iOS Week in Review: The Downgrade Edition

If the Witcher 3 downgrade has you bummed, pick up your iOS device instead. None of these games have had any graphical downgrades, nor have any of these developers ever misled you about the graphical fidelity of their games.

Ire: Blood Memory

Ire is the game you would get if you combined the aesthetics and the combat of the Souls series with the endless farming of Monster Hunter. Your attacks feel nice and weighty; it’s just too bad that some of the weightiness leaked out into the interface. The game does a poor job acknowledging button presses, which can lead to a lot of moments where you can’t be too sure if the game has froze up or if the connection to the server is lagging.

Actually, now that I think about it, there’s a lot of similarities with Monster Hunter. You’ve got a 5-minute time limit for each of your quests, and they all revolve around taking down a tough monster. The game also uses the same skill system as Monster Hunter, where each piece of equipment allots a certain number of skill, and if the combined skill points of all your equipment, including your accessories, reaches a certain number, that skill activates. As I mentioned earlier, though, the most striking similarity with Monster Hunter is that you’ll be running these 5-minute quests a million times to get the right number of parts to upgrade your equipment.

There are IAPs, but I can’t figure out exactly why. You can’t use them to buy anything useful such as the parts you’ll need to upgrade your gear, so I guess the only reason to spend money on the game is if you really want to support the developer. And since they’ve never lied to you about the graphical fidelity of their game, maybe you should consider it.

Dragon Blaze

Gamevil knows their audience.
Get used to this sight.

Upon booting up the game, this is what you’re greeted with. Gamevil clearly knows their audience.

Dragon Blaze is actually kind of short on actual gameplay: enemies and allies autonomously (as the game puts it) attack and use their skills, and all you can really do is tap to select a character, use a skill, then wait for that skill to come off cooldown so you can tap it again.

Instead, the meat of the game is the metagame: collecting allies, equipping said allies, enhancing said allies and said equipment. It scratches a weird kind of itch, and the nature of the game means you can play it effectively even when you’ve only got a few minutes. Or if you’re only using 10% of your brain.

While the game does feature some creepy sexualization of young-looking girls, at least Gamevil had the good sense not to lie to you about the graphical fidelity of said young-looking girls.

Fearless Fantasy

RTFFT
RTFFT

Do you like QTE battling? No? Okay.

Knights of Pen & Paper II also released this week, but I was too busy playing Dragon Blaze and The Witcher 3 (while crying my eyes out over the downgrade, natch) to give it a proper try. Maybe next week.

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Time To Lose More Geek Cred

In case you still thought I had any geek cred remaining, well, this should just about completely torpedo that:

I never, never, got the fascination with Summer Glau.

(I think this is mostly because I also never, never, got the fascination with Firefly, either. But that’s a subject for a different time.)

It comes off as massively creepy sometimes, mostly because I can never figure out if these people like Summer Glau or if they like River Tam. I can (kind of) see where there’d be some physical attraction, but you could never have any kind of connection with River beyond the sex. Just so many levels of wrong there.

On the other hand, with Summer, you’ve got yet another one-note sort-of-attractive actress who gets a pass because she’s “geeky like me”, and the gravy train always quickly runs out for those actresses. Summer’s not appearing much because nobody really wants or needs another Rei Ayanami expy cluttering up their movie. And instead of supporting her, geeks immediately dropped her broke ass and latched onto Zooey Deschanel. (To her credit, though, she did (500) Days of Summer and showed that she had some range beyond Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Still no excuse.)

So geeks: Once you’ve dumped Zooey for the next “awkward” one-note actress to come along, think about what you did to poor River Tam.