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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  Gaming  |  Mobile  |  Topic: Solstice Arena (Trisomy LoL) 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Solstice Arena (Trisomy LoL)  (Read 630 times)
Posts: 58510

on: June 20, 2013, 02:38:11 AM

This is a straight copypasta from my Facebook wall:

Knowing I've played a lot of LoL, a number of people asked me what I thought of Solstice Arena. Well, I think it's doing something super fascinating on a platform where it totally doesn't belong.

The concept of removing "creeping" from the MOBA genre has been tried in a handful of games and every time it changes the pace a bit too much for me to enjoy it. That said, I think - in Solstice - it is the first time where I've said "you know, I like not having to creep." I've played both single player and multiplayer (I crushed in multiplayer, but more on that later). It's an interesting experiment. They've basically made an ultra-competitive Diet League of Legends NRAM game (No Random, All Middle). As a thing on the iPad I can enjoy in 15 minute chunks, I think I appreciate that. As a game, I think it's a mess.

The entire process of buying items here is unnecessary. Potions seem unnecessary. It's very much a skill based game, though once a player snowballs out of control, they become unstoppable (Astronomical! God-Like! Whatever!). They could shed the entire in-game item store, as well as the element farming (which I don't actually understand). The tutorial is brief and lacks information to actually ease a player into the genre. In addition, you're at the mercy of the matchmaker. Nine times out of ten, I can assure you, you're going to be matched up with people in PvP that likely don't understand how pants work and wear socks as hats.

What I'm saying is that the iPad is no place for a game like this. Anyone who would be "good" at such a game is already playing League of Legends. Maybe they should've gone more casual? I don't know. I do know that there's a lot of conflicting ideas in Solstice and the overall design is a bit of a mess.

Oh, and the store. Hell, the whole monetization on it - it's bollocks. I've no reason to actually put money into the game and the amount of grinding required to permanently unlock heroes is hilarious overkill. It's pretty clear to me that a product manager got ahold of the product before it shipped because the math being done here is questionable at best. I can appreciate a game like this wanting money to unlock things a little early. But they're not even allowing me to consider myself invested before throwing cash at them. I think the game could have done with a $1 Starter kit of heroes so I feel like I have something persistent to come back to.

End of the day - this is an interesting title that requires a bit of studying but its certainly not good enough for me to pretend it has any place in the MOBA genre (despite the tech being absolutely fantastic - everything is silky smooth and load times are tolerable). I've already forgotten the name of the developer, but I feel like they should've gone more casual rather than balls to the wall PvP considering the demographic on the iPad. There's no real hooks that make me think "this is a Zynga game" though (besides the logos and absurd in-game pricing). There's nothing prompting me for anything in a social manner and frankly I appreciate that here. MOBA communities could use a lot of things but being "more social" is not one of them.

Grade: I Give it an E for Effort. On both the developer for doing something cool but ultimately bizarre and the publisher/new owner (whatever) Zynga, for allowing them to release the game before laying all of them off unceremoniously.
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