; the next closet game held this spot for only 34 days. Clash of Clans is an strategy game which reminds me of the Facebook game Backyard Monsters where players must mine for resources to make building, raise an army, and the go conquer some land in a persistent word. While the promotion runs, Clash of Clans will feature a Puzzle & Dragons cross promotion in its Inbox and Battle Log sections.

Hay Day is a farm simulator which feature gesture-based controls that mimic real-life farming actions with a open market function which allows players to buy and sell goods just like a farmer in real life. You will even manage food chains from assembly of raw materials to productions of the finish goods. Puzzle & Dragons will be promoted within the in-game newspaper and will have a game trailer in its multimedia theater section.

It seems to me like Gungho is getting the better end of the deal with players being funneled to their Puzzle and Dragons game as a result of this cross promotion. While raking in big bucks, Puzzle & Dragons is only strong in Japan; their reported revenue last April of $118 million came mostly, if not entirely from Japan. This cross-promotion is definitely a push Puzzle & Dragons and penetrate the mobile apps market of other countries.

To-date, Puzzle & Dragons is not available to iTunes or Google Play accounts from the Philippines. I did side load the game for my Android tablet, it worked but I was never inclined to check if you can actually make purchases.

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Mobile game Knights of Pen and Paper is dice-rolling its way to the PC and Mac. The RPG within an RPG game from Paradox Interactive will have an enhanced version coming this June.

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Knights of Pen & Paper is a role-playing game where you as the player take the role of  players playing an RPG. You find in-game friends to play with then sit down for a tabletop session while the Game Master narrates and shows the adventure from their imaginations. These are all presented and controlled using a UI similar to management games like Game Dev Story or any Kairosoft game for that matter lol.

The +1 Edition is a step-up (or more appropriately ‘level-up) from the original mobile version. New features include added character options, longer campaign, and raid dungeons. There are lots of D&D references and nods to tabletop gaming here so if you were/are a pen and paper RPG aficionado, this game will make you smile as it will tickle your nerdy nostalgia balls.

Knights of Pen & Paper +1 Edition can be pre-ordered for $9.99, and there is a premium Knights of Pen & Paper +1 Digital Deluxe Edition for $14.99 which comes with in-game bonuses and extras. Both versions are scheduled to launch on June 18, 2013.

For more information on Knights of Pen & Paper, consult THAC0 to beat damage resistance against: knightsofpenandpaper.com 

 

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When you hear a relatively unknown company to console and pc gamers earning over a hundred million dollars in one month alone and the company’s market cap exceeding Nintendo’s ($15.1 billion) and closing on Activision’s $16.7 billion, it’s no wonder developers are really trying to jump into the mobile games market.

From a business stand point, I believe it is much more lucrative because free to play games are designed to hook users into spending money over time and even induce binge buying technically allowing users to blow more than a hundred dollars in a single day for content that could just last them for that same day (buying in-game currency and blowing it all on buying gear).

However for traditional retail gamers such as myself, I always am skeptic about these things for one, it’s pretty clear that any free to play mobile game can launch and start earning at almost any given time without actually putting out a “finished product” because they can always update the content and fix any known bugs along the way, not that I’m saying GungHo’s Puzzle and Dragons is guilty of such, it’s just the reality of things.

Personally, while I still enjoy a full game experience at full retail price for the PC or my consoles, I am inclined to give Puzzle and Dragons a whirl just to see exactly how deep the game is.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

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OMGYAY! Square Enix is an awesome company who loves listening to their customers and releases high quality games that get better and better every year! Said no one ever.

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Final Fantasy Tactics S will be out on iOS/Android and distributed via Mobage, so knowing Square Enix’s track record, unless they start giving a rat’s Uranus and tap into the unlimited gold cheat code that is English speaking market, don’t expect to be able to play this game unless you have a Japanese cell phone number, address and all that JP crap. So far it features varied jobs, delicate/detailed deck battles (hinting it’s a card game) and if you get it, you will receive a playable character that can be easily recognized by fans of the series (looks like Agrias).

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The reason why I even bothered to write this article? I’m an optimist. It’s one of the deadliest character flaws; a curse. Some games have been localized and released in English, such as Rage of Bahamut. Perhaps if we pray and think positive hard enough, they will release this app for all to enjoy and we can live happily ever after while waiting for another 7 years for Final Fantasy VS XIII to come out. Then again, you may never know. Miracles do happen. So for now, FFTactics S is JP ONRY.

I think I know what the “S” stands for.

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An exclusive on gamesindustry.biz says that the number of “developers switching solely to mobile is alarming”. This is following a series of disappointing game sales on consoles, PCs, and even PC hardware sales are reported to be dropping. The culprit is apparently tablets and mobile phones according to the media regarding that issue. With successful titles like Angry Brids, and the more recent Candy Crush Saga, I wouldn’t blame developers for trying to get a slice of that pie. This trend is also very apparent in Korea and Japan where I have been told that industry veterans are gradually shifting to mobile game divisions or companies.

One point the article brings up which I completely agree with is the fact that core gamers such as myself are more than willing to pay for interactive entertainment; more than the bulk of mobile gamers and definitely spend much more than them as well. It’s all about having a passion for developing good content for an audience you recognize and respect. Chasing the latest trend just because another company made without considering the entire market is just a recipe for disaster especially for independent developers.

 

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Now ported exclusively for Nvidia’s Tegra line of devices, The Conduit HD makes its tablet debut today. The first two levels are free, so if you’re feeling nostalgic for the much-hyped Wii game, that’s an option.

You can purchase the remaining 7 levels for $4.99. If you’d prefer to buy the levels at a slower pace, you can drop $2.99 for levels 3-6, and another $2.99 for levels 7-9.

Here are some screen comparisons using a Galaxy Note 10.1 set on the highest visual setting and the Wii version

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Wii

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Tablet

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Wii

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Read the Google Play description and the link to download the game below.

Description

The Conduit HD is an award-winning First Person Shooter brought to touchscreen devices for the first time, offering state of the art graphics, innovative controls and unique weapons to bring to bear against hordes of deadly foes!

** FOR HIGH-END ANDROID DEVICES **Play the first two levels for free!DescriptionThe Conduit HD is an award-winning First Person Shooter brought to touchscreen devices for the first time, offering state of the art graphics, innovative controls and unique weapons to bring to bear against hordes of deadly foes!** FOR HIGH-END ANDROID DEVICES **DetailsAs Washington D.C. is embroiled in chaos, Secret Service agent Michael Ford finds himself recruited by a mysterious organization known as The Trust, and is quickly caught up in a national crisis, an alien invasion and a web of conspiracies that date back hundreds of years.Now you must help him learn to use bizarre new weapons, battle deadly aliens, discover ancient secrets, and save the world… if you can figure out who you can trust…Features• STUNNING GRAPHICS: The already gorgeous graphics are further enhanced on Tegra Devices, boasting increased resolution, enhanced lighting as well as advanced physics!
• TERRIFYING ENEMIES: Face off against fourteen unique alien and human foes that use cover and tactical thinking to fight back!
• SHADOWY CONSPIRACIES: Throughout your adventure, learn new theories and connections in an effort to discover the truth behind the invasion, and more…
• INTENSE WEAPONS: Eighteen different human, alien and ‘other’ weapons, many with completely unique effects!
• UNSEEN DANGERS: Use the All Seeing Eye to reveal invisible objects and enemies, before it’s too late!
• UNPARALLELED CUSTOMIZATION: Change the control inputs, the UI Layouts and many other elements to play the game the way YOU want to!
• CONTROLLER SUPPORT: Enjoy more traditional control by using Gamestop’s Wireless Bluetooth Controller for Android!
• TOP VOICE TALENT: Showcasing the talent of Mark A. Sheppard, William Morgan Sheppard and Kevin Sorbo!
• KILLER TUNES: Features music by Diego Stucco and Rick Nielsen!High Voltage Software – We take fun seriously!

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.highvoltage.theconduit&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5oaWdodm9sdGFnZS50aGVjb25kdWl0Il0

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Remember that scene from The Matrix when Neo received a Nokia 8110 and was warned that agents would be looking for him inside his office?  He was instructed by Morpheus to go scale out the building but he was too much of a wussy and surrendered instead… yeah? Wish you could relive that scene and parkour on building tops?  Then let me introduce you to Vector.

 

 

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Game creator Nekki introduces you into world where people are being controlled in a totalitarian reality where freedom and individuality is nothing more than a distant dream. You try to escape this reality by first taking off the mind-control apparatus from your head, shedding off that corporate tie from your neck and jumping out of the window.  You willl vault, slide and climb obstacles while being chased by the “Big Brother” — whose purpose is to capture and bring you back.  Does it sound like Temple Run/Mirror’s Edge in 2D to you?

 

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Rendering the characters and the obstructions in silhouette form makes it easier for the player to decide which action they want to do — either slide down or climb up a water tower, roll/skip ventilation units, jump into the window of the next building, etc.

 

You can control your character by doing basic swiping motions on your screen.  You can have him jump or climb edges by swiping up, down to slide, and right to roll over.  You can unlock certain moves throughout the course of the game to make it easier for you but is not necessary in order for you to complete a stage.  This game is not exactly a walk (or roll) in the park.  You will commit mistakes if you do not properly time your next action and eventually hit your head or smack to a wall.  If you aren’t t fast enough to flick down the screen, you will waste that precious head start you have while the guy chasing you gets closer or even get ahead of you with his stun gun ready. It’s just a matter of familiarization and awareness of the stage, so wash, rinse and repeat.

 

Vector is a challenging and addictive game.  If you are aware of the game Canabalt and think that it’s just the same potato, it’s not. Vector gives you that rush of blood to the head while maintaining its simplicity in game play unlike Canabalt.  I can easily say that I prefer this daredevilish game over the latter. I played in both smartphone and tablet: the tablet gives you the most convenience by giving you extra screen advantage to swipe and flick without losing sight of what’s next.

 

Vector for Android is a mobile conversion of its popular Facebook game “Vector”, which has already delighted more than 10 million players on iOS, Facebook and other social networks since its initial launch in summer 2012. Unlike the iOS version, “Vector for Android” combines the free and the deluxe version in one single app: 20 stirring Parkour tracks can be enjoyed completely costless. An upgrade to the 40 levels of “Vector Deluxe” is offered inside the app for only $ 0.99. (Source: Nekki.com)

 

For iOS users, you can download the game for the same price of $ 0.99.

 

 

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Temple Run: Brave was an interesting mash-up and now Disney is teaming up with Imangi Studios again to release a version of Temple Run 2 to tie-in with the new movie Oz: The Great and Powerful.

Called Temple Run: Oz, it will have the same gameplay as TR2 but has you controlling James Franco’s character in the movie instead of the Indiana Jones ripoff guy (spoiler alert: James Franco is the Wizard). And of course you run on a yellow-brick road.

Unlike the vanilla game which is free, this version will set you a buck ($1 USD) but will have 1500 coins of in-game currency with it — I have no idea what you use it for, though.

 

Source: iTunes

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To celebrate Google Play‘s 1st anniversary (starting from when it changed its name from Android Market), Square Enix‘ best reviewed Android title will be 50% off JUST FOR TODAY.

It’s still a bit steep going from $20 to $10 (370.81 php) even for a Final Fantasy game, but it’s still a full-fledged Final Fantasy game and hey, this is Squenix we’re talking about lol.

Here’s IGN’s video review of Final Fantasy Dimensions:

 

Source: Google Play Store

 

As updates of a new Star Wars movie are published left and right, Zen Studios (known for Pinball FX and Zen Pinball) teamed up with LucasArts to present Star Wars Pinball – both for iOS and Android. Will the game itself live up to the franchise’s stellar (hehe) reputation? Let’s find out.

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Downloading the game for $1.95 will hook you up with an Episode 5 table.  A dedicated Bobba Fett and a Clone Wars story line are unlockable by leveling up into a higher rank or by purchasing them for another $1.95 each.  Basically, the game still uses Pinball FX technology with much Star Wars loving poured on.

You will start off by choosing which side of the force you want to be in.  You can join Master Yoda and the rebel forces, or if you have dreams of becoming a Sith Lord, you can join Darth Vader to the dark side.  It does not really make a difference on the game play as it just separates you on the online ranking board.  The game physics is superb as the table acts as it should – throw the ball around the table like in a real pinball set.  As the game is overall Star Wars, you can see a lot of references such as lines from the movies during challenges and bonuses.  You will encounter Darth Vader using the force to break your ball (the nasty bastard), evade the tie fighters by using the jump ramp, destroy storm troopers, see Bobba Fett fly from one part of the table to another, and yes, a big ass Imperial Walker.

 

 

Overall it is a good time waster but the novelty will fade quickly if you are not into pinball or Star Wars. This game is definitely for the fans of the franchise who need to have their SW fix on the go.

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Star Wars Pinball is available both on iTunes and Google play.  The OS version requirement for Android should be 4.0 (ICS) and above.