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ADVENA Review

By , on October 17, 2011


ADVENA
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Crisp, beat'em-up combat; almost a revival of 4-player arcade machines.
  • Limited side-tracking or random combat; stays focused on the story.
  • Decent AI players; no need to completely babysit them.
  • Multiplayer 'raid' teams.

CONS

  • Reliance on IAP; players are almost handicapped from level 1.
  • Usual translation issues and clunky interface; lacks any sense of intuitive design.

VERDICT

ADVENA's party-play Action-RPG combat is a blast be it offline or online, but you'll have to cut through the usual swathe of clunky interface designs, poor translations and level grinding to truly enjoy the beat'em-up gameplay.


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It has been a while since I've said anything like this, but if you missed out on the days of going to the local arcade and throwing a few coins down on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a few friends, then you missed out on something really special. Beat'em-ups are usually cathartic in their own right, but the addition of three other players turns it in to an almost unfair brawl where you begrudgingly assist each other, if only to beat the boss and play the next level.

ADVENA by Gamevil distills the concept in to a single-player experience (albeit with some multiplay combat features) paired with the developer's distinct style of RPG gameplay to create a game that just manages to pull back from the edge of being over-the-top.

You are nominally in control of Urus, a knight attempting to slay a former ally who has become power-mad. Unfortunately the poor knight is also caught up in the political turmoil of the magical Nabe and the common Tem. Over the course of the game Urus befriends several new allies which can be added to the party-of-four sent out to seek and destroy the evil of the world.

Much like similar Action-RPG titles in Gamevil's catalog, the controls are kept to a minimum, making it easy to jump in and start pulling off flashy moves. Aside from the d-pad players can attack or jump left or right (oddly there are two buttons for this) as well as quick-slots for the activation of various powers. While some moves only require taps to activate, others have a visceral feel as you perform simple gestures to activate flashy maneuvers.

Unfortunately while ADVENA may look and feel solid, progression in the game feels artificially designed to swing you towards the In App Purchase store. Items regularly drop with requirements well above your current state, with the items then being significantly underpowered by the time you can wear them. Aside from being frustrating, this leads to combat against foes taking far longer than it should and you'll feel the burn of grinding early on.

For everything ADVENA does well it equally manages to stumble somewhere else. Those used to and more forgiving of mobile phone developed KRPGs will enjoy the straight, action-packed combat that almost feels like an Arcade classic, but for everyone else it's a mindless grind-fest waiting for you to spend more money.

Screenshots

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