Developer: Kevin Mitchell
Version Reviewed: 2.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Fall of Angels certainly has a noble enough goal: emulating classic Japanese role-playing games. Given how indie the game feels it's impressive how well it executes this fairly lofty ambition. However, it's not without issues.
Of all the JRPG tropes Fall of Angels seeks to recreate, its sprawling fantasy story is the one it seems the most proud of. Players take control of Sariel and his soldiers as they investigate a mysterious object that has crashed onto their world, Tellus, all the while dealing with the surrounding wars. If that sounds overly vague then good because the plot, while epic in scope, is kind of meandering and nonsensical but in the same way JRPGs tend to be. For some, it will a compelling reason to trek through the lengthy campaign. The rest of us though will have to find motivation elsewhere.
Luckily, Fall of Angels doesn't forget that classic JRPGs backed up their absurd, melodramatic, slow-paced stories with solid gameplay. When exploring the thankfully random battle-free overworld, players will occasionally need to solve some pretty clever puzzles to progress. Everything from touch to sound to text is implemented. What really matters though is the battle system and while it's nothing too innovative it does have some interesting mechanics. Attacks and spells are handled in the standard, menu-based way. However, instead of each party member taking a turn they must recharge after performing an action. This means if players manage their party correctly, they can always be doing something. Juggling party members makes the whole affair more involved and dynamic when combined with the smart, fast touch controls. However, mismanagement can lead to unengaging lulls in battle as everyone, including enemies, wait to recharge.
What JRPGs of old had that this game doesn't though was charming visuals. During battles and conversations the anime artwork looks fine enough. However, the choice to place 2D sprites on 3D backgrounds makes the overworld sections look basic and cobbled together. Not to mention that the run animation is unintentionally hilarious. The music fits but it also sounds like it has been taken from other sources. Still, one maybe can forgive a developer that seems to have limited means.
Fall of Angels is a faithful, modest JRPG homage with cool environmental interactions and battle mechanics. Anyone into games with quotes like "a man may run from his actions through this life and the next but the angels will always find him," should probably give it a look.