By: Uma Smith
Playing games on the mobile phone can be a hassle when you consider only using the touch screen for controls. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to have the feedback so that I know what buttons I’m pressing as well as realize at what point I’ll end up changing directions on the d-pad. That being said, Pocket RPG is one of those mobile games that has thankfully made its way onto the PlayStation Vita. Besides the sigh of relief, here comes a surge of excitement coming to this portable device… in “pocket” form.
It certainly is a blessing to be able to control Pocket RPG with both analog sticks rather than be confined solely to the touch screen. Depending on the characters you use, the attacks are executed with either the right stick or the X button. This can be confusing, though, as other character may use the same X button for support abilities. As such, this may dissuade players from changing characters, which is not the best idea.
Outside of this little setback, Pocket RPG plays out with a great control arrangement. It uses the touch screen mainly for menus, though you can also resort to the left stick or d-pad for this purpose.
Pocket RPG may leave a mixed bag impression when it comes to presentation, but on the whole it’s looking pretty good. Graphically speaking, the environments are rendered in 3D effectively with plenty of colorful details showing nicely on the Vita screen. On the other hand, the character models are pretty rough around the edges, which shouldn’t be surprising considering that this is basically a port from its smartphone roots.
As for the audio, this is where Pocket RPG shines. Hearing the symphonic soundtrack gives an epic and sensational impression coupled with some decent sound effects.
Monsters are wrecking havoc to your kingdom courtesy of the evil lord, who you will encounter toward the end of the story. To combat this invasion, a hero is called upon to counter these rampages and rescue the villagers. You can choose from three characters, each with their own set of abilities and attributes. With the dark ranger, you will be able to take on enemies with your bow and arrow while with the battle mage, you’ll be using mana and spells instead to do the job. Finally, there’s the blade master if you’re looking for some hack n’ slash goodness.
Whoever you choose will have some unique effects when it comes to the overall gaming experience as well as the resulting control schemes. Regardless, your exploration into the dungeons will also include fighting off waves of incoming enemies as well as destroying various objects. Occasionally, defeated enemies will leave behind items that can help with your battles, including extra health and damages. Adding a layer of fun are certain enemies that can give birth to even more enemies.
What makes this an addictive game is how your experience points increases, which affords you the opportunity to level up and increase your stats accordingly as expected from an RPG title like this. The formula does get a little tired at times, but at least with this character level-up feature, it’ll give a boost in terms of involvement and engagement.
Within Pocket RPG are six quests for you to take part in. Within each are a number of stages to go through as well, which can take around 10 minutes to complete. So each quest may not have the same degree of predictability as one would expect. The real fun and challenge is the final boss encounter. Considering that the story conceals his identity up until this point, the experience can feel uplifting with the build up to this revelation. However, it may take you some time and practice to successfully beat him, so perseverance is essential.
Although Pocket RPG isn’t exactly a long game, it has enough to entice players to revisit the game. Once you have defeated the final boss, you can pay a visit to all stages and quests that you’ve gone through. However, this time, you’ll notice that there are different enemies as well as changes in the environments. It’s definitely a source of replay value, especially when you get to continue to level up your characters.
Pocket RPG may not be a long enough game for some since it can take just a couple hours to complete. However, it is appropriate for its bite-sized fun. If you’re looking for an adequate yet satisfying experience on the go, then make sure you have this Vita title in your “pocket.”