Summoner's War [Review]

Pokemon is taking forever to release, and here I am sitting in class with nothing to do but listen to my professor droll on about public speaking skills. With a movement so deft it would dazzle even the most practiced magicians, I remove my smartphone from my pocket and flip through the google play store hoping to sate this god-forsaken boredom.

This was about two months ago and damn if it hasn't been a blast. I waste more time on this game than I do Destiny; and that's saying something. First thing I noticed when I started up this little time waster was the publisher of the game, Com2us. Com2us is a Korean based game publishing/programming firm, that also made one of my other favorite titles for the ios; Chronicles of Inotia 2: A wanderer of Luone. With this in mind I was happy to take this thing for a spin and see how they'd grown in a few years time. I was definitely not disappointed.

unnamedThe game gives you control over your own special floating island that will house your monsters, buildings, and vanity items. From the island you can collect and spend your mana crystals (one form of currency in the game) and summon new creatures to kick ass with. You unlock more features as you progress further through the game, but that's the gist of what you can do. There's also something called the Arena where you get to pit your team of monsters (or cute anime girl archers) against other players' teams of monsters (or cute anime girl archers). Don't worry though, there are plenty outlets for your lust of PvE action. Several zones, with extra difficulties and boss fights that require at least a decent grasp of strategy are there for players who don't want to mess with other players.

The care and feeding of cute anime archer girls

Monsters are the fuel that keeps the game going. Ranging from elemental wolves, Petey Piranha knock offs, and Minotaur; to dashing rogues, elegant priestesses, and Dragons, we definitely have some variety to play with. With all of those different kinds of monsters in mind, there are five different types of each monster. Water, Air, Fire, Light, and Dark. These types interact pretty much how you'd think. Fire beats Air, Air beats Water, Water beats Fire; with Light and Dark despising each other equally.

Each individual monster you get has a "Star level" the color of stars tell you whether or not they are worth leveling at all; Gold being a yes, and Silver being a no. As you gain exp with a particular they can reach their level cap and gain another star level (up to 5 or 6 total, depending on the specific monster). Another form of progression/leveling up your monsters is "awakening". A process in which you need a bunch of materials you get from different dungeons in the game. Once you have all of these materials you can awaken a monster, making them more powerful and changing their star level to a purple color.

summoners-war_001While you can definitely level a monster up by defeating players in the arena and doing dungeons, there is a faster way. And damn if it isn't metal. You choose the monster you wish to level up and a few others you don't want any more and that monster consumes the monsters and all of the experience they had gained.

The last little tidbit you can do with your little creatures is power them up with Runes. Runes are akin to equipment in the fact it gives your monster a particular buff associated with the particular rune you place in a slot. Picking and choosing what runes can benefit your monster most can make or break a team as well. Is your character tanky? Stick some Add Health % runes on em. leveling a bandit? Feed him some Critical Strike rating runes. The possibilities for different monsters are endless; for instance, one person can have the tankiest fairy in the world and another person can roll around with a fairy that can one shot everything their enemy has.

Social aspects? In my video games?

One of my favorite aspects of this game is the fact there's a huge social setting. With a constantly updated in-game chat displayed up in the top left corner I was privy to many conversations about homework and picking up chicks at bars. While alot of it didn't pertain to the game is was a definite breath of fresh air from the constant "add me :3" that I saw my first day of playing. Even on individual monsters there's a discussion tab where people can talk about how well the monster is doing and what runes made them stupid over powered. Even when going into a mission, you can take the main monster from a friend with you to cause a little mayhem; making friends all that more valuable.

But, not just on the game is there a huge conversation about monsters, runes, and debauchery; but there is also a major online community as well. With a full wiki, and several threads and guides on reddit, Summoner's War has definitely made it's mark on the gaming community. Guilds have popped up on the game, and have even begun working with each other in tandem in order to unlock some of the more  rare monsters, and finish the more difficult dungeons in the game.

Don't forget it's still a mobile game

The heading speaks for itself; this game is chock full of micro transactions, and recharge waits. After spilling some blood for the day, summoning monsters, and buying things from the item shop, you might find that there is really nothing more you can do for the day. Your energy is spent and you have to let it recharge, or shell out a few bucks for some more. To which I really can't complain, it's more or less the nature of the beast with mobile games.

All things aside, it's a really fun experience to be had during an impossibly boring lecture. I would much rather watch my cute anime archer girl skewer some werewolves than listen for two more seconds to an old man drone on about kids not appreciating art anymore. So, if you have the time to kill, I fully recommend giving this title a try. Com2us definitely did not disappoint with this title.

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