Tag: Korean »
App Reviewed on: iPad
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Korean RPGs (KRPG) have something of a cult following on the app store. Developers keep churning them out and gamers keep consuming them with a voracious appetite. Most of them are pretty cut and paste with a formulaic design, colorful 2D graphics, and a soundtrack that induces the unwanted urge to hum along. Chroisen is no different than its competition in most ways, but it does enter the market at an attractive $0.99 price point. It offers most everything a KRPG fan could want without breaking the bank.
Chroisen supposedly has an epic storyline, but the translation is somewhat lost due to typographical errors and strange sentence structure. This isn't necessarily a downside though because I've come to expect those elements as part of the true KRPG experience. Besides, the real meat of the game is in the combat and customization. There are four classes with various skills and job upgrades that all have their own play-style. There's also an addictive title system that lets players earn new titles by completing certain tasks. To top it off, the developers added the ability to craft items and modify weapons/armor with stones and gems. The game also offers up in-app purchases of items and equipment, but they aren't required to fully enjoy the game.
The combat is a typical hack 'n slash system with special abilities assigned to the several slots surrounding the attack icon. The game's circle pad makes character movement seem a little erratic, but with some practice I was able to get used to it. Battles can get repetitive, and there's a lot of item and level grinding, but the attack animations are top notch. The graphics and sound are on par with other KRPG's - they aren't bad, but I'd be hard pressed to pick them out in a line-up of KRPG screenshots and audio clips. Character development drives the whole experience. I found myself blazing through the story and quest text just to grind through the next mission so I could enhance my character's stats and abilities (the mini-map is a huge help).
Chroisen manages to offer some great replayability with multiple character classes and a "rebirth" mode after completing the main game. It is a shame that there are only 3 save slots and 4 characters, but that's a small oversight that could easily be fixed via update. Overall, Chroisen is a solid entry in the genre. The game doesn't cover any new ground, but it is quite a deal for KRPG fans looking for a fix on a budget.
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Gamevil is the fantastic company behind Zenonia and Baseball Superstars. I recently had the chance to review their latest game, Zenonia, and it blew me away; you can read my review here, but suffice to say that I thought it clearly surpassed other RPGs in the App Store. While the Korean-based company has only released two games in the US App Store so far (the other Baseball Superstars), both have been very well-received.
The president of Gamevil USA, Kyu Lee, generously agreed to answer a few questions about Zenonia, Gamevil, and the App Store in general. He has some really interesting and intriguing insights—it's not often that we get to hear things from a mobile game developer's point of view.
Parts of this interview were also used in my Search for Satisfaction editorial, but there's plenty of additional content here!
Bonnie Eisenman (148apps): Hi, Kyu, and thanks for taking the time to do this! For starters, what inspired you guys to make Zenonia? I don't just mean "why make an RPG"--I mean, "why make a good RPG?"
Kyu Lee (Gamevil): We've been developing and publishing mobile games since 2000 in South Korea. One of the most popular categories in South Korea is Role-Playing Games, and it is an extremely competitive category. We "had" to make good RPG games in order to survive through the tough competition. We have been developing RPG games ever since we launched "Last Warrior" in 2001, the first RPG mobile game in Korea, which was less than 50KB. ZENONIA was a project decided to be done after we launched our multiplayer network game, "Path of a Warrior".