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WeMade Entertainment Impressions - TGS 2012
09.20.2012

BECKY CUNNINGHAM
NEWS DIRECTOR
MICHAEL BAKER
JAPANDEMONIUM COLUMNIST


WeMade Entertainment

WeMade Entertainment had six games for show, all for smartphones. Of these, two were RPGs and five were variants on Zynga's FarmVille model.

The first game I played was Hero Square - Tenkuu Monogatari. I don't have a definite English subtitle as yet, but the game's designer, Mr. Jeong Hyun Woo, told me that it is definitely going west sometime next year. At first glance it's a cutesy FarmVille clone with a Dragon Quest vibe running through it, but crops and resource management all go to support the training of heroes for the player's little island. All of the farm and training options have countdowns to limit how fast the player can progress, but the clock can be bought off with blue jewels to make things run much faster. Otherwise I'm not sure I could have sat through the entire demo.

On the RPG side, the levels that I saw were simple, straightforward, and mainly for training purposes. I did the first one solo with my fighter, but got three more characters afterwards to make a real party for the second run. Everyone fell into the standard roles of fighter, archer, cleric, and mage -- though far more cutesy than the average game. The monsters were encountered on the dungeon map, but combat was done on an isometric battlefield. I could place my heroes as I saw fit, and then the rest played out with an ATB gauge determining battle order. It was very reminiscent of Dragon Quest and the earlier Final Fantasy games in this regard.

Mr. Jeong was kind enough to walk me through the equipment and skills menus while making a point of leveling one hero to level 3 just so we could choose one of two possible skills for her to learn. My third run through was with just this character, an archer, and I had a lot of fun flambeeing random critters with my new prowess. The Flaming Arrow skill had a wider area of effect and left lingering flames that would damage anything not killed by the initial hit.

The other RPG, Ark Sphere, was an MMORPG with a very different style from anything else at that booth. Namely, it was significantly less cutesy and had no trace of farm or shop simulation. I had a harder time enjoying this one, mostly because of the controls. I'm still not that good with touch screens, and this game required constant contact in order to direct a character's movements. I found that the screen wasn't particularly easy to slide a finger across. Special skills could be used by making slashing or circular motions on the screen with a finger. It was pretty simple, but I wasn't able to get a good control over the maneuvering. I was killed by the same crystalline scorpion thing three times in a row before I could master evasive maneuvers properly. That's more a testament to my general experience with touchscreens and MMORPGs, however.

The folks at WeMade seem to be having a good time with this, at least. The different developers at the booth were all very gung-ho about their games and ready to talk about them at length. They weren't necessarily my sort of games, but I enjoyed the experience anyway.



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