Pokemon Sword and Shield Review

Hi, Welcome to my Review of Pokemon Shield. I know the title says Pokemon Sword and Shield, but I only have Pokemon Shield. I figure the games are similar enough that I can use this review to help people thinking about purchasing either version.

Pokemon Sword is similar to Pokemon Shield, but Shield is the version I chose to buy. Pokemon Sword’s Legendary is better overall, focusing on attack, while Shield’s Legendary focuses on defense.

And let’s be honest Pokemon Sword’s Legendary has a better overall design – a Pokemon that carries a sword in its mouth looks way cooler than a Pokemon whose neck scruff is vaguely shaped like a shield lol. So why did I buy Pokemon Shield instead of Sword? read more

Heart of Crown Boardgame and PC Videogame Review

Update: 12/21/2017 – The developers of the PC version of Heart of Crown reached out to me via email and wanted to provide support for some of the issues I encountered, as well as to let me know about new features that are underway, such as full screen mode (currently in the beta client), and a tournament that will take place next year to celebrate the international release of Heart of Crown. They also wanted to let me know that there are (text based) chat rooms available on the Discord server (and I’ve adjusted the score for community based on that feedback). Overall, it is encouraging to see an active Dev team who seem to really care about improving the game and connecting with the community. 🙂 I hope they continue to work on polishing up the PC version of the game, but as I said already in my original review, yes the game has issues, but at the price point of $19.99 (at time of this review) it’s a great game and still a lot of fun, and a worthy purchase.

Original Review Below:

I recently picked up both the board game and steam versions of Heart of Crown, a kawaii anime deck building card game. I love the artwork and the theme of the game (multiple princesses vying for the throne). It reminded me a lot of one of my favorite anime (RE:Zero) so I was instantly drawn to this board game when I attended the Pittsburgh Steel City Comic Con 2 weeks ago. (although I actually purchased this one from the large game store, Mr. Nice Guy Games, at the mall nearby the convention center). And then a few days after that, the PC game released on steam, so imagine my excitement having only just heard of Heart of Crown days prior and being hyped by my new kawaii gaming find. As you will learn in this review, I am happy with both purchases, but each has it’s own unique pros and cons. Find out which version of Heart of Crown is right for you in the reviews below.

Gameplay Explanation:

The gameplay is simple, although it can be confusing at first, and both the manual included in the boardgame, as well as the hidden and horribly confusing tutorial in the PC game, make this gameplay seem much more complex than it actually is.

I will try to briefly describe the gameplay, please bear in mind my experience with this title is still limited to just a handful of play sessions.

To understand the gameplay we must first understand the different card types. Largely these consist of one of the following:

Princess Cards – these cards are available for purchase once you reach 16 points. There are 6 different Princesses in the base game (maybe more in various expansions). Each princess has unique abilities, some passive (always in effect) and some that you can activate during your turn. These abilities may give you advantages such as viewing your draw pile, drawing extra cards, forcing opponents to discard a card, or so on.

The objective of the game is to choose a princess whose ability matches your play style and then “back her” by acquiring points to put her on the throne. I’m not in front of either version of the game at the moment, but I believe the amount needed to back a princess is 21. (might be 20 or 25, somewhere in that range).

When this happens, a “coronation ceremony” will occur. At this time, any other players take one final turn, and if able to do so, may also back and crown a princess. If no other players can put a princess on the throne, you win. However, if another player also gets enough points to back and crown a princess the game enters sudden death where the first player to reach 30 points wins.

But how do you get points you ask? That’s where the other cards come in handy.

Territory Cards: these cards grant you coins (think of it as taxing your people for living in your lands). Coins are used to purchase items from the common shared area known as the market place. Note that cards obtained from the market place go to your discard pile. This is rather quirky and different from most other games I’ve played where they would automatically go to your hand or your draw pile. When you reach the end of your draw pile, your discard pile gets shuffled and becomes your new draw pile, allowing you to finally use the cards you have purchased. Coins may also be spent to activate abilities on some cards.

Action cards – these cards have abilities that affect you or other players such as declaring war to lower their points, or forcing them to discard a card, or allowing you to draw more cards, or take a card from the market place.

Character Cards – these cards all feature a different character, such as a duke, maid, etc. who will grant or sometimes subtract from your total points value. After you have backed a princess, you can play these character cards by placing them under your princess card.

There are also 2 special mechanics in this game.

Keeping Cards: 1 is the ability to “keep” up to 3 cards in your hand by placing them over your kingdom cards (territory cards that were used to back your princess) you cannot keep a card greater than the point value of the territory cards holding it. But by keeping a card, it allows you to use that card on a later turn instead of automatically discarding it at the end of your turn when you would normally discard all of your cards.

Chain Cards: The other interesting fact is that you can chain cards together, some cards have a yellow arrow. This means you can play another card. This is most commonly seen on territory cards.

Putting it all Together:

So the basics of gameplay go like this, draw your cards, play territory cards to get coins, then choose cards from the market place that go to your discard pile. As you run out of cards in your draw pile, the discard pile gets shuffled and turned into the new draw pile, and you may get lucky and draw the cards you purchased from market. Once you reach 16 points, choose a princess to back by carefully considering her special abilities. Continue to play territory cards and purchase more cards from the market – you’re likely going to be looking for cards to increase your point total. Be the first person to reach enough points to crown your princess. Other players may challenge you, so be ready to be the first player to reach 30 points and win the game, or win automatically if no one else can crown their princess after one more turn.

 

Score Card:

Board Game Version

Overall Score: 52/80 65% “D” “Average Game for Girls”

Geeky: 1/5 – the anime theme and cute girls are the only “geeky” thing here. There is little to no strategy involved with this game, no customization, no legacy, no story, no complexity, no hidden things to explore, etc. Just a straightforward, simple, cute family friendly game with great artwork.

Sweetie: 5/5 – And that great artwork is enough to score it a 5/5 on the sweetie meter. Combine that with the theme of the game, a game about princesses, and you have one of the cutest games ever.

Breakdown:

Value for What’s Included: 7/10 – You get a lot of cards, with gorgeous high quality art work, a beautiful box to store the game in, and a lengthy detailed full color glossy manual. However, that manual can be confusing and overwhelming to new players. There is no play mat, card sleeves, tokens, figures, or other goodies, but I still think overall, I feel satisfied with what was included at the $40 price point. Note there are expansions you can buy that add new cards and new features as well.

Initial Learning Curve: 5/10 – setting up the first time and learning what to do can be frustrating. But once you jump into your first game, it really isn’t so bad. Therefore, the learning curve difficulty is somewhere in the middle. It may turn off some casual gamers, but is still simple and friendly enough for family game night or to introduce to your non-gamer friends.

Gameplay: 7/10 – it’s simple, short and sweet. Most games take under 20 minutes to complete. There is a nice variety of cards, from abilities, to characters, and plenty of opportunity to interact with other players. However, the game length is quite short and there’s not much complex or exciting / enticing to help enhance replay value. I think this game will be fun once or twice a month, but don’t see it being a “weekly game board night” staple, when other games offer greater replay incentives and more for even the most seasoned and veteran gamers to discover on multiple playthroughs. Still, if you have young kids, or a significant other who is obsessed with “the kawaii life” they will love this cute little anime game. I bought it simply because I love how cute it is, and I’m not disappointed!

Artwork: 10/10 – I love the artwork, for me it really sold me on this game – Picked it up in a board game store I had never visited before, and had not heard of the game, and bought it simply because of the cute anime girls lol.

Interaction With Other Players: 4/10 – I feel like this is solidly in the middle somewhere. There are plenty of action cards and abilities to play against your friends. But it’s not as social as let’s say cards against humanity nor as encouraging of attacks and alliances as say Munchkin,

Fun: 7/10 read more

Line Play Free Anime Dressup Game Like Gaia Online for IOS and Android Mobile Devices

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This review honestly has been long overdue. I’m sure many of our readers already play Line Play everyday. This cute anime-styled game has been popular for a number of years now. It offers everything you could want in a dressup game, pets, cute outfits, rooms, fishing, minigames, and even chat rooms. There’s tons of stuff to do and new items being released constantly into the game which gets updated quite often with new cute things to collect, new minigames, or limited time events.

Needless to say, if you enjoy other similar anime dressup games I’ve reviewed here such as Hello Nikki, CocoPpaPlay, Romantic Diary, Pokemini / Pokecolo or Miitomo then you will also enjoy Line Play, so let’s take a closer look below!

Title: Line Play

IOS Version Herehttps://itunes.apple.com…

Android Version Herehttps://play.google.com…

Genre: Anime Dressup Game

Publisher: Line Corporation

Geeky: 3/5  – Although it is saccharine overload at times, if you’re not opposed to a “cutesy” game, then Line Play actually has a ton of features and is more robust and in depth than a lot of other anime dressup games. There are also a lot of skill-based minigames which provide a fun challenge and way to earn in-game currency. It does however sometimes suffer connection issues or lag which is why I can’t rate it higher.

Sweetie: 5/5  – This game oozes charm and cuteness at every corner. It also partners with big-brand names you know and love such as Hello Kitty, Sailor Moon, Disney, and Show by Rock, as well as offering tons of options to customize your avatar, your room, even raising cute pets! It also has a journal system and chat rooms making it almost a social network as much as it’s also a game.

Overall: 60/80 75% C “Good Game For Girls” read more

Smite Game Review From a Girl That’s Never Played MOBA Games

After learning WTF to do in this game, I was able to score highest player damage (against
After learning WTF to do in this game, I was able to score highest player damage (against “gods”) and highest “minion damage” (against lesser monsters) in one of my recent matches.

I began playing Smite with a friend last week. It’s my first time playing a MOBA game. I’ve avoided them because I heard how competitive they can be, such as league of legends. I’ve been playing it for a few weeks, but only last week for any real length of time or effort. Sorry if you played with me the last few weeks; I’m sure that I cost you to lose some matches, because I had no idea how to play for the first few weeks. I still don’t really, but I’m getting at least a little better. It does have a kinda steep learning curve, well for me at least. You have to understand, I typically go for “artistic” games which emphasize story over action – in fact some have no action at all, while others have “turn based combat” – so for me to be in real time combat and have to be “situationally aware” also known as “standing in stuff is bad” lol, well it takes some getting used to!

But eventually, you do get used to these things. And when I stopped dying every five seconds, and learned how to play, and also, bought a mouse (I was playing only with keyboard at first), well then I began doing better, and having fun.

Title: Smite

Genre: MOBA

Platform: PC, PS4, Xbone

Developer: Hi-Rez Studios (they’re also the publisher of this game)

Geeky: 5/5  – High marks for achievement systems, variety of characters, classes, game modes, UI system, fluid controls, skill system, items and inventory, and production values.

Sweetie: 3/5  – High marks for character customization and “cute” graphics and characters. Loses a few points for no story (not that games like this need one).

Overall: 69/90 77% C+ “Good Game for Girls”

Concept: 10/10 After about “20 hours” of play time, here are my initial thoughts on this game. First off, it’s free which is great! There’s lots of different game modes which makes it fun. You can play with people online, which could mean, you can group up with your friends, or join a search to get matched with random users online, and then also either play against friends, random users, or even AI computer controlled opponents. There are a ton of different characters, fitting different “roles” such as tanks (called guardians), mages, rangers, assassins, melee DPS, or hybrid roles. Not only are the roles diverse, but so are the characters’ appearances, and made even more diverse by unlocking or purchasing dozens of different “skins” for each character. There are achievements, both within the game, as well as steam trading cards, and different ways to progress through the game. You get rewards even just for logging in every day (like a lot of free or mobile games give to their players), so you could unlock different characters and/or costumes without having to purchase from the cash shop if you wanted.

Gameplay: 8/10 – As I mentioned, there is a tiny bit of a learning curve if you’ve never played a MOBA, or if you’re not used to fast paced competitive and action oriented gameplay. However, through trial and error, you’ll quickly learn to play (and not stand in stuff) (and learn when to run back to base to heal lol).

In the game’s defense, there is a really nice tutorial that walks you through many different game modes. I should have spent more time in the tutorial before rushing out to play with other people online, but let’s be honest, playing with other people is more fun.

There are different game modes including Arena, where you kill gods and minions or escort your minions to the other team’s “goal” (which is a giant portal), while defending your own portal. The other game modes all involve pushing past the enemy defenses by destroying their towers and defending your towers. The other game modes differ in how many “lanes” each map has. Some only have one lane, while others have 2, or 3 lanes.

Some game modes allow you to choose which character you want to play as, while others randomly assign a character to you. You have to be fast to select your character, for one thing, you’re timed, but more importantly, if someone else chooses that god, it becomes unavailable to you for that match, first come, first served.

The different characters all have different abilities and different strengths and weaknesses, so finding one that matches your play style, can be a bit of trial and error at first. I prefer rangers because I can attack and be mobile at the same time, and I can let others take the brunt of the damage.

Anyways, gameplay typically consists of dividing up who to go where in the “lane style” games. You’ll likely be asked to help defend and push through one of the different lanes. Since most matches have more players than lanes, you might have another player to assist you, but not always. The game however, will spawn minions for you (as well as for your opponent), and you can let them charge ahead to take the damage from the enemy towers while you help destroy their towers, gods, and minions.

If at any time, you find yourself overwhelmed, your minions defeated, or low on mana or health, you can return back to your base to heal and also to purchase items, equipment, or upgrade your skills (you can also upgrade skills outside of the base too but inside the base you can take a few minutes to plan your next move.). You can also set skill and item purchases to “auto” which is the default setting. This allows you to not have to worry about remembering to spend skill points or gold, but forces you to give up the customization aspects of building your own character. Because of the fast action nature of this game, I find it easier to just leave everything on auto which lets me focus on the action instead of worrying about the particulars of my character.

These “lane style” games end whenever one team’s “Titan” has been destroyed. To reach the titan you must focus on defeating towers and phoenixes. There are also smaller camps of monsters that award various buffs to your team members.

Arena is much more “free for all” – it’s a small map with no lanes, no towers, no phoenixes, etc, just you against the other team, in an almost olympic sport like event as you try to feed minions into the opponent’s portal while keeping minions out of your own, and killing as many enemy players as possible to earn more points. The arena matches end whenever one team’s point total is taken to zero. The team who still has points remaining is the victor.

In all game modes, your character will always start at level 1 and then quickly gain experience and gold. As you gain levels your character becomes stronger and you can spend skill points to upgrade their abilities or use the money you’ve earned to buy new gear.

There are ranked matches and “tournament seasons” as well for more competitive players – I’ve not tried these features yet.

As mentioned, the game lets you play online with friends, with random users, or with, or against, artificial intelligent “bots”.

There are also special in-game events that unlock gods for you to play temporarily or award you with new skins, icons, and achievements.

Story: 1/10 – There’s really no story, which is no surprise given the nature of the MOBA genre. There is some loose overarching theme and a bit of backstory for each character – the main idea being that they are all different gods from different cultural mythology, ranging from African, Egyptian, Roman, Chinese, and many more. This concept is rather interesting, but by no means has any real impact on the game.

Characters: 8/10 – Although there is no story (aside from a brief blurb about the mythos that your character represents), so no character driven dialogue or much personality here (aside from each character being voiced and having numerous taunts and sayings that they will repeat as you play), there are a ton of characters.

Character customization is also fascinatingly high in this game, both from a visual standpoint (if willing to spend money in cash shop or work to unlock skins), but also from a technical standpoint by allowing you to choose your characters’ skills and progression as well as equipment each game.

There are dozens of different character classes as I mentioned above, ranging from melee, to tanky types, to ranged or magical DPS. Each one, although maybe similar to some of the others within their “class”, also displays it’s own unique abilities and strengths and weaknesses.

Many characters will be locked and unavailable to you unless a special event is going on, or you choose to purchase the character via the cash shop or with special in-game currency.

Graphics: 9/10 I’m giving this high marks due to the different skins, also the animations and effects are cute and clever. The graphics aren’t amazing by any means, but they’re not bad either, about average, or what would be expected of “next gen” games these days. The graphics show a lot of personality and endear the characters to the players.

Music: 8/10 The music is actually pretty good! But I have to deduct a few points just for a lack of variety in the soundtrack, either through a low number of tracks available, or a general feeling of “sameness” between a lot of the music. However, the music is fitting well with the theme, of mythology and gods and mystery. It has a large and vibrant feeling like you might expect when walking through temple halls dedicated to Zeus or Ra or some other long forgotten god.

Voice Acting: 7/10  The characters are all uniquely voiced and it adds more personality and charm (something this game has in spades). Your characters will spout off short one-liners when you take down an enemy, when they get defeated, or when using different abilities. There’s not a ton of voice acting, and there aren’t any deep, emotionally driven lines delivered here, but the charm that it adds to the game makes it that much more fun and unique.

Replay Value: 10/10 – This is a game that you pick up and play for 20 minutes, or easily sink several hours into at once. There are so many different characters to try, as well as different ways in which to customize the abilities and equipment of those characters. Combine that with the several different game modes and the ability to unlock achievements, skins, and new characters as you continue to play. This keeps the game fresh, exciting, and accessible which makes replaying the game very enjoyable.

Overall: 69/90 77% C+ “Good Game for Girls”

Stormfall Age of War Strategy Game Review

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Title: Stormfall Age of War

Genre: Strategy Game

Developer: Plarium

Platform: You can play it directly in your computer browser. Or they also have a mobile app for both android and IOS when you are on the go.

Where to Get the Game: It’s free to play and you can find the apps or browser version at the official website. Link at top of this post.

Overall: 84/100 84% B “Very Good Game for Girls”

Geeky: 5/5 The ability to lead huge troops and the skill tree and city building aspects make this game high on the geek list.

Sweetie: 3/5 It’s a “pretty” game, but there’s not much “cute” – there’s also not much customization as far as appearances go. The story although funny, is mostly just there to move you through the quests and progress through the game, and not there to give you a sense of who’s who, why your kingdoms are at war, or about the lore or setting in the game world.

Concept: 9/10 Stormfall is a smart, sarcastic, witty, funny browser game which offers a large variety of quests, areas to explore, massive scale combat, ability to customize which research you take on, an awesome musical score and beautiful lush graphics with voice acting by a smart-alec narrator. While it does little to innovate the strategy genre, it is still a fun game for anyone who loves these city building types of games, and the high production values will keep you entertained, while daily quests and lots of things to see, do, build, and explore will have you replaying this game often.

Gameplay: 10/10 Like most strategy games, there is a city building aspect which the game introduces early on. You build farms to feed your troops, iron mines to get materials to arm your troops, and earn taxes to help fund your troops. You build libraries to research magic, and other structures to help build new types of weapons, armor, and unlock new units to add to your armies.

There’s also a skill tree element called the “Art of War” where you can customize which talents you learn, learning them in different order will branch off to letting you learn different skills, such as fortification, bows, thieves, trading, smuggling, etc. This is where a lot of the initial strategy comes into play.

The tutorial really helps new players jump right into the game and learn the mechanics. The narrator keeps the game entertaining and gives it a fresh perspective. From research, to city building, to intrigue, alliances, and battles, this game offers many options to let you take charge of your kingdoms.

The user interface is clean and intuitive, and combat feels dynamic but yet not overly complex or frustrating. The game has a good sense of balance between building and researching and battling to progress your kingdom.

Story: 7/10 – This game cracks me up – it is so funny LOL. You’ll see the humor right away within the first few seconds of the tutorial. The humor is accented by great voice acting! I’ve never seen a strategy game take such a sarcastic approach. It’s very refreshing! It makes it stand out in a sea of similar mobile games. It makes it unique and memorable and keeps me playing for longer. Beyond the humor though it seems like not much is revealed about the world, characters, lore, history, or setting of the game.

Characters: 3/10 The only character that’s given much personality is the narrator. I kinda feel this is a missed opportunity, as your advisers could have been given much more personality, and dialog even if it was only written and not voiced. I also think the game is missing a gameplay element by not letting you “recruit” advisers or having some bonuses/enhancements for different advisers, or aging/dying/marrying/mentoring etc of advisers, like many other games in this genre offer.

Graphics: 10/10 – The game is brought to live with beautiful detailed 3D environments and rich fantasy artwork and animation.

Music: 10/10 – For a little mobile/browser game, this game has some seriously wonderful music. It reminds me a lot of the music from Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit. Very pretty and the same “fantasy” vibe. It’s very dramatic music. There’s a good variety too, from very intense drum solos, to calming harp-like music.

Voice Acting: 7/10 – I’m surprised there’s voice acting throughout much of the game, and it’s actually pretty good. I like the tone, humor (at times), and deliverance throughout. However, very few of the key characters in the game are voiced and voice is given primarily through a narrator.

Community: 10/10 – Whether it’s chatting in game, forming alliances, recruiting your friends, joining a league, trading at the market, or using the official forums this game has a great sense of community that offers a break from the routine tasks of managing your kingdom.

Replay Value: 10/10 The daily quests, and sheer amount of things to build, do, and learn about this game make it worth logging in daily to work on your kingdom.

Overall: 84/100 84% B “Very Good Game for Girls”

Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft Mobile Game Review Cardgame Like Magic The Gathering

I was a long-time World of Warcraft player. I quit about 4 years ago now, but still have fond memories of the game. Blizzard has a unique sense of humor and charm with their NPC’s and pop culture references sprinkled into their MMO and strong story and character development. Now, those same characters come to life again in the form of a collectible card game.

For fans of the MMORPG, Hearthstone brings back a lot of fun memories of your adventures, and gives you something to do to pass time when you can’t be playing your favorite MMO. For others, who have never played WoW before, fear not as no prior knowledge of the game world is neccessary to enjoy this deck building game.

In fact, if you like other board games and card games, such as Yugioh, Magic the Gathering, or the Pokemon trading card game, you will absolutely love Hearthstone as it lets you build your own decks and collect powerful cards. There’s a lot of strategy involved also in how you play each match against other players in real time making it one of the best trading card games for mobile devices.

Title: Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft

Publisher: Blizzard

Platform: IOS, Android, or PC

Genre: Collectible Card Game / Deck Building Game

Go here to play it on your PC:  read more

I Love Pasta | I Love Coffee | Review of 2 Similar Mobile Games by Pati Games | Restaurant Management Simulation | Anime Games | Casual Games

Title 1: I Love Pasta

Get I Love Pasta on IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/i-love-pasta/id926176278?mt=8

Get I Love Pasta on Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.patigames.ilovepasta4gsp&hl=en

Title 2: I Love Coffee

Get I Love Coffee on IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/line-i-love-coffee/id605633081?mt=8

Get I Love Coffee on Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.naver.SJLGCOFFEE&hl=en

Geeky: 1/5 

Sweetie: 5/5 

Overall: 56/80 70% C- Good Game for Girls

Concept: 10/10 read more

Tree of Savior Closed Beta First Impressions Archer vs Wizard Levels 1 through 20

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get into Tree of Savior Closed Beta, thanks to a very nice giveaway at treeofsaviorgame.com – Thank you guys so much for the beta key. I will upload some videos soon <3. Although Closed Beta Phase 2 is ending in just a few days, my time with it has been short but enjoyable.

Overall here are a few first impressions of the game itself, then I’ll give some feedback about the early levels of two of the classes that I played.

The game is rather lonely in the early levels – I don’t know if this is because it’s possible to solo then, or because I got into the beta so late and everyone has already formed their little groups. I only had one person “talk” to me, if you could even call it that. I didn’t respond, because I felt it was rude/annoying. He simply typed “Lady” “Lady” “Lady” about 3 or 4 times, each on a different line, within a few seconds of eachother. I don’t know if he wanted to chat, or wanted to tell me to stop attacking “his” mobs. I didn’t even see him on my screen until I took a few steps further, and he came into my view, It wasn’t like I was trying to steal his monsters specifically. I stopped attacking and moved on a little further down the map.

The game is beautiful. If you love retro games, pixel/sprite art, kawaii monsters, and anime styled portraits, this game delivers. I am a former Ragnarok Online player. I played all through Beta, and even continued when it went pay to play until FFXI came out, and then I switched to that game instead. Tree of Savior is highly regarded as a “true” sequel to Ragnarok Online, because fans were so disappointed by RO2. The similarities in art style and creature design are definitely there.

The text is too damn small!!! “RAGEFACE” 🙁 — I literally can not read anything. And there’s no way to adjust it in game!! I’m just playing on a laptop computer 15.6″ monitor set at 1366 X 768 resolution. Playing in fullscreen mode. So I don’t think it’s my resolution or display settings as my laptop is old and there’s many people playing at even higher resolutions. — This is my main complaint with the game.

The server is laggy, at least in the main city. It’s not like unplayable, but I did get disconnected twice, to what I assume was lag, and there is noticeable delay/freezing when navigating in the main city.

Tree of Savior is split up into different channels within different servers, this takes away some of the “massive” out of the MMORPG – It feels empty. I rarely run into other players outside of the main city.

Monsters tend to ignore you unless you attack them in the early levels. This is strange to me, and even if there’s like 30 monsters on a map, and you’re attacking some of the ones nearby, the others will just wiggle around on your screen ignoring you while you slay their friends.

Character customization in the early stages is a bit limited. You can choose hair style, but you cannot choose hair color. Hair colors are unlocked later in the game (through crafting and questing I believe). Once you’ve unlocked a hair color, you can select it at any time. also their faces are not detailed at all, nope. lol. We’re talking like 16 bit Super Nintendo style sprites here. Cute, but when compared to games like Aion, or even Mabinogi, or even the original RO, this game disappoints in character customization. NOTE: there are tons of cute items to equip on your character, which do show up in game, so that’s a plus.

All of the starting zones look relatively the same as one another. (keep in mind, I’m only level 20 and the game goes to level 600+). (and yep that’s not a typo). (not sixty, but six hundred.) Which is cool because, I don’t like end game; the journey is more fun than the destination. And with 600+ levels, I’ll be kept busy for a long time! That’s insane.

Quests and storyline, or lack there of, are not terribly interesting in the early levels. This is true of most MMORPGs though, with only a few exceptions (FFXI and SWOR both come to mind as having a great story).

The game has some unique features that I’ve never seen in other MMORPG, most notably, the Adventurer’s Journal and Ranking System; where you earn not just achievements, but get ranked against other players based on how much you’ve seen / done / explored / killed / quested / etc. It’s different from just a pvp ranking or gear score, etc. It’s an all encompassing record of everything you’ve done in the game. This makes it rewarding to get out there and explore. I love that. It adds a little competitive edge, beyond just rewarding titles, gear, achievements, etc (which it also does reward all those things too). But now you have a way to see how you measure up to everyone else. And if you do make it to the top, everyone else can see how awesome you are.

The music in Tree of Savior is cute and mostly calming/melodic. It’s catchy and fits the kawaii theme of the game perfectly.

With my initial thoughts out of the way… Here’s some experiences I’ve had as a lowly archer and lowly wizard. Once again I’m only level 20ish and If there is a cap, (there may not even be a level cap) the rumor is that it’s level 600+. Therefore my experiences are only “first impression” and in no way am I authoritative as to which class is better etc. I’ve only played up to 3% of each of these class’ full potential so far.

The first character I made was an Archer because pets are cute / awesome, which you don’t get until later. I still don’t have one :(. But Archer itself is pretty fun. Now there’s a lot of discussion with people saying Archer is the lowest DPS and has no AOE attacks. (see for example this post here) (of course there are people that are coming to counter argue the points made too. It’s a pretty good discussion actually.)

I am of the belief that Archer has a lot of benefits over Wizard which was the second character I rolled. The main plus is fast attack. My wizard gets hit and her casting interrupted all the fricken time. I have never died as my archer, but my poor wizard died 3 times going from level 1 to 20. With my archer, I have greater attack range. I can attack while moving (albeit slowly) and I have swift step which lets me race all around the map “kiting” the mobs so they keep the heck away from me lol. With my wizard, she gets surrounded, she can’t run while she’s casting, and my god, her casting time sucks.

The wizard’s cool downs are better though. (I’m not in front of my game right now so forgive me for forgetting skill names) The first fire ball type attack that you learn, you can cast it 3 times before it goes on “cool down” where you must wait to cast it again (VS the Archer’s skills going on cool down each time they’re pressed 1 time). Wizards do have a shield to reflect some of the damage when you get hit (I still died though lol.) and Wizards can sleep and CC mobs left and right.

With Archer, your choices aren’t as many, and you are going to be auto-attacking a lot (due to the cool down of your skills and/or lack of SP). You do have some nice skills though they are VERY SP (spell point) intensive. I burn through mana pots more on my Archer than my wizard. Something is just f–ked up about that! That doesn’t make sense LOL. Alternatively though, I have to spam health pots on my wizard, and my archer almost never gets hit by anything since I kite the mobs around as I attack them.

For me, and my play style, Archer was a lot more fun, and a lot less aggravating than wizard. Wizard is more powerful. Even with me dying three times, I got to level 20 in about half the time that Archer took me. This could be in part since it was my second play through and I was more accustomed to the quest line / chain of progression / controls / game mechanics, etc.

But Wizard felt more annoying. I did not like dying so often. I know wizards are glass cannons in all MMORPG – they would be WAY too over powered if they were anything else! — But just for me, personally, I rather trade the “dps” for some more “durability” and the kiting play style is more “fun” to me than just sitting there spamming my skills, sleeping mobs to keep them away, and hoping to kill them before they reach me (which clearly doesn’t always go in my favor lol).

I just did the advancement quest on my wizard lastnight to go to Pyromancer. I plan to take my Archer on her advancement class quest later tonight. If I’m lucky enough to get to level 40 or 50 before this phase of the closed beta testing ends, I will write up another review. I also really want to check out barbarian who is supposedly really “overpowered” right now, and cleric to a lesser degree (I’ve never really enjoyed healer classes.).

But for me, right now, based on my, all be it VERY limited experiences with both classes, I prefer playing Archer. My view point could change later in the game, but for now, I consider my Archer my “main” and I am enjoying it.

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