Monthly Archives:April 2014

Game Review: Million Arthur

4 Apr , 2014,
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Million Arthur, an immensely popular mobile card collecting game in Japan, has finally hit the app stores of out mobile phones here in South-East Asia. Whether you’re a fan of anime, card games or just like a well fleshed out story in general, there’s something in Million Arthur for you.

Fantastic art is what makes Million Arthur special among the slew of mobile games in the market. Names like VOFAN, BUNBUN, Nitroplus are among those who contributed card illustrations to the game, and they did an amazing job. No one would fault you if you sat in the gallery just admiring your cards in their full glory. It wouldn’t be a surprise if your goal in this game is to collect them all.

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And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Adding to that is a fully animated opening, complete with music, dark foreshadowing and battle scenes, like your traditional anime opening. This is an unexpected treat, a nice deviation from the norm of jumping straight into the addictive gameplay.

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Merlin, what are you doing in the evil mastermind’s light?

The story is quite straightforward. You are Arthur, the knight chosen by Excalibur, rightful ruler of Britain. However, you’re not the only one. There are many other Excaliburs, and many other Arthurs; about a million. Your job is to defend Britain from outside invaders, while fighting other Arthurs to be the strongest Arthur of them all!

But you can’t do it alone. This is where the cards come in. Cards represent knights, loyal to King Arthur (that’s you), each with its own lore and special abilities. You form a deck using these cards, and they become your personal army. Cards have synergy bonuses with each other; having cards from the same faction in your deck will grant helpful bonuses, like increased health or attack.

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C-C-Combo Maker!

Once a deck has been formed (manually or by using the Recommended Deck option), you are ready to take it into battle. The battle system is completely automated. All you have to do is to sit back and watch the battle unfold. When your super meter is full, your chosen Arthur performs a special attack unique to his class, also beautifully animated.

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Warrior Arthur is fully pumped and ready to go!

There is an option for you to combine certain cards together to create all new cards. It’s similar to the function in Shin Megami Tensei IV, where you can combine units you don’t need to create powerful units. It’s an interesting mechanic, so your collection doesn’t flood with cards you don’t want. You can also sacrifice cards to power up your existing cards.

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Girl with Lion + Allen Walker look-alike = ROBOT ALIEN DESTROYER.

The other part of Million Arthur is ‘exploration’. When exploring, you gain gold and experience points, along with the chance of receiving a Knight Card. However, you may also happen across enemy Faeries along your journey, which you can choose to fight or just ignore it for the time being. Defeating these Faeries will net you cards, gold and experience.

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Arthur’s most dreaded enemy: the schoolgirl!

Both of these actions require points; battles need Battle Cost (BC) and exploration costs Action Points (AP). When you level up by gaining enough experience points, you are given 3 points to allocate as you see fit to either BP or AP, raising your maximum point total. The other way of increasing your maximum points is by adding friends. Each friend you add also gives you 3 points, similar to a level up.

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Friendship is magic, magic is power, power means more points!

You will inevitably come across an opponent you cannot defeat alone. Your friends can join in the battle, each contributing his or her amount of damage. When the foe is defeated, each participant is rewarded for joining in.

But there are more enemies than these random encounters. In the story mode, you get to fight predetermined bosses, all while experiencing the fully voiced dialogue between characters, in Japanese of course. The characters are well developed, with very interesting personalities.

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Someone’s in a Lot of trouble.

However, no matter the outcome of your story battle, the end result would never change. Most of your battles leave Arthur winded and tired, even if you one-shot the enemy, or even if Arthur wasn’t even in the battle. It would have been nice if how you ended the battle affected the following conversation.

There are still features that are to come to the South-East Asia version of the game, like guilds and potentially guild battles, and that may increase the longevity of the game, but even in its current state, it’s still worth your time.

PSO2 goes English, and we love it!

3 Apr , 2014,
Crimson
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Asiasoft announced that they were publishing Phantasy Star Online 2 in English (PSO2) about a week ago, and just this afternoon, I got several hours hands on with the game during a closed door media preview.

Having already tried the Japanese service, I had some high hopes. This was a Sega title, after all.

For the uninitiated, PSO2 is an MMOARPG (the ‘A’ here stands for action, in case you were wondering) with console style graphics and aesthetics where you play an ARK recruit in a sci-fi setting.

With the customization options, you can pretty much adjust anything. Well, almost anything. :x

With the customization options, you can pretty much adjust anything. Well, almost anything.

ARK recruits are essentially the equivalent of space cadets, and once you’ve customized your character (and the level of customization is quite comprehensive) and picked one of several races and classes (with localized archetypal names of warrior, ranger, and wizard), you’re thrust into a fairly deep and involved story line with all the hallmarks of a classic JRPG.

The good thing of course is that the game can be played solo or with friends, and features instanced dungeon maps linked to a central hub. Friends, naturally, make things go a whole lot smoother.

Beat on alien life-forms, steal their treasure, have fun with friends.

Beat on alien life-forms, steal their treasure, have fun with friends.

I was a little sad that I didn’t get to roll a Deuman or Braver at the outset, but I’m sure that the good folks at Asiasoft will be making them available sometime in the near future. *hinthint*

Now, on to the localization.

One of the biggest challenges I’d expected this release to face was the dialogue and the VOs. The original Japanese cast included some top name seiyuu, and matching up would be a tall order. It was a pleasant surprise when I discovered that rather than dubbing the NPCs over, the company had chosen to streamline the written dialogue instead, without compromising any of the nuances from the original.

And that, of course, was a win in my books.

Needless to say, PSO2 is a game best experienced, and with the Beta test coming up 10th to 13th April, we’re giving away some Beta keys to a few lucky readers who live in  Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, or the Philippines.

These keys will also give you early access when the game goes live sometime in the next two months, so be sure to check out our Facebook raffle  for more details!

You can also keep tabs on the latest developments PSO2 in English developments through their official Facebook page.