Title: Langrisser Mobile Released On: Android, iOS, PC Genre: Strategy, RPG Reviewed On: Android Developer: ZlongGames Publisher: Masaya Games MSRP: Free To Play (In-Game Microtransactions)
Since time immemorial, the land of El Sallia has been influenced by the power of the gods. The dark god, Chaos, was worshiped by the devil tribe and over time rose to power to dominate all others. Conversely, Lushiris, a goddess of light, was worshiped by the humans. Each god has its own avatar to exercise its power in the human world and prepare for its coming. Chaos’ avatar is Bozel, a prince of darkness who is really the trapped soul of a damned human. Lushiris’ avatar is Jessica, a powerful magician. Each avatar has been entrusted with a sword that carries the weight of the gods’ powers. Bozel is responsible for the dread Alhazard, and Jessica is responsible for the holy Langrisser. By choosing a champion for the swords in each era, they influence the world in an endless series of wars.
Langrisser Mobile tells the tale of the Swordsmith Legion, a new group of adventurers who are appointed by the Goddess of Light and tasked with a quest to recast the Langrisser. Gathering the power of history’s most legendary warriors, the Swordsmith Legion must band together with these heroes and fight against the forces of darkness.
Langrisser Mobile is a free-to-play complex strategy RPG, with gameplay in the same vein as titles such as Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Disgaea. You deploy and directly control your units on the battlefield, with your actions and decisions influencing the outcome; one wrong move and you’re toast. It’s surprisingly deep for a mobile game, and is of higher quality than many games of similar ilk. I have been playing since the launch back in January 2019, and I have yet to miss a day of logging in. As with most mobile games, it is designed to keep you playing over a long period of time. The direction and growth of your units is entirely dependent on your logging in and doing daily activities to gather the resources needed to make your heroes stronger. However, there is a wide variety of content to engage the player, offering both PVE and PVP content to suit each type of player.
First, let’s go over the various content available in Langrisser Mobile. As you would expect, there is a very robust story mode, divided into over 30 chapters. This involves moving your avatar character (which can be set in the player settings) to each node on the map and engaging in staged battles. The further you progress, the higher level the content becomes. Occasionally a side-battle will branch off on a side path, where you can earn extra rewards. Every piece of content costs Stamina, represented by a little bread icon in the bar at the top of the screen. Typical story content costs 10 Stamina, and you have a permanent maximum of 120 Stamina. Any cleared story content can be revisited and replayed at any of the town nodes, if you want to train any underdeveloped heroes or farm particular materials.
Next up is the Time Rift. Off to the side on the main screen is a clock-looking icon. Tapping this opens up a whole menu of story battles you can clear, each based on a particular line of events from previous Langrisser titles. You will be required to clear many of these to progress the Story mode, so get used to coming here to battle. As you open up new Time Rifts, more powerful rewards become available. There is even an Elite Mode for each Time Rift, offering greater challenges and rewards. Many of these rewards are mandatory for character advancement and growth, so don’t fall behind on clearing the rifts! Once you 3 Star a Rift, you can “sweep” it a number of times each day to earn the rewards without playing the battle, at the same stamina cost.
You initially start the game with a rag-tag crew of units that form the Swordsmith Legion. Matthew, Almeda, and Grenier being the main three. As you play and summon extra units, more heroes of varying grades will join you. You can summon the same hero multiple times, earning you Shards that can be used to increase their Star Grade, which then upgrades their Talent. Each unit has their own unique Talent, and some of them are VERY powerful. Characters range from Grade R, to SR, and finally SSR at the highest. You can clear all content no matter what grade characters you use, but you will have an easier time using the stronger SR and SSR units. The R units are side characters from various Langrisser titles, while the SR and SSR units are the more prominent, main characters.
Summoning units in Langrisser Mobile is done through your typical “Gacha” system that has become very common in mobile games these days. Using Trinity Vouchers and Trinity Crystals that can both be earned in-game or paid for with real life currency, you have the chance to summon units either 1 at a time or 10 at a time from special banners that rotate out every 1 to 2 weeks. Summoning 10 at a time guarantees at least 1 unit that is SR grade, though you always have a small chance to summon an SSR unit. You will see a LOT of R units though, and you will likely max out their shards first. Most banners will have slightly increased chances of summoning the character features on them, but the ones you REALLY want to try to summon from are the Destiny Banners. These are special, in that they guarantee an SSR unit you do not have, should you summon an SSR unit. So let’s say you’re looking at a banner with Ledin, Elwin, and Leon. Let’s also say you already have Leon and Elwin. If you luck out and summon an SSR unit on this banner, it’s guaranteed to be Ledin since you have the other two. The odds of summoning an SSR are no higher on these banners, but at least you are guaranteed an SSR unit you don’t have already. These banners are a great way to obtain highly sought-after units you might need for your team.
Along with shards and grade, you also have to keep up with each unit’s equipment. Equipment also comes in grades of R, SR, and SSR, with SSR being the most powerful. Each unit has slots for a weapon, helmet, armor, and an accessory. Choosing the right equipment for each unit is a very important part of progressing, as certain equipment gives certain stat bonuses, and most characters utilize one stat more over the others. For example, you would not want to stack ATK on a caster unit like Lana. Instead, you would want equipment with high INT on her, and perhaps HP and DEF as off-stats. In addition, equipment can be leveled up (using special Hammers) and enchanted (using Scrolls). Hammers and Scrolls both also come in R, SR, and SSR varieties. Your equipment will max out at level 50, but you need special Runes (earned in Time Rifts) and Martial Spirits (bought from the in-game shop) to limit break them every 10 levels.
As you enhance the various aspects of your units, you will notice the Power Rating climb steadily higher. This is a very rough estimate of how powerful the unit is, but is by no means a definitive way to judge the effectiveness of a unit. Two units with the exact same power ratings can perform differently from one another, the differentiating factor being the tactics and skills you use in battles. Each unit can only bring 3 skills into battle, whether they be an active or passive skill. Your units will learn skills by mastering the different classes in their Class Trees, which is done by spending special items you gain by various means. This is one of the most important ways to strengthen your units, as they not only add massive stats bonuses, but unlock Soldiers for them to use.
What makes Langrisser Mobile different from other strategy games is the General/Soldier system in place. Each unit acts as the “squad leader” of a group of soldiers that have their own HP, stats, and special abilities that work in tandem with the unit. In most cases your soldiers will take damage before your unit does, and in that way they sort of act as a shield to the unit. But they also make up the vast majority of the unit’s overall attack power. As the soldier’s HP decreases, so does their attack power and overall effectiveness. These Soldiers can also be powered up alongside your units in the Training Field, using special materials you can farm from other activities. This is important because which soldiers you pair up with your units is a very important decision to make, and can offer a great deal of flexibility in battles. You could pair up a Infantry unit with Lancer soldiers to ward off the Infantry unit’s weakness: Cavalry units. Speaking of, there is a weapon triangle in play that can offer a bonus to your units if attacking an enemy with the right type. This can really help new players early on, and can also make or break your strategies in late game. It’s always best to use every advantage you can muster to claim victory, as the odds are usually stacked against you.
One of the more resource intensive systems in place is the Heart Bonds system. Using special keys and gift items farmed from Bonds content, you can “unlock” the hearts of your units, boosting their power higher than initially possible. You can also unlock voice lines, special dialogue, character biographies, and even special battles in the Gates of Fate, which tell unique stories to each unit and offers the chance to earn great rewards! This is just one more way to power up your units, and the bonuses from Heart Bonds turn out to be quite substantial.
Though I’m not a fan of PVP content in any game, there exists a few different PVP modes. First is just your normal Arena, where you pit a team of 5 units against an opponent’s team of 5 units. Very straightforward, but sometimes you will have to defeat all of the opposing team, or only a few units. I only do 1 match per day to complete a Daily mission for the rewards since I mainly focus on PVE content. However many players invest heavily in PVP setups for their units and fight their hardest to climb the leaderboards.
Next up are Casual Battles. At any point, you can challenge a random opponent or even a friend to a basic Arena match, but your win/loss is not tallied and you earn no rewards. This is just a way to test your skills against random folk or to see how you measure up against your friends. Lastly, there is the Apex Arena. I haven’t personally touched this content at all, but from what I’ve seen it is very similar to the normal Arena battles, but with different rules in play. Maybe one day I’ll try it out.
Langrisser Mobile is definitely one of the better looking mobile games I’ve ever played. Everything is animated to an astonishing degree, especially on the unit roster. Your units are living and breathing, fully voice acted in English and Japanese (with a couple of exceptions for certain characters), and animated beautifully. Even in battle, where chibi-esque sprites are used instead of the anime-styled portraits, they are quite amazing to see. All the various icons and menu buttons look great as well.
Another highlight of the Langrisser Mobile is the soundtrack. Almost every single track is super memorable and they legitimately rock. This is quite possibly the best soundtrack I have ever heard in a mobile game, and each track is a remixed version of a song from previous Langrisser titles. If I knew this series had music like this sooner I’d have played them a long time ago! Seriously, just give this a listen:
Langrisser Mobile is absolutely worth checking out. I’ve logged in and played daily since release, even going so far as to spending a few bucks here and there in the in-game shop. Not much, mind you, but enough to get a few small (very small) things. This series is re-surging in popularity and being revived thanks to the mobile entry, to the point where remakes of the first two Langrisser titles are coming out in 2020. In my opinion this is a mobile game that deserves to be played amidst the plethora of similarly-styled games, and I urge you to check it out if you are a fan of the strategy RPG genre. Langrisser Mobile is available on Android and iOS devices, and even has a PC client.
Final Score: 9/10
An absolutely stellar revival of a classic, legendary SRPG franchise that is very in-depth and satisfying to play. Great content, art, music, and story pull you in and keep you playing!