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Arcane Saga Review

When it comes to MMORPGs… or any RPGs… or any video game… or a well-told joke… or a sentence… pacing is important.  Pacing lends weight to a story, or the main character, and screwing things up could lead to awkward silences.  With that in mind, let’s talk about the latest F2P Mumorpuger released on Steam called Arcane Saga.  That’s a slight lie though, because it was also released on Netmarble and was actually published by CJ Games Global.  I wish I could tell you guys who actually developed this, but no one involved thought to even mention a name.  Forget the actually talented people who worked on this, we REALLY need to know who runs the website you can download the launcher from. 6384390af78726198de11c85f887a2d3

I’m going to be honest with everyone: I went into this game with some negative presumptions and you’ll be happy to know that actually playing the game caused my callous cynicism to be completely vindicated.  One of the first things I noticed during the download is that there are DLC packages you can buy for this, supposedly, free to play game.  The rewards get increasingly better the more money you spend but at the top tier you get skill points.  That’s right; you can buy the rewards of leveling before you even play the game.

Things only went downhill when I saw the splash image features a woman wearing Princess Leia’s hand-me-downs from when she was a pleasure slave.  If there is one word I’d use to describe this game, it would be “pandering”.  The login music includes no words except for a woman’s voice who keeps randomly begging to be your fantasy.  The intro cinematic also hints that you get a demure servant girl who was once your love interest’s soul or something.  It’s offensive enough to even get to me and I don’t really care about gender politics.Ayin_t

Pathetically, they try to sell themselves to the twitchy instant-gratification douche bags among us by claiming you can hit level 25 in a couple of hours.  The depressing part is that you DO hit level 25 in just a few hours; half-way to max level, in fact.  This is where I call back to the pacing issue because an “issue” is what we certainly have.  I create my character, kill one monster and instantly hit level two.  I figure it would take a week, tops, to get max level.  So instead of a feeling of progression, the leveling system turns into a short delaying tactic; as if you have to scrub the toilets first before you get to go on adventures.  It especially feels wasteful when you take into consideration that all the skills for your starting class are unlocked form the start.

The quests don’t help dissuade that feeling, either.  In many cases, I was getting massive amounts of exp from just checking a box ten feet away from the quest-giver… or even just talking to the person standing right next them.  There are no quest lines, per se, you just run a few errands for an unmoving prick and then they send you to the next person who needs some laundry done or something.  They act like it’s life or death stuff and you’d occasionally go gather info.  But it wouldn’t lead you to any important conflict, they’ll just say something like “this is dire news, so I’m sending you to Joe down the road who’s lost his favorite pair of socks”.uraps2J

So already I needed a break from the blandest MMO experience I’ve had in years.  I was just gone for the twenty-four hours I needed to stop my eyes from rolling and I log in to discover that all the worst quests came back.  Y’know, the “go kill eight of these local monsters” quests that are supposed to give context to grinding.   They even popped up in the low level areas.  Suddenly I couldn’t figure out the progression line anymore.  I had level nine quests waiting in areas I’d not been directed to, yet.  Or maybe I had and didn’t remember because the SUPER-FAST leveling squeezed me from one area to the next before I could develop any attachment.

The gameplay?  What about it?  Have you played WoW?  Then gratz: you’ve played this.  For instance, the mage gets the ability to slow enemies while trying to take them down before they get close enough eat his tasty gams.  You just stand there, back-and-forthing with some ugly mushroom thing while your servant girl hardly does crap.  I did, however, like the combo system, as it rewards you for setting up your favorite sequence of button pressing.  But even that has a downside, as it kind-of forces you into doing the same thing over and over and over, never once enticing you to do anything differently.

If you get tired of that, though, you can always change the current combo you’re using.  Better yet, you can even change what class you’re playing.  For instance, my mage could eventually learn other kinds of magic than fire and ice as a new class and I could use those skills instead.  However, the poor pacing rears its ugly head again because I quickly reached level 35 and still hadn’t received any kind of quest to get any different abilities.maxresdefault

Apparently this game is a “relaunch” of Prius Online, as it takes place in the same world with the same concepts.  Even the previously mentioned slave girls were featured.  I never played Prius, though, so maybe more context was given there to explain some of these things, but if a game can’t stand up on its own merits, then it should never have been made.

This has been one of the worst and most bland games I’ve played in a long time.  Whoever designed this game clearly forgot why working to get to a high level is popular.  Give it a pass.

Final Score: 3/10

1 Comment

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  1. Nezumi says
    June 19, 2013, 2:17 PM

    This game is a terrible, horrid mess that’s inferior to the original Prius Online in nearly every regard.

    The Anima system has been gutted to uselessness and pointlessness —
    their skills have been totally reworked to be entirely passive, they
    draw from your own pool of skill points, their entire personality and
    personality-related systems have been removed, and they are no longer
    tied to crafting.

    The Gigas system is gone until Fall.

    The game has incredibly broken PvP using a broken, non-functional
    version of the crime system from Wizardry Online and removing the
    incentives for PvP that Wizardry Online and Prius Online had, plus
    forcing you to use a PvP job to damage other players.

    It has a
    broken job/skill system — you have to switch to a Solo, Party, or PvP
    job using a limited supply of points, your skill point supply covers all
    3 jobs so you can either be useless at 2 of them and great at 1 or
    mediocre at all three, and healer party jobs have literally no attacks.

    It has forced power-leveling to level 25 you can’t take your time even
    if you want to… and since a lot of the world-building and plot setup
    in Prius Online was pre-25, you lose all that so you won’t “miss”
    anything.

    It has forced cash shop usage. You can buy 10 skill
    points at the cash shop, which is almost totally necessary if you want
    to be good at more than one job or invest in your Anima.

    It has
    no in-game storage — that was part of the Atrium, which they removed
    entirely, with some discussion of putting it back… but it’s not clear
    what they’ll do with it when they do, since its main uses were storage
    and crafting, and crafting is no longer tied to it.

    I strongly
    recommend that rather than playing the game, you contact Netmarble and
    tell them we want the actual Prius Online, not a broken mess of a
    replacement.

    Reply

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