Developed by Kakao Games, Guardian Tales had recently been launched globally. While the game has recently getting more and more attention so we’ve decided to give Guardian Tales a go and here’s our review on it.
– Story –
The Plot of the game is fairly simple, the good guys (you) fighting the forces of evil. But to compensate for their linear storyline, the game takes the lighthearted route by not taking its plot too seriously. Throughout the story, there’s humor and pop-culture references scattered across the game which makes it charming and entertaining.
– Gameplay & Controls –
The gameplay that features in Guardian Tales is very reminiscent to the classic olden day RPG titles such as the Legend of Zelda GameBoy series in the sense where you fight enemies as well as solve puzzles to advance in the stage.
You have your very typical controls layout where the directional pad would be on the left side of the screen as well as your important action keys (Sprinting, Attacking & Weapon special move) on the right. If you’re not fond of the layout, you can opt to change it through the settings.
All in all, the controls is very easy to get used to thanks to its simplistic and uncluttered UI layout and without any other unnecessary elements that would just clog up screen space.
Combat is also really enjoyable which also thanks to the easy-to-learn controls. The buttons feel very responsive and the battles feel pretty fast pace where you churn out combos alongside with the flashy visuals, it makes the combat feel addictive and fun to play.
– Game Aesthetics –
As you may have guessed, Guardian Tales main presentation revolves around pixel art. And by Golly, it’s beautiful. It might just be that I personally have a fondness to pixel art to begin with, but I’m pretty sure everyone can agree that the art in this game is well polished.
From the sprite characters, to the background, to character designs of all the characters, Guardian Tales is just really aesthetically pleasing and it further brings out that certain charm that Guardian Tales provide.
– Map & Level Design –
The story chapters that are laid across the game map is a progressive storyline where it features both a Main questline maps as well as Side quest maps that can be unlocked through talking with NPCs within the Main story map.
The main story maps can be split into two different types, long maps and short maps. As the name implies, long maps have longer play time in terms of map level size and stuff to do. While the short maps are mostly like “filler content” with the solely purpose of progressing through the story without constantly being in fights.
The levels are linear in terms of there’s no branching paths that would lead you to a different outcome (although there is something like a karma system where I’ll explain more later) While the levels are linear, it’s still advisable to check out every nook and cranny for some hidden goodies that might’ve been missed out if you only follow the intended path.
– Gacha System –
Yes, the game also has a Gacha system. There’s two types of Gacha pulls, one being your typical Hero Summoning while the other is Equipment Summoning. The price for one Single Summon is at 300 Gems and a x 10 Summon is at 2,700 Gems. To make a comparison on how much it is, you can either get the Monthly Pack which includes 4000 Gems at the price of ~ 15 USD (RM 63.00) or the Daily package of 200 Gems which is 1 USD (RM 4.20).
The general theme of the Gacha system is really unique. Where most games, you summon your units through a magical portal/gateway from another dimension; In Guardian Tales, you summon your unit through the game’s own parody of Amazon called “Kamazon”.
After signing for your package (you actually need to draw something for the summoning sequence), your unit will come in a form of a boxed toy!
Design aside, are the summoning rates decent? The rates of an SSR (Natural 3 Star in Guardian Tales) is 2%. SR rate (Natural 2 Star) is 19% and your normal R rate (Natural 1 Star) is at 79%. While the rates are at the low side of the spectrum, the game does give you a decent amount of SR units as well as 1 SSR unit which is pretty much enough to power through the PvE content. Duplicate heroes give out Hero Crystals where you can exchange them for buying evolution stones or limit breaking which are both used to strengthen up your character.
Weapon Summoning on the other hand has slightly different rates in comparison to the Hero Summoning. The SSR rate (Hero exclusive weapon) is at 3%. Pulling weapons are a bit riskier because of all the weapon types as well as randomized weapon sub-stats meaning that the weapon that you pulled for might have lower stats than usual.
– Game Features –
Guardian Tales features tons of extra mechanics which makes the overall gameplay much more enjoyable. The features are inclusive but not limited to:
- Town Building
After clearing World 1, your Main Menu completely changes into a town building simulator where you can construct various of buildings for your townspeople. The town building aspect requires a different kind of currency in terms of these “pink hearts” where you can use them to build different buildings and increase your town size. While this is completely optional, it’s a nice little mini-game where you can spend your time with while waiting for your stamina to recover.
The game’s version of Facebook, “FaceBreak” is a social media app within the game where you can see little funny updates from the NPCs you meet throughout your journey who follows you on this social media. Most of the time, the NPCs would post random updates for your amusement, the NPCs some times might notify you about store details if going on or not which can be neat.
- Dialogue option & Karma System
At certain parts of the game, you are greeted with the option to choose what kind of action that you would go for in specific scenarios. By picking one of these dialogue options, the decision that you made might affect your karma.
The sun means that you’re more inclined to the good karma while the moon shows your bad karma. While there is no clear indicator of what the karma system does as of yet, it might play a huge part in the story in the future.
- Hero Progression
The progression of characters in Guardian Tales is pretty in-depth and comprehensive. With the inclusion of your typical level-up and limit breaking, the game also has stuff like Hero Evolution and Awakening.
While both of them increases the stats of your character. Hero Evolution is where you take your duplicates that you summoned from the Gacha pulls to raise the Star level of your character. Whereas Awakening is essentially a big progression tree where it increases your character’s passives (For example: passive Atk increase, Lifesteal, etc).
One of the downside of these hero progressions is that it’s heavily character locked, which means that you need to heavily invest in one character to unlock their full potential meaning that changing team compositions will take quite some time.
The PVP in Guardian Tales is in real-time and only takes place during a 1 hour period. During that 1 hour period, you’ll be able to play as many PVP matches but only first 5 matches count into the distribution of arena rewards. Although, the games after the first 5 matches will still affect your arena scoring to keep that in mind. A match win gives you 20 points while a loss costs you 10 points, and at the end of each week the rewards will be given based on your score.
In this game, raw stats determine the outcome of your PVP fights so whales will most definitely have a bigger advantages against F2P players.
– Verdict –
- When the game is fun, it’s really fun. The combat system is especially addictive with its simplistic and easy-to-get into controls.
- The visual aesthetic to the game is a love letter to fans of the pixel art genre. The backgrounds give the game life and it pairs well with the overall setting of the world of Kanterbury and the Gacha summoning sequence is really fun to look at.
- The story is entertaining and the characters all have their certain charm to them which makes players enjoy the lighthearted and humorous tone the game offers.
- After the completion of the main storyline, the endgame content isn’t as appealing since it’s mostly just resource/dungeon grinding.
- Changing team compositions is a pain since each individual characters needed to be heavily invested.
- PVP requires you to play at a certain time which really limits the freedom for players. The combat boils down to whichever team with the highest amount of raw stats which makes PVP even less appealing.
– Final Score –
It’s still worthwhile to try out the game up until the honeymoon phase, hopefully they’ll add more story content in the near future as it is to me, the highlight of Guardian Tales. I also hope that the endgame content could be reworked so that things such as PVP battle would be more accessible for everyone.
For more info, do check out their official website to keep up to date on things.