The perfect mobile MMO is every game publisher's dream. It's not that easy to realise, though, as the countless unsuccessful attempts that litter the Android Market demonstrate.
Pocket Legends, from Spacetime Studios, is having a second bite at the Android cherry with a new, Xperia Play-optimised version.
But will it be enough to convert the naysayers, and prove that mobile MMOs are the future?
In a word: no.Bump and grind
Pocket Legends is your archetypal shrunk-down MMO. You pick from one of three classes - Archer, Warrior, or Enchantress - then get thrown headlong into a fantasy world populated by zombies, bird people, demons, and quite a few other players.
Archers fire ranged weapons and use traps, Warriors are brutish damage sponges who wield big swords, and Enchantresses hurl out offensive and defensive spells.
You pick up quests from characters with glowing yellow exclamation marks over their heads, and hand in completed quests to characters with glowing yellow question marks over their heads.
Everything in Pocket Legends is so by the MMO book that it, unfortunately, bypasses familiarity and skulks into unoriginal territory.MMO dear
The Xperia Play optimisation is, to say the least, unwieldy. You use the left analogue pad to control your character, but you'll often find him skittishly headbutting walls instead of moving in the direction you want.
You still have to tap the screen to interact with characters, even though a lot of the buttons on the slide-out controller don't do anything. The whole thing feels like a half-hearted rush job.
Pocket Legends wasn't a classic when it first came out on Android, and this new version hasn't added enough to change that perception. If anything, the lazy conversion makes it feel worse than it did before.
Shallow, unoriginal gameplay allied to wonky controls add up to an experience that has its moments, but falls short of being worth a download.