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Best action RPGs with least amount of grinding/IAPs?

02-07-2012, 10:45 AM
#1
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 8,250
Best action RPGs with least amount of grinding/IAPs?

I've been around here long enough to know what some of the better action RPGs are. And while I consider myself a fairly hardcore gamer, time is not usually on my side when it comes to gaming with a wife and two kids.

I like both turned-based and action RPGs, but what I've been finding lately is that most of the turned-based games I've been playing - Ash, the Kemco games like Alphadia and Fantasy Chronicle - require some grinding, but not nearly as much as much as action RPGs. The stories flow naturally and as long as you do side missions, you typically progress at a good rate.

That doesn't seem to be the case with action RPGs on the iOS. Even playing something more mainstream like the paid versions of Zenonia 3 or Inotia 3, you tend to hit a wall where the difficulty really ramps up (got much further in Zenonia 3 than Inotia 3 before this happened). So you begin to either have to buy IAPs or do a LOT of grinding in earlier areas to progress.

Maybe it's just me in my old age . I used to play games like Diablo and never thought twice about whether I was grinding or not.

I enjoy games like Aurum Blade where the story really doesn't matter, but also like a good story and it's those games where I'm finding the action RPG department lacking. Maybe I started late. But it almost seems as though even earlier action RPGs on the App Store have been tweaked to favor IAPs / grinding. Yes, there's really casual hack n' slashes like the Dungeon Hunter series. But just about everything else seems geared toward forcing you towards IAPs.

What action RPGs on the iOS are more balanced as far as level progression / difficulty with an actual story?
02-07-2012, 10:50 AM
#2
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,928
Lol..I'm waiting for an arpg that doesn't have as much grinding. Of what I tried, Aurum Blade is the closest to me. The main campaign is short enough to me, and I felt like leveling up just for fun. I wish some of these arpg/krpg would remove the grindiness, or have a speed mode/easy mode to just speed up the progression. Since I'm not in school anymore, don't quite have the time to grind 40-50 hours...but not interested enough to buy any IAP.

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02-07-2012, 11:10 AM
#3
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 8,250
Quote:
Originally Posted by tops2 View Post
Lol..I'm waiting for an arpg that doesn't have as much grinding. Of what I tried, Aurum Blade is the closest to me. The main campaign is short enough to me, and I felt like leveling up just for fun. I wish some of these arpg/krpg would remove the grindiness, or have a speed mode/easy mode to just speed up the progression. Since I'm not in school anymore, don't quite have the time to grind 40-50 hours...but not interested enough to buy any IAP.
Yep. I agree with Aurum Blade. I do play that game more with a Diablo attitude that I'm just going in to kick some butt and level up.

As far as other ARPGs/KRPGs are concerned, it's not that I don't enjoy some difficulty, but it gets to a point where I also don't feel invested enough to spend hours and hours grinding or get IAPs. And the ones where I have felt the urge to complete the story, I've bought IAPs before and still died yet again trying to progress the story

Maybe I just suck!
02-07-2012, 11:13 AM
#4
Squids
The IAP are 100% not needed. At all. I bought the pearl fish (double in-game currency during missions) to support the devs, and not because I needed it. Heck, I didn't even use the in-game items, let alone buy them, and STILL 3 star'd each mission.

I can't praise this little gem enough!
02-07-2012, 11:15 AM
#5
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 8,250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Friedhamster View Post
Squids
The IAP are 100% not needed. At all. I bought the pearl fish (double in-game currency during missions) to support the devs, and not because I needed it. Heck, I didn't even use the in-game items, let alone buy them, and STILL 3 star'd each mission.

I can't praise this little gem enough!
Played it. It is a great game and also didn't need any IAPs.

Any more sterotypical ARPGs/KRPGs?
02-07-2012, 11:23 AM
#6
You'll get 100+ hours from Final Fantasy: Tactics.
02-07-2012, 11:49 AM
#7
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 8,250
Don't know if FF:T would be considered an ARPG.

Any feelings on games like Wild Frontier or Exitium?

Guess my feeling is that there's tons of ARPGs/KRPGs I haven't played yet that I know are supposed to be "good", the problem is you really don't know until have invested a lot of time in them as to whether they become grind-fests or IAP-driven.
02-07-2012, 11:59 AM
#8
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Houston/Austin, TX
Posts: 13,251
Have you tried Mage Gauntlet? If you read TA regularly and haven't, that must be a sin of the highest degree since Hodapp rolled out like 10 articles on it in a month. One of the best games of 2011.

Aralon is another pretty good one. Didn't have to grind at all personally, but I've played through more Westerns than I could count. Took 15-20 hours to go through.

The first two Dungeon Hunter games are pretty good dungeon crawlers too. If you don't have them, wait for them to go down to $0.99, which is often.

Many people still say that Wild Frontier is the best KRPG on the AppStore, so I'd definitely spend some time with it.

I'm surprised you think Inotia 3 takes grinding though. It's probably the easiest KRPG I've played on the AppStore. Inotia 2, however, is the most grind-heavy KRPG I've played. Still trying to finish it atm. On the very last boss fight, but my level just isn't high enough apparently. 35 hours in at least already.

If you're looking for a nice console experience with a great story and plenty of content, get The Bard's Tale.

Battleheart doesn't have a story, but it'd be hard to count how many GOTY nominations it got around the web. The game is probably 75% strategy. Most people still consider it a RPG though.

Dark Meadow and Infinity Blade II?

Gamevil's Hybrid series is also pretty nice. The Zenonia series is pretty meh now.

Definitely have never bought a consumable iAP before in a RPG.

Twitter: @back2this

Last edited by backtothis; 02-07-2012 at 12:09 PM.
02-07-2012, 12:07 PM
#9
Oh, ARPG, action. No, FF:T is NOT that, at all.
Maybe Soul Tamer Kiki? I like it. The visual style isn't something I'm too keen on (everyone seems to have just stuffed their face full of cake...) but it's well done and pretty fun.
02-07-2012, 12:12 PM
#10
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 8,250
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtothis View Post
Have you tried Mage Gauntlet? If you read TA regularly and haven't, that must be a sin of the highest degree since Hodapp rolled out like 10 articles on it in a month. One of the best games of 2011.

Aralon is another pretty good one. Didn't have to grind at all personally, but I've played through more Westerns than I could count. The first two Dungeon Hunter games are pretty good dungeon crawlers too. If you don't have them, wait for them to go down to $0.99, which is often.

Many people still say that Wild Frontier is the best KRPG on the AppStore, so I'd definitely spend some time with it.

I'm surprised you think Inotia 3 takes grinding though. It's probably the easiest KRPG I've played on the AppStore.

If you're looking for a nice console experience with a great story and plenty of content, get The Bard's Tale.

Battleheart doesn't have a story, but it'd be hard to count how many GOTY nominations it got around the web. The game is probably 75% strategy. Most people still consider it a RPG though.

Dark Meadow and Infinity Blade II?

Definitely have never bought a consumable iAP before in a RPG.
Yep, have Mage Gauntlet and Battleheart and love each for what they are.

Played both DH games (can't play the third or Dark Meadow/Infinity Blade/Bard's Tale for that matter on my 2G).

Guess I was referring to more of the KRPG style. I started Wild Frontier today and so far it seems good so I may stick with it for a while.

As far as Inotia 3, well, maybe that says something about my skills as a gamer. Or that I haven't been giving it enough of a chance, only at level 11 as a Mage and keep getting squashed by some of the early bosses like Kilgern and the Necromancer in the Catacombs. I know I should go back and grind more.

Just when I get that feeling of needing to grind that early in the game, I get worried about how much it will take in later parts of the game. I got through about 80% of Zenonia 3 before I had the same feeling.

Last edited by awp69; 02-07-2012 at 12:14 PM.