January 13, 2015

Brave Frontier RPG: A Review

When you're stuck in an island with a non-gaming laptop, where do you turn to for your gaming needs? Your smartphone!

That's exactly what happened to me for the past 4 days. I brought the smaller laptop, thus cannot handle my usual online games. Thus I downloaded Brave Frontier RPG on my phone.

Why? Simply because it's just my style: a turn-based RPG that is set in a fantasy world - in this game, the Grand Gaia - where everyone is depending on you to save them.

But I got so hooked to it that I figured I should share it with everyone.

Brave Frontier casts the player as a summoner, chosen ones who can summon the spirits of long dead heroes into the world. These super powered pokemon ghosts take the form of a huge variety of units to use, from basic elemental blobs that run up and bite enemies to huge dragon like monsters that shred everything in sight. Stats vary wildly, so there are mage type units that blast enemies with spells and more basic physical attackers.

Mostly, this means fighting your way through waves of creatures in turn-based battles. In each quest, you have a five-unit squad plus one helper sent by another player to take on multiple waves of regular enemies leading up to a boss battle. It’s an all-or-nothing affair once you begin, though you can bring consumables along to help ensure you survive the whole thing.

All friendly units and enemy creatures have an affinity to one of six elements: Fire, Earth, Thunder, Water, Light and Dark. The first four have a rock-paper-scissors relationship, while Light and Dark are strong against each other. Exploiting elemental match-ups is quite useful in combat, and the idea is to use whatever is strong against the monster you’re facing to do extra damage while avoiding attacking with elements that are weak. As Tilith helpfully points out, the environments can clue you in (a.k.a. you don’t bring a team of Earth units to a battle in a fiery cave).

Everyone on your side attacks first, so all you need to do is tap on a target and tap on the unit you want to strike. Any enemies left standing attack in turn, and on it goes. The only other twist is the Brave Burst, which can take the form of single-target or multi-target special attacks, activated by holding down on a unit and swiping up and complete with their own, fairly cool animations.

Brave Bursts make combat a little more interesting than in some similar games, but still nothing that will challenge the strategic portions of most players’ brains. Defeated foes drop currencies called Zel and Karma, and surviving until the end of a quest pays off with XP and extra units – often converting ones you just fought to your cause. Gems are earned by completing entire zones and can also be purchased for real money, good for rare summons and other assorted bonuses.

In-between quests, you’ve got a town with various facilities for gathering materials (some of which are also rewarded at the end of quests), crafting potions and buffs called Spheres, and managing units. Fusing works via the typical mobile collecting game mechanic, as one unit is sacrificed to strengthen another and Zel are used to pay for the process. Karma can be spent on leveling up the various locations in town, giving you either more resources or additional crafting options.

One of Brave Frontier's strong points is it's endless customizable squad options. Take control of the hundreds of legendary heroes that once fought to protect the land of Grand Gaia, be it a measly axeman to a god of death. Brave Frontier bringing an evolution system players for once actually can function without the absolute need of real life currency! Feeding your weaker units to raise your main team sounds as easy as it can get right?

Brave Frontier is an enjoyable RPG and while unit fusing costs can be irritating the game is good fun and the graphics and sound make it worth your time.

Credits: AppInvasion, Android Rundown, Gamezebo
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