A Midden of Anime Tropes
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A dark-haired protagonist with an even darker backstory sets off on a revenge quest to destroy the evil empire that murdered his loved ones. This protagonist is one of the most powerful magic users around whose ability is only matched by his teenage angst. Despite this, a number of far more likable individuals join him in his crusade even though they really have no discernible motive to follow him.
If you’ve managed to avoid rolling your eyes a few times then you might actually get some enjoyment out of Kemco’s Miden Tower. But there were too many moments in this game that borrowed from more well-established anime properties like The Rising of Shield Hero. The protagonist, in particular, is unlikable to the point where I was smiling whenever he got hurt or humbled by those around him. Still, the story isn’t all bad. For one, the titular “Tower” that the game takes place in is fairly interesting setting-wise. A colossal tower forged by rebellious mages to guard against an oppressive empire could be interesting. Unfortunately, the simplistic JRPG-style graphics never really give you a clear sense of the world the story is trying to portray. The two redeeming qualities of this game are its combat system and one particular party member.
Combat System with Potential
The combat system is your standard turn-based JRPG fanfare, but Miden Tower does it so well that it made me wonder why the rest of the game lacked so much by comparison. One unique mechanic in the combat comes in the positioning of your party members. You are able to decide whether to place your allies on the front line, rearguard or mid-ground which can boost their attack, defense or a bit of both, respectively. This led me to place my tanks on the front line with the healers in the rear to even out the failings of each character. I also had some fun experimenting with an all-damage and all-defense party.
There are also plenty of options to make grinding less tedious such as an option to speed up battles. Additionally, you can utilize attacks, skills, items and hyper arts, special abilities unique to each of your party members. There’s also a bar at the top of the screen showing the order in which you and your enemies attack. All of this culminates into a solid and fun battle system that makes grinding less of a hassle. This is all bolstered by what I would say is the main selling point of the game.
Wall Waifus Can Only Take You So Far
Without a doubt the best part of the game is a party member who takes the form of a walking, talking, wall. As in made of brick. Brought to life as a magika, she serves the protagonist in his quest. The wall is unique as a party member since you can find bricks located throughout the world to improve her abilities. While I found her to be too forgiving of the protagonist’s actions, I did think her character was a lot of fun, if not bizarre.
Kemco has produced a number of mediocre JRPG’s and Miden Tower is no different. I’d be more lenient if it was free to play, then I would say it’s worth experiencing the combat, world and enjoyable talking wall characters. But if you are an old school JRPG fan, you’d probably be better off firing up any one of the Square Enix titles in the Android library. If, on the other hand, you can look past an unlikeable protagonist and derivative story, you may find some enjoyment in Miden Tower’s occasionally engaging content.
Miden Tower’s solid combat system, interesting world and fun side characters are dragged down by an unlikable protagonist and derivative story.