Phantom Rift ($2.99) by Foursaken Media is an adventure RPG with a battle system that is inspired by Mega Man Battle Network. If you were a fan of Battle Network, but want more magic and RPG elements in the game, then Phantom Rift is worth a look.
There’s one game genre that I can’t get enough of, especially for the weekend, and that’s RPGs. I love the sense of adventure in these games, and the amount of customization is a lot of fun for everyone. Personally, I didn’t play much of Mega Man Battle Network, but I was still intrigued with Phantom Rift. Now that it’s available in the App Store, I was excited to give it a spin.
The graphics in Phantom Rift are stunningly beautiful. The game world is fully rendered in 3-D, and it pretty much creates itself as you go along. Phantom Rift features all kinds of different environments, and they’re all colorful, vibrant, and lush, or sometimes dark and gloomy, depending on where you are. Your character can be customized in the beginning, and the details for the character model are nice. Your appearance will change as you find better armor and weapons, which I enjoy in RPGs. The adventurous soundtrack is also pleasant to listen to while you explore and fight.
The biggest thing I had a problem with in this game were the animations. I found that the game’s speed is horrendously slow on iOS 8 GM, and there is no way to change it so that things move faster. Things are smooth, but it takes forever to move across an area, and even in battle. Fortunately, the developer is aware of this and is going to address the speed in a future update.
The game is level-based with various dungeons that are connected via portals. Your wisp companion will indicate the location of the portal on a mini-map in the upper right corner of the screen, and you need to reach it in order to advance to the next area. Along the way, you will encounter random battles, which use a combat system that is inspired by Battle Network. Each dungeon will also have tough bosses to face off against.
The controls in the game are simple. To move your character along the dungeon, just drag your finger anywhere, and he or she will follow. Interact with other wisps and NPCs by tapping on them when you’re near. The NPCs can give you more information on the game lore and even side quests. During battle, you can change your character’s position by swiping vertically or horizontally, and tap on your target to do a basic attack with your weapon. If you have a MFi controller, it should be able to work with Phantom Rift.
During battle, you’ll get several random spells and abilities to use to your advantage (there are over 300 to collect), but these will cost mana to use. You can view information on each one by tapping on it. On either side of these spells will be two circles, colored red and blue. If you drag a spell into the red circle, you can convert it for mana. But if you want to use the spell, drag it to the blue circle and it will become available during the fight. When you want to use it, just tap on the icon at the bottom of the screen.
The step where you pick the skills you want to use and what to convert takes a few moments to recharge, but the game does inform you when it is ready again. If you’ve played Mega Man Battle Network, this should be familiar to you.
As of right now, I can’t fully recommend the game if you are running the iOS 8 GM. In fact, the slow speed of the game makes me not want to play it because it fails to grab my attention in a reasonable manner. The graphics look great, the music is delightful, and the battle system is fun, but all of those don’t mean much to me when it takes me about 30 minutes to get past the introduction. However, if you are on the latest version of iOS 7 or below, then you should be fine.
The developer is working on improving the game speed in the next update (hitting the App Store next week with iOS 8), which is good news. But until then, I can’t fully recommend the game unless you are on iOS 5.1 and above, but not iOS 8 GM. At least there’s iCloud game saving, though, so you can pick up where you left off.