Thursday, 17 April 2014

game review #1 - symphony of the origin

image not my own - see Kemco Games (picture taken from http://indierpgs.com)
This week I have been working away at my first ever craft swap - being my first I'm nervous at not making a good impression so I'm putting in a lot of effort - and loving it! However I've run out of the correct colour of yarn (ack) and so in the meantime I thought I had best get my first game review up on here!

Symphony of the Origin (Kemco Games) is a turn-based RPG made exclusively for android devices, marketed on the Google Play Store as for smartphones. However for Christmas I received a Lenovo Android tablet and desperately wanted to get some games on it, and for £3.99 and good reviews it was a safe bet!
The story follows Ryle and companions (elves, humans, dwarfs, and more) as they travel the world in true RPG style battling monsters and completing quests, with the ultimate aim of defeating the Evils and Dark Elves.

turn based RPGs are my favourite! I really do enjoy battles in this game
 I love a classic turn-based RPG and this game does not disappoint. It boasts classic game graphics that remind one of early Final Fantasy games but with the sharpness and speed we come to expect with 21st century game play. The battle system is easy enough to follow, though explanation and implementation of the special attacks using stamina leaves a little to be desired - having played the game for almost 4 hours I only just realised which bar reflects the special attacks, and looking to the in game instructions it wasn't cleared up greatly. However I'm happy to supposedly have unlimited stamina to use special attacks!

I like the traditional, pixelated graphics, but with the expected sharpness from a 21st century game
I've now played the game for 6 hours and it looks like there are plenty more hours of game play to get through yet, which gives the price-tag of £3.99 good stead. I may be changing my tune once it comes to the end of the game however (who knows it could be within an hour of game play!) but right now I am quite content.

One problem I do have with playing on my tablet though is the placement of the joy stick (see the bottom left of the picture above) - it could do with being just a little bit closer to the edge of the screen so my thumb doesn't have to stretch quite so far for hours at a time!

When I play games I play almost exclusively for story, I love stories in RPGs (and unlike a lot of Final Fantasy fans I know, I have loved that Square Enix gave us 3 brilliant games focusing on the story of FFXIII - but that is another story...) and I am in two minds about this one. It is quite straight forward - misunderstood, clearly attractive male protagonist, beautiful love interest of a different race, and quirky characters that misunderstand everything, all battling a clear baddie.
However I think this is to be expected of a game created solely for smart phones and although there isn't a great deal of depth (so far) in the story, I don't find it wanting and I am interested in completing the next area and defeating the next boss to find out where the story is going.

Area layouts and boss battles are quite predictable in this game, but that is all part of the charm I think of an easy to play RPG that doesn't require 100% of your attention when you play - I bought this with the hope of having a game to play when there is no Internet to hand or if I'm watching TV that I am not that interested in, and I've got it!

Ryle is so misunderstood...

I'll give this game a resounding 4 out of 5 - sometimes the dialogue is just too cheesy/poorly laid out, and the story could have better promise, but as basics go I am thoroughly impressed with this game and hope I will be all the way to the end!

What games are you playing at the moment?

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