App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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I’m always a bit leery of starting up a “traditional” iOS RPG. It’s not that I dislike the subgenre; it’s just that the results are typically hit or miss. Usually miss. Sticking with the awkward baseball analogy, RPG Aeon Avenger is like one of those overly dramatic moments in a sports movie where the batter looks like they’re going to miss, but they tag the ball anyway. They don’t necessarily hit a home run but at least they aren’t out. Well it makes sense in my mind, anyway.
Aeon Avenger is a lot like playing an awkward RPG styled after Chrono Trigger. An unlikely hero gets swept up in an adventure spanning multiple time periods, never leaving his world, per se, but seeing it in several different states over the centuries. In Lake’s case (yes, his name is Lake) it all begins when his family is slain by a mysterious man who can control monsters. With the aid of a wandering swordsman and a time-traveling sorceress, he sets out to put an end to the mysterious Man in Black, time paradoxes be damned.
Despite a generally simple look and some fairly uninteresting maps, Aeon Avenger does have some pretty impressive sprite work both for the portraits and enemies. It also uses an interesting system that allows any character to equip any weapon type, but they’re also most effective with their preferred implement. Different enemies also have particular weaknesses to certain weapons so it can sometimes pay off to switch things up a bit. In addition to the weapon system there are a number of skills that can be equipped to a given item to grant its wielder additional abilities. Of course not all skills can be used with all weapons but it’s a nice way to really diversify the group.
As I’ve mentioned the maps are rather bland, but the overly sensitive movement controls (complete with overly restrictive hitboxes for the virtual stick) make them even more of a drag to navigate through. After a while I gave up on exploring because it was so bad, and I love exploring. It’s also a shame that the script is so awkward. I didn’t notice many actual errors in the dialog, but it just doesn’t read all that well and the overall story is rather hard to get invested in. And what’s up with having to go into the “Status” menu to equip things? Why not, I dunno, use the “Equip” tab in the “Tools” menu instead?
I can’t honestly call RPG Aeon Avenger the next big iOS RPG, but it’s certainly not a bad entry into the genre. The story isn’t exactly captivating and the combat is fairly standard, but it does make use of an interesting equipment system that’s worth experimenting with.