Emil’s Task Review

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Title: Emil’s Task
Developer: Inukage Games
Game Type: PlayStation Mobile
Download: 57 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download 

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes

With only 2 days left for the PlayStation Mobile store, I went and looked through the backlog games to go through to make my last PSM review out of.  As I was searching through the many different games and apps at my disposal, I started thinking more on genres I hadn’t reviewed much from the PSM library.  In my search, I eventually found a game last night that I felt was very proper for me to do.

Among all of the genres that PSM has at its disposal, RPGs are the biggest genre that I’ve rarely gone into.  I did a review for the PSM version of Chaos Rings a long while back, but I have barely touched them since.  Since it is my favorite gaming genre, I thought it proper to do my final PSM review on an RPG.  Without further delay, here is my last PlayStation Mobile review, on the RPG Emil’s Task.

Story

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The story revolved around a young girl named Emil, who lives in a small village that has recently been attacked by a multitude of different monsters.  The town found out that this is due to large purple stones being planted around the surrounding areas, which is spawning and sending the monsters after the village.  The town is quick to put in a Quest Request to get rid of the stones.

Emil is quickly charged with the task of taking down these monsters.  She is reluctant at first, but the shopkeeper she keeps in touch with is unable to do the task, so she agrees to go out into the three main areas outside the village and take down the stones and the bosses responsible for distributing them.

This game has more story than most PlayStation Mobile games, but there is one thing that you’ll want to know, and that is the translation.  Emil’s Task’s English translation is one of the worst translations I’ve ever seen.  Many people complain about the translations of games like Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, but Emil’s Task shows almost no sense of sentence structure, and even a lot of the names aren’t translated correctly.  It can be deciphered fairly easily, but it’s a very poor translation.

Gameplay

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This game is a stage-based Action RPG.  As you play through the game, you will go through stages to fight off enemies in three separate areas and are graded and rewarded based on how quickly you can go through and complete your task.  Through and through, though, this is a real-time Action RPG.

Playing through the game has you going between your base of operations, which is a shop in the village and going through each stage to fight through waves of enemies.  The shop has various things you can do, from selecting a stage, checking and changing your equipment, and buying/selling equipment and items.

Equipment at your disposal ranges from Gauntlets, Rings, Stones, and Magic Spells.  Gauntlets and Rings will increase various stats, such as Attack, HP, MP, and the power of your equipped spells.  The equipment also determines how many Stones you can equip at one time, ranging from 1-4.  Stones can give you added effects, like increased HP and MP, boosts to attack, protection against status ailments, increased running speed, among other things.

Finally, Magic Spells are your methods of attacking.  Since you only wear gauntlets and rings, spellcasting is the only means of attacking you can do.  You can equip four spells at a time, and each spell has different effects.  Some fire off elemental projectiles, while others create protective barriers around you that damage nearby enemies.  There are a lot of different elements to go through, as well as different tiers of each spell.

When you’re out in each stage, you will spawn in a 2D environment and tasked with destroy all of the purple stones to prevent further monsters from spawning in the area within a time limit.  Once all of these stones have been cleared, a teleport will appear to take you to the next area.  Each stage has three areas to clear, and every 4 stages has a boss fight as Area 3 of that stage, which requires you to take out stones as well as the boss.

These stages progress with elements from both the Ys series as well as roguelike elements.  You will move around and fire off magic in a similar manner from Ys I, II, and III.  You don’t have access to all of your magic, though.  You can gather mana orbs from boxes, chests, and defeated monsters that act like experience points.  Once you collect enough, you will upgrade to the next Grade, where you will get access to another of your equipped spells as well as an increase in your MP to use said spells.  Whenever you start a new stage, this resets back down to Grade 1.

Since most of these spells are projectiles, you can maneuver around without much difficulty and fight enemies from a distance.  However, the difficulty comes in the form of the time limitations and MP usage.  While you’re firing off spells, your MP will go down from the spell usage.  In order to gain MP back, you can use an item to replenish it, collect mana orbs after downing enemies, or stop attacking long enough for the MP to regenerate.

This isn’t a huge problem in the earlier stages, but in the latter stages, you will find a lot of times when you’ll need to stop to regenerate while trying to run from enemies at the same time.  This leads to the second part of the difficulty.  Moving in this game feels very sluggish.  Despite its similarities to the Ys series, the character moves extremely slow and is very hard to maneuver around enemies, even with stones equipped that increase your movement speed.  I’ve never played an RPG that felt so sluggish, as if it’s not running as quick as it should.

When you clear the stage, you will be graded on how quickly you accomplished it.  When you clear an area with a high rank, you’ll get a bonus mana orb for the next area.  When you complete the entire stage with a high rank, you’ll get a better reward, in the form of new equipment.  You will also gain access to Hard Mode once you complete the first stage, so you can go into the harder difficulties, and the only way to see the game’s true ending.

Across 12 stages and both difficulty settings to see the game’s true ending, Emil’s Task should last you a good 3-4 hours of time.  For $1.79, it’s not a bad deal if you like the genre.  It’s definitely not the longest RPG out there, but it’s not the shortest game PSM has to offer.

Controls

To control the game, you can use the buttons or the touch screen, though you will only wish to use the button controls when you’re playing the game on a PlayStation TV.  The touch controls go in the form of tapping on icons to launch spells and holding your finger on the part of the screen where you wish Emil to run to.

You can move Emil around with the D-Pad or the Left Analog Stick, and the face buttons are used to use each individual spell.  Square is used for your Grade 1 spell, X for Grade 2, Triangle for Grade 3, and Circle for Grade 4.  The L and R triggers are used to toggle the lock-on feature and use the equipped items you’ve brought with you.  All in all, it’s a pretty easy control scheme to get a handle on.

Presentation

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The visual presentation of the game isn’t bad, but isn’t great.  It’s got a visual style like more generic 2D RPGs, though the visual style does require some touching up.  Some of the 2D models have imperfections over them and at times, they look a little blurred when you stop to look at them.

Apart from this, there’s not much to complain about.  The game plays very well, has short load times, and has music in it that sounds very appropriate for the genre it is representing.  It’s not going to Wow you like a AAA RPG will, but it does well at what it aims to do.

Summary

Emil’s Task is a fun little pick-up-and-play RPG available exclusively on PlayStation Mobile.  On the downside, the translation is very poor, the controls feel sluggish, and the visuals need some touching up.  Outside of this is a fun, cheap game for the RPG fan. 

7/10

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