Role-playing games are a time-tested classic and one of my favourite video game genres. When you think of good RPGs, the first thing that springs to mind isn’t usually mobile devices, however, that assumption can be put to one side once you try out Pocket Legends for iPad.
Pocket Legends is the most featured RPG and the largest MMO out there for the iPad. I was a bit of a skeptic when I was first told about it; with no price tag, the deal seemed to good to be true. Rest assured though, it has a lot to offer for RPG fans. Lets see what makes this game as good as it is.
When you first create an account for the game, via Facebook or otherwise, you will be directed to a character creation screen. You are presented with a choice of three character classes: the warrior (bear), the archer (bird), and the mage (elf). Whilst there is an element of customisation, I find that with the amount of players actually in the game, there should be a few more character options, or perhaps a basic human with the choice to specialise in a particular skill as you progress through the game.
The game’s main screen.
The app is set out in the typical MMO style with a list of servers to choose from and a free-roaming environment, however, it deviates from other MMOs in that the free-roaming isn’t really that at all; whilst you do have the capibility to move your character around where you please, the path of the game is very much laid out for you in the form of set missions that your character undertakes.
The map of Legends’ areas can be accessed via the main menu screen. Here, you’ll see a selection of different worlds to travel to, each with a selection of different set quests to complete. Each area has their own home, if you will, which is called a Towne. This is where you will undertake quests by talking to what appear to be more senior NPCs that reside in that area’s Towne.
The map of Legends’ gameworld.
You can join a quest by simply talking to a NPC with a red question mark above their head, where they will then explain the quest, list the reward and leave you to it. To play this quest, you simply enter the main menu (accessible via the icon in the top left of the display) and choose the ‘Quests’ tab. Select the quest that you have been assigned, then tab the GO TO… icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.
The guy behind the mask looks like he missed the E.T. auditions.
Once in the area, you simply follow the instructions given by the person that tasked you with the quest, which 9 times out of 10 is just killing off enemies. After this, you will receive an on-screen notification that the quest is ready to turn in, to which you go back to the Towne you started the quest in, talk to the appropriate character and receive your reward.
The game’s notification centre.
The actual combat system is fairly straightforward; once you find an enemy, you can touch the basic attack icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the display, which will then automatically repeat. Special moves are accessible through a display of icons to the right of the main combat area, which can be touched to activate at any time, but take a little while to recharge.
The gameplay, admittedly, can get very monotonous as you play through the game for a while. Obviously there are many other games with such gameplay that are very popular, however, the defining factor in their popularity is usually the interaction between other players or the environment, an element of gameplay I’m sure that this game will develop over time.
The multiplayer interaction in Pocket Legends is actually one of the best available for iOS in my opinion; it allows the addition of friends, messaging, joining other friends while they complete a level, getting into 1-on-1 fights via a mode selectable from the world map and even the use of guilds. You can be invited into these guilds from another player anytime, or you can start your own if you see fit.
Being part of a guild gives this game a lot more replay value.
The quests are fairly straightforward at first, and as you progress, they get… no harder. This is one weakness I found with the game’s system: there is an element of difficulty that is lacking from the overall experience, because the quests really feel more like odd jobs than full-on engaging challenges. Again, the game is ever-growing and one of the first of its kind on the mobile gaming scene, so over time, I’m sure we’ll see it develop into a fully-fledged MMO.
The navigation within the game can be difficult at times, with no clear instruction given to the player on how to use it, but apart from that, everything runs smoothly and makes some tasks a lot easier. Graphically, the game performs with a degree of mediocrity, looking more like Jagex’s Runescape in terms of the sprite and texture detail. The level design seems to be geared towards quantity as opposed to quality; there are many short, simple levels throughout the game which don’t hold too many surprises.
The battles are somewhat repetitive, but can still be fun.
Whilst many of the elements of the game are very simplistic, the fun is more geared towards the infinite loop of repeating the same exercises to level up your character to beat better enemies that level up your character, and so on. Playing multiplayer can be a blast though, however, I found that the fun was quite short lived, as besides taking eachother on and joining each other’s parties for quets, there wasn’t much else to do. This is where the game would benefit from a more free roam-style format, allowing gamers to better get in touch with the world around them.
This is the most in-depth MMO i can find at the current time for iOS, so it gets merit on that alone. Will it be able to match up to other MMOs accesible via the internet? It’s got a long way to go, but Pocket Legends is definitely your best bet for this kind of gameplay on iPad.