Pocket RPG – Review

Title   Pocket RPG
Developer  Tasty Poison Games
Publisher  Tasty Poison Games
Platform  PlayStation Vita
Genre  Action RPG
Release Date  November 25, 2014
Official Site  http://tastypoisongames.com/games/pocket-rpg/

RPGs and handhelds don’t make for good bedfellows. Unless you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando. This is because RPGs take hours and hours to play where as handhelds, particularly the Vita, aren’t set up for those kind of lengthy sessions thanks to their batteries and the fact that all handhelds feel like super-arthritis after a while.

Thankfully, Pocket RPG, as the name might suggest, is perfect for a bit of pick up and play looting. As far as sub-genres go, this is your seen-from-above hack and slash/shoot with magic or arrows type. So, kind of like a Diablo but with a chunky closer view. It may lack the finesse of a Diablo but it offers an immediacy that suits the format, even if it does betray its obvious mobile gaming roots.

Pocket RPG doesn’t really mess around. If there’s a plot, I didn’t see it. You get a choice of three characters. The Blade Master is your hack-and-slash close-quarters fighter where as the Battle Mage and Dark Ranger use magic and arrows respectively to keep their enemies at bay from a distance. The melee character there is all about getting up close and using the X, and later on other buttons, to hack away at his enemies where as the other two play more like a twin-stick shooter.

The immediacy of the game comes from the short, randomly generated levels. These are small enough to complete in around ten minutes each, longer if you insist on exploring every nook and cranny, and these are grouped into quests. There are seven overall quests, although two are optional, that all lead towards the final boss.

As with any dungeon crawler, this is all about the loot but, interestingly, while you do carry your weapons and items across from level to level, your inventory is completely reset when you go to your next quest. There are some level ups that you can purchase between levels and quests, and these are permanent but equipment-wise, each quest has you starting with a blank slate. This is good as again it makes everything more immediate. I’ve just gone back to playing Terraria after a few weeks off and I haven’t got a clue what all my shit does now.

In terms of presentation, this is basic fare with cartoonish graphics and forgetable sound and while critics may not like the lack of depth or the iOS production values, the game’s simple playability and reasonably good loot system makes it perfect for a quick go and that’s all I really want on my Vita. If you want heaps of stats, a deep story to plough through and massive levels, play a PC game.

With only three characters, there’s not a huge amount of variety to the gameplay and the two ranged characters are way more fun to play as than the melee-based Blade Warrior but at least you have the choice. The twin-stick ranged combat feels great on the Vita thanks to the control set-up (certainly a lot better than its touchscreen based mobile counterparts). The game is also nicely addictive with each level promising to be short enough to allow extra play without too much commitment.

That said, you can’t entirely ignore just how simple this game is and ultimately for some that will be its strength and for others it will be a let down. I’m in the former category. If I was playing this on the PS4, I’d probably be a lot less forgiving of it but on the Vita I’m a sucker for its simple charm and unfussy gameplay.

  • Immediate RPG action without the extra fat
  • Decent loot
  • Ranged characters are fun to play
  • Doesn't have you pressing X for minutes on end trying to get through story sections
  • Is very basic by RPG standards
  • Mediocre presentation
  • Not exactly epic

Pocket RPG isn't for everyone and it probably isn't for hardcore RPG fans but if you want a taste of adventure without all the added faff and fluff, then Pocket RPG may be enough to satisfy you.

Our review policy

Last five articles by Richie


There are no comments, yet.

Why don’t you be the first? Come on, you know you want to!

Leave a Comment