Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Kemco is well-known (somewhat infamously) by the mobile gaming community as a purveyor of any old RPG it can release. That means sometimes we find them publishing games of dubious quality. So when a new game is release into the wild it seems it's always a gamble as to whether or not it's actually going to be worth playing. Fanatic Earth is Kemco's latest traditional mobile RPG, and even at first glance it's obvious that this release has no more going for it than a good portion of the rest of the Kemco stable. In short, it's not exactly a masterpiece. It's cut-and-dry and bland all the way through.
The Achratoth Pandemic has stricken the planet, bringing with it a disease that's decimated 78% of the world's inhabitants. There was a desperate search for a vaccine, but none was found. Instead, humanity banded together to create a particle shield to keep the remaining survivors safe from the Achratoth. Xilleon City exists beneath the shield, with inhabitants doing their absolute best to figure out a different course of action. Except the benevolent corporation Cyphatek is incredibly fishy. Fanatic Earth takes place within a concentrated group of people seeking a better life - and though their plight is admirable, the game simply isn't fun enough to sustain you throughout the narrative.
From the onset, reading a wall of text that you're forced to scroll through (or skip if you want to go in blind) isn't exactly endearing. After that, you're sent careening into the game headfirst with no real understanding of the events taking place or how you're connected to them. What's extremely jarring are the character portraits, which are leagues different from what you may be used to with other Kemco games. EXE Create has laid the framework for a strangely realistic-looking set of characters, but despite their unorthodox aesthetics, they don't look bad - just different.
Fanatic Earth plays out just as you'd expect any generic JRPG to, with battles comprised of four party members and a turn-based battle system. There's not even an overworld to speak of, so instead you're given a map with points of interests to travel between. There's no real need for confusion with a system like this, but that also lends an overwhelming sense of linearity to an already predictable game. For the rare instances where you are required to do some navigation, dungeons are extremely simple to find your way around in.
As far as combat goes, Fanatic Earth's system mimes the rest of EXE Create's lineup. It's an inoffensive enough turn-based affair, with physical and special attacks that consume SP. Unfortunately, there's extremely little in the way of character customization for you to fall back on or beef up characters with if you find yourself falling behind in battle.
Equipment is as run-of-the-mill as you might guess with one caveat: party members can equip special cores that come packing specific abilities. While some can be found in-game, there are also a ton of the cores up for grabs in the cash-only store as in-app purchases. There are a ton of different cores, so you can have a head start by purchasing some of them, but it's not worth the trouble since you could just grind in order to find them.
In the end, Fanatic Earth is a simplistic, grindy, and repetitive quest that you've played a million times before, only with different names and different graphics. Opt for something meatier for the money. You'll be glad that you did.