In the world of video games, no one really does a fantasy adventure quite like a good old JRPG. These longer form titles fit right at home in the mobile space, leaving fans of the genre with a wide array of options.
While Final Fantasy is probably the first name you think of when you hear JRPG, there are plenty of other options on the App Store for you try, too. We're here to highlight some of the best JRPGs that don't fall under the Final Fantasy banner. We're sure you'll enjoy them just as much, if not more.
Terra Battle, by Mistwalker Corporation, has surpassed 1.5 million downloads worldwide. To celebrate, they've announced that Yoshitaka Amano (Final Fantasy) is designing some new characters for the game. They're also adding a new scenario from Yasumi Matsuno (Final Fantasy XII and Vagrant Story), and a Terra Battle figure.
As if that wasn't cool enough, they're also adding a co-op mode. You'll be able to team up with friends to complete stages, story mode dungeons, and co-op specific dungeons. When you clear a co-op dungeons you'll also have a chance to get a summons, which let you summon monsters to help you fight. There will also be some new characters from Terra Battle illustrator Kimihiko Fujisaka.
You can download your own copy of Terra Battle for free on the App Store. The co-op update will be available sometime in the future. Hopefully soon-ish.
The end of 2014 is almost here, which can only mean one thing.
Okay it can mean a lot of things, but in this specific context it means Game of the Year lists!
Which is why the 148Apps staff have all picked their favorites from the past year. And why we've put them all into one handy list for you all to enjoy. It's a nice list, too. Lots of variety and even a few free downloads that are worth checking out. So give it a look, and if you agree (or even if you disagree) please chime in below!
Puzzle to the Center of the Earth feels like a breath of fresh air compared to most everything else I played this year. It's a fair free-to-play puzzle game that encourages and rewards patience in all of the best ways and none of the bad. It's also a platformer that requires forethought and strategy rather than reflexes.
Unlike other mobile games like it, Puzzle to the Center of the Earth is not pushing players to make huge combos or speed-run through levels. Instead they can take their time planning out the best courses through a cave, much like an actual spelunker might (albeit with the power to carve out paths by magically matching blocks). It's a super well made game that isn't scared to have players get lost in its levels for a good while, which makes it unique as a puzzle game. For a mobile title, it strikes a fantastic balance of being engrossing, replayable, rewarding, and light enough for playing on the go, all of which lend to it being my favorite mobile game of 2014. - [Campbell Bird]
When I heard that an original Hitman game would be coming to iOS, like plenty of other people I couldn't wait to cheese wire a guy to death while disguised as a security guard before popping another target in the face with my silenced pistol, all while waiting for a bus. When Hitman GO was released, many were initially disappointed to find that wasn't the case. However, after playing what is a deceptively simple and infectious game of strategy for a short time, many (including myself) were hooked.
Hitman GO looks like the board game you wish your family would play at Christmas (put away the Cluedo box, grandma) with its sheen and minimalistic graphics that just ooze class akin to the suit Agent 47 is known for. Combine that with accessible gameplay that calls for multiple play-throughs thanks to the variety of challenges available, forcing players to tackle levels in different ways, and you have a winner in Hitman GO. It's a game that should be on everyone's hit list - [Lee Hamelet]
Well met, warriors: 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.
In some way or another, most Japanese RPGs owe something to Final Fantasy. But with Terra Battle, the now-common mix of Western medieval fantasy with Eastern anime aesthetic feels earned. After all, its developer, Mistwalker, was founded by the Final Fantasy mastermind himself, Hironobu Sakaguchi. While this upcoming strategy game is definitely more modest than its ancestors, it’s still worth noticing when a company with this pedigree flexes its muscles. So that’s what we did in this latest edition of It Came From Canada!
As modern RPG plots become as integral to their respective games as they are incomprehensible, Terra Battle harkens back to an earlier time when fighting monsters was as good a reason as any to recruit tavern patrons to your party. There is a story, but those who choose to skip it can still find the game worthwhile.
And besides, the vast majority of the time is spent in the battlefield brawls that make up each chapter. Terra Battle's take on turn-based strategy feels like a cross between Fire Emblem and a board game like Reversi. Enemies and party members appear as squares on a grid. During each turn, players can move one square wherever they like while they still have time. To attack, players simply flank an enemy with two units.
The game also uses a weapon triangle system where certain attacks trump others, like rock-paper-scissors. However, proper positioning is the real focus. Beyond basic movement, players can explore other tactical options and quirks like passing units through each other to shift their locations or creating larger support clusters to attack multiple foes at once. Occasionally, powerful orbs will materialize on the grid, and by working those into their formations players can unleash even more devastating attacks perfect for boss fights.
To improve their party, players can also participate in daily challenges in special zones to earn more experience or loot. But really, the deep, intense, and highly strategic combat is the draw. It’s so good players may not even notice or care how lovely but generic the illustrated artwork is or how dull the barren grid itself becomes after staring at it for countless hours.
Terra Battle may not be some endless epic about saving the world from calamity, but it is a tight little test of wits. And it’s coming to the App Store soon, so be on the lookout.