Langrisser M (2019)

For just about anyone that knows me, the fact that I am about to review a mobile game is astounding. I absolutely HATE modern smart phones: the price, the forced obsolescence, the security issues etc. If I could still function with my old LG flip-phone, I’d still be using that. But here I am, begrudgingly using a smart phone in 2019. Recently, I have had to sit in my car before work for a while each day, resulting in a need for something to pass time.

I’ve downloaded a few games to scratch this itch, but a lot of these “clicker games” are only fun for around a day or so, then start turning into a trap for those that give-in to compulsive gambling. The moment a game is basically un-playable without using real cash, that’s when I delete said game. This was true the summer I really got into a terrible Facebook game called Mafia Wars, it started trapping players in un-winnable situations unless you pay to win, and BOOM done playing. Last week, a new game in the long-running Langrisser series was released for the mobile market, and all I have to say is that this is a quality game – perhaps the best mobile game I’ve played so far. Granted, that’s about as relevant as talking about life experiences with a 16-year-old in terms of how long I’ve been dabbling with cellphone games, but bear with me.

Hot off the heels of Nintendo’s recent Fire Emblem Heroes Mobile game, Langrisser seems to be Zilong Game Limited’s answer to the mighty house that Mario built. I’m not too familiar with this particular Hong Kong based tech studio, but it seems like they are doing well considering Langrisser M apparently already made something like 10 million dollars in China alone during the “beta” period. The game appears to have been made in conjunction with Masaya Games, the original company that has brought us all of thee games in the series so far, and another company called Extreme which appears to be the current copyright holder of the franchise. I am unfortunately not sure who did what here, as most information about this is in Japanese or Chinese.

I am pretty excited about this game because I’ve been a fan of games from Career-Soft and Masaya for a long time. One of my all-time favorite PS2 games was a game galled Growlanser Generations – a compilation of two games in a series deemed to be the “spiritual successor” to Langrisser. It’s been a LOOONG time since I’ve played anything in this series, I believe the PSP release of Growlanser IV was the last one I bought, and that was likely around ten years ago. I really hope this mobile game does well, as there is currently a PS4 remake of Langrisser 1 and 2 in the works, that I really hope comes to the west.

I was very happy to see many of the character designs from Satoshi Urushihara were actually intact in this, while not the current anime style of choice for many fans, I absolutely LOVE these late 80’s, early 90’s styles.

Here is a snippet of a press release:

Langrisser Mobile retains the classic turn-based strategic gameplay of the original series, with class suppression, terrain effects, and unique class trees for a customizable battle experience. Featuring more than 300 classic levels, an unforgettable score by original series composer Noriyuki Iwadare, and all of the heroes from the main series, Langrisser fans, new and old alike, can experience the epic showdown between light and dark with other players around the world in real-time.

Developed by Japan’s Masaya Games, the Langrisser series debuted in 1991 and has long been regarded as one of the two titans of tactical turn-based combat, along with Nintendo’s Fire Emblem series. With a story spanning five generations of games, it introduced the soldier system and class transfer to the genre, as well as wowing players with stunning battle effects that were very much ahead of their time.

The mobile phone industry has developed in leaps and bounds over recent years and the mobile game industry has naturally developed in tandem. Zlongame has been authorized by Langrisser‘s current copyright holder, Extreme, to develop the latest installment of this well-known series, and it is also the first time this series has appeared on mobile platforms. The game first launched in China in August of this year, occupying a top 5 spot in the App Store for a month and receiving much praise from players.

So far, I’m really enjoying this game, but with all of these hero collection games – it may be short lived. If you are a fan of this series or want a well-produced Cellphone RPG I’d definitely recommend it. You never know, it might show that there is continued interest here in the West for this franchise.


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