Are you tired of reading through a long review to get a first impression of a game? If yes, then you are in the right place in our Quick Byte! Here, we play a game for thirty minutes and share our impressions in a nutshell! For this Quick Byte, I decided to delve into Square Enix’s Heavenstrike Rivals. Without getting ahead of myself, I have to say that I was blown away!
Free-to-Play Hardcore Gaming on a Mobile Device
… say what?! Without wanting to sound bitter, I actually didn’t think this day would ever come. I have been working in this industry for a pretty long time and I have gotten used to the way that free-to-play games work: You just learn to ignore the constant ads, the relentless suggestions to make purchases, and the endless waiting times. In the 30 minutes that I played Heavenstrike Rivals, I was not not once asked to make a purchase; I also didn’t have to wait before I was able to start my next battle; and there has only been one banner so far which merely pointed out the next major in-game event. Kudos to Square Enix for bringing such a fair and well-balanced business model to the world of free-to-play mobile gaming.
Aside from the business model, did the developers also manage to bring a real Japanese RPG experience to Android and iOS devices? Yes, they certainly did! Think of the game as a hardcore version of Plants vs. Zombies 2 meets Hearthstone - or simply as a turn-based tactical roleplaying game in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics. If you are expecting a casual gaming experience that is straightforward and self-explanatory, this will not be the right game for you. If you have been hoping for the day that you can delve into intense hardcore gaming battles on your smartphone, this is your dream come true!
I definitely didn’t think that Heavenstrike Rivals was difficult to learn. The tutorial does a great job at explaining the possible nuances of the combat system. However, after 30 minutes of playing the game, I have merely scraped the surface of the strategic options in the RPG. I can only imagine how many tactical possibilities there are in battles, and I can’t wait to explore them further.
Verdict after 30 Minutes
I can’t stop gushing about this game. From the graphics and the presentation to the gameplay and the business model, I pretty much enjoyed everything about this game! I am sure that after playing it for a while, you will reach a point where you run out of mana, which you need in order to play the next battle. These points replenish over time, however! Considering that one battle alone is already a 5-10 minute gaming session, waiting for your mana to replenish is not the end of the world. If you are looking for quick and short gaming sessions on the go, Heavenstrike Rivals is not the right choice for you. Everyone else should at least give it a try! Two thumbs up!