Month: September 2015

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Aion

 

Aion was originally released back in 2009 and since then the developers have been hard at work trying to improve the game and bring it up to the standard it should have been at the initial launch of the game. Aion is a MMORPG which became free-to-play in Europe and North America so anyone in those regions can give the game a try for free. So far there have been three expansions to the game which add a host of features, quests and classes.

Story

Players have the choice of two divine factions which are in a state of war in order to stop an ancient evil that threatens to destroy the world. Initially the God Aion created the world of Atreia it created the Drakan, a powerful dragon-link beast race to safeguard the humans performing the will of Aion on the planet. Over time the Drakan began to abuse the humans so in response Aion created 12 Empyrean Lords in response who were able to create a forcefield around the Tower of Eternity protecting the humans within the area. The Drakan renamed themselves as the Balaur and all negotiations with them failed leading to their eventual banishment but peace did not come then; instead the Empyrean Lords began to fight with each other and separated becoming the two divine factions, Amodians and Elyos.

Graphics

Visually, Aion looks nice. As a 3D third-person game the graphics are certainly a good quality for a free-to-play MMO; the fact that the game was released in 2009 and there have been few graphic overhauls certainly shows. The interface for the game looks very good graphically and will well designed to be pleasing on the eye for any player, abilities are clear and each graphic for them looks different compared to another ability making it difficult to confuse them when in battle.

Combat

Aion has 11 main classes and 6 subclasses available to play; at the start of the game players can choose between 6 primary classes which include the standard RPG of Warrior and Mage. After reaching level 10 players can specialize into two different classes associated with their main class which provides a larger skill tree for the player to unlock.

Aions puts greater focus on skills and abilities that chain together to form strong combo moves; these combos can only be performed during a short window period immediately after another move has been performed and these moves are typically mapped to the same key. While this can make combat much easier to does sadly make some battles seem more like a quicktime event than an actual fight.

As expected there are PVP areas for players to fight in, either alone or with Aion’s Guild equivalent called a ‘Legion’. Within the PVP zones there are fortresses which can be controlled by individual Legions and PVP battles in this area are for control of the fortresses. Battles for fortresses introduce siege weapons to destroy the walls.

Despite it’s age Aion is still a relatively fun game and the siege PVP battles can certainly feel very different to most other free-to-play MMO’s that currently exist for download. Fantasy MMO fans should at least enjoy some of the content in Aion especially as the game is still being updated and expansions for it are still being released.

guildwars2

Guild wars 2

Guild Wars 2 is an MMORPG in which player customization plays a huge part. You, the player, have risen from your background (completely customized, from race and social class to special skills and the god which blessed you upon birth) to take part as an adventure. The world is woeful and destructive place – the gods have abandoned all the races, and war has begun to brew on the horizon. It’s up to you to help those who cannot help themselves – protect the weak, and prove yourself to be the hero that others could only dream to be.
As stated before, you are an adventurer with an ongoing quest to assist those you can. There doesn’t seem to be any truly “evil” players around here. However, in this game, it actually pays to be good. Karma Points are given with each task/quest completed that assists someone, and can be exchanged for special items for your character. These items provide bonuses and advantages, and can only be paid for with Karma Points. There is also the benefit of the games physical movements: run, jump, dodge roll and such to your heart’s content. Of course, doing this beside (or near) any large cliffs is not highly recommended. Like in Skyrim, falls do damage to the unsuspecting player, and could end up being your demise. Players can be communicated with in every world, but may be difficult to find – there’s nothing really distinguishing them from NPCs, rather than some aspects of appearance, and the fact you can’t speak to them as you can the common villagers.
Battle is fairly simple in this game. You go up to an enemy, frantically smash the button associated with your choice of attack, and laugh maniacally as they disappear into nothingness. Seriously though, there is no “locking onto” an enemy, per se – like in prison, you just go up and stab the guy you feel like taking down. Best get used to rapidly tapping the same key. Thankfully, attacks don’t cost anything – you’re free to use the same one as many times as you please. From drakes – vicious looking lizards – to giant man-eating worms that look like something out of the movie “Tremors”, foes are in abundance. Some – like the centaurs – even in vary in methods of fighting, giving you a reason to strategize for each battle.
The customization in this game is fantastic, and actually plays a part in who you know, what you know, what you can do (in terms of battle) and the narrated cutscenes found within the game. The voice-acting is well done, and the fact that everything’s not just the same script with different names/places changed is a pleasant change. The biggest complaint I have is that my character is tiny, even after making her tall (and not being a dwarf, hafling, or any other short species). Seriously, Frodo would tower over this chick. Anyone looking for an entertaining game to pass the time – where customization actually means something – check this one out.

elsword4

Elsword

Elsword is a JRPG that isn’t the worst manga game ever but… isn’t exactly the best either. Yes, it meets its target ordinance, but it just keeps repeating and repeating. The moving isn’t ideal, first of all you have to use the arrows key which some people are comfortable with, but most are used to the (W,A,S,D) keys. This is a game I would only recommend to series Manga RPG fans.

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Bit of a plot going on here, no clue what it’s about but, it’s manga I guess so…

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Hmmm, arrow keys. Not my preferred way of moving around but, hey, everybody’s different!

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Game is flat and similar to a platformer but does its best at looking 3D.

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Wow, everything here wants to kill me? Enemies are very week and slow, they get stronger and faster the higher the level.

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Catching up on the village gossip with Chief Hagus, unfortunately no useful information from these people.

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Walking animations not great, I seem to glide down stairs, am I a ghost..?

elvenar

Elvenar

Elvenar is a mix of a fantasy builder game and a generic MMORPG. As the creator of your own province, it is your duty to oversee the building placement, supply production, and overall happiness of your city and its residents. Bolster your forces, put your workshops to work preparing tools and food, and keep a close eye on enemy territories as you build up your own. Be you Human or Elven, the pressure is on to keep watch, and grow!
In Elvenar, balancing your supplies, coin, and needs are key to playing the game successfully. You begin with a relatively simple town – “simple” meaning all you’ve got is a main building and people with no proper place to live (like buying your first “fixer upper”) – and using a mixture of trade negotiations and general building, form a powerful city from the ground-up. Everything is strictly point-and-click (beyond the nickname you choose – choose wisely, the character images are pre-set males, and having a rough looking elf with the name “Princess Sparkler” is only funny so many times) and uses real-time countdowns for every activity you set your people to do. Don’t worry, each activity lists how long it will take, so you can spend plenty of time agonizing whether you want to risk a day for better stuff, or stick to smaller, five-minute intervals. You even get a demanding friendly advisor with a list of chores quests to assist you in improving your city.
For once, money isn’t the biggest factor in this game (though it helps to have it on hand). In fact, between the regular taxes you gain from the people of your city, and the coin gained from fulfilling your advisor’s orders requests, the gold will easily be flowing into your town. No, my friends, the hardest thing to maintain is supplies. Training your soldiers, trading for goods, and building all require the same thing: supplies. You could waste your time ordering your people to produce them – if you don’t mind waiting. Or, you could do what you’d really like: take the goods by force! A trader wants more goods then you’re willing – or able to – give? Attack his guards! You’re enraged because your neighbor’s city is shinier than yours? Full-force siege my friends, and hope for the best! Or, for the less violent types: join a Fellowship. Get your friends together in a group and help each other out (then backstab them later, if you want). Trade without fees, get aid where it’s needed, and talk smack about the other groups.
Elvenar is an interesting game with a lovely soundtrack. Given its use of countdowns for most tasks, I’d set this up for anyone who wants a game to entertain them during lunch breaks or those sweet moments of peace amongst a busy day. Don’t worry about leaving your town alone for a few days – that just means more money to collect when you finally check in again. Fans of city builders and fantasy games will love this one.

final fantasy xiv

Final Fantasy XIV: A realm reborn

When I started playing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, I wasn’t expecting much. I had played the original XIV and was utterlyunimpressed by its plethora of performance issues and sluggish interface, A Realm Reborn sought to change all that,and it succeeded magnificently.
The story itself centers around the player, as he navigates the planet of Hydaelyn, which is separated into three large continents, one of which, called Eorzea, is where the story takes place. In the few hours I played, I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns of the main story which I never felt got repetitive or predictable, and I also loved how certain cinematics felt like an incentive for progressing in the story. The characters themselves were a mixed bag, I felt that some were extremely well written and fleshed out, while others were a bit hollow and left something to be desired, for example, I wish Brendt would have played a larger role, but it seemed like he just faded away.
The game-play was (almost) a perfect blend of combat, exploration, and player growth, unfortunately a few glaring issues stand in the way. Your combat in the beginning is rather limited, being able to only use a single attack, but later on you unlock more, and are able to make use of “Tactical Points” which unlock things like combos, critical strikes, different methods of attack, and so fourth. Exploration was scaled perfectly, with distance between objectives short enough to reach without being too time consuming, but just large enough to appreciate the stunningly gorgeous landscapes. The quests had enough variety to keep you entertained, but some felt uninspired such as the ones that employ the generic “Go to X collect Y” and “Go to X kill Y” formula.Others were plain repetitive and boring, such as the Fully Active Time Event. (FATES) are events that randomly pop-up in different zones that players can join for experience points, seals, and other rewards. Unfortunately, most of these “Events” turn out to be mini-battles, that are a chore after a few of them. Although I only played a few hours, I was amazed by the sheer amount of crafting opportunities there were. Seriously, its a mind blowing amount of options, each profession can make different types of items, all with different tiers that are unlocked in various ways. The crafting is a game in itself.
The combat is fast paced and fun, reminiscent of other MMORPG’S such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars. With a tonne of spells, attacks, and maneuvers that makes almost every battle a tactical challenge. In certain parts, maneuvers are confined to split seconds in order to gain victory against a challenging foe. The classes have enough variety that they all feel different, and not just a re-skinned version of each other. Group battles could have disastrous effects if not properly coordinated, but when each class is balanced and playing the proper role, its like a well-oiled Chocobo Wagon equipped with a flamethrower: fast, fluid, and deadly.
Overall Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is leagues and bounds above its predecessor, creating a unique and wonderful experiences that will keep you satisfied for months (Albeit a few issues). Ultimately I rate the it at a 9.2/10 for an amazing story, beautiful visuals, (Mostly) interesting quests, sprawling map, an in depth and balanced combat system, loads of customization, and a huge library of crafting options. Certain aspects of the game hold itself back, such as: FATES, some hollow characters, and occasionally generic quests.

elsword

Elsword

Elsword Online tells the tale of a group of young heroes, all whom form part of the “El Search Party”. Named for the powerful tree which guards the land of Elrios – the Tree of El – the group finds themselves thrust onto a destined path: Discovering why the Tree of El has begun to weaken, and fighting against the evil forces which seek to keep them at bay.

At first look, Elsword is a colorful and unique fantasy game. Players choose from ten pre-set characters who each have their own backstory and range of skills (capable of being classed into rogue, warrior, and mage styles), including stats for speed, attack range, and playable difficulty. Through the use of unique camera angles, this MMORPG turns side-scrolling movement into a new style. Using a mix of quest completion, dungeon crawling, and in-game battles, players can level up and unlock new skills for their characters. For anyone concerned with being overwhelmed at an early level, this game has a safety feature in that areas are restricted with minimal level requirements, making this easy to avoid. The platform-style jumping and movement brings one back to the old Mario games – unfortunately, bouncing off your enemy’s head won’t kill them this round. Old fashion weapon and magic kills, or none at all.

Battle style in this game is – as said before – more NPC based, although there is a PvP arena for those looking to take on their friends (or in-game rivals). Enemies hurl insults, threats, and at times cries for mercy through text boxes situated above their heads. A damage counter on the left side of the screen informs each of player of how many hits they’ve obtained in each combo move, and textually cheers them on for each successful hit/range of hits. Enemies respawn in less than a minute, renewed and ready for revenge. Each player has a light (melee) and heavy (weapon-based) attack, as well as skill-based attacks of which are obviously more powerful, and consume “mana”. Players can easily replenish their mana by standing still – out of range of enemies, preferably – but their health will remain the same until either potions are consumed, or a level-up occurs.

Personally, I was not a huge fan of this game. The colorful graphics and fantasy enemies are pleasing to look at – and to fill full of arrows as an elf – and I enjoyed the fact that the side-scrolling technology got changed a bit, as I normally don’t enjoy this for MMORPGs. However, the movement is still ultimately just left and right, minimizing exploration. The game boasts a soundtrack, but it was completely silent for me, and just left me worriedly checking my speakers and sound settings. Leveling up takes a very long time, and I found myself quickly becoming bored, considering I could only defeat the same group of enemies, wait for them to respawn, and start again. Quests hold no notifications for completion, which puts the player at risk for wandering around, wasting time (as I did). If you’re a fan of side-scrollers with a twist, and don’t mind repetitive battles for levelling, this is the game for you. Otherwise, I’d have to say “not recommended”.

skyforge

Skyforge

Skyforge is a recently released MMORPG from a veteran development team that includes the Allods Team and Obsidian Entertainment; Skyforge is also free-to-play and is more sci-fi based than fantasy.

In the world of Skyforge, Gods get their powers from their followers; over time players can become Gods and join the fight to protect the world and counter invasions. The explanation for this is pretty simple, the planet of Aelion was once protected by Greater God Aeli who vanished and left the world open to attack from hostile Gods. The player begins as an immortal soldier fighting to protect Aelion and after selecting their beginning class, character personalization and completion of tutorials they begin to adventure around Aleion completing Combat Missions. The world of Skyforge is a cross between science fiction and fantasy where immortals and Gods live alongside advanced technology.

The graphics are most certainly quality for Skyforge with some very nice details which players running the game at a medium and above graphics level will be able to admire. The scenery and organic beings are all well designed to suit the science fiction – fantasy crossover world that makes up Skyforge. Building on this there are armour types available for both sci-fi fans and fantasy fans with detailed full plate armours to futuristic battle armour; Skyforge does well to mesh the two separate genres in one game graphics wise.

There are 13 available classes for players to select from and each one will provide a different playstyle with different combat capabilities; the classes are also a hybrid between science fiction and fantasy with a mix of classes such as Archer, Knight, Kinetic and Gunner. It is possible for players to switch between classes at will and players have the option of levelling all the classes in a single character. The variety of classes also adds a wide range of weapons to the world which continues to blend science fiction with the realm of fantasy.

Combat itself is a mix of normal and heavy attacks used alongside abilities which can be chained together for more powerful attacks; enemies in the game will also display four tags next to their health bar giving a general description of the enemy’s stats which can certainly be worth paying attention to.

Not only a PVE game there are also PVP zones for players to battle it out with their guilds in Team Deathmatches, Capture the Flag and more modes. The guilds in Skyforge are called “Pantheons” and large scale battles between Pantheons can occur in both PVP and PVE styles.

Summary

Skyforge is certainly one of the more pleasant free-to-play MMORPGs available on the internet even though it is certainly not perfect. The game does not push for player to pay real money for items or bonus’s in game which is certainly a positive. Skyforge does well at blending the genres of science fiction and fantasy together to produce an interesting and detailed world; the world of Skyforge is certainly worth a look for both fantasy and Science Fiction MMO fans.

goddess of war

Goddess of war

Goddess of War is a unique RPG web game that’s based on Western mythology and is the very first multi-hero 3D Action RPG web game; players recruit other heroes from various popular Western mythologies to join them in battle by either unlocking them or recruiting them if come across while exploring. While being somewhat unique the game is not free from the classic MMO browser automated systems for combat and questing.

Goddess of War tells the story of a fierce war between the Admodian and Protass after the disappearance of the Universe Creator; the player is an empire soldier and a hybrid of the two races with powers yet to awaken who will determine the fate of the world. It’s a pretty nice story line which is developed through various instance based quests to further the storyline while players also gradually uncover the history of their characters and become more powerful.

Players have two classes to select from which are gender specific; the more defensive female paladin class and the more offensive male swordsman class. There are currently no long range or support classes available for the player to play.

The graphics for the game are certainly not the best around but this is a browser game so only so much should be expected from it. The graphics are not perfect but for a browser game they aren’t too bad, still it’s not much to look at.

Heroes and NPCs all look relatively unique and different from each other to a certain extent which is certainly not a bad thing; player customization is very limited however which is somewhat of a disappointment.

Combat in the game can be fully automated along with the questing system; it’s possible to just leave the game running and let it automatically grind your character up a few levels. It is possible to interact during PVE combat however by clicking on the target enemy.

Heroes such as Archangel Gabriel, Thor, Hercules and Diana the Roman Goddess of the Hunt can join the player to fight alongside them in a battle team that have a total of 6 available positions; it is also possible to level the heroes in the players battle team to make the team even stronger overall and become a force to be reckoned with.

PVP is also available in this game; the arena where players can fight solo with their Hero companions to compete against other players around the world and improve their in-game ranking. There are also active guilds in the game that players can join and partake in guild based PVP fights or “Guild Wars” as the game calls them.

The story for Goddess of War is an interesting one however it doesn’t have a whole lot else going for it with gameplay that can be totally automated and greatly limited character customization. Still, if you are looking for a browser action RPG then Goddess of War may be worth you checking out especially if you value story.

felspire

Felspire

Felspire is a free-to-play browser based MMORPG which was released last month that feels an awful lot like many other browser MMORPG’s; ignoring the recycled content however anyone relatively new to browser MMO’s may find this game interesting.

Felspire is set in the fantasy world of Eremos where the mysterious Felspire acts are a portal to the underworld which crosses the worlds of human and monsters in a dangerous realm that only the player can save. Eremos is an open world for player to explore and hunt special items through the area map; that is if you turn off the automatic questing feature and don’t go AFK. The story itself is somewhat basic and lacking however browser MMO players should never expect that much in terms of story from games such as this.

The graphics for Felspire are alright; nothing special but they do. This graphics style is extremely common in browser MMORPGs especially the games developed by 37Games who are known for pushing out similar or almost identical browser MMO games. As a 2D flash game the graphics work but potential players should not expect a high standard from this game.

Players do have the option to control their character during combat by selecting attacks and abilities to use but combat can be entirely automated; there is an auto combat system which allows players to never actually fight unless they want to, instead it’s possible to just leave the game running and left the game’s automated system complete fights and quests for you.

There are three classes available for players and each one plays its own separate role on the battlefield; or should do at any rate. Warriors are the close range melee class that can tank for the other two distance fighting classes; archers are of course long range and mages are best suited at a distance as well though they need to be closer to the enemy than the archers. Each class has different abilities which can be unlocked through character progression, any grinding can be avoided via the games automated combat and questing systems.

Felspire does have active guilds and a PVP arena for those wanting to fight with other players. There are stronger areas for players to clear in order to gain large EXP boosts which can also be left on auto combat; the area with the highest EXP boost however is the “Demon Abyss” which can be accessed three times a day unless you pay real money for a VIP membership but even then you can only access the area up to six times per day.

Felspire has nothing unique about it and the content feels very recycled. The lack of a a detailed story, automated system and pushing for players to part with their cash is rather off-putting to anyone who has played a range of MMO’s. This is not really one worth playing for a long period of time.

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Tera

TERA which is the official abbreviation for The Exiled Realm of Arborea is a fantasy 3D game released on 25th January2011 in South Korea. The game has the typical features of MMORPG like player vs player action, questing and crafting. The game incorporates third person camera view hence introducing real time battle system in its combat. Instead of tabbing or clicking the opponent the player hits the target with a cross-hair cursor.

To play the game one needs to learn the basics. Survival in the game depends on your movements and not standing still. It is also easier to miss shots if you are out of range of the shot. Always look out for the monste`s changing tells eg changing colours or flashing eyes which indicate anger meaning the monster is enraged and can chase you to your death and better still they are more vulnerable to your attacks. Always know your role as each class is programmed to work as either solo or group focusing on four main characters ie defense healing ranged damage and melee damage. Your teammates strengths enhance yours when in a group. Combat indicators are there to tell you what just happened. There are three types of armor in this game each with its signature weapon. There are four ways of getting equipment ie by finding and earning it naturally or crafting and buying if you cant wait. Achievements include monsters killed and gold collected. Parties help you team up and tackle challenges, you can either join one or join an existing one.

End game
Tera’s end game is a reward in itself for apart from the memories of past experiences with monsters you have lots of things to do;
1. Big ass monsters who you have been encountering come again and you have a chance of adding to your achievements and earn some rare rewards.
2. Bigger dungeons. the game has a hard mode reserved for five of the most fierce dungeons, you will need your best gear and A game to survive.
3. A new day comes with new challenges and some things here are earned and not bought . To earn the respect of factions you need to keep playing keep getting reputation rewards and kill monsters. Your actions will bring you closer to getting powerful rewards.
4 The nexus, here you fight on the front line.

Each nexus raid will lead to quests and a party matching system to connect you with other players of mutual interest and carnage.