iPhone Game Review: Elven Chronicles Reviewed by skyye06
Even after Apple's iTunes App Store reached 2 billion downloads, RPGs, especially Turn based ones, are a rarity in the App Store. After the somewhat successful Vay and Arvale came out, few came to follow in the footsteps until this quaint game came along. A port from one of their own cell phone based games, Elven Chronicles brings much needed excitement and gives something to cheer about for those retro RPG fans out there.
The game is more of a complication of quests than an epic journey. The story line is one of its main weak points. When you begin the game, right away the game starts with no real direction as there is only small dialog in the beginning. There is more to it but it just feels a little underwhelming.
The battle system is your standard turn based RPG. You have your basic attack, magic, item, and run options. You gain the standard experience points for each kill and level up to gain new magic (so far I have gained quite a lot and hope it keeps coming at a steady pace). Extended customization as classes or something to separate it from the basic system would be nice to add some excitement to it.
The controls are not the greatest but are very workable and with time it will become second nature. It uses the tap and go method or you can try the dragging along but still the same controls.
Now the game overall is a bit too easy than most seasoned RPG veterans would like to see. For one you automatically regenerate health/mana while you?re not battling, though it?s not necessarily a bad thing. The main trouble is that when fighting there is no grinding, but you level too easily which in turn your fights are quick and easy. Also it is very easy to attain overpowered weapons and armor which add to the easiness and being able to run away in an instant. My thought is that stronger beasts or a slower level up could ease the lack of difficulty.
The graphics have the wholesome 16 bit goodness. Being in fact a port from an old cell phone version the transition well done. The animations for attack are spectacular. The towns, dungeons and sprites are nicely done as it gives you the 16 bit charm.
The score is well done and what you would expect out of an RPG. Found myself enjoying to the mixture of sounds it presented. There is though a rather annoying loop that happens when switching songs as at times there are none. While they may not be as catchy as those Final Fantasy tunes that always get stuck in your head, they do deliver the goods.
Pro: -Portrait mode which leads to easy play for one hand -No level grinding necessary to beat a foe but necessary for going on to the next quest -Cool magic animations -Great assortment of spells
Con: -Not much customization/options -The game is much easier than I had hoped for -Hard to talk to the townsfolk -Non-immersive storyline -Needs to incorporate an auto sav
In the end the games is very simple to the core for a standard RPG. The game is quite enjoyable despite some minor problems and weak storyline. It gives some good nostalgia to those RPG fans looking for old school experience, and I highly recommend it to those people. For those set on a Final Fantasy clone, you won't find it here however. It won't offer any new elements but if you can bypass that and enjoy it as the classic it is, then it will be 4 bucks well spent. The developer plans to have future expansions as micro transactions.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4- For being a port I found it to be very impressive though some may feel it to be a work in progress. The animations for the magic attacks are very eye-catching. Sound: -4- Annoying when the music reloops but nonetheless a vibrant score that brings joy to your ears Controls: -4- The controls are fine for the most part but there aren?t great. A bit jerky but in time you ease into it. Gameplay: -3.5- Now the gameplay doesn?t deliver a deep experience but is a good game for what it is.
Playing Hints and Tips:
-Pick your own battles, run away when you?re about to die. -Remember that after each battle your health/mana regenerates itself