iPhone/iPad Game Review: Aralon: Sword and Shadow HD Reviewed by Abisco / Abbass-Ali Siwjee
In the making for quite a while, the story of how this game is almost as epic and as fantastical as the game itself. Originally developed by Galoobeth Games, a 2 man, the game was quickly picked up by Crescent Moon games, the developer/publisher of games such as Ravensword and Rimelands. Aralon Sword and Shadow HD is a large RPG game often referred to as Elder Scrolls in your pocket. This is the holy grail of RPG on the iPhone and iPad, and so far nothing I have ever played has even come close to touching it.
You start the game by picking your race and class, the common staples of RPG's are all here, including humans, elves, rangers or mages. Thankfully, the classes are all very different, so from the get go you can tell there is a lot of replay value included within the game. The game has you starting in a very humble village, where you learn that your dead father actually has quite a mysterious past, and it is your job to pursue and unravel the evil plot of the land. The game quickly ramps up with you exploring vast lands and fighting very large enemies.
Like a full RPG title, the game has skill trees, meaning you have many different skills to choose from and eventually evolve, so as you level up, you really do feel more powerful. On top of all this, there are lots of side quests, many jobs to do such as fishing, crafting, reading books as well as just talking to people on the streets. It truly is a marvel how much is packed into this game, and the gameplay all works flawlessly for long extensive play times.
As beefy the gameplay is, it requires some solid playtime as well. If you only have a couple of minutes to play, you won't have enough time to get done a quest or anything, so if you only have time to play a casual game, Aralon isn?t for you. For everyone else, there is enough gameplay in this game to last you a WHILE. And the great part is that the developers are continually updating this game, they even added some new skills in the last update, and they plan to update a new class within their next update.
The great part of Aralon is that it is entirely 3D, you see buildings in the distance and cities are large enough for you to get lost in, which is generally a good thing. The only real bad thing to say about the graphics is that some of the menu's on the iPad are a little small, so it?s not TRULY an iPad native version, though all the 3D graphics are great for the iPad and iPhone. The skills and enemies are particularly marvelous with a lot of detail evidently put into them.
With every epic RPG, there?s a need for an epic soundtrack, and thankfully Aralon also has that. The soundtrack booms with really exhilarating tunes that really compliment the game well, and really just gives the game a great flow to it.
It's hard not to recommend this game; it?s large, beautiful, has an epic soundtrack and provides a lot of content for the small amount you have to pay. If you are still not convinced that the iPhone is the strong competitor to the PSP or Nintendo handheld gaming platforms, just try this game!
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):Graphics: - 5 - Beautiful graphics, with an amazingly large amount of 3D textures and character models. Sound: - 5- An epic soundtrack similar to the Elder Scrolls game, the perfect companion music to this very large game Controls: - 5 - Everything works really well, its hard not to be able to control this game well, even on the iPad it has a very easy to use control scheme. Gameplay: - 4.5 - Epic is just the word that keeps coming to mind ( as you may have noticed already) as this game is just something you truly want to keep coming back to. Bang for your Buck should probably have been the slogan with the amount of content you get.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Don't be afraid to explore, you are given a horse early on in the game for that very reason. Also get used to using the map, it isn't perfect but it does get the job done, and it's all about learning how to use said map and how to decipher it. Once you get this down, the game is really about just taking it at your own pace, so do side quests, explore, and make sure you have fun!
Playing Hints and Tips:
- Always pay attention to the pillars with the arrows since they point you towards the way you supposed to go.
-Try playing with you index finger since that makes hooking a lo more easier.