Super hyper action RPG time!
There are quite a few Korean action RPGs on the iPhone, top down dungeon crawlers that play out like a mashup of Diablo and Secret of Mana. Like the majority of these titles, Epic Hearts is brimming with quests, features, and monsters.
Players will immediately notice the flashy graphical style of Epic Hearts. The colorful spritework and attention to detail definitely add to the game, but I found that the rate at which all characters cycle through sprites was too rapid. Characters in many games may normally look to be moving in place, but characters in Epic Hearts look as if they are convulsing. While this is distracting, the game is served well by its visual presentation.
I can’t say the same thing for the game’s localization. The translation of the original game’s dialogue and menu text to English, and the implementation of English in Epic Hearts are both terrible. Sentences are frequently cut off in dialogue boxes. For ex
ample, most dialogue boxes will break words. It doesn’t help that many words are misspelled, either. One in-game item is a fish, and was most likely intended to be called a carp. Epic Hearts calls it a “crap.”
The constant errors are yet another distraction in Epic Hearts, but the story the game tries to tell is certainly interesting. It is the typical ‘young heroes save the world’ that we often see in RPGs, but there are enough twists on the standard format to pull you along.
Also addictive are the role playing mechanics themselves. Like Diablo, the game is centered about frequent loot acquisition, character progression, and offshoot tasks such as crafting. Epic Hearts has all of these in spades, and I quickly found myself invested.
The game controls about as well as one could expect from a touch-driven action RPG interface. Players can choose between tap to move and a virtual dpad. I found myself gravitating more often to the dpad controls. I had frequent issues with using skill buttons- which are small and unresponsive. They certainly don’t measure up to physical controls, but they are about as accurate as the game needs them to be. Epic Hearts isn’t as much about precision as it is leveling up one’s equipment and skills.
The game also includes several character classes- which add quite a bit of variety to the experience. The gunslinger class made me wish I had a controller to play the game with, though.
Epic Hearts doesn’t stand out in a significant way from the Zenonia series, but it certainly isn’t a bad place to start. The plus version of the game adds some in-game currency, but I never hit a wall where it seemed like I would need more.