Majesty: The Northern Expansion and Dark Legends Are Updated

Majesty: The Northern Expansion and Dark Legends Are Updated

Jul 6, 2012

The beauty of mobile games is that they’re expandable through updates. A couple of deep games, Majesty: The Northern Expansion and Dark Legends have gotten some updates recently.

First, Majesty‘s newest update brings some challenges to the fantasy world that hit close to home. Players must try to solve the problems of a tax crisis and overpopulation in the fantasy strategy game. Fiction mirrors our reality, though dragons not paying taxes is something I can say I’ve never seen. That happens in this game! The update is available now.

Second, Dark Legends has finally somewhat eliminated the energy mechanic that players were angry about, and was discussed in the Hangout with Spacetime Studios. Energy is only used for the story missions, which are used for rewards; energy is not necessary to play the main story missions at all, making it easier to play with friends and strangers. The update is available now as a live update, not necessarily requiring a client update through where the game was downloaded.

Spacetime Studios Hangs Out, Discusses Dark Legends Improvements and Upcoming Arcane Legends with Us

Spacetime Studios Hangs Out, Discusses Dark Legends Improvements and Upcoming Arcane Legends with Us

May 29, 2012

Recently, I got to participate in a Google+ Hangout with Cinco Barnes, Chief Visionary Officer at Spacetime Studios, and several other journalists, discussing Dark Legends. We broached a whole range of topics, finding out about new tweaks and features coming to Dark Legends, along with some early details on Arcane Legends.

Probably the biggest takeaway from the Hangout was that the energy system originally introduced will be radically modified in new updates. Most importantly, the ‘actual’ gameplay levels will become free to play as far as energy goes. This should help a lot with keeping players immersed in the game, especially as now players replaying earlier levels can more easily stick with ad hoc groups that form up. Because energy was frequently used up by the map’s story missions, this meant that only small groups would come together – and they would frequently disband.

While other changes to the energy system should be incoming, particularly as Cinco Barnes claimed that it was there primarily as a balancing tool, rather than just a monetization incentive, this should dramatically change and improve the game. It should dramatically change the pacing: now longer play sessions will be possible without expending energy.

The other big reveals from the Hangout were about Arcane Legends, the next game in the Legends series. This should take some of the combat mechanics from Dark Legends, and return the series to more of a fantasy-inspired setting. Oh, and there will be no energy system in this game. No real release date is available yet. However, do not expect development of Arcane Legends to slow down content additions for Dark Legends or past games at all.

The full Hangout footage is embedded below. We discuss other topics, including our general thoughts on the game and series as a whole. Vampire teeth get involved! Plus, hear about how Star Legends could have had space vampires. The full cast includes myself (see me adjusting my headphones at random intervals!), Ashley Esqueda of G4 and Techfoolery, H.B. Duran of, and Beau Hindman of Massively.

Dark Legends Review

Dark Legends Review

May 15, 2012

Spacetime Studios have launched yet another cross-platform MMORPG. I say that not like it’s becoming boring, but that it’s impressive how standard this is becoming for the studio with Dark Legends. Where some developers have trouble transferring save data between platforms, Spacetime has built another game that launched on Google Chrome, Android, and iOS within short time of each other, and it all works perfectly.

Dark Legends follows a similar core gameplay style as Pocket Legends and Star Legends: players traverse dungeons either by themselves or with friends, fighting all sorts of supernatural creatures and dark figures. Players control vampires who don’t see the need to cover everything up while they’re fighting. The newest aspect of combat is the ability to charge up attacks and magic for more damage. Magic drains from the same bar as health, which requires blood packs in order to refill. Well, actually, any kind of blood will do, which is why there’s the ability to drain blood from an enemy, which also grants a temporary stat boost.

Dark Legends‘ one negative addition to the game is the energy mechanic, one that essentially incentivizes the player to stop playing the game in order to progress. Each action undertaken requires a certain amount of energy, with some being ‘missions’ that have a quick animation, and then a timer to wait for them to finish. The levels themselves take 3 energy per play.

The problem in particular seems to be the way that it’s shifted multiplayer from an experience where the game can be enjoyed in long sequences with random players, to one that really only reinforces existing relationships, and encourages the joining of a guild. It was fun to go on extended dungeon raids in Star Legends, sticking with the same group for a long period of time. Because progression now is blocked by waiting for missions to complete, this means that random multiplayer is short-term at best. Some missions take an hour to complete, and while platinum can be used to bypass them, they’re still just a hindrance, one whose best solution is to just sit and wait for an arbitrary reason for them to complete. It creates more of a short-term and solo experience, for better or worse.

However, after all of that, Dark Legends is at its heart still a fun game, and rather impressive considering that it’s still free to play. It works out of the box with seamless cross-platform multiplayer. The only problem is that because it shares the core technology with its predecessors, the only differences are the setup and inclusion of vampires. While long-term play will be best enjoyed with the purchase of platinum (vanity items get expensive and some rare items can be obtained by buying some items packs with platinum), it’s definitely still worth taking the free dive in.

Dark Legends is Now Available on Android and Chrome, Coming Soon to iOS; Find Out How to Win an Exclusive Weapon!

Dark Legends is Now Available on Android and Chrome, Coming Soon to iOS; Find Out How to Win an Exclusive Weapon!

Apr 13, 2012

Spacetime Studios’ long-awaited new MMO, Dark Legends, has finally released on Android and Google Chrome. Spacetime claims that this is the first simultaneous cross-platform launch of an MMORPG; while their previous games were all playable cross-platform via iOS, Android, and Chrome, this is the first title to launch with support for multiple platforms.

I spoke recently with Cinco Barnes at Spacetime Studios, and he remarked on how this entry in the series is designed to have a different appeal than other games in the series. This is designed to be more like classical vampire legends versus ‘modern’ vampires like the Twilight series. Vampires are designed to be powerful, and their attacks are menat to have a brutality to them. The game overall is designed to appeal to an older audience, with buckets of blood, darker environments, and vampires that aren’t afraid to show some skin.

The game uses a new structure, where there are both story events that can be viewed to advance the story and collect rewards. The combat missions are still there, and it’s of course possible to play both online and solo in these missions. New outfits can be bought, other players can be interacted with in the game’s overworld, and there’s also player-vs-player combat available through this overworld.

Combat has been modified to add charge attacks, which deal extra damage; it’s possible to even charge up special attacks for extra effects. Note that special attacks draw from the same blood meter as health does. However, it’s also possible to feed on enemies’ blood, refilling that meter.

The game is available now on Google Play for Android, and from the Chrome Web Store. The iOS version is expected to release after a two-week exclusivity period with Google, but player accounts will transfer between platforms by logging into the same account; it currently works between the Chrome and Android versions, just as it worked with Pocket Legends and Star Legends.

As a bonus to our loyal readers, stay tuned to @148Apps, @AndroidRundown, and our 148Apps and Android Rundown Facebook pages for info on a contest to get an exclusive in-game weapon.

GDC 2012: Cross-Platform Play is All the Rage

GDC 2012: Cross-Platform Play is All the Rage

Mar 12, 2012

If there was a recurring theme at GDC this year, it was cross-platform play. This doesn’t just mean games that are released for both iOS and Android, but ones that are playable between both platforms, and even with computer players of the same game. Several games at GDC 2012 showed off how these boundaries were continuing to fall between platforms.

Brick-Force will combine multiplayer level-building akin to Minecraft, with the ability to then shoot friends in their stupid faces in those same levels. The game is built in Unity, and scheduled to come to mobile. Initially, players will only be able to build levels with up to seven other players no matter what platform they’re on; the main combat mode will be unavailable due to control concerns. A shooter mode called Titan Mode that would help balance things out between mobile and computer players is in consideration, though. Open beta versions of the game are planning to launch this spring.

As well, Heroes and Generals from Reto-Moto, comprised of folks who worked on the Hitman series for IO Interactive. The game is comprised of a massive, Battlefield-esque World War II shooter portion that will allow for massive teams to take on each other. The game also includes a strategic Generals mode, where players send resources to teams currently in battle, enabling extra player slots along with extra resources. Because the Heroes portion of the game is running on a proprietary engine and will have support for massive numbers of players, mobile support is not yet planned. However, mobile players will be able to act as Generals, sending their troops about the battlefield. The mobile support is still in works while the game is in Alpha mode, but the developer showed off how actions on the computer version are displayed on the tablet version, with direct interaction currently in the works.

Pangalore showed off their suite of techonologies for cross-platform play. They have two teams working on a variety of cross-platform technologies: one studio working on HTML5 games that will work no matter what platform they’re on, whether they be web browsers on a computer or through a phone’s web browser. Their other studio is working on Unity games that will run between platforms. For example, their upcoming Knightly Adventure, an action-RPG/simulation hybrid game was shown running on PC and iPad. Pangalore also is working to have progress carry between platforms, with Knightly Adventure‘s demo showing this transferring of save progress already working. The game is scheduled to release in May.

Finally, the current lords of cross-platform play, Spacetime Studios, let us go hands-on with the latest game Dark Legends. Fans of the franchise will find a darker, more brutal entry into the series, with scantily-clad vampires, and plenty of blood flying all over the place. Health and mana draw from the same pool, so special attacks (which can now be charged up before deployed for stronger effects) require a trade-off between having extra health, and dealing with enemies. Of course, there’s always the ability to drain enemies of their blood to help get more blood and blood refills. The game is about four weeks away from release, though it will be a two week exclusive on Kindle Fire, before eventually making its way to Android and Chrome (which the game was already running on at Spacetime Studios’ demo), then iOS.

Spacetime Studios Announces Their Latest Cross-Platform MMORPG, Dark Legends

Spacetime Studios Announces Their Latest Cross-Platform MMORPG, Dark Legends

Jan 26, 2012

Spacetime Studios has announced their newest entry in their cross-platform MMO Legends series, and this one will delve into a world that is culturally en vogue: vampires. Yes, their latest title is Dark Legends, and it will involve vampires. Yes, players will control a vampire, as they fight off the humans, and other supernatural forces that want to see them knocked down the supernatural food chain.

What Spacetime Studios is promising with Dark Legends is not just Star Legends or Pocket Legends reskinned with supernatural creatures, but gameplay that promises to be more action-based than previous games. Abilities such as charge and draining attacks will be part of this new combat system. As well, the game promises to have interactive story sections to help expand the narrative, which will be a larger focus in this game than in previous titles.

Of course, the game will still have the features that the Legends series was known for: MMORPG gameplay that works on cellular networks, and across many devices. This means that Dark Legends will be playable on iOS, Android, and Chrome, with players able to partake in missions together, and to carry their accounts from device to device. The game will also feature single-player missions for those who don’t like that second M in the MMORPG acronym.

According to Gary Gattis, CEO of Spacetime Studios, ““With each entry to the Legends franchise we raise the bar for the pick-up-and-play MMO space. The changes between Pocket Legends and Star Legends were significant, but Dark Legends is a quantum leap forward in interactive storytelling.” While these are bold words, both Pocket Legends and Star Legends were groundbreaking technical achievements, taking cross-platform mobile online play to levels that other games have struggled to reach. While there’s only currently concept artwork publicly revealed, we’ll have more on the game as it is publicly revealed at GDC 2012 in early March.