Monday, May 28, 2007

Granado Espada Pre-Open Beta Impressions

Like I said last post, I went to try out Granado Espada's POBT to get a feel of the game's new mechanic of giving you the ability to control 3 characters at one time. Also it seems that the 17th century is becoming quite a hit in MMOs nowadays as GE is using that setting as well as some other upcoming MMOs.

The classes are very basic, with some variations:
Fighter: Your standard tank/melee dps. They are by far the best damage absorbing class and one of the better damage dealers.

Musketeer: Your constant ranged dps.

Scout: Your support class. They basically give good buffs and are the only class that can heal. They are also able to equip daggers to do damage for certain specs but from what I heard, they totally suck at it.

Wizard: Your caster/buffer class. They can buffer with all kinds of shit in the world as well as nuke quite a bit.

Elementalist: Your most powerful burst DPS class, equipped with nothing but AEs, DDs and...AEs.

One of the key features of this game other than the ability to use 3 characters at once is the 'stance' system. Equipping your class will enable them to use different stances like dual wielding, polearms, sword+shield, etc and using them long enough will enable you to level up in the stances. It's something like a job level much like RO, just that you can switch jobs if you get my drift.

Granado Espada boasts a really powerful AI, so powerful you can basically 'bot' through level 1 to 30. I'm only level 26 so I can't comment about higher levels. I have only heard that higher levels are so hard you could not spend a minute chatting. Hopefully I can reach that stage (if I don't fall asleep already) and comment on it.

Other than that, GE is extremely beautiful in many many ways including the animations, the art, the graphics, the UI and the environment. The music isn't really...'environmental'. It boasts a collection of trance soundtracks which imho was done very well overall. In fact they all fit the game nicely.

Unfortunately, like all korean MMOs, GE is a fucking grindfest. And it really is a huge grindfest. The amount of player-to-game interactivity is close to none (for now). If GE turns p2p, I highly doubt many people would want to play. Why would you pay money to afk grind? But hey, it's afk grinding, meaning you can work and 'play' at the same time...?

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Game: "Prince of Persia" Trilogy

I finally completed the PoP trilogy (namely Sands of Time, Warrior Within and The Two Thrones). It was a pretty fun, yet annoying at the same time, like all puzzle games. WW added more combat gameplay elements as compared to SoT while TTT added more stealth on top of it.

I enjoyed doing the puzzles overall. They were not that hard in the first place. I have a few complaints though like the camera. Which scripter has the funny idea of turning the camera 180 degrees at one point? That caused me many stupid deaths. WW added more interesting enemies and weapon attacks as compared to SoT. However, mostly because of the enemy behaviour (like the normal types blocking your more powerful strikes and the ninja ones evading you on your first strike), I usually just proceed with the puzzle and skip the enemies all together.

WW is most definately the longest of the three games. It felt as if it would never end. It was simply one problem leading to the next, followed by an explanation, given a uber powerful lame item, and on to another chapter of the game. I expected TTT to be as long but it wasn't. I completed TTT within a few days and casual playing (note that casual is subjective).

I felt the best thing they added was the stealth critical hit scripted sequences in TTT. The dark prince was pretty fun to use...for awhile. Then he starts to get rather annoying since I find his attacks rather uncool (although incredibly damaging). The mini games in TTT were also quite fun like the chariot sequences.

I like the way the elements are implemented. The total amount of actions the prince have by TTT (wall run, etc) was really impressive. None of them were wasted. Although I had a gripe with the camera, overall it was still pretty well done, giving us very scenic views of the game. Of course, giving scenic views means viewing at odd angles and that could cause some problems with your controls. I'm also pleased with the way the Prince's personality grew (more emo) over time.

I'm probably gonna take a break from this Ubisoft franchise. Once I'm done, I'll get Rival Swords. There are a few things I don't understand in this trilogy:

1) Why does the prince...strip himself in SoT?
2) Wouldn't the sand wraith incident cause a time paradox in WW?
3) Why is the prince so stupid? Everything started because he unlocked the Sands of Time, he didn't suspect that Kaleena was the Empress and he expected to be safe home after WW.