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Exitium – Saviors of Vardonia is a new Korean Action RPG from Minoraxis. The game is presented with great pixel art graphics and a solid soundtrack that sets the tone for this story of a land in the throes of war. It’s full of repetitive gameplay and all the grinding that your heart can take, as is expected from the genre, but it’s very well done and the story presented, while nothing groundbreaking, is told in an engaging way.
The land of Vardonia is being ravaged by a war between the two great kingdoms of Arkan and Abylon. I’m not sure exactly why they started fighting in the first place, but the hatred each side holds for the other is immense. You are given four characters to play as, each representing a different class and each with their own complete stories. Half of the characters are with Arkan, and the others are with Abylon. This creates a very interesting dichotomy as the game vilifies and makes you hate a character from one side, but makes them sympathetic and heroic on the other. This is the game’s strongest aspect, and you’ll really want to play through all four character arcs just to get all the details. From the Berserker who lost his family to the honorable Paladin and the gifted Mage with a tragic childhood, it’s all pretty compelling.
The gameplay is your standard Korean Action RPG goodness. Move around the world and kill rapidly respawning enemies, grinding out gold and experience as you’re sent on dozens of fetch quests. There is a fairly well done equipment upgrading and item crafting system, though a lack of any character customization or talent trees. Each characters growth is highly predetermined. One thing I love about this game is the easy to reach quick save button right above the virtual D-pad. Make sure you use this button often, as death is often a single screen transition away.
The pixel art is colorful and the animations and effects are exciting. While the music isn’t too iconic or memorable, it’s always appropriate. If this is your kind of game, then you definitely don’t want to miss out on this title. If you’re having a hard time or don’t feel like grinding too much, there is a lot to be bought through in-app purchases. The game is kind of cruel without those purchases, but it is manageable. This title is available for three dollars at the time of this review, and I recommend it to any and all RPG fans. You could always give the free demo version a download as well.