Odin Sphere Leifthrasir – first impression


Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is an action RPG made by the same developer of Dragon’s Crown, which is Vanillaware. It feels quite similar to Dragon’s Crown, but not as exaggerated in human figure representations. In other words, you don’t see the shaking huge breasts barely covered by clothes which makes you ashamed of playing it in front of others. ‘Tis is a welcome change.

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir tells five books of stories which are intervened. With the fancy drawings and decent voice acting, it feels like a Disney movie, pure and loving, which I quite enjoy. Although I can somehow guess the outcome, I still paid full attention to the story and wanted to see what’s going on next. Part of it is due to the lack of ability to skip scenes or conversations, but I have to agree that the story is still better than many other RPGs. It is simple, but with positive attitude which distinguish itself from many current generation games with violent background.

Gameplay-wise, it uses the same mechanism as in Dragon’s Crown. The visual and sound effect is satisfactory and you can control what skills you use and master, which is an element required by RPGs. You can collect recipes and earn more EXP from the food you cultivated by eating them cooked as opposed to raw. But I feel the skill level is more important than character level. It’s important to focus on only a few skills so that you can use the most powerful ones in battle. I chose those use POW as it recovers faster than PP, which is consumed by magical spells.

In the game, you sometimes need to find hidden items to learn all skills. The good thing is you can go to any of the acts freely, so there is nothing missable. I’m still on the path to platinum it but so far it feels a very pleasant experience.

Final Fantasy Record Keeper brings you back to the FF worlds – a review

FFRK is a mobile game on iOS and Android made by developer DeNA Games using Square Enix’ IP. It is a casual F2P (free to play) game which nicely resembles past Final Fantasy games. The developer makes money via IAP which allows players to draw relics for their FF heroes.

In FFRK,  you enter the pictures of those final fantasy records with a team of 5 to defend them. You recruit heroes along the way, make them stronger, and then fight to preserve more records. In order to fight, you need to consume stamina, which refills 1 every 3 minutes.

As most F2P mobile games, there’s no ultimate goal or ending to this game. Developer periodically release new challenges as well as new characters and relics. You as a player gain satisfaction by conquering all that are available, or raise your favorite FF teams. Either way, you want to make your heroes stronger and stronger. There are 3 ways in the game to make them stronger. 1. Level up characters, 2. create and level up skills, 3. improve equipment.  The first two need stamina, which can be bought with in game currency mythril or real money. The third one need good weapons and armors, which can only be obtained by drawing relics. Mythril is quite limited, so many users ended up paying money.

Gameplay: ATB based battle system. It’s like the one used in FFXIII. In my opinion, it’s the best choice for final fantasy fans who are used to, or even prefer turn based battles. In simple cases, you can click the auto button to let your heroes use basic attack. In more challenging cases, you often need to decide carefully what skills to use, as they are restricted resources. That gives you the incentive to keep improving, therefore more battles, and more enjoyments.

Graphics and BGM: the game uses retro style pixel art. You can still recognize the heroes if you are familiar. But I prefer higher quality graphics, given that final fantasy games have always been the best in graphics in their own time. But I understand if they want to keep the footprint small for a mobile game. The BGM on the other hand is fantastic. They used the original FF music with the pictures. So nostalgic.

Performance: I bet this game is made for iOS first. On iOS it runs smoothly. It still has places where loading takes some time, but that’s when the client is talking to server. Btw the game requires internet connection to play, because all actions must be synced with servers to prevent hack. On Android, it’s another story. It’s super lagging on Android 6.0 on my N5X. In fact, it has the worst performance among all the mobile games I’ve played on Android. However on Nexus 6 which runs Android 5.1 it’s as good as on iPhone 6S.

Free to Play: I add this category to rate mobile games because many people are interested to know if they can play the game without paying for long. Free games aren’t all the same. Some games allow you to obtain all the things in game, but if you are impatient, you can pay to speed things up. Clash of Clans is a good example in this category. Some games integrated gambling. Once you are deep into the game, it’s hard to resist the urge to keep gambling, which requires real money. e.g. Puzzle & Dragons. FFRK is like the latter, but at least it grants you access to all characters in game, and it gives out mythrils generously (about 50 per month thanks to daily login bonus and event dungeons). With the free draws, you can get a decent team already. But for completionist be prepared to pay for big because DeNA releases new and better equipment every week.

Conclusion: I would recommend all Final Fantasy fans to try out the game if they like mobile games. Although there’s no story in the RPG game, you will have so much fun in raising your favorite heroes. For other people, if you like RPGs, and enjoy researching for different strategies to win, the game is worth trying too unless you use a low performance Android phone.