A look back at the 2006 release, Sonic Riders. A very polarizing things, we look at what the game excelled at, while noting how some of the flaws may have led the game to be overlooked.
Akayashi Ghost Guild Review: For The Ghost Hunter On The Move
I was initially drawn to Akayashi Ghost Guild because of the art. Being a lover of anime, I felt compelled to at least download and try Akayashi Ghost Guild, even if it did seem to promise no more than all the other time-management, card games available on portable devices.
Akayashi Ghost Guild is a card-battling game where players collect different types of cards (called Daemons), based heavily on Japanese mythology, fuse these cards, and battle an assortment of other Daemons and real-life players. It is available on Android devices and iPhone.
These Daemons can be acquired in a number of ways. Simply following the story mode will allow you to acquire almost all of what you need, albeit at a relatively slow pace. The story mode consists of ‘Investigations’, where the player and their trusty ghost sidekick patrol the streets of Japan on the lookout for troublesome Daemons, and attempting to solve the mysteries of the story.Doing this requires spending a portion of health, and depending on where you are in the story, will reward you with appropriately scaled experience points and silver.
Fulfilling the requirements of the story investigations is the only way to earn experience points and is essential for leveling up. Leveling up provides the player with ability points to allocate to either their health, attack spirit or defense spirit.
Once depleted, these attributes will be restored naturally over time, leaving players no choice but to take breaks every now and again.
Attack spirit and defense spirit are used in battles with other players. The Daemon cards you collect each have their own attack and defense stats, as well as separate attack and defense spirit costs to use in battle. Naturally, the stronger the card, the higher the cost to play that card.
On top of these base stats, a rock, paper, scissors system has been implemented. Daemons you collect will fall into one of the following categories, on top of their rarity star-rating:
Divina – Ghosts with a grudge. Good against Anima Daemons.
Anima – Embodiments of objects and weapons. Good against Divina Daemons.
Phantom – God and hero characters. Good against Phantom Daemons.
In order to improve the level of these cards, you must fuse them together. Fusing Daemons of the same type will give them a larger experience boost than simply fusing without regard to this.
Some Daemons possess skills that aid you in battle, such as the ability to increase the attack or defense of a card, or even improve acquisition of silver. Leveling up Daemons will also level these skills up.
You’re not alone in Akayashi Ghost Guild. The game actively encourages you to seek out members to add to your crew. You can invite real people – and friends, should you have any that play – to join your cause. Your crew-mates can assist you in battles and by ‘poking’ them, you slowly gain summoning points, which can be exchanged for a free card summon.
PvP consists of battling other players and their army of cards in order to acquire Soulstones. Once a set of Soulstones has been acquired, you are rewarded with items specific (usually) to the Daemon on the soulstone. These Soulstones can be found whilst investigating in the story mode, but are much more easily obtained through battles.
The battles themselves lack any type of real animation, which may leave certain players unenthused and unimpressed. It really is a shame, considering how great the artwork is, that battles are so static.
Being a free game – and one released by Zynga at that – naturally there’s a way to spend money. Real money can be exchanged for in-game gold, which can be used to buy a number of things.
Gold can be spent on items that replenish your health, attack spirit or defense spirit, but chances are, you’ll want to spend that gold on Special Summoning.
Special Summoning allows you to take your chances at summoning a rare card with the potential to possess stats and abilities above and beyond the run of the mill cards you’d acquire without spending money.
Sometimes you will be rewarded with a Special Summon ticket – most likely upon completing a story chapter 100% – although there are cards that are only available through summoning that require gold. Gold is quite expensive, and expect to drop a large amount if you wish to build yourself a decent array of good cards.
Akayashi Ghost Guild is a game that will appeal most of all to two groups of people: casual gamers who like to play on the move and without commitment, and fans of anime and Japanese mythology. Personally, I fall into the latter category and it was these things that really drew me into the game. Sadly, I can’t say that I would have stuck with the game if it weren’t for these elements.
The lack of animation and action in the game will make it feel very tedious to a lot of people, but if you love the art style and are looking for a game to pass the time when bored and with only your phone for company, I’d recommend giving Akayashi Ghost Guild a try.