Dive into an Epic Adventure
Fresh on American shores, AIDIS’ Last Cloudia finally makes its way from Japan! This sleeper hit of an RPG, released in Japan early 2019, came out only very recently for English-speaking countries. The structure of the game is very similar to a lot of mobile games from Japan, in that it’s called a “gacha” game. Gacha means “summon” so this game, like many other mobile JRPGs, features a diverse cast of characters locked behind a system where you spend in-game currency to unlock or summon one of them at random. Unlike other gacha games, however, the emphasis is placed on story much more than on collecting characters.
A Boy and His Beast Embark on an Adventure
The story of Last Cloudia features Kyle, a young knight who wields a huge sword and a boisterous but kind personality, and his best friend Rei. Rei is a hulking beast with lightning powers who does not fit in Kyle’s society of mostly humans. Young Kyle found Rei injured in the woods, and despite the fact that he’s the enemy, Kyle insisted on healing him. Thus, they grew up together and became adventuring partners. In Last Cloudia, their adventure will take them to numerous enemy kingdoms. Then, they will team up with new characters to save the world from a mysterious threat. I won’t spoil the story, but it’s a very fun adventure for sure.
All in all, this is a standard RPG plot, though the addition of Rei as an unusual deuteragonist spices up the plot. The story is surprisingly deep for a free-to-play mobile RPG. The characters are full of personality, and their interactions with each other feels very real. Last Cloudia’s gorgeous backdrops and the characters’ expressive pixel art animations help to bring the story to life. On top of that, the game also features unlockable snippets of lore to expand the game world.
Units, and Their Arks
Last Cloudia’s ARPG gameplay is relatively simple. In combat, your chosen character attacks automatically. However, you can help them out by mashing the attack button or by selecting skills or magic spells for them to use. You can change characters and targets at any time, so the combat flows easily. Each character has their own innate set of skills and spells that they can use. But, the true means of their strength lies in something called “Arks” which are basically animated dioramas of a specific scene or location in the game world.
These arks have unlockable stories attached to them, which can be fun to collect. Their actual purpose is to equip them to your character, which will slightly augment their abilities. But more importantly, they allow your character to train certain skills, which will then unlock over time. You can consider them similar to schools, because your characters learn permanent skills from them. If they’re currently equipped, they also get a continuous bonus. It’s a lot of fun to mix and match characters and arks to get the optimal loadout. The game encourages you to collect currency to get more arks.
There are many forms of in-game currencies, most of which can be obtained through standard gameplay. To sum it up, non-essential characters and arks are obtained through the gacha/summon, and each summon takes about 10 minutes to purchase. The game also features shops where you can purchase weapons and armor using gold that enemies drop. Then, there is a gameplay limiter in the use of souls, which I found extremely forgiving. There are soul fountains scattered throughout the game world, and they will freely refill your game time. I’ve never even come close to running out of time, as a matter of fact. Finally, most optional items and extra summons can also be purchased with crystals, which take real-life money.
What I’m saying is that Last Cloudia can easily be played through for free. And what a ride it is. It’s easy to pick up and play, but there are multiple layers of strategies. The story is the real reason you’d get this game though, as it is a very heartwarming and funny take on the standard JRPG trope. I got hooked to this game world quickly, and I found myself going through mission after mission to see more of Kyle’s and Rei’s adorably friendly squabbles.
Is it Hardcore?
Very Much so.
Last Cloudia is a simplified version of a standard mobile JRPG that uses the gacha system. Its smaller array of characters and unlockables allow the player to focus on the excellent story and graphics. The combat system is by no means diminished, as there are plenty of options to explore.