Gaming on the ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1

    Gaming on mobile devices have seen a massive boom over the past few years. With competitive games such as Arena of Valor, Mobile Legends, and Clash of Clans, to more casual games like Candy Crush Saga, This War of Mine, and Minecraft, it seems that mobile gaming is here to stay.

    Affecting the boom of mobile gaming is the ever-increasing performance of smartphones. Every year, mobile smartphone manufacturers are upping the ante in the performance department of smartphones. Performance, however, comes with a cost.

    Most smartphones that have the bleeding edge SoCs in them, such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 830, can cost more than USD 400 (PhP 20,000). Battery life is also a concern because the more performance that a smartphone has, then the more power it needs to draw from the battery.

    What if you want a smartphone that can cope up with the most recent mobile games, have a long battery life, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Enter the recently released, ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1.

    The ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 is decked with a MediaTek 6750T octa-core SoC clocked at 1.5GHz with 4GB of RAM running on Android 7.0 Nougat with ZenUI 4.0. ASUS has also jumped on the 18:9 bandwagon with the Max Plus having a 5.7-inch 2160 x 1080 IPS display.  All the juice from this smartphone comes from a 4,130mAh battery and comes with 32GB of internal storage that can be expanded via its microSD slot.

    Now, I’m not much of a MOBA gamers because I’m not very good in working with a team. So I’m going to stick with games that I do well (I think), which are shooters and RPGs. So, just how ASUS’ latest Battery King fare with gaming?

    Consistency is the way to the chicken dinner

    Let’s start off with Rules of Survival (RoS). ROS is a battle royale-style game in which 120 players aim to be the last player standing to get their chicken dinner. You can either play this solo or in a team, and since I’ve said that I’m no good with a team, I played this game on solo.

    Players don’t have weapons when they drop from the plane. Strategic thinking about your drop zone and quick inventory skills are required in order to survive the early game.

    Once the initial shock of entry into the map has gone, you enter the mid-game. This is basically you getting to the designated safe zone while killing players (or just bypassing them altogether) and completing your load out.

    Late game in battle royale-style games usually trickle down two things to survive: crawling and hoping you see the enemy before they see you. If you’ve calmed down your nerve for long enough, then you might just get your chicken dinner.

    3D games are usually much more demanding compared to 2D games, such is the case in Rules of Survival. Performance of the ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 with its MediaTek MT6750T and 4GB of RAM was decent enough. There were no significant lag while in the game was on its balanced graphics setting.

    Grind, grid, grind until you reach the top

    I’m a sucker for 16-bit style RPGs. Games like Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, and Dragon Quest VI has a very special place in my heart. So I was filled with glee when games like Inotia 4 came out on mobile.

    Inotia 4: Assassin of Berkel follows the story of Kiyan. As an assassin of the Shadow Tribe, he has been shown to be incredibly loyal to his tribe. I won’t spoil any story pieces here since this is an RPG, and immersion is one of the key selling points of an RPG.

    As with most RPGs, you can customize Kiyan depending on your preference. You can choose from six playable classes from the start of the game: Assassin, Black Knight, Priest, Warrior, Warlock, and Ranger. There’s also an inventory system that allows you to equip your character with different pieces of outfit, which also plays a part in the personalization of your character.

    Classes have different skills from one another. Basic grinding, however, boils down to moving around and pressing the right most button to attack. Skills can be accessed near the attack button while items such as potions are located at the top.

    There is also a bit of grinding with Inotia 4, in order to get levels and items, you would need to kill tons and tons of enemies. But the combat is enjoyable enough that you won’t really mind the grind.

    As a 16-bit style game, Inotia 4 doesn’t really need much in the way of sheer processor horsepower unlike Rules of Survival. Thus, the game runs smooth and silky with the ZenFone Max Plus M1. The 5.7-inch 2160 x 1080 IPS display brings an immersion that some smartphones simply can’t deliver. Despite being a bleak place, the Max Plus was still able to present the world of Inotia 4 with a certain flare and you also see more of the world with the display’s taller aspect ratio.

    Game on until dawn

    Battery life of the ASUS ZenFone Max Plus still comes into center stage even while gaming. ASUS’ new Battery King was able to hold its own after a couple of hours of gaming. In Rules of Survival, the smartphone just consumed 30% of battery. In Inotia 4, meanwhile, I was able to last around 3 hours of game time, which only consumed 35% of battery due to non-intensive nature of Inotia 4.

    Despite some less-than-stellar feedback of the ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 having a MediaTek 6750T SoC, we believe that it’s good enough for most tasks. Even when gaming, the Battery King was still able to perform in tip-top shape. Also, check out our full review of the ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 for the full run-down of its performance.

    With more and more games being released on mobile, what games do you play? And if you’ve bought an ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 when it was launched back in January 16, we’d like to know your experience with it. With that said, we hope that you have many good games in the future. See you on the digital battlefield.

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