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. 😛
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.
I’m kind of wishing that people happened on my blog post about the game earlier in the year since I’m somewhat losing interest in playing. XD I’m kind of at dead end right now as my newest dungeon (top one in the screenshot below) is a killer and very difficult to complete without using up Magic Stones to continue. It’s usually not the regular enemies that do me in; it’s the damn boss monster. I think the last few were able to 2-hit my party.
I suppose I wouldn’t have so many problems if I could strategize and see + set up patterns beforehand. Oh well, I always did kind of suck at puzzle games. ^^~
Anyway, the point of this post is, well, just for the screencap since I’ve NEVER seen GungHo hold specials for every single normal dungeon before. This particular one is for 1.5x the normal drop rate and it lasts for 4 days. I’m guessing it started yesterday?
At any rate, I’m going to play a little today to get some money and monsters. Whee~!
I’ve been putting some quality time into this game. My character’s currently at level 31 and just rescued the Elder of the Steel Orcs. The boss at this part had me quite stumped since he would keep putting my characters to sleep and kill all of them that way. >_< I wish the Inotia series would have some items that can restore people from various status effects — that, and the bloody ability to teleport to towns and such. I suppose walking everywhere is pretty much a staple of Inotia so Com2uS will never change it. Bastards.
Anyway, a tip for fighting Zahad Kuruhatt: switch to Olaf and spam Rush of Anger as much as you can. Heck, just spam any skills that can stun or incapacitate the boss in some way.
Edit: I suppose if you have a Warrior, you won’t need to switch to Olaf. ^^ Kiyan is a Black Knight in my game and my party at the time only consisted of a Priest and Warlock or Priest and Archer. I can’t remember.
Read about this social game while going through some older posts at Andriasang.com today. It’s described as a simulation roleplaying game but in reality, it’s a peculiar mixture of tower defense and super simple one-touch automated RPG.
The game starts off with a brief tutorial that allows you to select a single random unit which comes in the form of a card. I think you can then draw a few more units. (I can’t remember clearly. ^^;;) And finally, it tells you to select a unit to be a leader character. Er, oh yeah, there are different types of characters like fighters, archers, and magic users. Not all units are human either since I’ve drawn monsters too. ^^
The tutorial then continues with the tower defense gameplay mode by teaching you the basics of selecting a unit and placing them in a highlighted area. Each unit has a cost and every stage gives you a fixed amount of unit points to start off with. The points regenerate as you play the stage. Also, you can only place a certain number of units on the gameplay field. If you have any leftover space (and some available points, I think), you can select characters from other players to assist you in your battle.
The other gameplay mode has stages where your leader character runs northward along a very long dirt path. It seems the point of it is to collect certain unit cards. You can also level up your leader this way though. Anyway, along the path, he or she will encounter monsters or chests where you can get new unit cards. It seems that random characters from other players will pop up too? I’m not sure about this though.
Of course, there are many other things to do in the game such as trading cards with other players, fusing cards to strengthen characters, buying and selling cards + items, sending friend requests, and more.
One big gimmick about Fantasica is that both gameplay modes as well as obtaining new cards from the Gacha menu require some sort of points which limit how much you can do during a single gaming session. I believe the gameplay ones replenish after a while but getting new cards require either points obtained in the TD or RPG modes or by purchasing them with real money. There seems to be like 3 sets of points too. X___x In a way, it’s reminiscent of the Stamina & Friendship Points systems from Puzzle & Dragons.
I should note that this game requires one to register with the Japanese Mobage social community. The registration isn’t difficult but they require personal information like your gender, birth date and blood type (I wonder if all Japanese social networks ask for this. 9__9). Oh, and even if you don’t live in Japan, you’ll be forced to select a prefecture before you can finalize the registration process. If you’re hyper sensitive about allowing the public to know about these things, you’d best not even bother with the game. Or, you can quickly load up your Mobage home page after you finish registering so you can hide the info through the privacy settings.
The official site can be seen here. It’s Japanese only.
Oh, despite the fact that the product page on iTunes says the in-game languages are English and Japanese, 99% of the game is in Japanese. 😛 The English bits only come in the form of unit names and stuff.
For those that are braving this, be prepared for some boring prose! (I am incapable of creative writing.)
Those 3 critters may be cute and happy but they are totally out to murder your little band of monsters.
I downloaded this semi-social, cute puzzle/monster collecting freemium game on a whim after purchasing Epic Astro Story from the Japanese App Store. Unfortunately, I don’t believe the game is available outside of Japan.
Developed and published by GungHo Online Entertainment, it’s a dungeon crawler kind of like those old school, first person turn-based RPGs. In Puzzle & Dragons, you “control” a party of 5 monsters. Well, there’s six in the screenshot above since you can always bring a guest along with you! These monster guests are courtesy of other players but I’ll get more into that a bit later.
Puzzle & Dragons is super simple to figure out! Just match up rows or columns of the same type of coloured orbs/elements based on fire, water, air, light, and darkness. The minimum is 3 but if you manage a group of 5+ elements, it will invoke an area attack where you will hit all enemies on the screen. Of course, this is all dependent on whether or not your party contains monsters of the same elements as those orbs you match up.
Although this whole matching colours business is quite old by now, Puzzle & Dragons differs in that it’s turn-based, and within your turn, you can move any one orb anywhere in the puzzle grid. This allows you to set up combos to deal massive damage. However, selecting a puzzle piece triggers a countdown which limits the amount of time you have to figure out where to move it. On top of that, there’s a number on top of an enemy’s head that indicates the number of turns you have before it attacks so you have to think fast.
While grouping trios of the elements is all fine and dandy, you won’t get very far that way. To effectively get through a dungeon, you will need to strategize and create combos. Combos are basically multiple groups of 3 or more elements that are achieved within your turn. The main advantage is the increase in damage output and also the bonus effect of replenishing a greater amount of health if the combo includes a string of 3 or more Hearts.
Aside from the puzzle aspect, there’s also monster raising and monster fusion. Both will be covered in a later section but for now, let’s look at that thing about the game being a free and premium title. :3
As Puzzle & Dragons is a freemium game, it contains in-app purchases as well as a restriction of how much time you can spend playing. The restriction in this case is known as Stamina.
But wait!! Don’t stop reading yet! It’s not as bad as you think!
You expend Stamina every time you enter a dungeon. I believe the minimum begins at 3 points. Now, unlike other freemium games with a similar wait and play gimmick, Puzzle & Dragons is more reasonable in that 1 point of Stamina is replenished every 10 minutes so you’re not waiting half an hour or however many hours like usual. But, now that I think about it, the wait may get pretty bad when the Stamina gauge gets over 50. (I’m not entirely sure how Stamina increases. I thought it was through levelling up in rank but it’s not.)
If you’re impatient, you can always use Magic Stones to restore your Stamina gauge to maximum. Of course, free Magic Stones are conveniently difficult to come by in-game. In fact, the Shop icon is a subtle reminder that you can always purchase more!
The elemental dungeons~!
Dungeons are categorized as Normal Dungeon or Special Dungeon. The main differences between the two types are dungeon length, stamina cost, and enemy levels/strength.
Normal Dungeons have less stages that require low stamina to enter. They also contain more or less managable opponents. Special Dungeons are the exact opposite. Actually, Special Dungeons are only available for a certain amount of days and are a good source for money (and probably rare monsters).
Both dungeon types have stages that vary in length and number of enemies, but the final stage always contains a boss battle where you can either fight one beefy monster or take on several beefy monsters at once. If I remember correctly, the screencap at the top is a boss fight within one of the special dungeons.
There’s no real objective in the game, I don’t think. All you do is go around beating up other monsters and collect gold and eggs. These eggs are hatched upon completion of a dungeon stage and you will either get a regular monster (which come from a polka-dotted egg) or a rare monster (which pop up out a striped egg).
Oh yeah, completing dungeons nets you experience too! When your EXP bar is full, you will level up in rank and your Stamina gauge will replenish. You also unlock the feature to gift friends once you reach rank 20. There are probably other features that are dependent on rank that I’m not sure about though. .___.
It’s not a Pokedex!
Currently, there are 200 collectible monsters but I’m not sure if they can all be captured since the ones in the compedium seem to be either the ones you own or the enemy monsters. For some reason, ally monsters from other users don’t show up.
Most monsters have special active or passive skills that can be used in battle if the conditions are met. The conditions I’ve seen so far only call for a fixed number of turns. In terms of active abilities, they can be buffs, debuffs, restoration of the team’s health bar, or some sort of attack. Passive skills can consist actions like of counterattacking when hit or restoring a small amount of HP per user turn.
There are also monsters that have a Leader Skill which obviously only become available when placed in Leader slot. I’m uncertain of this but I think the party member you assign as a Leader becomes the guest character that other players can take with them into their fights.
You are free to configure your party in any way by choosing from the available monsters in your inventory. While variety is a good idea, adding several of the same elemental type will increase their attack power. The only catch when outfitting the team is that their combined cost — in the right image above, each monster’s value is indicated below their level — cannot exceed the allotted team cost. Using the screenshot on the right, you can see that my limit is 26 but I’ve only used up 22.
As mentioned in the previous section, you can acquire monster eggs while travelling through dungeons. As you are only allowed to have 20 creatures in inventory, you can choose to keep them, sell them, or fuse them with active or inactive party members. (You can increase the amount of inventory slots you have at the store though.)
Fusing monsters is the only way to level them up or evolve them. The latter requires them to be at their maximum level where you can then synthesize them with other maxed out monsters. The resulting monster will be one of higher grade. I’m not sure any fusion can fail but given the rarity of some of the “ingredients”, as well as the cost of the whole process, I don’t believe it’s possible.
Monster grades are indicated as stars on their profile cards. One star is the lowest possible grade and usually max out at level 10. As the stars increase, the maximum level also rises. As I’m early in the game, I don’t know what the highest grade would be but I’m guessing it’s 4 or 5 stars.
I don’t them and they don’t know me but we’re friends!
I opened this overview by stating that Puzzle & Dragons is a semi-social game. By this, I meant that part of the gameplay gimmick is that you can obtain Friendship Points (FP) from opting to take someone else’s monsters out with your group. Er, incidentally, the games labels the name of these points in Japanese which is 友情ポイント.
Everyone starts off as strangers and it will remain so unless you actually go out of your way to become acquainted with them through the game’s messaging and gifting system. You only gain 5 FP from an outting from strangers. However, once they become “friends”, you will get the obtain 10 FP. Unfortunately, all these Friendship Points, whether they’re from strangers or friends, can only be received once by day.
I never did check if you can simply go through dungeons without bringing along an ally but since there’s no disadvantage that I can think of in doing so, I always do. And because of this, I’ve racked up a ton of points that can be used in the Gacha menu! ^o^ In the menu, you can choose to use the Friendship gachapon machine or the Rare one. If it’s the former, you will need 200 FP to use it. For the latter, 5 Magic Stones are required. With either one, there’s a little gachapon machine in the form of a dragon that pops up a random egg from its tummy when you pull on its arm. ^^;
No picture here. XD
If you read or skimmed through all of this, I hope that I’ve somewhat piqued your interest in the game. I find it quite fun despite the whole Stamina gimmick that limits how much you can play in one sitting as well as the small frustration that it costs a lot to level up monsters as they evolve. But hey, that’s what the in-game shop is for, right? >_>
Oh, I forgot to mention, since this is a free title from the Japanese App Store, you can create an iTunes Japan account to download it to try it it out for yourself! You don’t need to enter any credit card information at all~!
While the folders are definitely backed up, they won’t show up when you’re restoring from a back up because the third party apps themselves need to be available on the device for that to happen.
After all, folders only exist when you put two apps together and yes, backing up a device DOES NOT mean backing up those applications you purchased from the App Store.
(You will notice that if you placed the default apps that came with your device into folders, THOSE folders will show up after a restoration because those particular apps came with your iPhone/iPod touch/iPad.)
Third party applications are stored in the iTunes library and are actually backed up each time you sync your device with iTunes. In Windows 7, their default location should be C:\Users\[your username]\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Mobile Applications. (Please don’t ask me about where files are on an XP or Vista system or a Mac. I don’t own a Mac and while I DO have iTunes on my XP partition, my primary library is with Windows 7. And no, I don’t have Vista on any of my computers.)
Now, when you choose do a back up — that is, in iTunes Windows, right clicking on the name of your device and selecting Back Up — the following will be saved (taken from http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1766):
Contacts* and Contact Favorites (regularly sync contacts to a computer or cloud service such as MobileMe to back them up).
App Store Application data (except the Application itself, its tmp and Caches folder).
Application settings, preferences, and data.
Autofill for webpages.
CalDAV and subscribed calendar accounts.
Camera Roll (Photos, screenshots, images saved, and videos taken. Videos greater than 2 GB are backed up with iOS 4.0 and later.) Note: For devices without a camera, Camera Roll is called Saved Photos.
Keychain (this includes email account passwords, Wi-Fi passwords, and passwords you enter into websites and some other applications. If you encrypt the backup with iOS 4 and later, the keychain information is transferred to the new device. With an unencrypted backup, the keychain can only be restored to the same iPhone or iPod touch. If you are restoring to a new device with an unencrypted backup, you will need to enter these passwords again.)
List of External Sync Sources (Mobile Me, Exchange ActiveSync).
Location service preferences for apps and websites you have allowed to use your location.
Mail accounts (mail messages are not backed up).
Managed Configurations/Profiles. When restoring a backup to a different device, all settings related to the configuration profiles will not be restored (accounts, restrictions, or anything else that can be specified through a configuration profile). Note that accounts and settings that are not associated with a configuration profile will still be restored.
Map bookmarks, recent searches, and the current location displayed in Maps.
Paired Bluetooth devices (which can only be used if restored to the same phone that did the backup).
Safari bookmarks, cookies, history, offline data, and currently open pages.
Saved suggestion corrections (these are saved automatically as you reject suggested corrections).
SMS and MMS (pictures and video) messages.
Trusted hosts that have certificates that cannot be verified.
Voicemail token (This is not the Voicemail password, but is used for validation when connecting. This is only restored to a phone with the same phone number on the SIM card).
YouTube bookmarks and history.
Back up data in Windows 7 is found in C:\Users\[your username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup
So then, how does one get folders back onto the home screens again? A thread at the Apple forums suggests to restore the device from the same back up data twice in a row.
To do this, choose “Restore from Backup …” from the context menu (i.e. right click over your device name in iTunes), select the back up folder, let iTunes do its thing but when it starts to sync with your device, cancel it.
Once that’s done, repeat the restoration process again by selecting to restore the exact same back up data. This time, however, let the syncing finish.
Yes, in iTunes, the layout of the home screens is going to look all strange, with some of the folders you created seemingly missing and most of your apps thrown across multiple screens. Heck, it was showing me *14* home screens — 3 more than the allotted amount. 😛
In the end though, my iPod touch 4G (running iOS 4.3.5) was completely restored (well, I’ve yet to try the apps and such but the folders, apps, and home screens certainly LOOK correct).
Now I’m just worried that my next sync is going to cause iTunes to throw the bizarre 14 home screens onto my touch because it’s still showing me the craziness. ^^;