By Kei Beneza (Dividelife), Onrpg writer
Astonia, Astonia v2 or mercenaries of Astonia as it was also known was a MMORPG game developed in the late 90's (is now closed), it was an immensely popular free online role playing game (MMORPG), with a fan base that’s well over 16 years old. Aranock is a clone of Astonia v2 with many improvements to carry on its legacy as a great game for everyone to enjoy!
Aranock online is a free to play (F2P) MMORPG that carries on the legacy of the old game “Mercenaries of Astonia V2”. Trying to rekindle the flames of the fossilized game, this doppelganger has improved its peg in various ways such as the gameplay and of course the meta. It's really nice (if not surprising) to see a game that carries another game's legacy. It is kind of sad to see an MMO game close down. I guess Mercenaries of Astonia was pretty lucky to have their legacy passed down to the next generation.
The world is rather polygonal and is mostly composed of blank spaces due to your character's line of sight. You won’t be able to see anything other than the room or area that you are in. When it comes to the game's frame-rate, I'd say it's quite comparable to the first SIMs game if ever you were playing it under the requirements.
The graphics are really poor when compared to our modern MMOs. The characters are polygonal without the slightest bit of detail. You're basically stuck with nothing more than a couple of characters that look like 3d versions of the “karateka” models back then during the NES era.
So why play this game? What makes it really good anyway? Have I not stated enough reasons for one not to play this game? Not really, the game has some really cool features as well.
Since this was based off an old game, I would say that the powerful influence of nostalgia would drive anyone to play this game. Mercenaries of Astonia fans are still on a slump due to the unforeseen disaster that is of course the game's untimely demise.
You can tell the game's graphic capability just by looking at the site. Nothing fancy there... no flash “clickables” or even the slightest things like screenshots and wallpapers.
There are some useful information on this site however, like a fine list of items and of course their corresponding abilities and compatibility. The stat arrangement kind of reminds me of the old Dungeons & Dragons ™ game. With the pluses and stat requirements, this game is really a key for hitting up a couple of stuff that are usually buried in your memories by now.
The site also gives you a decent list of monsters complete with descriptions and where to find them. Visiting the site without a doubt would help you out on your journey.
One thing that surprised me is the game's lack of spells. Of course it is pretty much obvious that spell casters can be found in these type of games. It's a bit of a letdown if you're looking at it through that perspective. Then again, not making mages complete makes them cooperate better when it comes to helping others. Probably a good way for them to know their place in combat.
Classes and Races
I was surprised after realizing that other classes can be used after performing certain conditions. Seyans for example, can only be used after you've defeated the gatekeeper. There's a decent list of classes or races in the game. There are also their enhanced versions which you can use as you progress throughout the game.
You can also get a couple of items that enhances your character's capabilities. Scrolls, as they are called can give you a permanent boost to your stat depending on what kind of magic scroll you're using. These rare items can also act as tomes from where you can learn spells and other skills as well. There are also equipments that greatly compliments your character's capabilities. There are tons of magic items in the game so you better head off if you want to get a lot of them.
One thing about this game that's quite amazing is of course its Live Quest feature. Live Quests, unlike regular quests are daily quests that are issued by the admin or game master. These things change over time so you won’t have to worry about playing the same quests over and over again. New quests often kills the game's linearity and of course a good reason for players to look forward to something every time they log in.
Clans are pretty similar to Guilds. They're basically a group that lets players gather and talk to one another. Need help? Then perhaps you should consider getting into a clan.
The interface takes up fifty percent of the screen. It mainly displays your stats along with your character and inventory. The mini-map can also be found on the bottom left portion of your screen. There's also a nice window that lets you know what’s happening around you like a status bar of some sort.
You'd probably agree with me if I say that this game looks pretty old. Even if it's the new version of Mercenaries of Astonia, it's still pretty old in this era of gaming. The game's lack of visuals however, doesn't affect the strong power of its gameplay. A role-playing game that caters the awesomeness of its predecessor. With a tiny bit of imagination, I'm sure you'll enjoy this game if you're looking for a place to exercise your role-playing capabilities. Live Quests are really nice and probably something that other quest based games should have. I would definitely consider this game as a role-playing benchmark for old and new games alike. It's a really good game... without a couple of graphical adjustments, this game could probably survive on this new age of gaming.
- Live quests
- Nostalgic influence
-A good successor for Mercenaries of Astonia
- Graphics are very poor
- The HUD attracts too much attention
- Lack of sounds