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Developer: Kotobuki Solution Co.
Price: $6.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

At first, there weren’t many great role-playing games for iOS. Then came Zenonia and the Final Fantasy re-releases. Every once in a while, a new gem will pop up in the store. That gem is Fantasy Chronicle. RPGs are one of my favorite genres and yet most on iOS bore me. Fantasy Chronicle kept me hooked for the entire main storyline of the game.

Fantasy Chronicle isn’t a revolutionary and unique RPG. But the few unique elements it does have make it a great game. The game includes the cookie cutter RPG build that includes turn-based fighting with a party, finding and buying equipment, and progressing through a story. The unique elements are equipment creation and strengthening, grinding servants, cooperative attacks, and guardian beasts.

Various materials can be found all over the world (specific to the areas they are found). These materials can be used to create and strengthen (upgrade to the point of a new item) equipment. There are a few paths players can take with each weapon and piece of armor (for example, a choice between an elemental weapon or a stronger physical weapon). Grinding for these materials may seem horrible, but the game provides “puppets” that search areas for materials while players are out questing. Puppets are designated an area to search and when players come back they receive materials. The amount of materials seem to correlate with the number of fights players have been in since the last collection.

Guardian beasts are like summons that are constantly in a fight and linked to a specific character. They cannot be controlled but their general tactics can be set (offense, defense, or healing). Each beast is unique and has its own set of special skills. Equipment can given to guardian beasts but work slightly differently than on characters.

The cooperative attacking is a simple enough element. Each pairing of characters has a special attack that they can perform together that gets stronger as their “bond” grows (more cooperative attacks together). I honestly didn’t use this feature often. I found that I did more damage allowing each character to attack on their own. But it was still interesting.

I got 15 hours of gameplay out of the game for the main storyline. After the credits roll, the game can be saved and then loaded to start a sort of epilogue game. Two more guardian beasts are added immediately (one that’s mentioned often at the end of the story). Extra final bosses are added. They are incredibly hard. It took me a few tries to defeat the last storyline boss with my characters at around level 58. But the after-game bosses destroyed me. For most, more grinding will be needed to complete the extra material.

Fantasy Chronicle definitely ranks in my top five experiences with an iOS RPG, rivaled by Zenonia and Final Fantasy. It may be my favorite.

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