Originally written on November 10, 2018
So here we go. Epic Seven. Arguably the most hyped mobile game to hit the English market in awhile now, is it good? Or is it just another game that everyone drops after a week? Let’s see.
I’ve played this game since launch till now, I’m about rank 20. So I’m nowhere near end game nor have I tried most of the content in the game, so this would be more like a first impressions review, and I’ll probably do a revisited review when I get higher level in the game.
Available on Android (There is Root Protection), iOS.
Able to be ran on some emulators, I’m using NOX 126.96.36.199 and it runs somewhat okay, stuttering can be seen during the full screen skills sequences. Bluestacks 4 does NOT run the game, but apparently Bluestacks 3 runs the game just fine, though I did not try it myself. Thanks to geoolympics on reddit for the heads up! LDPlayer runs it just like NOX.
There might be some issues on Huawei phones where you’ll encounter the root error, even though your phone is not rooted. In this case, disconnect your wifi/mobile data, and reconnect your internet when the ‘Yuna Engine’ screen appears (Props to “akupaein” on reddit for the fix! Link here).
I recommend playing it on iOS if you have the chance to. I personally swap between using an Emulator (NOX) and my phone (iPhone 8+) and the game runs soooooo well on my phone it really makes the scenes so much more amazing. Though do note that the iOS version does not have a Low Performance Mode, so take note of your battery life!
There’s 2 parts in the game where people often reroll at. First one’s at stage 1-4, where it’s the first chance the game gives you to roll. At this point in time, with the amount of bookmarks (Currency required to roll in game) the game gives you, you can roll up to 5 times, including the free tutorial roll. However the game also gives you enough premium currency to buy 3 additional rolls, it is up to you on whether you want to do it but if you’re trying to reroll for a 5* at this stage I’ll highly recommend buying it.
The second one’s a bit more special, once you reach 1-10, “Selective Summons” gets unlocked. Selective Summons is something the developers put in as a way for people to “reroll”, the gist of it is that the game gives you 10 free summons, and if you are not satisfied with the units you got from the summons, you’re allowed to “reroll” it, you can do this 30 times! Each roll will only give you a maximum of one 5* Unit, though it is rumoured you’re able to get a 5* unit and a 5* artifact in the same 10 roll. You are not able to go back and choose a previous roll you have gotten before though, so think twice before clicking the reroll button! With the rates this game offers, it’s the most optimal to at least get a 5* unit from this function.
Rates in this game is well… it could be better. It has the same gacha system as FGO and Dragalia Lost, where there are Artifacts in the same gacha pool as units. I don’t really like it, but sadly it seems more and more games are going for this system after seeing the success FGO had with it.
Rates are as follows
After summoning 20 times, you’ll get a Gold Prism. With 6 gold prisms you can choose between having a 4-5* summon, or a light/dark element summon (Moonlight Summon).
And Moonlight Summons rates are as follows
Summoning dupes will give a formation bonus to your team using the said unit. It gives either a flat amount or %-based bonuses, which will only give a slight advantage to your team.
Honestly, its nothing special that other games haven’t done before. Characters have skills/passives. Characters all have a varying speed stat (Called Combat Readiness) which determines who attacks first. There’s a mana system of sorts, called Soul, which allows character’s skills to be empowered at the expense of mana which is attained by attacking. The skills can be empowered in a number of ways, such as doing more damage , reducing the cooldown of said skill or even healing the whole party. There’s also dual attacks where units can chain their basic attack into one another, but I’m not sure how to actually activate this as of now.
You might be thinking, why is this game so hyped up then if the gameplay’s so mediocre? The graphics. The graphics is probably the best among any 2D styled gacha game in the market right now. Every unit has their own distinct attack animation for each and every skill. Then there’s the full screen anime cutscenes, those are GORGEOUS. It’s definitely the crowning feature of the game, although not every unit has those cutscenes, I’ve used a few units and I think I only saw it on 4* and 5* units. The transition between the 2nd attacks and anime scenes is seamless, thus making it looks buttery smooth especially on characters with long attack animations, such as Sez and Zerato.
However, there’s still a few minor issues with the game. A few common issues felt within the community, firstly, there’s no options to skip the anime cutscenes. Yes, I go on and on about how amazing it is and how it’s the best thing to ever grace the 2D mobageland. But after seeing the same cutscene like 100 times it gets repetitive. It’s especially annoying when you are trying to grind and farm stages over and over, and you can’t help but feel that you’ll be able to grind so much faster if you were able to skip the cutscenes. Talking about grinding leads me to my 2nd point, which is there is no X2 speed. It’s such a basic feature, I really wonder why the developers left it out. Only reason I could think of is that they really want people to notice and watch the amazing sprites, animations and cutscenes, but come on. One more point which is not a major issue, but that when you’re on auto mode, the AI does not automatically open chests or pray to goddesses. There was also this issue in Dragalia Lost, which the developers fixed promptly, so props to them. But here it kinda sucks because you’re able to get premium currency from these chests you encounter in maps, albeit its a small amount but it adds up, especially if you grind on auto almost all the time like me.
Moving on, there are other features such as Labyrinth. Now I think this is one of the more unique features of the game. Your team starts at the beginning point, and you work your way around the maze-like map. Once you reach a crossroad, you can choose which direction you want to move in. The game shows you the full map from the beginning, so you do not have to worry about getting lost, however it does not show which parts of the map has enemies and loot, so you can’t just rely on the map and you actually have to do some exploration. There might be a need to re-do these maps to unlock certain paths as well, especially in the campaign.
There is a morale system for these kinds of map too, the lower your morale, the more damage your team takes and they do less damage as well. Morale can be lost by doing various actions such as moving around the map or fighting enemies. It also can be gained, by camping. Camping is only available at crossroads, and can only be done once per exploration. Camping allows you to talk to your units, ask various questions to them, and depending on their answer and the units you have in the team, can affect the morale, either positively or negatively.
There are other common modes such as Arena and Expeditions. For Arena, its the generic system, where you fight against AI-controlled enemies. There is a catch though, There is a certain point in the battle where your team will get damaged, for something called a “Attacker Penalty”. I’m not really sure how it activates, but I think if the Arena match drags on to a certain turn, it’ll trigger it. There’s obviously a Arena meta, but I’ve not delved too deep into it to know much, but it seems that there are good units that are 3*s and 4*s, so its not all 5* domination.
Expeditions wise, there is nothing super unique about it, but each character have some kind of passive bonus for certain kinds of expeditions, so just using a one-size-fits-all team for expeditions might not be the best option. Another good thing is that the characters that are currently out on expeditions can still be used for battle, so you can rest easy sending your main team out.
Dungeons wise there is a few. There’s the daily rotational dungeon, which gives awakening ingredients. Abyss, which is the game’s tower (There’s a specific term for this but I just can’t remember it at the moment), higher you go the harder it gets. There’s Hunt, which I relate it to Monster Hunter. You choose between Wyvern (Fire), Golem (Earth), Banshee (Water) to hunt, and after the battle you’ll get crafting materials and/or equipment. Labyrinth, as I’ve explained earlier. And lastly Challenge, I’ve not unlocked it as of now but I’ll update this section after I unlocked it, but it seems like it’s a way to obtain exp fodder for equipment and artifacts.
Guilds are in the game as well. Nothing much as of yet besides the usual check in, get free stuff, donate stuff to your fellow guild mates, and use guild points to buy stuff kind of thing. Hoping that there will be something along the lines of guild battles or guild wars, something the whole guild can do together.
It has the normal daily missions you’ll expect to find. Doing daily dungeons, doing a daily summon, doing quests. By completing all seven daily missions, you’ll get a small amount of premium currency. There is a reputation system in place though, every mission you complete will net you some reputation points, and when you reach a certain amount, you’ll get bonuses, those bonuses will scale up more and more according to the amount of reputation you have, and as of now I’m not sure of the cap, if there is even one. It’s kind of a nice thing, encourages people to do dailies.
It just came out! So I’m not going to comment too much about this topic, since I’m not too sure of the direction it will go and I haven’t played the Korean server. I know there’s limited time gachas, and I’ve seen a bit of the Yuna’s event. But what we have here right now on the Global/Asia server are the launch events. Some people might not like the UI for events, like for me I didn’t even know there were launch events with stuff to collect till I clicked on the banner. I thought the event related stuff would be under “Reputation” aka the quest tab (Looking back, might be a bit silly of me but oh wells). Anywho, the events running right now gives resources daily by doing simple stuff in game that you’ll definitely be doing by just playing the game. Such as using energy, gold or just flat out completing all the daily missions. There’s also an additional check in project that the game doesn’t really inform you about, you’ll actually have to click the “Support Project” banner in the main screen and then click the “Complete” button to actually get the reward. That’s why I feel it might be a bit confusing to new players, adding an event icon on the UI on the main screen would have helped.
Game is pretty F2P for now, of course I’ve not done too much high end content and it’s not too far into the game lifespan to say if it’s really friendly towards f2p players yet. But here’s what the game has to offer to help F2P players.
The normal premium currency/bookmarks given throughout the whole campaign. Like the usual in other gacha games.
1 free premium summon a day, perfect to also complete the daily mission. Also counts towards the mileage.
Arena NPCs which are in built AI teams which upon defeating, will give the player arena points and premium currency. Each NPC can be fought DAILY for the rewards, so be sure to do them! For Arena wise, there’s also weekly rankings, and just like any other games with arena, you get certain amount of premium currency for the arena tier you’re in. The higher your arena rank, the more you get. I’ve heard the high tier arena is based a lot on who attacks first, if you played Seven Knights, you should know this system very well.
The secret shop in the lobby also occasionally has Bookmarks (Currency for premium summon) on sale for gold, so if you ever see those deals, buy it if you have the money!
I’ve heard that events also give premium currency, but as of now no events on the Global/Asia server gives those, however they do give Bookmarks.
Sanctuary also gives premium currency, at low levels though, it doesn’t give much, but hey better than nothing.
It has a separate energy system for both Arena and well everything else. Nothing too mind blowing here, arena flags regenerate one every hour, to a maximum of 5. And energy being at every 5 minutes, whilst the maximum energy scales according to your level.
Sanctuary is another place where you get resources. I’m not going too in depth into this whole system, think of it somewhat like Girls Frontline’s dormitory. Where there are many parts of the dorm and you’re able to upgrade the different parts of the dorm to have more functions or do things faster. I’ll do a quick rundown on whats available as of now.
About equipment, it’s the same system you’ve probably seen in every other game. Something special is the set system. If you played Summoner Wars its somewhat similar to the rune system, each item will have a set attribute, be it attack, health or other kinds such as counter. Each set will have a required amount needed for it to “activate”, for example, a defence set can need 2 to activate. Which means out of all the items you equip to the character, you’ll need at least 2 items with the defence attribute to activate the set bonus.
Artifacts are Craft Essences from FGO, or Wyrmprints from Dragalia Lost. It gives a passive bonus to the unit who equipped it, and the bonus can range from dealing more damage to something like increasing speed. It’s a bit more intuitive as artifacts will require certain requirements to be met for to activate, such as recovering health when the unit is below a certain health threshold. These also can be enhanced using the same fodder as equipment.
One bad thing though, it has the old fashioned Korean mobage element, whereby to unequip an equipment or artifact, you’ll need to pay a certain amount of gold, which can stack up especially if you’re trying to unequip a fully enhanced item.
As for exp fodders, skill up fodders, rank up fodders, this is where it really is a grindfest. As of now, the only way I know that you can get exp fodders and skill up fodders are from the Forest of Souls. And for one random element exp fodder, the wait is 12 hours. For skill up fodders, it’s 24 hours. And at the start before you improve your buildings, you can only craft one at a time. It’s a pain and thus the only way to level your units is by grinding stages over and over. And for skill up fodders, I barely see them, it’s probably the most rare resource in the game by a mile.
Rolls are expensive. It costs about 3.50USD for a single roll. Slot expansions are a bit more worth it, equipment slot expansions is 30 slots for the same amount of premium currency, and unit slot expansions is 20 slots for a bit less premium currency.
There are also premium packs available. It has the same few packs normally found in korean based mobages, a cheap welcome pack which has 2 summons and a few other goodies for 3.50USD as well. A rank up pack which gives more premium currency the higher your level becomes, expensive packs that gives 10-30 summons and either gold/ additional bookmarks, ranging from 30-105USD. However, there is one pack that stood out to me, the monthly pack. I’ve always liked games to have the “monthly subscription” pack, where you get premium currency everyday by just logging in. It’s also available in Epic Seven, and with an added bonus of having 10% increased exp for the whole month as well. It’s a nice little thing to have considering most games that have these sorts of packs only give out the premium currency and nothing else.
If you really like the game and want to support it, I’ll suggest to get the monthly pack. Or If you REALLY love the game and don’t mind spending a lot more, maybe go for the Monthly Support Pack 2, which gives enough premium currency and bookmarks to do 44 pulls, additionally it also gives a 4-5* summon ticket.
Musics wise, it is what you expect. Anime sounding fantasy music, nothing wrong with it but also nothing super outstanding. Fits the game perfectly.
Voices though. My god. The English voices just doesn’t fit the characters AT ALL. I recommend you changing the voices to Korean as soon as you get the chance to, even if you’re the kind of guy that prefers dubbed anime. Don’t get me wrong, the English voice actors didn’t do terrible, it’s just that it feels so out of place with the characters. It feels like the voice actors didn’t even see the characters they were voicing for and just did it based on the instructions by the developers, doesn’t help that some of the lines were cringey as all hell.
Overall, as of my current impressions, the game was what people expected. Somewhat generic hero collector game with the super high-tier graphics carrying it. There are parts of the game that really feels like a slow painful grindfest, and I can see people dropping the game due to it.
I honestly think the game’s graphics is so good it can challenge even 2D styled console and PC games. The global community for it right now is huge, so if you’re on the fence on trying the game, I’ll definitely recommend it. Especially since there might not be any big titles coming out anytime soon. As for did it live up to the hype? No game will ever live up to the hype it’s getting, but I would say Epic Seven is doing a decent job at it.