Jun 1, 2010

Crusade of Destiny

If there's one thing that Steve Jobs has absolutely right with his arguments against Flash it's that things are changing and mobile computing is different than desktop computing... more specifically there's no mouse, no left/right clicks, and clicking itself is different. Personally I'm having trouble letting that go. One thing I love about the Droid is the keyboard and DPad. Unfortunately the Droid's keyboard has been heavily criticized and newer devices such as the EVO 4G and the Droid Shadow exclude them. What does that have to do with Crusade of Destiny?

Often, with games it's all too easy for developers to port the old ideas to new platforms and ignore the new platform's strengths. Crusade of Destiny is a solid 3D action RPG experience, but what really makes it shine are the controls. Yeah, it still has the virtual DPad for running... but other than that things such as talking to the game's many characters and reading sign posts, looking around, ...etc are all done with the touch screen as appropriate instead of cluttering the screen with a mouth icon and an eye icon and so forth. Aside from the virtual DPad for movement there's a sword icon and some character info (that can be touched to get to the usual paper doll character sheet) on the screen and nothing more. I'm also starting to think it would be neat if the accelerometer was used for running instead of the DPad, but one thing at a time. The bottom line is that the controls are very well executed.

I'm sidetracking too much... because this game is great and polished and fun and an easy 5/5 star title (if not better). Crusade of Destiny starts you off in a village... you have to go and seek out the town's elder. There aren't too many people in town so he's not that hard to find. I don't want to give too much away, but it's the familiar peasant to hero storyline. The 3D graphics are gorgeous with good attention to detail making the game that much more immersive... I'd have been happy had I purchased this on Xbox Live Arcade, but to have it in my pocket...WOW!!! One thing I'm a believer in is that mobile gaming should be mobile gaming. I don't necessarily want an epic experience from a mobile game and would often prefer a game I can pick up and play for 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there. Crusade of Destiny is more of an epic type game, yet it's been easy to play a little of here and a little more of there... probably because it's not an RPG that involves hours of reading (I still remember playing Star Ocean on the Playstation for the first time... an hour later I hadn't done anything, but read), but instead allows you to jump right in.

The game's combat is also well done... the first thing you'll fight are beetles and you simply equip your sword, stand next to one, and start whacking it (and it starts whacking you). Pick a fight with something too big and you'll be toast... oh, and the monsters will semi-intelligently chase after you.

I'm not sure what else to say as I don't want to reveal any game play elements and as stated do not expect a deep plot, but rather a more arcade oriented RPG experience. For me I love it. I'm also a big fan of the King's Field series on the Playstation and this game brings back some of that feel although it's snappier and more responsive. Here's looking forward to Land of Legend (their forthcoming release). I'm also wanting (and planning) to review Zenonia which has been well received just to see how it compares. Nonetheless, regardless of any other Android Market titles we've got ourselves a quality RPG and a company that plans to support the Android going forward. If adventure is in your gaming bag then you'll definitely want this one... go get it!

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