Having been a fan of Penny Arcade for so many years I just had to play the first Ran-slick game. And it was fun. A little weird what with the limited amounts of battles but still fun. The second was also enjoyable but felt a little lacking - especially in the final boss fight.
Then, like most people, I thought the third game would never come.
When it did I decided to wait for the iOS version because it would be cheap - although to be fair all versions of it are very affordable - and I'd be likely to finish it at a decent pace. The truth is I defeated the final boss while waiting in line at a grocery store. What a wild world we live in.
People say the battle system is like Grandia - a game I've never played - so I'll just assume that it is. What this ended up being, however, is a system that relies heavily on manipulating time. Making your characters faster, the enemies slower or using effects to delay the enemy from taking their own actions seemed to be the core gameplay.
I might be wrong, however, as there are many classes in the game and I only touched a few of them. It could be possible to play without much of this manipulation, but I thought it was the best way to proceed.
Amongst the bullet points of why this game is allegedly awesome "No random battles." and "Heal and restore items after each fight." were listed. I was skeptical at first and while I think they managed to make these two things work for this game, they are definitely not how I prefer things.
Now, this of course makes the game easier but it also allows them to make the battles much harder. I found the game to be quite satisfying on Normal and a bit too much of a grind on the next difficulty level. It really reminded me of Final Fantasy XIII in this way.
But it also reminded me of how much I enjoy resource management on a larger scale. This battle scale is fun and ends up being a string of boss battles one after another. But at the same time the senses of danger and exploration are both limited. I never felt like I was taking big risks and thus the rewards never felt that great.
However it was a fun, quick game. All the humor and references that I was expecting was there. There were quite a few neat ideas in terms of the variety of classes and how you could build your characters by assigning multiple classes to each character. I kind of felt it was a bit "obvious" what the "best" sets were but it is entirely likely that other people played the game entirely differently from me.
Having played it on my iPhone it was pretty frustrating when my fat fingers kept tapping commands that I had not intended. I realize it was not originally a touch screen device game but it seems like they could have changed the menus a bit to accommodate it.
Good game, glad I played it. Looking forward to part four next year.