Desert Ashes and Death Tales will Give Vita Owners Free Adventures

By Jenni . December 12, 2014 . 1:29pm

We’ve seen proof that free-to-play games can work on the Vita. Jet Pack Joyride and Crazy Market have proven it can work. However, I think Luc Bernard’s Desert Ashes, and perhaps even eventually Death Tales, could really do something special.


This is mainly because I think Vita owners are going to fall in love with the Advance Wars-style gameplay of Desert Ashes. A follow-up to Eternity’s Child and Mecho Wars, it will be free-to-play on the Vita with purchaseable campaigns and maps. Think of it as having a gothic, strategic adventure on hand you can play anytime either alone or with friends.


I went through the tutorial, which saw the Winged Crusade attempting to invade the Landian’s homeland. Admittedly, I wished I could have skipped ahead, or that I had picked a different starting campaign. The step by step, learning process would be great for someone who hadn’t played Advance Wars before, because it introduces units and lays out the unique formula. However, for someone who already knows, it’s a little too much hand-holding.


The only aspect I didn’t know about was the way maps changed from day to night. It was inspired, really. This is set in a desert, where temperatures swiftly drop when night falls. Oceans, lakes, and rivers freeze, creating new paths to areas. It really adds some new strategic elements to Desert Ashes.


I have to admit I didn’t completely find the tutorial tedious,¬†mainly, because it let me listen to Desert Ashes‘ incredible soundtrack. This game sounds gorgeous. I want to find and buy a copy of this, and have it on repeat in my car.


It was while I played Desert Ashes that Luc Bernard came over and asked if I had played his other Vita game on display at the PlayStation Experience, Death Tales. Formerly known as Reaper, it was available in a “pre-pre-alpha” state. By which I mean, only two, brief, demo levels were available. Players control a character and can use various cards to perform magic spells and special skills to attack opponents in a side-scrolling, action RPG.


Like Desert Ashes, Death Tales will eventually be free-to-play, but that wasn’t the most interesting aspect of the game Bernard discussed. He said they are hoping to have a PlayStation TV cooperative multiplayer functionality within the game, so multiple people can play together. That, combined with a free-to-play aspect that has people buying additional skills cards if they wish, makes me think this could be a game people will grab, even if they aren’t sure about it.


I would have to wait and see again how the finished, free-to-play products look once they launch on the PlayStation Store, but I’m absolutely optimistic about Desert Ashes. The minis version of Mecho Wars translated well and I have high hopes the follow-up will be inviting as well.

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