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Aralon: Sword and Shadow HD Review

By , on December 16, 2010


Aralon: Sword and Shadow HD
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Huge open world RPG gameplay.
  • Varied class trees with unique skill development.
  • Pet/companion system to offset class deficiencies.

CONS

  • Draw distance problems; landmarks regularly 'pop' in to view.
  • Automated targeting system hard to override.
  • Odd AI glitches; mostly related to pathing and following zones.

VERDICT

The scope and size of Aralon: Sword and Shadow's gameplay is only mildly dampened by the occasional odd problem, which may be off-putting for some, but they're far from game-breaking and certainly not worth depriving yourself of this great RPG.


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There are few times I feel I could safely say this at the beginning of a review, but if you're a fan of Western RPGs (in particular titles in the vein of Elder Scrolls), then you really should take the time to pick up Aralon: Sword and Shadow HD by Crescent Moon Games and Galoobeth Games. But, I digress and submit that while there are frayed edges to this comprehensive RPG, the scope and depth of this game goes so far beyond the regular pick up and play titles that it's a small wonder it's on a mobile device at all.

Getting about in the world of Aralon is made easy thanks to a combination of touch and virtual stick controls, along with menus and context sensitive buttons to handily condense your available actions. After choosing between three races and four available classes, players are introduced to the initial basic story of 'saving the kingdom' with a twist of 'because your dead father asked you to' and then pushed out in to the world with a handful of introductory quests. At this point exploration is only limited by your ability to survive, with early caves proving to be a deadly challenge and wrong turns down country paths ending with a crushed skull. Combat can be semi-automated to remove the need to spam the attack button (especially handy for melee based classes), though broad skill trees give players the option to specialize their active (and passive) abilities, including the ability to summon pets to aid your quests.

Some criticism could be launched at the rather jagged environment landscapes, but it would be a harsh assessment given the detailed and varied areas to explore that look stunning no matter what time of the day in-game. The audio track can feel out of place at times, obscuring some of the dialogue in cutscenes, which is a shame given that the voice acting is certainly not the usual sub-standard quality some would expect.

Aralon isn't without some genuine criticisms though as players have to face odd problems like henchmen occasionally not following you in to new zones, towns that feature no external signs to distinguish between useful buildings and mounts that will throw you off at the slightest barrier in their path.

But ultimately these are minor quibbles that can be taken in stride as exploration is rewarded well and with so much out there to find, you'll be locked in for hours on end. Aralon: Sword and Shadow HD is an excellent grab for any fan of role playing games.

Screenshots

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Comments

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TheAspieFox 12 months ago

Even today this is one of the, if not THE, best free-roam RPGs on the App Store.

If this game were to receive a general update to take advantage of the newer OS and iDevice capabilities in terms of graphics/audio and even a bit of content expansion, it would be absolutely phenomenal.

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gvcdkg 3 years, 3 months ago

Do you have to be online to save? I read a review in itunes about that not working. Plus im going to be on a plane so i wont be able to.

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FalloutNewVegas 3 years, 8 months ago

A game like elder scrolls? Looks like a more advanced version of ravensword. While this does look doubtful I'll check it out just because its like oblivion.

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chrisapto 3 years, 8 months ago

It has alot more gameplay than ravensword... its definitely worth getting

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chrisapto 3 years, 8 months ago

What glitches did you run into?