Welcome to our Is that a good premium mobile game series. In this series we look at games from both the App Store and the Play Store and review them. At the end of the article we try to answer the question – Is the current game a one of the best smartphone games? Is it a good premium mobile game? For this review, we’re looking at DragonSpear-Ex by Game2Gather!
Is DragonSpear-Ex a good premium roleplaying mobile game?
Your Answer Upfront:
DragonSpear-Ex is a well-rounded premium game that had an obviously rocky past as a gacha, but Game2Gather managed to pull off the free-to-play to premium conversion quite well and I applaud them for taking this route instead of just shutting down the servers and killing off the game. Do I recommend it? Yes. It’s not perfect, but it certainly does its best, and for that it gets a respectable 3.5/5-star rating.
Have you ever wondered what happens when a gacha game doesn’t just cut it and finds itself in either
limbo or about to go extinct? Well, to answer this I’ve spent some time with Game2Gather’s
DragonSpear-Ex on my trusty iPad.
Having started life as a hybrid gacha-side-scrolling RPG offered for free on both the App Store and
Google Play, the original DragonSpear didn’t really seem to catch on with enough people and had
ultimately failed to generate enough revenue to keep itself live (if you’re curious how free to play games
make money, we have you covered in this article).
Instead of just pulling the game from the stores and calling it a day, Game2Gather did something that
isn’t really new: they removed the entire gacha system and made it so that you can (and have to!) farm everything by yourself.
Everything that used to be obtainable from the gacha system’s IAPs is now available to all that are willing to spend the time to obtain what they need (or want).
With the gacha gone, what are players left with?
Well, at its core, DragonSpear-Ex is a fairly traditional side-scrolling RPG with a fairly compelling story and enough content to last you for quite a while. Now, I previously mentioned that the original game used to be a free to play title. This is no longer a valid statement, with DragonSpear-Ex being a premium title with no pesky advertisements or additional IAP to deal with.
Jumping straight into the meat of the matter, how does DragonSpear-EX actually stack up as a game,
regardless of its history? Well, my straight-up answer is: it’s pretty damn good.
It’s not often that I see games that claim to be RPGs actually take on features that actually make a game
be an RPG. The level of customization is impressive, to say the least. I’m not talking about how your
champion of choice looks like, but how everything plays out.
Visuals aside, you have quite a high degree of freedom when it comes to how you play, from equipment to enchants, improvements and even the skills you use. There’s no boring cookie cutter solution to building the most overpowered character possible, instead, you’re free to try out new things to find what suits you the most. THAT is an element that many developers forget when they make “RPGs” and DragonSpear-Ex has plenty of it.
Gameplay-wise, you’ll be taking on hordes of enemies in a side-scrolling fashion, with packs of them throughout each level and some sort of final encounter.
Because farming (and we’re not talking gardening here) will play a somewhat large role in how easy (or hard) your game’s going to be, you’ll definitely get the chance to max out each encounter’s rating, eventually opening up each chapter’s Gap of Abyss, which is where the real-time multiplayer comes into the equation.
Gap of Abyss is the equivalent of raids, with high risk and high rewards but it seems to be a bit hit or miss when it comes to matchmaking, having waited anywhere from a few seconds to the better part of half an hour. Perhaps this is just my bad luck with time zones, but I can’t see it as a deal breaker (don’t get me wrong, you want to clear the raid bosses, but I have a strong feeling that you can take your time doing that, as there doesn’t seem to be anything in the way of a penalty for not doing so).
Going back to the story for a minute, you’ll find yourself going through 8 chapters, each with a set of 9 “encounters” and its own theme. In all honesty, 72 encounters, plus the raid bosses, makes for quite a considerable chunk of content and once you add in the farming and the 6 available Hero classes, DragonSpear-Ex will keep you busy for quite a while, which is exactly what you should expect from a premium title.
Let’s talk about the characters!
While we’re talking about things you should expect, I should note that the female Heroines definitely fit into the “fan service” category, which is pretty much par for the course these days in the entire gaming industry. While it’s not completely bothersome, it’s a pretty archaic gimmick at this point that I would really like to see gone, at least to some extent. For some people, skimpy armor is at least half of a selling point, and I sort of get where they’re coming from. For me, personally, it just takes away from the immersion of an RPG, with men being pretty much encased in the thickest of plate armor while their female counterparts are wearing what amounts to the minimum amount of cloth required to pass censors, yet somehow are on par or better defense-wise. Maybe it’s just the old school RPG nerd in me talking, but I’m sure there’s plenty of others out there that share my view on the matter.
Fortunately, DragonSpear-Ex does offer a fairly extensive Fashion Magic Store, but everything requires farming (at least for the fancy stuff).
Skimpy outfits aside, I still find myself applauding Game2Gather for managing to come up with a game that looks great. The attention to detail and small things like idle animations make it feel a bit more alive. I would have loved to see the same attention to detail when it comes to spelling mistakes and dodgy translations. For years I’ve held my ground firmly when it comes to spellchecking, specially when releasing a game. To that extent, I’ve pestered enough developers about it and I have a feeling I’ll be keeping that as a pet peeve fueled hobby.
Another thing that I would absolutely love to see is controller support. The touch controls work, but they’re just awful. Keep in mind that you don’t just move left and right! There’s moving up and down “lanes” and when you’re elbow deep in a boss fight the last thing you want to do is find your finger going just outside of the screen’s area, having the virtual thumb stick reset and you taking the full damage the boss’ special ability has to offer.
All in all, DragonSpear-Ex is a well-rounded premium game that had an obviously rocky past as a gacha, but Game2Gather managed to pull off the free-to-play to premium conversion quite well and I applaud them for taking this route instead of just shutting down the servers and killing off the game.
Do I recommend it? Yes. There’s far more than enough to do and the price is more than fair. It’s not perfect, but it certainly does its best, and for that it gets a respectable 3.5/5-star rating.
How to download DragonSpear-Ex?
DragonSpear-Ex is available for iPhone and iPads on Apple’s App Store. If you want to play the game on an M1 equipped Mac, you can read our article on How to play iOS Games on a Mac.
You can use an iPad and to stream the game to your Mac if that’s what you wish. The game is also available for Android Phones and Tablets on Google’s play store.
Where To Next?
We have more reviews of both free and premium mobile games, such as Metal Slug Attack or QB Planets! We also have other articles with tidbits and interesting facts, like this article that answers the question “What is the Number 1 mobile eSports Game” sorted by the prize pool.
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You can also check out our coverage of other iOS games and Android games just released for your smartphone. Thank you for visiting Best Smartphone Games, I sincerely hope we’ve been of service!