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Alchemy Stars | Global

4.4

Early review: Game aesthetic is very similar to arknights, from the sound effects, music, and GUI. Also has similar secondary features, like decorating a designated area and farm materials, though I do personally prefer arkights 2d style for the chibi avatars rather than the more blocky 3d style in this game. Gameplay is something I havent personally played before, sort of a puzzle game of connecting as many tiles as close to as many enemies as possible with button click skills you can use on cool down. So far seems pretty simple.

Story is intriguing, of course your character is the person who cant fight but is leading a bunch of actual fighters on the battleground (like arknights doctor). No amnesia that is often used in these types of games, but I guess sorta like, a 17 year old who is one of the last of an almost exinct civilization killed by the leader of the basic enemies in the game (spoilers, the person who is in the cutscene is one of their kind too). 2d art looks good, also has pretty much the same symbols and groups system as arknights. Basically its very similar to arknight other than basic gameplay, small sprites, and the general lore.

Gacha has beginners banner with 1 guaranteed 5 star and 1 guaranteed 6 star within 21 pulls. Obviously not standard rate, but it's good for short term gratification. Sooner or later I'll scream in gacha pain.

Very early, but it's not bad so far.

Edit: From what I can see of the global reviews, seems to be a lot of contention on servers/nationality? ngl I just chose Other in regions because I didnt care I look through all those countries.

Update after unlocking spire:

Gameplay: Since I havent played this sort of puzzle game before, I cant really compare it to the games that share the gameplay style. It's pretty fresh to me at least, and a lot of tile gimmicks are put in as you progress. Something thats a little annoying but kinda of impossible to avoid is that you could get REALLY unlucky in terms of the tile rng, and that could be a bit frustrating because of the turn limit (my dark days of candy crush haunts me... candy rng). Certain characters can bring even more complexity. I pulled irridon, and I usually spend at least a couple of minutes with her skill trying to figure out how best to place her special tiles so I can spawn more yellow tiles. So, the tile rng can be annoying but ultimately its pretty fun. Planning your steps is a must, even if you have teleport characters, since the best strategy is to accumulate as many tiles of the same color as possible to get higher damage, bigger ao3, and a free turn. At least... its satisfying... so I'll keep playing it that way lol.

Story: Ngl I skipped some of it but I plan to go back when I have more time to view the cutscenes. I liked the initial chapter 1 story well enough, though I'm on chapter 4 now.

My opinions on graphics and sound havent changed since initial review. Basically very similar to Arknights, other than the gameplay animation, and the small chibi characters. 2D is nice, though I usually prefer it when the art is all drawn in the same style, but I can appreciate the different artists.

The gacha so far has been decently generous.... but I am lacking good water characters lol. I drew on both the charleen banner and on the standard banner, though thats probably a mistake to spread out my pity like that. Ill probably settle on the standard banner after I get a 6 star on the charleen banner because I dont actually care which 6 stars I get. As f2p, it seems to be decently rewarding for now. I havent been super lucky, only got niki and irridon, and some dupe 5 stars, but I dont plan on rerolling, since I genenrally never reroll unless its part of the game's mechanics for beginner gacha.

Update two, unlocked old seal:

Gacha rates are actually kind of insane for me since I wasnt expecting to get any more 6 stars for a while after the initial generosity (coz its launch yknow, rerolls and all that I'm too lazy to do). I didnt get anything crazy like multiple 6 stars in one draw, but managing to get two more 6 stars when getting draws are a little harder now is quite good for how bad my luck is usually. Is it really 2%? Idk how math works anymore...

Anyways, harder content is beatable with pretty much characters of any rarity, as long as you put in the grind. Old seal contains legendary characters you can get by grinding to finish quests. ngl, unlockable characters is great for f2p, but I'm usually not very interested in getting them (cough granblue eternals) because of my laziness and you dont really NEED them for the current content. Still, they look cool, so I might put in some effort to try and get at least one.

I'm glad this game isnt pvp, though idk how that would work anyways with this kind of gameplay. I like it this game quite a bit! The 3d models growing on me...I think...

Needed to add this to my favorites coz chinese one died lol. Rating should still be there.

Cookie Run: Kingdom

3.6

After playing the og ovenbreak I wanted to try out the spinoff that I was more interested in. I dont like this game as much as the og, partly becuase its not nearly as interesting to me gameplay wise. I play a lot of turnbased rpg, but I would only stick around if the mechanics offer something interesting and engaging. This particular game doesnt have the most interesting combat system out there, fairly generic, so honestly good enough for an average rpg. But yeah I'll probably drop it soon.

I really like the way things look, and for me personally it hasnt really crashed or lagged yet. It's only a little bit laggy dueing certain moments, but overall was smooth enough to play. I play Genshin, and its better than that at least lol (genshin is also like 3 times bigger so I would be worried if it lagged as much as genshin). Anyways, I only was interested in this game because I really liked the characters in ovenbreak, and of course I still like their designs a lot!

Another thing I realized I didnt like that much about the game was how p2w it felt in comparsion to ovenbreak. Like yes, microtransactions are there and I dont really have anything against people buying them, but moreso the nether gacha event where the first and so far only ancient was released (and definitely broken af as a character lol) and as a f2p its pretty much impossible to get him guaranteed (since the event limited currency doesnt reach the actual amount of pulls to get him for sure), which kinda sucks. My luck is pretty shitty. Ngl, being p2w isnt too much of a gripe for me even if it is a pvp, but damnit i just wanted vanilla to look at him.. hope he comes back available in a really grindy shop lol. If I'm still playing at that point.And if I get dark cocoa for lore reasons.

Nice looking game and I like the characters, though I prefer ovenbreak and other rpg games

Cookie Run: OvenBreak

4.4

Very cute, a bit ad heavy but hey it's a mobile game. And as a gacha there's no way I'm giving up free currency. It's very grindy, but since the gameplay is super fun that's not as much of an issue compared to other games (unless you hate platforming). There's a lot more fun in platforming than auto gimicks and turn based combat in my opinion. The story is very simple and cute, and the sound design is great! I love a lot of the songs. Most arent things I would listen to regularly like in some other games, but for the purpose of giving the right atmosohere to the design of the levels, the music fits perfectly.

It's a very cute and fun mobile game, would reccomend. I used to play a lot of the platforming indie games back in the day so this feels pretty nostalgic.

Genshin Impact

4.6

First of all, storyline rating is slightly less is because its not even finished yet. Overall I like the little world quests they give us since they usually have interesting stories, and the main storyline gets more interesting than the beginning (for me) so I like it (once you get to know some of the characters better I find the story more interesting). It has its cheesy and unintentionally funny moments but overall the dialogue is pretty good (especially a lot of Paimon and Venti's story dialogues). Some of the characters on their own are really great too story wise (which of course they are, this is a gacha. Appealing characters is the money maker lol). I also play the game in Chinese dub and English subtitles, so sometimes its hilarious seeing what the translation was from the original Chinese (assuming Chinese is original since Mihoyo). Also wtf is up with the Japanese abyss mages they sound way (less cool voice effects) different than the English and Chinese one?

So as a f2p, didnt have the best experience with the gacha, but since I did get venti 5 hours before his banner ended with my last scrounged up 160 primo, I cant complain since he was the character I wanted most (99% because I wanted to one shot all of Timmy's pidgeons sorry Timmy. 1% his charming ANNOYING personality love it). I was getting close to the new account boosted pity anyways. I might be doing something wrong, but getting primo in this game is super hard so I probably wont be trying to roll until unless a) a character 4 star is the one I want on the banner or b) I actually have enough primo to hope for a pity 5 star. Pity does carry over I believe for the limited characters banner (confirmed for venti, idk about after) so like...wait until another character you want comes into rotation...I guess lol.

Onto things not gacha related... Graphics are honestly beyond what me (and my phone) are used to. Look, Im not a gamer. Im a trashy f2p player of free mobile games lol. If it's anything like botw like everyone who played it says, well, this is the only time I can even vaguely sort of experience it (according to my friend who has played botw its also apparently not that similar other than traversal of overworld, and the environment is way different in the second genahin world anyways). So yeah. Cool. Maybe Im getting a taste of nonmobile graphics and physics lol. My phone is melting but thats pretty nice (and yes the world is way more fun than the average gacha game: I always getting venti's ult up and teleport to mondstat to kill Timmy's birds its great best part of the game. Sorry Timmy, again)

Music is honestly my favorite part. I listen to the ost from youtube a lot, especially music from liyue since Im a SUCKER for pseudo-chinese melodies and traditional instruments like the xiao, guqin, guzheng, erhu (I heard its actually a violin they put a muffler on to make sound like a erhu). Qingce village at night, the moutains song, liyue harbor too lol. Fantastic soundtracks. Behind all of them is Dvalins theme which isnt too far off, given the emotional tie it has to the story. Mondstat's music is honestly really good too, but like I said Im super biased so. But yes, the music is my favorite part. Very atmospheric especially on the mountains.

Now, on resin.... either they need to change the drop amounts from domains or they need to change rhe resin recharge since its a big hassle to grind lol. I actually like fighting the domains and bosses since the gameplay itself is much more engaging and fun than most other games Ive played so far (in my mobile gaming experience ahaha). So it would be nice to get more rewards for the limited actions we are allowed to do anyways. Or just. Increase stamina and stamina rate so we can actually play some of the game. But yeah, resin and primo generation kinda sad. The biggest sad is that those two are the only ways to really change up gameplay. You dont NEED any of the nonlimited characters. But lack of any meaningful progression and fresh changes, like upgrading your weapons or getting a new character to try out, does make it quite draggy to play. Yes, all mobiles and gacha do this. Genshins is a lot more restrictice than most Ive played however. In other games I usually have to olay until I get tired. In this game I play until I legit cant really do anything much except explore, which is nice, but obviously that will one day get a little boring. Of course, Im keeping in mind that they will have future updates with world and story line, so this gripe isnt affecting me personally that much. Like, endgame doesnt really exist...since theres no end yet. Game is maybe 30% finished. Its so new, there really isnt much more to be expected? Not to say that giving feedback is useless, I encourage letting them knowing what you like and dont like about he game so far and hopefully they will add more things in the future we like.

Anyways the game sucks, I cant pet any of the cats and dogs 1/10

Dragon Blaze

1.4

I sorta knew what I was getting myself into from the start but wow, revolutionary.

Prefacing this with a "its probably just not for me". So yes, the game does let you have all 103 exalted version of the characters, whuch I believe is the second highest level. The graphics aren't the worst and I actually like some of the character designs, but the game lags a lot during combat. Did I mention combat is is just always auto at 1x speed? Maybe I didnt get to the level for 2x speed. Regardless Im not into auto battles on the first play though. Auto while walking around or auto grinding previously completed levels is fine, but the game play is basically just avery laggy cutscene.

Most hated is the UI which is just a mess. So many buttons that arent explained, things that dont actually do anything?? and the main menu is clustered to hell.

Not for me, but hey, at least it gives you 100 free rolls that give you characters you already got from the mail.

Guardian Tales | Global

5.0

So yeah, I really like this game.

It reminds me a lot of this older (dead) game called "天下" and also Dragalia with the "chibi styled hack n slash theough various levels" gameplay (mentioning these two games specifically because I've played them). I really really loved 天下 when I used to play it, but I can confidently say I like this one more. Dragalia I remember being good but I quit a while ago, mostly because of the app size and it got a little boring.

In terms of graphics, I love basically everything about this game. I love pixel art and animation, I love the cute design, and I love the way 3d animation and modeling somehow blends super well as a background and the summoning animation is super fun to watch. What more can I want visually from a gacha game lol. The story starts off pretty basic, but it surprises me in moments I dont expect, and the level design is the most complicated in any mobile rpg I've ever played, truly making me feel dumb while also reminding me a lot of the traditional console games. In most other mobile games, I can auto my way through anything, even the first time (like 天下). Not that this doesnt have full auto, it does in the rift stages, but those are a lot less like puzzle dungeons and more literally resource chests. I appreciate full auto (looking at you granblue you null auto level batches game)

There are a few other reasons why I love this game. And it has a few unique things I rarely see in most mobile rpgs. First, getting my personal experience out of the way, I had a good time with the gacha system in this game. I got more unique pulls early on than most other games. But thats pretty subjective in terms of rng. Moving on in the same train of thought, its much easier than most games to get a lot of heroes while playing the main quest itself, and while many rpgs have this mechanic anyways, the free heroes in this honestly are way more viable than most other games I played before. I would still use some of them even further into the game.

The basic mechanics of the game I find to be fairly unique. At least, I havent played another mobile rpg quite like it. It's almost like it's trying to emulate a more traditional rpg, where the player does not have any levels and the experience is solely on the heroes. You can gain and distribute exp any which way you like onto the heroes as theyre a seperate currency in the game, which I actually really like as a mechanic, and I've never seen it before.

Going back to the lack of there technically being a "player level", as the level cap of the heroes is dependent on the inn level in the lobby, and no one's level is ever apparent to anyone else, this game is by far the least co op friendly mobile rpg I've ever played, excluding the ones that are pretty much traditional console rpgs that became available on the app store. Technically, it's function of having guilds and world chats are exclusively in games where there are servers and an online multiplayer base, but there are no individual chats, no friending capabilites, and no team-based anything. Thats another reason why it felt a lot like a mishmash of the new and the old, since most other mobile rpgs I've played encourage friending a lot to take advantage of the servers. Anyways, this is not a bad thing at all. I just find it all very interesting.

I dont actually game a whole lot, so all of these thoughts are written as someone with a little experience but not any sort of insight on how common game design elements are across the industry.

Funny story: I once broke this game once and started walking through all of the walls until it crashed before. It didnt do it again after so I wont hold it against it lol

Onmyoji | English

4.6

Best part is the actual gameplay graphics. The 3d attacks animations are actually really smooth and good, not stiff like in every other turn base 3d rpg game. Thats what really drew me into this game. There are some kinks like the animation for the story and the bad translation in some parts, but the game itself in the fights are well made graphically.

The sound tracks and sound effects I really really enjoy as well, another very aesthetically pleasing part of the game. Of course, a gacha isnt a gacha without some desirable characters, both design in visuals and personality. The game has a lot of endearing and interesting characters on their own, and honestly I actually like the main characters a lot, unlike most rpgs. They don't feel like a self insert like some games, with very persistent chosen one vibes. Yes seimei is "the chosen one" to some extent. Seimei is also a tired adult who is just trying his best without the introduction of coffee yet in ancient japan and would like his edgy dark persona to eff off.

The graphics for the character models have come a looooong way. I still remember when everyone had mitten hands and wood faces. Now most have animated expressions and hands that have idle motion (most ssrs and some srs). I still remember how yuki onna looked so different one day when I logged in... The translations are not really all that great lmao. A lot worse than some other global servers or patches. No completely intelligible but super wonky and awkward. Its generally fine in the main story episodes though.

All in all.... RELEASE FEMALE IBA SKIN COWARDS RELEASE I HAVE BOTH SSR AND SP READY FOR IT unless its sjade or talisman then I guess I'll just cry because broke

Mirage In The Flower

3.6

So like everyone else, this game plays a lot like onmyoji rpg. Most glaringly is the character skills and game play, a few which are basically a copy of onmyoji. Snake energy releaser is zashiki, the level replays are basically exploration in onmyoji where you run around killing randos until the final boss appears, and so on. The game aesthetically is actually more like persona, strangely enough.

The text box shows a 2d animated face of the character speaking which looks stylistically a lot like persona, which I actually like more than the stiff 3d model in onmyoji, but wouldnt make sense in onmyoji at all because it uses exclusively 3d models in anything and everything animated, only stills are in 2d. In this game, there are 2d animated cuts along with the 3d ones, which I like more since I'm a 2d hoe. I think 2d usually looks nicer. Some parts of this steam punk china world I like aesthetically, and other times I think that the design is not as good as onmyoji due to overly complicated scenery like in the fight scenes, the vaguely ugly transitions, stiff or uninspired attack animations...

One of my least favorite parts is where you can create a bond with a deity or something? And the chat is horrendously framed in diagonal graphics. I dont know why they decided to do that, normal text would have been basic but fine... Thats probably the worst art direction in the game. Otherwise not too bad. Really great character designs, I really like chinese susabi orb flinger, you get him for free and his design and animation I really like. Oh but also MESSY UI IS MESSY I gave up navigating the game after three hours playing. My chinese is also not the best so it's ten times worse....

The story I feel starts like every rpg. Amnesia/rebirth, omg destiny, etc etc. I actually like onmyoji's story because the characters are so blase and dry about everything and the side characters are endearing on their own. This one felt more like every other game with enthusiastic protag who has powers and also his mom dies in front of him so now we must kill villain. Not the worst I've seen, but you know. Not the most compelling...

The game itself is genuinely not awful. Also the rates for he gacha are way nicer than onmyoji. I had to delete it though because onmyoji rpg and card game and this game was killing my memory...

Im pretty crap at strategy stuff and get anxiety in pvp content (so yeah I'm a wuss), but once I saw the graphics for this game I couldn't resist... I played the original onmyoji rpg game for a few years now on and off, so I was curious on what the card game could introduce about the characters and story, as character design and art are my weak points and I'm attached to some characters in the rpg. Generally I prefer 2d style in terms of aesthetics over 3d. Also my chinese is pretty crap so some card descriptions are long and complicated (Im looking at you ootengu) I have to test them out just to understand how to use them (some I still dont get because they're more nuanced).

First the art and animation is just so pretty and smooth, I love everything about it. The atmosphere of the game is spot on. I love just looking at the game and appreciating the small details in everything. All the characters have unique animations for their abilities.

Theres a huge variety of teams you can make. So far there hasnt been a team or character that trounces all others as far as my own experience is. I did hear one chinese streamer say that ootengu is pretty op (sadly i dont have many of his rarer cards.

I've also played other games before and I really like the concept this one has. It's pretty different from say shadowverse or that one western card game I cant remember the name of. 4 Characters can be chosen, eight cards total each, with max of two duplicates for each individual card. First few draw you get 4 cards x2 for each character, making a perfect 8 cards each for beginner deck. You also get free cards of a team in the very beginning, I think inu, momo, pheonix, and ubume as a set team. The game is very generous with cards, which you get get by draws bought using coins or achievements. Each draw gets you four cards for a single character. Btw I got a total of six draws of shishio lmao, 24 cards in total with so many dupes, which made me a bit mad at rngesus.

You can also create cards you dont have by dissolving duplicate cards. The higher the rarity of the card, the more it costs. So technically with enough time you can eventually get all the cards even without rngesus on your side. It would just take... a lot longer. But most fights are pretty doable with a good combination of even just the starting characters. As long as youre good.

As mentioned I'm not generally a pvp person, but theres many different gameplays in this game, story mode from the ship in the sky, survival stages from the roof, and two daily random pop ups when you go to your ahop area, which has three options, third one being the "just duel them" instead of going pvp. Theres also a brief event going on right now with kid seimei banner where you team up with one other ramdom person to beat up the kraken. I got super scared at first because I dont know enough chinese to read the rules, but I sort of intuitively knew what to do as the game went on, probably made a ton of mistakes, but we won so. Do daily missions to get coins also! Sometimes to complete it you need to do pvp but only the ones that has the 天梯 on it. That does give you more coins but yeah. Obv I still do pvp sometimes but only after I get to know a team very well which takes alot of time and testing for me, especially since I cant really read some of it.

Overall a nice casual game with nice art and a giant memory eater lmao. I like it though, so what can I do...

Granblue Fantasy

5.0

Literally probably my favorite game ever. I may be biased because the art style (which btw is consisitent and amazing) is the best I have ever seen in a game. I don't like flat colors and many 3D looks for these kinds of games fall flat (ironically). It's sketchy, has great vibrant colors, and each evolution gets better and better. So yeah, it's perfect because the art is good.

Characters are generally likeable and memorable (I joined after seeing an archangel meme on twiter, so that was a given draw), and the game has been fairly generous thus far. The gameplay is fairly balanced in terms of team building, with characters being strong depending on situation or event (or are game breaking but those are few and limited anyways.) The voice acting is Far Better than many other mobile rpgs I've played and I'm looking at every English dubbed game I've played that may have been decent other than that (but I couldn't handle it so deletion). The story is pretty good too.

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i like my kitchen a lot
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