Tag Archives: games

The magical arm injury in anime, manga, and games

I always wonder … why is it that characters always hold their arm after becoming a victim of some sort of injury? It’s like if they’re thrown against a wall, they’ll get up and hobble a bit while holding their arm. I suppose it’s plausible that the arm broke or something when the body hit the wall but then there are instances where characters are pummelled to a pulp and when they get up, they’re still holding onto their arm???

Various screencaps from Android apps & Google Play

Most of these are heckling Google Play reviews or app descriptions and pointing out silliness in games.

More screens coming soon~! XD I’ll probably do another post though.

Raging about Mobile Action KRPGs

Before I start, I should list my “experience” with Korean-made RPGs~!  These are off the top of my head so I’m probably missing some: Zenonia (never finished but played late into it), Zenonia 2 (midway through), Zenonia 3 (completed first playthrough only), Zenonia 4 (completed first playthrough only), Seed 2 (midway through), Seed 3 (maybe midway through?), Inotia 2 (late into the game), Inotia 3 (finished), Inotia 4 (most likely midway through), Elphis Adventure (stuck at Jeanne d’Arc era), Destinia (midway through), Advena (somewhere in the beginning), and Illusia (beginning). For what it’s worth, I played a bit of Seed (the first one) as well but the translation was so painful, I deleted the game shortly after the character got to the harbour town at the beginning of the game. 😛

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I have a love-hate relationship for all the RPGs that Gamevil, Com2uS, and CH Games publish. On one hand, I play them because I guess I kind of enjoy mindless hacking and slashing. After all, their games aren’t known for amazing plots or characters. 😛 On the other hand, I will complain about them tirelessly on Twitter.

One of the main things that drives me insane is the fact that each company holds inventory space hostage. With the exception of Zenonia (the first one) and other cell phone ports of older games, every single fucking RPG requires you to pay for inventory space out of your own pocket.  I’m a natural packrat when it comes to RPGs so only have 9 – 12 slots is really useless to me.  And I pick up everything I see because, in many cases, it takes FOREVER to make money solely from grinding enemies so I need stuff to sell. Also, I’m pretty sure that even if people aren’t packrats, they’ll run of space fast because, seriously, if you’re going to be carrying around potions and alchemy material (for synthesis and stuff), you’re not going to have space for anything else.

There ARE games where money doesn’t seem to play too much of a role though — like Inotia 4.  To me, you pretty much have to rely on enemy spoils and the Fusion Machine to get what you need since, honestly, enemies and selling stuff won’t get you very much.  At least, not unless you spend hours slaughtering the same monsters over and over.

Oh, and that’s another thing. Incessant amounts of GRINDING. I suppose you can get by with stocking up on potions and spamming the hell out of them but for titles with item cool down times, this probably isn’t the way to go.  Actually, for RPGs that have player versus player battles, I would think that’s a form of encouraging people to grind.  Why can’t developers give me more substance or some other alternative to strengthening characters instead?

Adventure Bar Story, which isn’t a KRPG (and certainly not action-oriented), gets around this by implementing another system to level up characters.  In that game, you eat food to gain experience and food can be obtained by cooking raw ingredients which are found lying around in various dungeons or purchased at towns.  In other words, you’re not required to spend hours beefing up your party or character by enacting constant genocide on every single evil creature you come across.

Speaking about levelling, there are even games like Elphis Adventure that allow you to pay for extra stat and skill points. I am convinced that Com2uS designed it so that enemies in the game are extremely tough (offensively and defensively) just so that you would go this route and take out your credit card to pay your way through the game.  Granted, if you can get into a steady rhythm of alternating between normal attacks + special attacks, you can probably get through a bit of the game without falling into the trap of  grinding to level up.  Unfortunately, things can get rough once you end up in France (or was it Britain?). 9__9

Another common and aggravating factor of KRPGs is the sidequest system.  It is the same in every goddamn game:  You have to kill x-amount of monsters, or you have to get x-amount of spoils from certain monsters, or you have to collect x-amount of materials. Why can’t these sidequests be self-contained stories that don’t involve fetching items or murdering monsters, such as solving a mystery in a town or escorting a merchant somewhere?  I know those are usually main quests but honestly, they could work well as non-crucial quests too. In fact, I’d LOVE to see these implemented but I suppose it’d require more thought and writing for the designers. 😛

Oh wow. This post is getting long! I should sum up some other rage in point form!

  • Quest-giving NPCs that aren’t marked on a map. For some reason, there are some games where, if an NPC is in a building, you won’t see the indication of a quest (usually in the form of an exclamation mark) on the mini map. It really won’t kill you to put an “!” above a building, you know. Players aren’t so stupid that they’ll stop in front of a structure and complain that there’s no one standing in front of it to give them a quest.
  • IAP-only materials like scrolls needed to reinforce weapons. Yes, these aren’t necessities but given that the option is there, it’d be nice to be able to buy them in-game with in-game currency. Elphis Adventure is guilty of this. I’m not sure you can ever purchase the scrolls needed to use the Blacksmith for ANY weapons or armor customization at a regular merchant or if any enemies drop them.  The hilarious thing is that you can simply dismantle equipment to get the OTHER materials needed for strengthening. WTF?
  • IAPs for useful items like appraisal scrolls. I forgot which KRPG it was, but unless you got them from quests or enemy drops, the only other way to get them was from an in-app purchase.
  • Penalties for game over. I only see this as another scheme by developers to lure people into buying those special resurrection items from the IAP store.
  • Not tablet optimized. The hotkeys on some of the games are not easy to use due to their positions.  Unless you have giant man-hands, you have to stretch your right hand a bit to hit the furthest ones. 9__9

Naturally, I’d love to see innovation from these companies but the mindless formula sells so I really don’t see it changing any time soon.

Dragon Tear (JRPG on Google Play)

Note: Please don’t ask me guide or walkthrough-type questions because I have a HORRIBLE memory so even if you ask where to proceed from a certain point in the game, I probably won’t be able to help you. ^^

For some time now, I’ve been looking for games for my Galaxy Tab 10.1. While there are certainly a lot of games on Google Play, there aren’t many that look interesting to me.  It seems that most of the ones I want are only available for folks in Japan.  Well, it’s either that or device incompatibility. :E

Just recently, mmgames put a few of their RPGs on sale.  Like Kemco/Kotobuki Solutions (makers of RPG Alphadia and Symphony of Eternity), mmgames seems to love slapping premium prices onto their apps.  I’m not quite sure why because they’re not spectacular by any means.  Perhaps some of them are ports of renown cell phone games or something.  Who knows?  Anyway, I picked up one of their run-of-the-mill RPGs called Dragon Tear.

Since I’m mostly illiterate to Japanese, some of the following information could be incorrect!  The story seems to revolve around a teen named Enon and his dragon friend, Toa.  The game  begins several years in the past with a young Enon encountering  an injured Toa in the forest near Enon’s hometown.  For some reason, they become friends but because dragons are feared and considered evil creatures and such, Enon keeps the discovery and the friendship with the dragon a secret.

For the next few years, Enon continues to visit Toa (who took up residence in the forest) but one day, a group of bratty kids (I think, I can’t remember if they were adults are not. XD) from  town discover Toa and try to get rid of him.  Enon comes to his friend’s defense but — and this is a little iffy since I kind of rapidly clicked through the dialogue XD — somehow gets severely wounded by the group that wanted to kill the dragon.  At this point, Toa saves Enon by giving him some of his blood which, I believe, is actually some contract of sorts.  I’m not sure if Toa explains it but somewhere along the way, it’s mentioned that humans that receive a dragon’s blood gain incredible strength and powers.

So something happens (^^;;) and the gang of bullies freak out and brand Enon a monster and run back to town.  I suppose, since Toa has been discovered and could no longer stay in the forest, Enon decides to leave with him.

Their journey together eventually gets them involved with the evil empire that’s apparently been partially responsible for all the destruction dragons have been causing.  In fact, it seems like the empire’s trying to create an army full of super humans by infusing soldiers with dragon blood.  Well, at least that’s my interpretation of the events I’m seeing in the game. :3  If anyone else is playing the game and is fluent in Japanese, I’d really appreciate corrections and more information about the story. ^^

Anyway, Dragon Tear itself plays like those old school NES RPGs such as Dragon Warrior so there are no stupid fetch or hunting quests that are so rampant in mobile RPGs these days, and there’s no convenient auto-mapping feature. (I kind of wish there was one because I got lost in the Forest of Eternity a few times. XD)

The game has a rather strange equipment growth system where weapons and armor increase in strength as you attack and get attacked.  The odd thing about is is that it gets me confused as to when I should be buying new equipment.  I mean, equipment can either have a slow or quick growth rate so if I’m using a weapon with a low base stat and slow growth rate, should I stick with it to max it out?  Or should I ditch it and buy another weapon that has a higher base stat and fast growth?  I think it would have been better if the game actually showed you what an equipment’s maximum stat was so that it would be easier to make the decision of whether or not a piece of armor or weapon should be scrapped. Oh yeah, the selling price of the equipment also increases as its stats grow.

I do believe that armor only grows if the character wearing it gets hit. I’m actually running into a bit of a problem with this right now. XD You see, Toa’s permanently armed with some red dragon jewel or something so he’s an exception to equipment growth. HOWEVER, enemies seem to love picking on him. This means that he takes the brunt of attacks which deprives the other characters of armor growth! >:E

Here’s a random battle screenshot. I took it after Toa got attacked. XD (The text mentioning the amount of damage taken wasn’t finished yet. ^^)

Dragon Tear Battle
Stop picking on Toa!

The strange thing about battles is that there isn’t any option for Enon to invoke some super powerful dragon power move or something.  However, during an event scene, he did seem to have powered up so he could punch some enemy dragons.  (Not entirely certain WHAT he did since the sprite animations are so simple. XD)  But since triggering the dragon blood or whatever knocks him out for a few days, I guess it’s a good thing the option isn’t there. ^.^