Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sighting: The First of "Last Online"

Eden Entertaintment had just opened the main website for an upcoming MMO ambiguously titled Last Online.
Fans of action oriented MMOs might want to put this one on their radar after watching the trailer.

If ever there was a Devil May Cry MMO, this would be it.
Don't get too excited though.
The Korean closed beta won't be till this fall, meaning we will probably not see it over here before 2010.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

MapleStory Must Die

It is a rare thing when a MMO gains such popularity that it actually has multiple TV commercials airing in the united states. So rare in fact that only a small hand full have ever achieved such market penetration in the history of the medium.
What completely befuddles me is how this one particular game released in 2005 managed to ascend beyond the obscure realm from which it spawned, and become a international super Juggernaut that claims to have enough concurrent worldwide accounts to fill a small nation.
It befuddles me because the game is horrible!
No not World of Warcraft; I am talking about MapleStory.
If you have never at least heard of this game then I do not really know how you found this blog.
MapleStory is the flagship MMORPG from Nexon; the companies bread, and butter.
When it launched back in 05 it was a one of a kind game, a 2D platformer MMORPG where you ran, and jumped, and fought much like in the old Castlevania games. It also pioneered another innovation that has become almost standard among eastern, and even some western MMOs, the Free to Play, and cash shop systems.
Rather then having to buy a boxed copy of the game and then pay a subscription on top of that, players instead were able to download the full game directly from the developer, and play as much as they wanted for free. Then if they REALLY liked it they could pay real money for special items, and clothing unattainable though normal play. Back in the early to mid 2000's this was a radical departure from the standard pay to play norms of almost all MMOs, and was the key to the games early success.
Nexon throwing up banner ads from hell to breakfast also might have had something to do with it as well.

But times change better games come out, and MapleStory must die!

The very fact this game has the astronomical sum of 70 million world wide accounts just sickens me. Well that's actually a lie, the 70 million accounts I mean, not me being sick.
MapleStory being a free game, an account costs no money, so many people create multiple accounts for whatever reason.
Then you have to factor in the millions of dead accounts, closed accounts, banned accounts, and god only knows how many of those 70 million are goldfarmer/goldseller accounts.

The day the game was released its graphics were already a decade out of date.
I am by no means a graphic snob, but when you launch a 2D title that looks like a TurboGrafx game, has 3 frames of movement, and pixels large enough to kill a small dog YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!
Of course Nexon has used the fact the game looks like Bonk's Revenge to their advantage.
MapleStory is constantly updated with new zones, and mobs because they are just so piss easy to make. What they have never updated however, is the games frustrating, tedious, and completely broken gameplay.
To start, why make your MMO a platformer at all when the characters can barely jump as high as Mario in the original DonkeyKong? You are not going to clear any rolling barrels with those weak ups, and you are certainly not going to jump over the games mobs, which deal damage to the player just by casually rubbing against them. This has created an enormous problem since the games release, and has never been addressed.
To get through groups of mobs you either have to kill them, or just run through them, and take the damage.
“Whats the big deal with that? Just kill em.” you say.
That's where the problem with MapleStory's monster claim system comes in.
Say you are fighting a monster trying to level up, I come rolling in, and see you fighting this thing in the way of where I am going. I am a pretty high level guy, but for whatever reason I don't feel like taking the damage running through your mob, so I hit it, and kill it.
The game credits me with the mobs kill instead of you, and all that fighting was for nothing, You are now mad at me, and will probably start shouting at me in misspelled caps locked sentence fragments about how I am a kill stealing fag, and you hope my mother dies of malaria or something equally ridiculous.
Which segways to the games worst aspect, the player base.
If you are a regular player of MapleStory, please do not take this the wrong way, but you're an idiot.
Everyone either is, or at the very least acts like they are 13 years old.
MapleStory has become the 4chan of the MMO kingdom. A feted warren of raw concentrated dickery, where all logic, kindness, and common sense has long died, dried up, and blown away. This goes for all forums, and online communities associated with the game as well; doubly so for the godless pit known as

The most terrifying thing about Maplestory is not even the game itself, rather it is other developers looking at its numbers, mistaking it for an actual good game, and making clones of it.
Wind Slayer. Ghost Online, WonderKing Online, all near identical carbon copies of a game that is fundamentally broken.
LaTale is the only exception, being the only MMO platformer that has come in the wake of the MapleStory craze that is even worth playing at all, because it's the only one that at least attempts to fix whats wrong with the formula.

With the unbelievable amount of free online games on the market now, there is no reason to still be playing this broken crappy game anymore.
If you have never played MapleStory, don't.
If you use to play it, and wonder if you should try it again to see if it has got any better, it hasn't.
If you are playing MapleStory right now, stop, and look at all the infinitely better options you have.

No wait.

Learn to spell first, then go find something better.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

2 New Articles

Sorry for the lack of updates.
I have two new articles up on right now.

My Love, Hate Relationship with S4 League
Cross Review:GhostX vs. Dragonica.

Read dim junks.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sighting: "So I Herd U Liek Team Fortress"

Recently announced Korean third person action figure shooter H.A.V.E. Online has been making waves in the shooter community for the last few weeks, but not for it's original setting or it's concept of adorable anime dolls coming to life and shooting each other to bloody plastic stumps over a rare, precious power source known as the Double A.

No, this is what people are talking about.

Comparison shots: H.A.V.E. to the left, Team Fortress 2 on the right

Seeing as virtually everything in the Korean gaming industry essentially apes styles. and features of preexisting games, I usually let it slide when I see some things from one game superimposed in another.
Western gamers love to find similarities between things and cry "RIP OFF!" that's no news, however when the Korean gamer community starts to point it out themselves, you know it's got to be bad.
Based on the trailer, it is.
Having nearly identical graphics, weapons, and gameplay would be enough to get people upset, but the trailer even used a big band style jazz track that has an uncanny resemblance to the now iconic music found in many of the Team Fortress 2 Meet the Character videos.

After being inundated by the largely negative response to the likeness of H.A.V.E. Online's trailer to the preexisting first person shooter, publisher SK iMedia released the following statement.

"Debating (as to if it's a rip off or not) is like having blind men touching an elephant and describing what it looks like,"
"We will reveal the gameplay soon. Other than that, we have no comment at this time."

Here's hoping the trailer was simply an homage to Team Fortress, and H.A.V.E. Online has some radically different game modes from TF2 by it's release, or we could possibly see Valve get involved with legal action before this is over.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Top 5 Upcoming MMOs You Never Heard of

The second half of 2009 is shaping up to be a very interesting time here in the realms of obscuria.
Here are the five games that will see release before the end of the year that I will be keeping my eye on, and so should you.

#5 Dragon Nest

A 3rd person action dungeon crawler, The overly cute artstyle, and loud obnoxious voices is sure to turn a lot of people off to this game, (or on) however the gameplay looks fast paced, solid, and even fun.
There are only a hand full of classes. but they are all nice, and varied with different gameplay styles. This looks like it will be a great game to pick up and play when you do not have the time to get involved in one of the deeper games out there.

#4 Trinity Online

As an old school arcade Beat'Em Up fan, Trinity Online had to make it on my list.
This game perfectly captures the aesthetics of classes like Double Dragon, and Streets of Rage, while adding the RPG elements of gear and levels for that additively crunchy MMO flavor.
Trinity is actually in open beta in Korea right now so if you can figure out how to navigate the registration page you can try, and give it a whorl.

#3 Continent of the Ninth

Starting it's open beta sometime this August is Continent of the Ninth; a game calming the be the first true action MMORPG, the game has some very nice graphics, the kind you have come to expect from big name Pay to Play games, and I am very interested in trying out the crazy over the top attacks this game will let you do.

#2 Tera Online

Coming in at number 2 is Tera Online, right off the bat the first thing you have to notice is just how gorgeous looking this game is.
The second would be OH MAH GAWD RACCOON MEN!
Striking me as a sort of hybrid between console games Dynasty Warriors, and Monster Hunter,
Tera Online looks like a top tier title, and really should be getting a lot more media coverage then it is getting, which is to say almost zero.
Tera Online will most likely hit beta around the holidays.

#1 Mabinogi:Heroes

Remember Mabinogi? I just reviewed it a few days ago.
Currently in closed beta testing; Mabinogi: Heroes is the long in development "Prequel" to the original Mabinogi, but other then the games title, and obscure story references this game has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the original game.
Gone are the cute and comical anime style graphics.
Gone is the life sim gameplay
Gone is the rock paper scissors combat.
Mabinogi: Heroes is made using Valve's Halflife Source physics engine to render a realistic, dark, and violent world where the environments are fully destructible, and you can literally pick up anything, and beat horrible inhuman things to death with them.
Heroes looks more like a big budget Xbox 360 game then a humble free to play MMO; which may not be too far off as rumor has it, the game eventually will be ported to the Xbox 360.
This is the game that could change everything.