For years I have said that I really did not think that gaming on my phone was really my “thing”. It was a platform that I largely felt didn’t quite fit my lifestyle, because in part I felt like I either had access to PC and Consoles… or simply didn’t have the ability to game period. Recently however I have been eating the hell out of those words. For the last week or so I have been getting used to a new phone, and at some point I will probably do a proper review of it. Functionally I could not bring myself to spend $800 to $1000 on a new phone… and my Samsung Galaxy s5 had lots of problems. This lead me to branch out and look into some other options… and I finally landed on the ZTE Axon 7 which is a very solid attempt at a Chinese flagship killer. When I finally do a proper review I will get around to more about that, however suffice to say I am enjoying it. There is a thing that happens with PC gamers… when we get new hardware. We go through this phase of installing everything that we have cared about in the past… and trying it out on the new setup to see what has and has not improved. With this new phone being so much more powerful than my previous one… I found myself going through this same routine and testing out things like the android Hearthstone client. When I say the previous phone had issues… it is because once upon a time I rooted my phone in an attempt to bypass the AT&T blockade against tethering/wifi hotspots on my current plan. I still have one of those ancient grandfathered in iPhone unlimited plans… and while they have raised the price there is no way in hell I am giving up $25 a month unlimited mobile data.
While the S5 is technically no longer rooted, I seem to have tripped some anti-tamper seal of a sort on the phone and it fails the Google Safetynet test that app manufacturers have started incorporating into their apps. This means that I was forced to stop playing Pokemon Go when they patched in this protection, and similarly have been unable to experience Fire Emblem Heroes, Mario Run or a whole slew of newer games that just do this check by default. The biggest problem with me and phone gaming in the past however was the battery life, and the way that a few minutes of Final Fantasy Record Keeper could shave off 25% of my battery before I even realized. With the new phone this seems to no longer be the issue that it once was… and either because the processor does not need to work nearly as hard… or the fact that I have a 3250 mAh battery (instead of 2800 mAh) I can functionally play games and still use my phone for everything else that I want to. As a result lately I have been heading to bed fairly early and then chilling out there and playing mobile games until sleep finally claims me. Similarly while I am out and about I am starting to play a lot more Pokemon Go, but have not really gone out on catching jaunts like I did around the release a year ago. I contemplated going out last night but it was still over 90 degrees outside after 9pm, so I figured I would leave that to a cooler evening.
The games that have seemed to clamp down the hardest on my attention however are Fire Emblem Heroes… which is a thoroughly charming tactics style combat game and of course Final Fantasy Record Keeper that I already played a significant amount of in the past. This is the point where I admit that I have never actually played a Fire Emblem game in the past, and while I am sure the actual games are not terribly similar to this mobile title… it does make me a hell of a lot more interested in them. The premise is largely nonsense… but it is the sort of nonsense that I find myself enjoying at the moment. The biggest problem with these games is that I really have no clue what I am doing on a regular basis… and not even sure what the best way to do anything in game is. I’ve been slowly working my way through the story in Fire Emblem, and in Record Keeper I noticed that they seemingly have gotten less sparing with handing you a bunch of characters. I worked my way through most of a Final Fantasy XIV themed event dungeon… and picked up Yshtola, Minfilia, Yda, Papalymo, and Cid… and started working my way through a similarly FFXII Zodiac Age themed one. Much like in Pokemon Go… the excitement for me is in the collection of new characters and not so much in the leveling and battle.
Lastly I have been slowly working my way through Final Fantasy V on the phone as an attempt to do things like play over my lunch break… which admittedly has not actually happened yet. I got completely wrecked last night by Garula, which means I am going to have to sort out a decent strategy for this one. Of course I am not playing the game legitimately… and instead am doing the Four Job Fiesta… which means I am attempting to take him down as a party of four Black Mages. Its time to go figure out some strategery so I can get past him and get my next set of jobs. I find the mobile FFV client a little wonky… and especially in mobiles where you need fine motor control… that is not a thing the touchpad really gives you. Getting through the poison plants at the top of the mountain was not really a thing… so I simply opted to walk through a couple and take antidotes. Regardless it works well enough for my needs and gives me a reasonable platform without really shackling me to a specific location for playing it. I kinda hope we eventually get a version on the switch through either virtual console… or a release of this mobile port to it. Whatever the case…. someone seems to have replaced me with a doppelganger that does not mind mobile gaming all the sudden.