Monthly Archives: June 2016

Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius Thoughts


So, I’m running out of steam today, no pun intended, but my interviews aren’t ready to roll out yet, so let’s talk something that I think is interesting. Final Fantasy Brave Exvius! When I heard it was coming, I took a peek at the Japanese version, to figure out what I was getting into. I was swiftly hooked however  I decided in advance upon seeing the English release, “I will not spend all of my time on another mobile game” because the last time I did, I went from level 15 to level 120 on Brave Frontier. I completely burned myself out and log in maybe once a month at the behest of someone else. I told myself this, and logged on this morning for the second time. And a couple of hours later I had no idea where my morning had been.

My team: Cecil [Paladin], Rydia [Older], Magitek Terra, Shadow and Cyan.  That’s all I had to know. Final Fantasy Heroes and Villains join your team.  It’s a Gumi title, so you know exactly what to expect. It’s Brave Frontier! Mostly. It has a few differences though: In particular, sometimes you dungeon crawl. You run through an area, fight random encounters, and acquire items/materials for crafting. So, yes, it’s Brave Frontier again. But it’s Brave Frontier with an IP I’m not only familiar with, but love! It did what it takes to capture my attention, use established characters! It has new story characters for their world and storyline, but you aren’t required to keep them in the party. And I didn’t! As soon as I had a full cast, they went bye bye! This game has way more to do I think than Brave Frontier, right out of the gate. Will I burn out? Probably. But hopefully it will take a lot longer.


I’ve only been playing a few days now, so I’ll come back after a week or so to this and decide what I really think! I do think it’s really annoying to get abilities and armor recipes though. I like that it’s different, but it’s got so much stuff going on! Like in combat, you can attack, use spells/abilities, or use your brave burst style power. And unlock Espers. Jesus. Love the game, but I hope they don’t just keep slapping stuff on the game to overwhelm players. Sometimes less is more, but if nothing else, it feels like a legit FF game. That matters. Way to go guys, thanks for not phoning it in.


MOBA Legends Preview Beta: Branding, Anyone?

By Jason Parker (Ragachak)


MOBA Legends Preview

MOBA Legends is an upcoming mobile MOBA with one glaring issue that stands out to me: Branding. I genuinely feel that the gameplay is solid, the game is pretty, but “MOBA Legends” makes me expect instinctively League, DOTA, Smite, and other characters. I went into the game half-expecting a “Super Robot Wars” style MOBA. Alas! That was not the case, obviously. The licensing laws in America are absolutely silly. Anyway, that’s not the reason we’re here. I think they ought to consider a rename or a new branding, something that stands out more. Try searching “MOBA Legends” on Google. See what happens.  A game that is hard to search for is not going to find players as swiftly as one that has smart branding. But the name is only the tip of the iceberg when we get into generic branding… Let’s talk gameplay.  MOBA Legends has an Adventure Mode that lets you play missions with your characters for a variety of rewards, or play the MOBA mode, which is pretty much what we came here for.  In the version I played, 1v1 and 3v3 are the current standards, with Ranked coming in the near future. 5v5 would likely be too clunky for a mobile, so I think the 3v3 works best.

MOBA Legends Preview

Arena Mode is the standard MOBA Mode. In 3v3 you have two lanes, a jungle, and a Nexus on each side. Couple of towers and an object to destroy to get your Super Minions rolling. Sound familiar? It’s basically every MOBA ever. Why reinvent the wheel when you can just reproduce simple success? The jungle has lots of minions that provide a pretty penny, which you will need for your items. Top right of the screen will glow with an icon when you can buy a new item, or you can press a button up there to look at what is on the way.  One thing I like? The ultimate abilities have pretty short cooldowns.

MOBA Legends Preview

You can hide in bushes to get out of line of sight, and I haven’t seen any ward option to counterplay the strat. You have a pretty simple layout for your abilities around a larger Attack button. If you press them and nothing’s in range, nothing happens, which is good. How do you win this mode? By either getting 20 kills first, or destroying their Nexus. I have yet to get to 20 kills to win, but I’ve gotten very close!  I can’t speak on the balance of the cast yet, as I’ve only played a handful of them, but I did find that Ember the Phoenix caster is pretty insane. There’s also a rune system similar to League’s, and as you level you can use more of them. They’re based on elements, and each element has a variety of options.

MOBA Legends Preview

Also, I’m not really seeing the strategize parts of gameplay teased by their promo trailer. I can see everyone on the map unless they disappear into the jungle/bushes. That’s neither tactics nor strategy. That’s “watch the mini map and hope your opponents don’t.”

MOBA Legends Preview

Adventure Mode is a little different. You don’t get all the characters’ abilities right out of the gate. You can spend gold to upgrade their power, and through gameplay unlock the rest of their powers. There are also challenges while you’re on these stages, such as “win in x minutes/seconds” or “kill x and y”, et cetera.

MOBA Legends Preview

When you enter a chapter of the story, you pick a stage, see the requirements, then go to select a character. You have the Main [the person you are playing], Actives [they can interrupt abilities, heal, etc], and Reserves. However, if you don’t have characters unlocked, you can’t use them here. The free weekly cast seems excluded from use in this mode as well. But, how do you unlock characters? Let’s talk on that for a little bit.

MOBA Legends Preview

The prices are pretty steep to buy new characters outright. You can either use the Pink Gems, or the Silver Arena Medals, which you get for completing matches. The gems appear to come in a variety of ways, like achievements, quests, and more. You can also get them via Summons. You have Normal Summons, and Super Summons. Normal summons cost Gold, and Super Summons use gems. Super Summons can unlock a whole character, while Normal cannot that I have seen. You can get items that you sell for gold, or you can get Legend Shards. Collect X of them to summon a Y Star Legend. One star characters take 10, and so on and so forth. You can Level Up the Legends for missions, Rank Up to increase their growth stats, and Ascend to gain their stage skills. You can also get Scrolls to auto-finish Adventure stages, but only if you have three stars on them. Could be a great way to gain items like Ascension Gems.

MOBA Legends Preview

The biggest part of this game that falls flat on its face is creativity. The names are bland, and oftentimes generic.  Ember is the character I used the most, because she seems so ludicrously strong. And let’s face it: I like to win. However, that’s a horrid name for a Phoenix! It’s so trite and overdone. Again, it’s all about branding guys: You need to be able to market this to people, and the gaming populace probably want the characters to feel special. I don’t want to feel like I’m playing Garen from League of Legends [I did, by the way. Except his Spin is his ult and does way more damage].

MOBA Legends Preview

There’s still plenty of time to shake things up in the nomenclature. The item names don’t really need to be amazing and intricate, but I want to feel like I’m someone important. If I’m playing a Legend, I want to feel like a Legend, and not Jim the Swordguy. If I’m going to be a badass, I want to try on the name of. . . let’s say, Varius, Breaker of Shields, or maybe Tetsu of a Thousand Blades. You know, just spitballing.


MOBA Legends Preview

Judgment: Interesting, but Needs a Rename [Good]

Not fantastic, not horrible. That’s what I’m seeing here. It’s a conceptually cool concept that needs a bit of a touchup. This game is not out yet, but I very strongly insist they consider a complete rebranding. Being able to easily access a game is everything. Sure, it’ll be easy to find on video websites such as Youtube, Dailymotion, but what about Google?  Just saying, Kick9: For the right price, I could come up with something a bit snappier! Other than that, the gameplay is very solid and enjoyable. The controls are simple enough to pick up, but they’re the same as every other mobile MOBA since forever. Now on one hand, that’s great because you know what to expect. But sometimes a little diversity helps make your product stand out!

The mobile MOBA is a very hard thing to do without it feeling like a hopeless grind or a soulsucking pit of despair. Yes, I think it takes entirely too damn long to get characters, but the game is fun and a fair chunk of the cast was available to play for the Arena Mode.  Perhaps make it a little easier to get characters to play. Love the art style, and the moves are pretty cool. Reminiscent of other MOBAs, but hell, we’re going to run out of abilities to create eventually, right?


PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS is an open-world FPS PvP game created by Bluehole Studios and PLAYERUNKNOWN development group. Based off the popular “Battle Royale” Game Mode from Arma 3 and H1Z1, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS will have 64 players explore a remote island while participating in a last man standing competition where strategic gameplay is as important as shooting skills.


Explore to Compete: Players will have to to locate weapons, vehicles and supplies in a graphically and tactically rich battle ground.

Shoot to Survive: Take great aim at your opponents as you engage in a constantly shrinking area, forcing players to fight to the death.

Upgrade to Win: All weapons can be upgraded with attachments such as sights and suppressors and both road and off-road vehicles will be available to players.