Arcane Legends – A New Hope in Fighting Mobile Boredom
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor) OnRPG Journalist
Every human being in the world is bored while using public transportation or carpooling, whether you use it to get to school or work. Thankfully after all these years mobile phones seem to have become so advanced that they are turning into small computers for us gamers; truly a new generation of Game Gears and Gameboys. Since I am a frequent traveler myself and just picked up a Galaxy S3, I am always looking for the latest and greatest mobile titles. This is how I stumbled across Arcane Legends, a Co-Op RPG Adventure game that you can play together with your friends or just random people that you meet in game, both on the mobile phone or even on your PC via Chrome.
Yep that’s right, this game is also playable on the computer but after trying it out one time I must say that the game is definitely designed to be controlled with a touch screen. When you first start up the game you are able to choose between three classes. Just as in any other RPG these classes are the old familiar Warrior, Rogue and Sorcerer classes that need no introduction at all. Well the Sorcerer looks like some sort of gremlin but the others are your typical sexy female rogue and steroid fueled raging hulk warrior. Then you are able to choose between three different pets; since I am a weird guy I went with the gremlin sorcerer and a pet turtle to create the most comical duo possible. While the other two choices were tough looking dogs and probably more efficient at fighting monsters, each carried their own stats and excelled in different areas.
Normally I am not a big fan of RPGs on the Mobile phones. Nearly all my forays into this genre in the past have resulted in terrible experiences and horrid control schemes. Arcane Legends proves to the world how intuitive mobile controls on a touch screen can be and even after playing for 30 minutes straight my fingers didn’t hurt at all thanks to how responsive and simplistic everything is. On the bottom left side of your screen you will find the control button; when you press this button in any direction your character will walk that way with no delay.
On the PC things function a tad differently. Since the game is played by the keyboard only you are stuck with clunky WASD keys that pale in comparison to the mobile’s 360 degree movement scheme. This combined with plenty of technical errors really ruined the experience for me and kept me from coming back for a second round. Casting spells and attacking is done on the right hand side of the screen; by holding the attack button you will either slay your enemy or charge up your magical attack. On top of this button are a few little icons that work as a type of oddly placed skillbar. Obviously these controls are great for mobile but feel outdated on the PC as only old ladies still click their skills rather than push hotkeys to use them. It’s nearly 2013 and this type of functionality is simply unacceptable.
In terms of the actual gameplay, Arcane Legends’ hack and slash madness is surprisingly a lot of fun, and I must say I have never ever had so much fun in a mobile phone RPG before. The overall quality of quests and monster designs feels on par with what I’d expect a client-based MMORPG to offer. The game world is huge and feels well fleshed out and not rushed in any area. When you get into the first town you will see that this isn’t just a boring single player title. You share the land with everyone else that plays the game and even when doing the mission you can group up with the people around you to speed things up. There is only one problem though, just a tiny little detail that is rather unfortunate and more a limitation of current mobile devices rather than Spacetime Studio’s fault. Arcane Legends is a huge resource hog and drains battery life pretty quickly which can be a problem on longer trips when you don’t have access to a charger. I imagine the problem is even more severe on phones not as up to date as mine. Other than that, I haven’t found anything worth complaining about besides the PC version but let’s just… forget that it exists.
Who knew that mobile phone games could be this fun? I sure as hell didn’t. If you are a frequent traveler and are always bored when using public transport, Arcane Legends may be the answer you’ve been waiting for. Of course Spacetime Studios has a full line-up including a scifi and horror title with similar gameplay mechanics so there’s something for those tired of the fantasy realm. Mobile gaming has been seen as a joke by hardcore gamers for a few years since they offered lesser quality graphics and little to no features. But when I see games like Arcane Legends, I can really see a bright future for massive scaled MMO titles in 2013. Though as I’ve said many times before, if you’re lacking a decent mobile device and still tempted to try this on the PC, don’t. There are too many good browsers out now to waste your PC time on a title not at all optimized for it.