Normally I leave commentary on aesthetics further down in a review, but in Exitium‘s case the visual presentation has repercussions on gameplay. Exitium‘s sprites are on the small side as far as recent KRPGs go, which leaves plenty of room for enemies to warp in on its various battlefield and dungeon maps. Overcrowding becomes an issue with irritating frequency, taking some of the steam out of enemy behaviors that encourage hit-and-run tactics instead of the more typical stand-there-and-button-mash technique. The player will want to make prodigious use of the game save virtual button, and thankfully cash is in great enough supply to handily afford all the healing potions each character will need to survive inopportune wallops.
At least all the sprites and environments are gorgeous, animations being far more thorough than Fantastic Knight had at release! The story may not be much to write home about, but it’s accented with expressive character portraits. Weapons and armor change character appearance once equipped, thankfully without the ragdoll effect we’ve seen from time to time in previous genre offerings. Only in music does Exitium underwhelm; I found the outpost themes pretty catchy but nothing else really stood out for me. One very important thing to note on the aesthetics side: the game’s default speed setting makes Exitium super fast on my iPod Touch 4, but the frame rate felt just right after I went into the main options menu and lopped the speed setting down to a little below the halfway mark.
I have two quibbles with Exitium‘s management interface. First, it would be great if the player could auto-equip shop purchases; currently he or she has to dip back into inventory after a shopping run for this purpose. Second, inventory capacity is so limited it’ll drive even genre fans up the wall! It’s best for the player to keep some warp scrolls handy at all times, as inventory fills up so fast he or she may lack enough room to collect quest items and will have to return to home base to unload excess inventory in the town warehouse. Otherwise everything works well here, with perfectly sensitive virtual buttons and handy popups that never leave the player questioning what items do exactly.
Exitium has a fascinating take on achievements that helps dull the agony of pursuing fetch quest after fetch quest. Rather than just enter achievements on Game Center, Exitium rewards players with stat upgrades and Fame Points, which appear to factor into acquisition of a secondary in-game currency used to buy special items. Four-player arena battles via Game Center and an online flea market appear to be on tap, but it wasn’t clear whether these have been fully implemented yet or if the population of early adopters was still too small during our review playthrough. The item mailbox system – taking a page straight out of Mission Europa‘s playbook to brilliant effect – did work like a charm, however. The player can use it to gift part of his or her inventory to others, or to shift inventory from one scenario to another. This is a great way to cheat on the usually limited inventory system, as the player can un-equip storage bags from one character and pick them up as another.
iFanzine Verdict: If you’re a diehard KRPG fan looking for the best technical quality and breadth of content you can get for two bucks, Exitium is an absolutely safe bet. Those who were hoping for an impressive story to go with those assets will be underwhelmed, due in large part to how powerfully Exitium incorporates fetch quests – a mechanic RPG fans have grown steadily weary of – into its plot.
iFanzine still has some precious Resurrection Scrolls, a ton of potions, and some very helpful inventory expansion bags to give away through Exitium‘s item mailbox! Comment on this article below with your in-game mailbox account name to claim some of our loot. Everything must go!