Posts Tagged strategy
Over their long history, Square Enix has become synonymous with big, epic, blockbuster Japanese RPGs. But while mobile may be a great place for ports of classics like Chrono Trigger, when crafting a new game the company has to make something a little more modest than Final Fantasy XII 3. Heavenstrike Rivals is that new game, and we see how well it lives up to its pedigree in this edition of It Came From Canada!
While the game was made in collaboration with English studio Mediatonic, it’s hard not to notice the Final Fantasy style all over it. From the exciting but ultimately nonsensical name, to the plot involving brave youths rescuing a quaint and vaguely European world from a rising darkness, it’s pretty obvious where this game comes from. Fortunately it also has production values that rival its AAA cousins. The illustrated artwork is luscious and detailed, battle animations for the chibi characters are a delight, and the jaunty music sets the mood for adventure.
And players will need to be in the mood because Heavenstrike Rivals‘ strategic gameplay will demand a lot of their time, even if it is broken up into chunks via energy meters. Using units they’ve gathered, players face off against opponents on a board game-like grid. The goal is to have their army reach the end and begin attacking the other player directly. However, this requires fighting through the enemy units coming after them. It’s a straightforward idea, and the compact arena limits more extravagant strategies, but the game does offer depth through its unit variety.
Players gain access to more of their forces over the course of the round, and knowing all their quirks is where the fun begins. From the fighters’ increasing strength, to the scouts’ multiple hits, to the defenders’ shields, to the gunners’ range, effectively combining these abilities is the key to an effective squad. Plus it’s just satisfying to watch an enemy fall for your carefully planned trap. Outside of battle players can improve their squad even more by leveling-up stats, modifying magic users, and recruiting special vanguards to lead the assault.
A few years ago, Square Enix released a little strategy game for DSiWare called Dragon Quest Wars that entertained in a way similar to Heavenstrike Rivals. We’ll see if the larger App Store audience will be as receptive when the new game launches worldwide soon.
Want to know what we liked (and didn’t like) about all this fantasy fighting? Check out our Mark of the Dragon review!
Mark of the Dragon from Gamevil is a strategy/battle game that plays similarly to Clash of Clans. There’s one twist, however: you can breed dragons and raise them to be rideable war machines. Not surprisingly, this small gameplay tweak is pretty cool.
But fighting isn’t easy – even when you’re commanding things from the back of a giant lizard. Here are some tips and tricks to help you succeed in the dragon war.
Keep the Home Base Safe and Stocked
- Guard your eggs – Dragon eggs are arguably your most valuable resource in Mark of the Dragon. They take time and effort to breed and hatch, and the resulting offspring forms the backbone of your assault force. Other players can steal eggs during a raid, so defend them accordingly. Build walls around your nest, and put weapons nearby.
- Upgrade your resource depots ASAP – Upgrading the most important structures in your base, like your headquarters, requires a lot of resources – more than you can hold when you first begin playing the game. It’s extremely important to upgrade your resource depots whenever possible so you can amass the iron and wood necessary for major building projects.
- Raids provide tons of resources – Low on wood or iron? Mark of the Dragon’s single-player campaign provides opportunities to score tons of resources. Get out there!
Call of Duty makes a lot of money, and Clash of Clans makes a lot of money. So, logically, Activision thinks they can make a lot of money by putting those two things together. With Call of Duty: Heroes, that’s exactly what they’ve done. But will fans of bombastic shooters enjoy a tiny freemium tactics game and vice-versa? We go Oscar Mike to find out in this New Zealand edition of It Came From Canada!
While Call of Duty has gone everywhere from World War II to Vietnam to the near future, Call of Duty: Heroes takes place during the popular “Modern Warfare” era of the series. As the leader of a military base, players fortify their surroundings using the latest and greatest army toys. Bunkers, turrets, and thick walls defend HQ from roaming insurgents as well as other players in online battles. But as you’d expect from a game like this, there’s also a substantial offensive campaign as players engage in real-time strategy missions all over the globe. Successful assaults typically boil down to effective unit composition. Normal soldiers are cheap and easy to mass produce, but only armored soldiers can withstand heavy fire long enough to actually accomplish anything.
However, all of that is just the Clash of Clans formula that has now proven its success countless times. What does the Call of Duty license bring to the table? Well first off it actually creates this weird incongruous feeling. The detached, rational perspective of an omniscient commander in the sky doesn’t quite gel with the fast, visceral, and up-close cinematic action the series banks on with its tagline, “There’s a soldier in all of us.” Beyond that though, there are times when the game is more than just Call of Duty in name only. The leveling system works as a fine Prestige Mode substitute. The top-notch production values, with detailed visuals and an excellent frame rate, match the franchise’s high standards. Killstreaks and air strikes put players behind a turret and have them mow down targets from a familiar first-person perspective, and players can even enlist heroes from past games like John Price and his famous mustache.
Even if we have reached peak Call of Duty, the franchise still carries plenty of cache. We’ll see if that carries over to this new mobile spinoff when Call of Duty: Heroes launches everywhere soon.
Would you like to see what we thought of this rather pretty base builder? Check out our Agents of Storm review!
Have you downloaded Agents of Storm, been bowled over by the graphics, and aren’t quite sure what to do next? Never fear, for we’re here with some handy tips and tricks to help any beginner get started!
Diamonds Are Your Best Friend
- Diamonds don’t come easily in this game, which is a shame because they’re very useful. For that reason, don’t use them early on. Encouraging you to do exactly that is a common thing with games like this, but resist. There’s just no point using them up to save you a minute of time, when later on they’ll be far more useful.
- To boost your diamond supply, work towards the achievements that Agents of Storm likes you to complete. You’ll earn a few diamonds here and there for completing some fairly straightforward tasks.
- You can watch videos for free diamonds, too. It’s a bit tedious, but it’s handy when trying to earn more. You could always leave the video playing while doing something else away from your phone for those few seconds!
- Put those diamonds towards the many enhancements in the shop. These can make all the difference. The Build Module reduces the cool down time between buildings, while Pagoda gives you experience just for being there. Waterfall gives you more gold from every attack you complete.
- Focus on upgrading your resource gathering buildings for that very reason. Gold is particularly useful as it’s needed for attacking islands. As island attacks are your main source of progressing anywhere in the game, you want to focus on this.
Curious to see how much fun we’ve been having with all this hero-shuffling? Check out our Terra Battle review!
Terra Battle is a strategy-based puzzle RPG that is accessible and addictive, yet multi-faceted and challenging, so take heed of these hints and tips before you and your squad head into dangerous, uncharted territory.
On the Battlefield
Terra Battle‘s fighting system is based on a form of Rock Paper Scissors, in which certain weapon types can outperform others: swords have the advantage over bows, bows can dominate spears, and spears can best swords. Remembering this cycle is key in deciding which squad member to use in the next attack. The staff simply highlights a mage character with healing attributes but no attacking ability.
There is a time limit in which each movement must be completed, so try to plan a movement in advance – particularly if it involves displacing another tile into a better position for chain support or a direct attack. If you’re smart about it, pre-planning a route and approaching multiple characters from certain angles can set up multiple chain attacks were before there was none.
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