Developer: GAMEVIL
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

To a true RPG fan, endless monster killing, countless side quests, and complicated item screens really gets the blood flowing. It would have to be a really cold day in hell for a real RPG enthusiast to not at least be mildly entertained by any ol’ RPG, but there are definite qualities that put some over the top. Stories have to be sharp, dialogue has to make sense, item screens and level up systems can’t be too overly complex, and the controls (oh, the controls) have to work.

I’ll cut to the chase with this one: the controls in Illusia could use some work. Illusia is a side scrolling RPG hack-fest that adds a bit too much platform jumping for my liking. In a Mario type game, platform jumping is a critical element, but in an RPG it is more of a distraction than anything. The main problem with the control system is the overall speed of the game. The default speed setting in Illusia is represented by this little person who is walking incredibly fast, and as you can guess, many elements are really fast. The attack speed, enemy speed, and overall walking speed are dead on, but the minor movements are brutal. Even the slightest extra tap on the virtual D-Pad will send you into a speed move or a deviation from your jump path. Slowing the game down fixes the intricacies, but really slows down the overall game speed. There needs to be a balance, and Illusia misses the mark there.

Problem two, and this is really just another control issue, is that the buttons are uncomfortably small. The diminutive button sizes allows for a whopping 4 magic hot-keys, 4 item hot-keys, 2 action buttons, and a fairly large D-Pad to be on the screen at the same time, complete with adequate spacing, but I would be much happier if their were fewer, larger buttons. Reaching for a quick health potion mid boss battle and accidentally missing the button a few times is fairly problematic. The menu system also suffers from small button-itis, forcing you to use the D-Pad and action buttons to navigate rather than a more iPhone-centric touch control. It’s functional, but from a design standpoint it (and the font selection) could use some work.

Whew, now that the problems are done with, I’ll move on to the good stuff. Illusia is an entirely competent RPG with likable characters and steady upgrades, and the game’s pace progresses smoothly (although the story throughout is a bit vague) and will hold your attention as well as any good RPG would. The upgrade tree also works out quite nice, with level-up’s coming faster than just about any other game out there. Some people enjoy earning their levels; I kind of like this system where they come often.

With that all said, RPG fans really won’t find anything new here. They’ll get sucked into Illusia like they would in any other RPG on the market, but there is an overarching feeling of “been there, done that” througout. Rating a game like this is tough, because you will get a good deal of enjoyment out of it, but it doesn’t really do anything that will remember the experience. At the end of the day, if you love RPG’s, you’ll like Illusia. Just don’t expect greatness.

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