Well, the weekend has passed us by yet again – it’s Mobile Monday!
Today’s write-up is on miHoYo’s fast-paced character action game, Honkai Impact 3rd. Quite unlike the games we’ve featured thus far, HI3 (as we’ll call it for ease) is a 3rd-person hack-n-slasher drawing comparisons to games like Bayonetta and Devil May Cry. While I can’t argue it’s on the same level as any of those, I certainly see the similarities. HI3 is, sans mobile ports and emulation, about as close to a “console experience” as you can get on your smartphone.
Bring the fight to them
Players take up the role of a “Captain” and lead a team of “Valkyrja” through dozens of stages and events. The control scheme is simple, relying on a touch-screen analog pad and an attack button with a few cooldown skills around it. (I’ve heard it works great with a traditional controller, too!) Despite my troubles with this set-up in other mobile games, I find it’s very well-implemented here and intuitive. Each stage is quick and to the point — run around, beat up enemies, proceed to the next area until you’ve vanquished the boss. Rinse, repeat, so on. Despite the simplicity, the combat feels weighty and satisfying, especially when you manage to quickly dodge and parry, unleashing a fierce barrage on an unfortunate foe.
More than the sum of its hacks and slashes
The combat is not entirely where this game hooked me, though. As you rank up, new elements of gameplay are unlocked. A base-building area allows you to farm for coins and send your units on idle missions. When you reach rank 20, you are eligible to start your own “Armada” (basically a guild, crew, clan, etc.). As an Armada leader, you can complete commissions for rewards, request rare items from members, and interact in various ways. All of this is on top of a game with consistently interesting events, numerous modes of play, and a shockingly robust co-op mode.
There is, of course, a gacha element involved, so if that’s your thing (and if you’re reading these articles, it probably is) HI3 has got you covered. Luckily, it’s hardly pay-to-win. Most of what you’ll be getting from gacha rolls are pieces of equipment and “Stigmata.” I don’t quite understand what Stigmata are supposed to represent, I just know they’re stat-boosting anime girls you attach to your Valkyrja. As usual, some pulls are rarer than others, but HI3 stands on its own outside of the lottery portion. I mean really, it’s just a ton of fun to boot up and play. Especially if you’ve got a few friends along for the ride.
Honkai Impact 3rd is a game that’s pulled me back consistently with its exceptional balance of simplicity and depth. It’s easy to pick up for five minute bursts while also providing enough to keep me logged in for hours on end — a rare feat for a mobile game.
– The long-awaited Dragonball Legends launched last week for Android and iOS! While no short-term events are occurring, the “Ultra Space-Time #1 Summon” is in effect until 7/6.
– Marvel Future Fight is celebrating its third anniversary and the release of the (excellent) Avengers: Infinity War film with new IW-themed content, including boss battles and costumes.
– Granblue Fantasy is toting brand new weapons and characters with its most recent update. A “Flash Gala” event doubles SSR draw rates until 5/24.
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