“Langrisser Mobile accomplishes what it sets out to do and much more. It perfectly incorporates its turn-based appeal and utilises the platform it has set itself on, especially one that many gamers would turn their nose at.“
Platform: Mobile (Android) | Release Date: January 22nd 2019 | Hours Played: 30+ (I lost count okay?)
Wait wait, I know what you’re thinking. Mobile port of a game? Transactions? Cheap cop out?
Well I’m actually proud to say: YOU’RE WRONG. And if my arrogance hasn’t made you think of ways to insult me, I’ll proceed to tell you why.
Langrisser Mobile is a free-to-play, turn-based strategy RPG released in January 2019. It is considered to be a sequel to Langrisser V (1998) which I feel the choice to do so was probably due to the growing succession of tactical games like Fire Emblem Heroes. (I mean, this is just an observation, don’t quote me on that). However, spoiler alert, I haven’t touched the latter since playing it at launch.
I have no prior experience with the series, but the game requires none to get into the story. It follows a standard hero’s journey, where a group of friends are tasked with acquiring the Langrisser (a sacred sword) in order to save the world. One of the heroes, Almeda, has the power to travel between rifts in time and summon legendary warriors of old (a clever way to justify the gacha mechanic) who also play a role in the story. While nothing mind-blowing, it does an effective job at introducing the world to new players.
It plays similarly to your standard turn-based game where the battles and storyline are spread across a world map. As you progress through the map, you are met with events that allow you to gain experience and earn equipment, gold and more. There’s also the classic mechanics such as weapon triangles, terrain, and so on.
Although the battle system may seem simple at first glance, this actually allows for more complex strategies. From utilising character skills to choosing factions, soldiers, classes, weapons – it can get overwhelming to jump into. The game tries to remedy this by gradually introducing new mechanics as you level up but still requires alot of investment in the player’s part to understand. But that’s the great thing about Langrisser Mobile – there’s alot to do.
Langrisser Mobile is incredibly event-filled, from map events to side-quests, daily trials, limited events – you’re only limited by your energy which is probably a good thing, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to put the game down. The aforementioned “Time Rifts” that your hero can travel to, are a series of battles that loosely replay the events from the original games using your own team. Not only are these fun to play and help you learn the original story, but are important in gaining materials to upgrade your characters.
One thing I appreciated was the fact that you can replay story missions at any point, which is exactly what I did when I picked the game up after a whole year. This is a huge factor as I often drop games, only to pick them back up and reset them because I was lost on what to do, which some games should honestly do more of. In addition to this, picking the game up also gave me extra rewards and login bonuses as an incentive to keep playing (which as you can see, worked.)
Now for the micro transactions… honestly the game is extremely generous with what you can earn through rewards and battles. Unless you’re really impatient and want to maximise your stats then it’s pretty much non-existent.
Of course, with any gacha-style game, there is always that frustration when it comes to RNG and drop rates. But again, the game makes it incredibly easy to collect tickets for summons. Because there are a small amount of R characters and pulling repeats give you shards for upgrades, they can easily be improved to become just as powerful (although the skills are a different story.)
The only thing that I’ve seen that requires purchasing are skins for characters, but these are merely for aesthetic purposes and do not affect the main gameplay.
On the topic of aesthetics, the artwork of the original Langrisser series was done by Satoshi Urushihara, an illustrator well known for drawing beautiful women with *ahem* appealing physiques. While the mobile version has all the characters new and old reproduced in a different art style, it still maintains the original style of Urushihara incorporated into the character designs. This also includes the *ahem* appealing physiques and outfit choices for some of characters. These are also animated during their stat screens and appearance in storylines, with emphasis on *ahem* certain physiques which is hard to overlook. But consideringthe bonding system where you can get confessions from the female characters (because we’re in a society that accepts love for 2D characters clearly) it makes perfect sense and I think was a clever idea to do.
I didn’t even mention that the main chapters, time rifts and characters are fully-voiced by famous Japanese voice actors that you would recognise from some of your favourite animes and games. One example is the protagonist, Matthew, being voiced by Tetsuya Kakihara, who has done Natsu Dragneel (Fairy Tail), Prompt (Final Fantasy XV), Shin (Amnesia) and probably more that you know (but that’s all that I know).
The one negative thing I would mention is the PVP system and “multiplayer” events. You have your standard AI PVP battles where you play with premade AI player teams, the “World” PVP which is a real-time 1v1 and and then you have your joint battles which are 2 players versus AI. Nothing’s wrong with them, just that in comparison to the other fifty things you could be doing that yields more rewards for less time, it just isn’t worth it but is necessary for some missions.
On that note, because of the amount of things you can do daily, you can easily sink 1-3 hours into the game a day if you played everything. Of course, this can get repetitive and grindy (as with any games do). To circumvent this, they do have the option to auto-battle (although the AI is pretty clumsy) and you can “sweep” and make your daily collecting easy to do so it’s more to do with your tenacity to log on everyday and do it. It’s not much but it’s more than some games offer.
For a mobile game, Langrisser Mobile accomplishes what it sets out to do and much more. It incorporates its turn-based appeal and utilises the platform it has set itself on, especilaly one that many gamers would turn their nose at. The faults that it does have are ones that plague others like it, but at least it makes the effort to improve the player experience where it can.
With its leniency on microtransactions and expansive world and activities, it is definitely a must play for any strategy, RPG or anime fan as it has a little bit of everything for everyone. Whether you want to be a casual player or hardcore, the options are all there for you to make your decision but if you’re looking for an actual turn-based game to pick up and sink your teeth into, this is it.