By Eugene . January 15, 2014 . 4:30pm
If you miss Valkyrie Profile, you might want to check out Brave Frontier, which is making waves as a solid smartphone game where you don’t have to worry about juggling an entire puzzle board full of random gems. While the game is from Japan, there’s an English version out for both iOS and Android from Gumi (whose localization team is based in Singapore).
At first glance, it might look like a Puzzle & Dragons clone, and to some extent it does play similarly. You’ll be able to capture and evolve over 200 different fantasy style characters, monsters and ubiquitous slimes and fights generally revolve around getting the right element matched up against its opposing type to deal mega damage.
What sets Brave Frontier apart, though, is that you get to actually choose which of your characters will be fighting which enemy. Do you want to gang your troops up on some poor skeleton sod? Smashing it into the ground with more attacks will pop up more rewards like cash and Brave crystals, but obviously leaves you open to counter-attacks from foes.
Those Brave crystals charge each character’s special skill which ranges from healing to direct damage to area-of-effect spells and effects. You have to hold and flick on a unit to do so, and it’s also possible to chain attacks together by selecting multiple units at the right time during a fight.
Another unique aspect of the game is its town system. Here, there’s crafting and basic harvesting that you can do. In order to get better items, you’ll need to spend some points to level up your buildings. You can then craft gear such as healing potions, antidotes and what not. There’s also an arena mode for players to fight against other players in player-versus-player team fights and various standard fair such as raid bosses and special events to partake in.
Be warned that the game has a very hefty after-download update requirement, so don’t do this in a place without Wi-Fi and some time to kill (it took us about 5 minutes to finish downloading the additional updates). The game is pretty intensive on the memory, too—the devs recommend at least 1GB of RAM for your smartphone or Brave Frontier will likely lag. On my Samsung S3, it did fine, however. We’ll give you more play impressions when we get more time in.