The Legend of Zelda has inspired a lot of games over the years, and why not: it's the quintessential fantasy action-adventure. Nintendo literally sells millions of dollars worth of hardware each time they release a new one. And while a full Android release for the storied franchise is but a pipedream at the moment (especially with the way Nintendo seems to be cuddling up to Apple as of late), indie developer Cornfox & Bros. is more than willing to pick up the slack with Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas.
Android has seen no shortage of Assassin's Creed companion apps. But games based on the franchise that were built explicitly for mobile devices? Those are rare. So rare, in fact, that 2014's Assassin's Creed Pirates has thus far been the only one. And to be fair, that game was hardly your typical AC experience.
I find most Square-Enix RPGs to be baffling in that somewhat generic anime way: as one reviewer puts it, the stories always seem to revolve around a bunch of teenagers killing Satan with the power of friendship. Throw in perhaps one of the biggest (or at least most complicated) crossovers in media history, and my head starts to spin. So it is with the Kingdom Hearts series of action-RPGs. It's been mixing Squaresoft's Final Fantasy mythos with more or less every Disney animated movie, plus its own impenetrable plots and original characters, since the first game came out on the PS2.
Android is having a banner day for classic RPG releases. Almost immediately after Square Enix published Final Fantasy IX to the Play Store, DotEmu has brought the sequel to the original Ys game to the platform. Ys Chronicles I, an updated re-release of Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished: Omen, made its way to Android almost a year ago, and now the sequel Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished: The Final Chapter is also available. (Yes, that's a lot of colons and subtitles.) It's the second half of a story that was originally intended to be a single game way back in 1987, and DotEmu is selling it for $5.
Normally an Android re-release of a decades-old RPG means we're talking about another Squaresoft or Enix port, but this one is digging deep into the annals of Japanese role-playing game history. The Ys series (pronounced... okay, I honestly have no idea how it's pronounced) is a collection of action-RPGs that stretches across four decades and dozens of platforms all the way back to 1987. Ys Chronicles 1, an updated port of the game that began the franchise, is now available on Android from DotEmu.
This is an updated and refined edition of Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished - the Android version is probably based on the assets of the updated re-release for the PSP and DS made in 2009, as one half of Ys I & II Chronicles.
Apparently Blizzard isn't the only game developer that had a burst of inspiration after a late-night cable viewing of Kung Fu Panda. Taichi Panda is the first game from the American arm of Chinese publisher Snail Games. This dungeon crawler won't break the mold in any particular way, but it's a solid top-down action game with online multiplayer baked into its core mechanics. Oh, and there are fighting pandas in it.
One panda, to be precise. You choose from one of four pre-made characters to begin your battles: the titular Taichi Panda, a brawny monk-type who likes to fight with his hands, the Treasure Hunter, a pink-haired sneaky rogue, the Fox Mage, a pixie magic-wielder, and the Glorious Warrior, who is The Guy With The Sword.
Raise your hands if you're excited about Guardians of the Galaxy. Now put them back down, because this is a text-based news story and I can't see you. As usual before a big summer movie, Marvel has released a new mobile game to get fans excited for the upcoming release. But what I'm really excited about is the fact that Marvel published the game itself (instead of outsourcingit toGameloft) without the usual free-to-play trappings. Yup, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Ultimate Weapon is a $5 paid game, with no in-app purchases.
Despite the cutesy Tartakovsky-style graphics, the game is based on the upcoming movie, not the niche comics.
Developer CD Projekt Red has something impressive in the works for fans of The Witcher in need of a mobile fix. Its upcoming game, The Witcher Battle Arena, is a multiplayer experience akin to DotA and League of Legends, but set in the rich medieval universe made popular by the PC/console video game series that's been around since 2007 (themselves based on a series of books). The game was demoed at this year's E3, and it looks awesome.
In each battle, six heroes enter the arena and compete over three conquest points, hoping to capture and hold them longer than the other side.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got not one but two action-RPGs and an adapted board game. Without further ado:
What's this? An anime-style action-RPG with full 3D visuals and movement? Indeed, Brandnew Boy (which I suppose is a better title than "Cliché Amnesiac Anime Savior") seems like a surprisingly polished little brawler built on the Unreal engine, with enough energetic style to tide over the most ardent console gamer.
Most games that get released for Android are decidedly casual. They're intended for quick, pick-up-and-play encounters when you have a few moments to kill while waiting in the fast food line or in the back seat of a cab. Most, frankly, can't compare to the lean-back experience we get from console games (or the lean-forward immersion of their PC brethren). Square Enix's Deus Ex: The Fall is a different beast entirely. This is a full-blown entry in the series designed from the ground up for touchscreens, and after getting released inside the Apple App Store this past summer, it's finally made its way over to Google Play.