Wazzup dice rollers and button mashers, today we’re taking a deep dive into one of the newest titles to grace the mobile tactical RPG scene — Langrisser Mobile. Before all that though let’s take a quick history lesson.
While technically new to the mobile market, Langrisser has actually had a fairly good run in the consoles of old as well as the early days of PC. Although often overshadowed by its more widely accessible cousin, Fire Emblem (FE), which it shares a good amount of similarities to. Part of why Langrisser didn’t earn the same stardom as FE was that most of its titles never reached the western market.
More than that, it never really received a great sequel to modern consoles. Yep, don’t worry we’ve heard of Langrisser Re: Incarnation Tensei which was supposed to revive the franchise in this modern age. Sadly, that one failed miserably, mainly because it didn’t bring back what made the series unique and took on a rather different route. We’ve had over a week or more to test out the game and we believe we’ve unlocked most, if not all, of its core features. Let’s get to it then.
Langrisser Mobile once again introduces us, or rather brings us back, to the classic story of the battle between good and evil, or the forces of Chaos and Lushiris, for those versed in Langrisser lore. The players are once again entrusted in recovering the holy sword, Langrisser, to fight off the forces of Chaos.
This time around the sword is not just missing or buried in someplace, but rather shattered in pieces. Just like in most games, we are introduced to a trio of protagonists, which are also the starting units — Matthew, Almeda, and Grenier.
Langrisser Mobile honors its predecessors by adapting, if not refining, most of the gameplay mechanics that made the franchise unique — multiple branching classes, a troop system, equipment sets, among others. It’s basically a true “successor” (if we can even call it that) to the Langrisser series, sorry Langrisser Re: Incarnation Tensei. Being on a mobile platform means that the devs tweaked the game to fit touchscreens, including the game’s graphics.
If there is one thing that the Langrisser Mobile has in common with Tensei it’s the graphical art style. Instead of refined 3D models, the characters are in a chibi-esque from — that’s not to say the graphics are bad, it’s actually quite “kawaii”. It would’ve been nice though to see Langrisser take on a more modern graphical form, I guess we’ll have to wait for the remake of I&II on the Switch and PS4 to enjoy that.
Even so, the animations are good, its fun seeing chibi characters whack each other. Although, melee combats are a little too chaotic and the clashes are sometimes indiscernible.
Thanks to the “kawaii” form graphics though, the game doesn’t warrant a strong system, so players with less powerful handsets aren’t left out.
Let’s move on to gameplay. Navigation is handled by a world map, where the player’s avatar unit traverses, at the start of the game this is Matthew but it can be changed later on to any other unit a player has. Story progression is linear but map navigation is flexible and players can freely travel to areas they have completed. Apart from the main story, there are side quests players can undertake which are called map events.
There are fixed map events that appear after every chapter and map events that happen daily. The fixed ones are sometimes mini-cutscenes that continue the story or are combat stages that give rewards. There are also boss map events that pop-up every now and then when players complete a chapter, these give handsome rewards such as rare equipment, trinity vouchers, trinity crystals, and large amounts of gold.
As players level up, they’ll also be introduced to daily map events, which are unrelated to the story but also gives good rewards such as equipment, gold, and even trinity vouchers (tickets used for summoning) or trinity crystals (the game’s premium currency). Pretty neat that you have a lot of ways to get resources.
As an SRPG, Langrisser Mobile uses a grid-based combat system, much like what we have in FE and any other SRPG. At the beginning of a stage or scenario, players are given the chance to rearrange their units to starting positions, these positions are fixed and only the heroes can be swapped around. In some instances, there are stages where units are locked in a specific place.
Turns are separated by phases, the player’s and the enemies’. Occasionally there will be AI-controlled friendlies joining in on the matches, these units will move right after the player’s units and have no separate and dedicated “Ally Phase”.
Similar to other games, each stage or scenario will have turn limits, this adds a bit of pressure once you reach higher levels. Victory conditions differ per stage, it’s not always destroy everything, there are stages where you just have to hold out, escort an NPC, or even just reach a part of the map to win.
Combat itself is what you’d expect from an SRPG, in that attacking and counter-attacking happens simultaneously. Although unlike in FE, where units take turns whacking each other, both units attack and counterattack at the same time.
Another change in gameplay mechanic here is that ranged units counterattack whether engaged in melee or ranged combat, which is not the case in FE (ranged units only counterattack when locked in ranged combat). Although, when in melee combat the attack and defense of ranged units are significantly lower, so still keep them behind enemy lines.
The game also has its own priority system, much like FE’s weapon triangle, where certain classes have advantages over others. In the case of Langrisser, the triangle revolves around Infantry, Lancers, and Cavalry. Where Infantry is stronger against Lancers, Lancers against Cavalry, and Cavalry against Infantry.
Apart from the main triangle, there are two other classes with advantages over others, these are Holy (strong against Demons) and Archer (strong against Fliers), and three without any advantage or disadvantages — Aquatic (strong in water), Assassin (ranged units with high crit), and Mage.
The big difference from other tactics game here is that the priority system heavily influences combat outcome, and we mean heavily. In stages where you have equal or lower power than the enemy, units will most definitely get crushed by classes they have disadvantages to.
The only time you’ll feel your cavalry crush lancers or infantry crush cavalry is when your units are about 8-10 levels higher, even then there are cases when they won’t leave the battle unscathed. Of course, this works the other way around too, if you bring the right units to a fight, then you’ll easily watch enemies fall one by one.
Apart from the priority system, units also have unique talents and classes have unique skill sets. Unit talents are exclusive to those units, like Matthew’s Bonds of Friendship. On the other hand, class skills are locked to that specific class but are available to units with access to that class. The only difference is that not all units have the skills of that particular class. For example, not all healers have access to Mass Heal (AoE heal skill) or Strengthen (Atk buff skill).
Another rather interesting feature of Langrisser is that the class system is flexible as all heroes have access to multiclassing. Meaning it’s possible to use all of the available classes a hero has access to. Yep, Matthew can go back to being a swordsman even after you upgrade him to the class you chose during the intro.
Although it does come at a cost, you’ll need gold and rune stones to swap to another class. After that, you can freely go back and forth between them with just gold. Do bear in mind though that runes stones are kinda hard to come by, so multiclass at your own risk. Still, this adds a lot of flexibility and character customization.
As mentioned earlier, the Langrisser series makes use of a troop system, where heroes can take with them a number of troops on the battlefield. The troops are closely related to their class. For example, Cavalry class heroes have access to cavalry-type troops like basic cavalry, elite cavalry and so on. They serve as main protectors and attackers of heroes or sometimes cannon fodder.
In the main series, they were separate from heroes and can be controlled independently. Players were able to bring at most 8 troops, as long as their money can handle the recruitment. In Langrisser Mobile, however, troops and heroes are now considered as a single unit. While that removed a little bit of customizability and flexibility in combat, at least we didn’t lose troops entirely.
The beauty of the troop system is that you can counteract weaknesses. There are instances when Infantry class heroes (like Matthew) can bring Lance type troops, making them strong against Cavalry instead of weak. Although, only the troops counteract the weakness, so losing them removes that advantage. The role of troops doesn’t stop there though, as some have special skills that aid heroes even more.
For example, Inquisitors (a holy unit) increases the healing of their hero by 3% (at the base level), and Warriors increases crit by 10%. So there will really be instances where you’ll want to mix and match troops. There’s also a system in place to further improve troop stats and skills, as well as unlock special ones.
Combat doesn’t end here either, just like with some tactics games, Langrisser also makes use of a terrain system, where certain spots on the map increase the defense or stats of particular units. Generally, terrains like Woods, Mountains, Fences, Castle Walls and the like add defense, which can range from 5% up to 30%.
Although, as we mentioned, earlier there are units that benefit more from these spots. Aquatic units are stronger when in water, and archer troops like Elves gain stat bonuses when on the Woods or Mountainous terrain. This system adds another layer of strategy during combat and can sometimes be the difference between life or death.
Let’s now move on to the deeper features of the game. This is where things go crazy, and we really mean crazy as Langrisser Mobile has tons to offer. We’ll have to spend quite a bit of time explaining each feature in detail so we’ll write a separate guide article for that. In the meantime here’s a quick (we tried) tl;dr rundown of the features we’ve unlocked:
- Time Rift (Where you’ll be spending most of your time farming class advancement material)
- This is generally the other main feature of the game apart from the story. It’s basically a condensed version of the main series games, yep you read that right, this is the game’s little time machine where you get to play certain important scenarios from the previous Langrisser titles. This is a neat little feature that can give players a bit of a history lesson on what happened years prior to the game’s storyline. There are two difficulty levels per rift, normal and elite. Each rift is divided into 7 big stages, with their own unique challenges and hidden chests. Each of these stages also has star ratings, once you reach a milestone (by achieving 7, 14, and 21 stars) you’ll be given memory shards of the starting heroes as well as friendship vouchers, trinity vouchers, and gold. The drops you earn here are used for class advancement and equipment star upgrades. Each of the big stages can be repeated for a limited amount daily (10 for the normal stages and 3 for the elite). Once you earn a three-star rating on a stage you can just sweep it (basically auto-complete the stage with just a tap of a button) for the rewards.
- Character Customization (ways to improve your Heroes)
- Leveling up via Exp pots.
- Equipment, Equipment leveling via crafter’s hammer (Exp pots for equipment) – unlocks in chapter 3 and Equipment Enchants at a later chapter.
- Class advancement, Class Mastery, and Class upgrade.
- Troop Training – Improves troop stats and unlocks special troops.
- Bond – Relationship feature for heroes. Bond Power further adds stat bonuses and the Gate of Fate (not yet available for all heroes), is where you can get memory shards for hero star upgrades. Leveling up Intimacy also unlocks the background story of the selected hero as well as voice recordings.
- Summoning (the Gacha goodness and wallet eater feature)
- Unlocks in chapter 2, the first two summons are rigged you will always get Lance and Scott. After that, you can either single pull or 10x pull (guarantees at least 1 SR hero)
- Secret Realm (Where you’ll be spending most of your time for materials)
- Training (Aniki’s Gym) – unlocks in Chapter 7. This is where you’ll get troop upgrade and unlock materials.
- Angelica’s Training School (Exp pot farming place) – unlocks in Chapter 8.
- Goddess Trial – unlocks at chapter 12, dragon boss fights where you can get mithril ore, orichalcum ore, equipment, equipment upgrade material, and equipment enchant scrolls.
- Stolen Treasure – unlocks in chapter 13, requires a gold key (One is given daily, you can hold at most 3). Your only other source of large amounts of gold, apart from the occasional map events.
- Bond Realm – unlocks in chapter 14. This is where you’ll gather Bond material to improve relationships with heroes.
- Limited time events – unlocks in chapter 16, this is where current game events are placed as well as joint battles (timed co-op events that give various materials such as enchant scrolls, equipment, bond items, and even gold).
- Timeless Trial – Unlocks at team level 30. Challenging trials where you can get various rewards. It resets weekly.
- Arena – unlocks in chapter 5, the first one you’ll unlock is the AI PvP. World Arena, the live PvP, unlocks at level 28.
- Mystery Tab
- Black Market – a shop with rotating wares, it offers various materials such as enchant scrolls, memory shards, class advancement materials, exp potions, and crafter’s hammers.
- Honor – The shop for Arena points (honor).
- Friendship – The shop to spend your friendship points on. This is a good source of exp pots and crafter’s hammers, once you buy the monthly trinity vouchers.
- Equipment – Where you’ll spend your Mithril and Orichalcum Ores. It sells SR equipment, enchant scrolls, and star upgrade material (bought using Mithril) and SSR equipment, enchant scrolls, and star upgrade material (bought using Orichalcum)
- Trinity Crystal Tab – This is where you can buy gold or trinity vouchers by using the game’s premium currency
- Skin Tab – Yep, the game has skins for their heroes and troops.
- Recharge Tab – Where whales (what the Gacha community calls paying players) go to, well, whale.
- Gift Pack Tab – Where you can buy special deals and packs for real cash.
- Mystery Tab
Whew, that was a pretty exhaustive list eh? We told you it was going to get crazy. You have so much stuff to do in-game that even when the first event dropped we haven’t even had the time to farm it yet.
Langrisser Mobile is certainly heading towards the right direction and is shaping up to be a wonderful addition to the franchise. It has tons to offer, has a lot of unique features and the character customization is just crazy. The strong emphasis on strategy and tactics also opens up a lot of possibilities and removes the traditional “steamroll through everything just with sheer power” thinking.
Apart from that, it allows players to beat stages above their current level. The occasional puns and fourth wall breaking of heroes also add a fair amount of humor and “fun” into the game.
If there is one thing we can really call Langrisser Mobile is that it is truly f2p (free-to-play) friendly. The game is generous in handing out trinity vouchers and crystals to players as there are steady amounts that you can “farm” each day. Although, the biggest reason is that it is not a must to own the game’s rarest heroes. In fact, there are times when you wouldn’t even get a chance to use some of these SSR heroes, or rather lumping them all together isn’t always going to work.
Which is why team forming, strategy, and critical thinking are way more important than getting the rarest of the rare. For this reason alone we commend the game as it somehow veers away from traditional Gacha logic. Yet at its core, it’s still a Gacha game, which will drive a few players away. Still, Langrisser Mobile is a fun game that you can truly sink your teeth in and enjoy.
The game already has the potential of being one of the top mobile titles of 2019, provided that the devs push out good updates and maintain their generous nature.
Perhaps our biggest wish though is to finally see a Langrisser remake for the western market and maybe, just maybe, Langrisser Mobile opened up a door to that possibility. It brought back life to a series that has long been in need of a revival.