Lets Give Them a Try
I’ve said this a few times in the past, that I haven’t really been a ‘gamer’ all my life. My brief adventures with The Sims hardly counts as having a finesse for games. I’m quite particular about what I like to play. Starting off with MUDS (I played a local one called Redemption for a number of years) before breaking off for EverQuest, then breaking off that for EverQuestII. When I gave Wizard 101 a try I was astounded at how much fun it was. Of course it’s exceptionally unique compared to all other games I’ve played, with turn based card game combat rather then a button mashing experience. I’m fairly certain I’ll go with the life time subscription as soon as I can (not for a few months yet, but it’s in the works). It’s one of those great games you can just lose yourself in for hours, and don’t let the bright colours and funky text throw you off, it may LOOK like a game for 10 year old children, but creating your deck and defeating encounters is hard.
Along those same lines I decided to try out two more ‘free’ to play games. One of them was ‘Shaiya‘ by Aeria games. Like your typical ‘free’ game in order to get the really cool stuff you’re going to want to subscribe. Character creation is limited between two races on either a good or evil side. I made a human priest and was dumped in a world that reminded me VERY much of guild wars except not quite. The very first things you do is go grab a number of quests that follow the straight and narrow ‘kill X number of Y’ creatures. In this case it was thief monkeys and a few foxes. To loot items that dropped on the ground it was exactly like guild wars as well.
I ran around and picked up four quests including a time one, and then thought to myself why would I want to play this when I already have a game that’s almost exactly like it and actually looks a lot better. Logged off and uninstalled it. You remember those group of spammers who sit in the middle of the community areas in GW and spam about their sales over and over? Well those same people hang out in Shaiya in the common area, spamming their wears too. The game may change, but the people and conversations do not.
After giving that game a very brief try I decided to play Mabinogi, which is a cute anime style game by Nexon. The only problem right from the outset with this game is that even though it claims to be ‘free’ you have pretty much 0 control over anything at the outset without paying for a subscription. Want to customize your character to something other then the very base default character? Well you’ll have to subscribe. Faces, eyes, hair, mouth, outfit, everything was based on having a subscription. Want pets? Need a subscription. Want better spells and access to unique quests? Again, need a subscription. The game was also completely filled (at least from the start) with a LOT of intro movies. Every 10 seconds I’d have to watch another 5-10 minute movie about the world, I spent a lot more time doing that then anything else.
I also have a quirk with ‘click to move’ type games. I hate having to click my mouse for anything at all. At least the previous game let me use my wasd keys, this one was mouse controlled only from what I could tell. W101 is by far the ultimate winner letting me use my arrow keys. You’re dropped off in a little community and have to wander around learning how to do various things. I made my first encounter with a group of bots. Ok, it was more like 10 groups of bots. One of the very first quests sends you to discover your ‘smash’ skill and learn basic combat. Go kill a few foxes that are over the way. Immediately as soon as a single fox would spawn, a train of 10 people following one another would rush past me and demolish the mob. It was funny to watch them all run after one another.
I hear that the game is quite popular, but for me it just didn’t do anything. Needing a subscription to customize anything at all, not to mention the very clunky UI and all the bots just made me realize what an amazing game Wizard101 is for being a ‘free’ one that actually delivers. I had fun stepping out of my box and giving a few other games a try, I imagine I’ll continue as I hear about other games. This is completely new to me, I typically settle into the ‘popular’ MMO’s and stick there without giving anything else a try. Actually, playing all these other games makes me appreciate what I do play so much more.
Hope everyone else had an amazing gaming weekend!