Apr 27, 2011
Finding an effective control scheme is one of the biggest challenges facing action games on mobile platforms. Even a game with a strong set of gameplay mechanics can fall apart if the controls aren’t responsive and intuitive. The creators of Legends Arcana set out to bring the action RPG genre to the Android platform, and despite a few issues, they did a fine job of it.
The gameplay consists of going from dungeon to dungeon fighting monsters, and gathering loot so that you can level up, and fight monsters in more difficult dungeons. In other words, it’s pretty standard fare for the genre, but the controls bring everything together nicely. There’s a small ring in the lower left hand corner of the screen, and by rotating that ring, you move your character around the screen. The experience is very similar to that of using an analog stick on either the Xbox 360, or the PS3, so veteran gamers will be able to jump in without a problem. On the right hand side of the screen, there are several buttons you can customize to use any of your abilities, as well as a basic attack button. Despite your character occasionally getting lost behind your thumbs, the control scheme is extremely intuitive and effective.
The gameplay in Legends Arcana may be rock solid, but the story driving that gameplay is paper thin. You’re working to pay off a debt you racked up after a drunken evening of debauchery, and that’s more or less the motivating force for a good chunk of the game. The lack of a larger story doesn’t break the game in any way, but if you’re looking for something plot driven, you’re going to want to look somewhere else. This game is driven exclusively by the action.
Despite a lackluster story, Legends Arcana still does a great job of keeping the player engaged by offering new loot, and new abilities at a good pace. You’ll find new swords and armor throughout the world, and you’ll get new abilities each time you level up. There’s always new loot, or a new spell right around the corner, and that constant dangling carrot does a great job of keeping the player engaged.
Unlike a lot of recent high profile Android games, Legends Arcana offers graphic settings to suit just about any device. On high settings, the game looks pretty good, but you might run into some frame rate issues on low end phones. The game still looks OK on medium settings, and it should run fine on most phones, leaving low settings reserved for the lowest of the low end phones.
Legends Arcana combines solid gameplay, great controls, and adjustable graphics to provide a strong gaming experience to Android users. It’s easily one of the strongest action RPG games available on the platform today, and it’s worth checking out if you want to do a little dungeon crawling on the go.