Archive | February 2014

Galactic Phantasy Prelude review

Galactic Phantasy Prelude published by Moonfish Software. When I first heard about this game, I thought Android is not ready for a true sci-fi action-rpg. I’ve never been so wrong. Galactic Phantasy Prelude, from now referred only as GPP is simply amazing. It’s an rpg where you take the role of a captain on a pirate ship, doing missions, attacking other pirate ships or raiding transport ships for goods.

GPP starts with James and Matt, two orphans who had just stolen a ship and are escaping the orphanage where they belong. The story continues as the crew aims to be the most feared and respected pirates in the galaxy. I must admit the story isn’t the strongest sides of this game, but it is crucial to the dynamics. With every single part of the storyline, you advance further from one solar system to another, where the opponents will be more difficult to defeat and where things cost more.

GPP has astonishing graphics. Not the best I’ve seen on Android, but still spectacular. The spaceships, drones, star-ports and other facilities are well built; the textures of the background are still bearable although the lower resolution. There is a certain give and take there. And the graphics are adjustable; you can chose from 5 settings from best to fastest.

Gladewine is now hyperdroid, please visit our new site HERE

Becoming a space pirate have never been this easy

Becoming a space pirate have never been this easy

But what made me love this game is the dynamics. The way you can control your spaceship is amazing. I prefer the on-screen joystick with normal (not inverted) y-axis. Alternatively you can use the accelerometer, but it needs some time to get used to it. The joystick is on the left side (in galaxy mode there is the auto toggle and Fleet/Inventory button too), on the right side are other buttons: in galaxy view, there is the Speed-up button and the Pirate toggle and when close to a planet 2 options appear, Dock and Wander. During combat, the attack buttons are there and special buttons which activate special powers depending on the accessories called Supports you’ve equipped your ship with.

Other buttons are the Options, Log, Hints, Map and Mission. The options opens the game settings, like controls, music or display quality. Log covers your storyline missions, Hints give useful tooltips for beginners, Missions open up the current side-mission and Map is self-explanatory. I can tell you, the Map button will be most frequently used. The only downside I can mention is the only 2 axis control. I would really appreciate an additional z-axis, so I can rotate my ships one more way, like in PC/console games.

GPP is a complex game, which features a main galaxy view (something like in Mass Effect), where you will drive your ship around solar systems, driving to different planets to dock there or to acquire missions, but most of the time it will be running away enemy pirates or the opposite, chasing after your targets. The speed boost will come in handy avoiding the raiders or to catch up with some other ships. Sometimes it is easier to just boost to the next stargate and jump to a different system than entering battle and pressing the Escape button and to wait 10 seconds.

Gladewine is now hyperdroid, please visit our new site HERE

Wandering in orbit of planets provides awe-dropping views.

Wandering in orbit of planets provides jaw-dropping views.

The fleet you drive consists of a flagship and a wingman. At the beginning there is only one ship, a Frigate, but later on you will be able to buy new ones in Shipyards. There are several types of ships; from the smallest to biggest are Frigate (FG), Destroyer (DS), Cruiser (CS), Battleship (BS), Battlecruiser (BC) and Transport (TS). These ships all except the TS can carry weapons: missiles or lasers. There are several types of each with different functions like draining energy or stun.

The ships have major and minor attributes, the major are Structure Points (like health), Energy for using abilities and if the Part is equipped, Defense Matrix (shields), Cargo Hold capacity and CPU – energy capacity of the ships. Other attributes are the attack, CPU usage, aiming angle, different recharge times, and battle/wander speed and so on. The list is long, sometimes the numbers are overwhelming, but once mastered won’t cause any headaches.

The ships can be upgraded by equipping different Weapons, Supports or Parts. Every ship has different capacity to equip these. Smaller ships will have 1 weapon slot, 1 support and 3-4 parts slots, bigger ships will have up to 2-3-8. The most important thing is to find the best CPU usage/performance ratio, and to find the best crew with the highest points in the targeted field.

The galaxy is huge, several discoverable solar systems with planets, new challenges and opportunities.

The galaxy is huge, several discoverable solar systems with planets, new challenges and opportunities.

The inventory has its flaws too. First of all is the lack of the option to compare the equipped item with the one I currently view in the inventory or is a possible reward for a mission. The other thing is the inability to rearrange the inventory. This can be really frustrating for people who like order and to logically arrange their things. And the last thing is the low size of the inventory: 16 slots are enough for weapons and for supports, but for parts, it isn’t. Of course there is the option to double the size for Credits (in-game premium currency).

Gladewine is now hyperdroid, please visit our new site HERE

Major roles have planets. In orbit of each planet are different facilities. All the facilities have levels, from 1 to 5 which can be raised by donating money, because higher level provides higher quality services. Star-ports and Markest are at every planet, but Mining Plants, Info Centers and Shipyards are scattered across the planets. Star-ports are where you can dock your fleet to manipulate with it: swapping ships, equipping accessories and crew members, buying accessories and recruiting crew members, repairing damaged ships. Market is where you can buy and sell different goods. The best way to earn money is to buy cheap stuff at one planet and sell it at another for higher price. Finding Golden Routes provide extremely high income percentage.

Info Centers serve as the hub for side-missions, Shipyards are the place to buy and sell ships while in Mining Plants you buy the materials needed for ships. There are several types of side-missions; some are easier, other harder. The easier are the “follow target” missions, the harder are the “transport-goods” missions and the hardest are the “destroy” missions. On higher levels these are combined in one mission and can spread across several systems.

Traveling between planets, chasing traders and avoiding pirates, this is the wild-west in space.

Traveling between planets, chasing traders and avoiding pirates, the wild-west of space.

Ships can be bought in Shipyards for money and for materials acquired from mining plants (iron, copper, crude oil…). The hardest thing in building ships is to acquire the blueprints, which can be bought for Credits or are dropped by destroyed enemy ships. The drop-rate is various and can be really frustrating to find the wanted blueprint.

The game uses a free-to-play with IAPs business model, which is in my opinion well balanced toward the free-to-play side. The difficulty of the game is decent, but it is possible to beat the game entirely without paying for stuff with real money. There are some frustrating things, like the above mentioned inventory upgrade, but other things like Credits or the Packages are not necessary. Of course the Packages provide the best ships in the game with additional pocket money, but it really serves only for enthusiasts or for impatient people.

Gladewine is now hyperdroid, please visit our new site HERE

The other irritating things are the bugs. Sometimes the game freezes at different points or some items cannot be equipped or sometimes. Every time I exit the game with full Structure Points and after that I open it again, a slight portion of my SP is missing for no apparent reasons. But the developers are working hard to remedy the problems with every update.

Galactic Phantasy Prelude is also connected with Google Play services, so after a login with Google+ account you have the ability to view your achievements and compare them with friends. Additional hints, tips and ticks can be found here.

[EDIT 14.05.2014] GPP has been updated to version 1.9.0 (and currently 1.9.2) which brings the option to have another wingman (3 ships in the flotilla), new spaceships and crewmen have been added and other tweaks and improvements have been implemented.

Pros:

  • Graphics, music and dynamics
  • Open-world
  • Enjoyable space battles
  • Huge variety of ships, customizability
  • Free-to-play
  • Well balanced difficulty, AI
  • Causes major addiction

Cons:

  • Weak main story
  • Irritating environment of the Inventory
  • Repetitive over time
  • Bugs

Recommended for: Sci-fi fans and for patient people, who like to earn things instead of buying them.

Rating: 89/100

Gladewine is now hyperdroid, please visit our new site HERE

Advertisements