In today’s smartphone gaming world, GREE (3632) and Mobage operator DeNA (2432) have one thing in common: following numerous attempts, they both still have no big (first-party) app-based hit in their portfolio.
As a reaction, during the last financial call, DeNA said it will pump out around 60 new titles over the next few months (70% of which will be native apps). And today one of the most promising titles was released on the Japanese market, Magic & Cannon.
DeNA unveiled the Mobage title back in September, and it seems the company has high hopes Magic & Cannon will be its first app-based hit ever.
My initial impression that the title looks more like a 16bit RPG than a typical social game turned out to be correct: unlike many quest-based social RPGs and card battlers, this game lets users control and move their characters freely over a world map, inside dungeons, or across cities.
Rest in an inn and your characters’ energy gets replenished, in true JRPG style.
DeNA says that like traditional RPGs, players can look for treasures, acquire equipment, and battle enemies by choosing different forms of attack and defense, which means the game actually requires skills from players and makes fights more tactical. Human characters can wear different “animal hats” that give them special powers during battles.
Story-wise, Magic & Cannon takes place in a world dominated not by humans but by animals.
After one animal race succeeds in creating the “ultimate weapon”, a fire dragon, it’s the role of a player to take control of a human hero to go out and restore peace by assembling a party and using the powers of magic and cannons (there are actual cannons that can be used in the game) to battle enemies.
I haven’t played the title long enough to make a final judgment, but I am welcoming any type of RPG that’s not using cards these days.