Bright Shadow Review: The Future is Bright on This One
By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
Bright Shadow is a 3D MMORPG from GamepotUSA. The game mixes a familiar game system and cutesy anime graphics to create an addicting online game.
Like many other eastern-based MMOs, Bright Shadow takes a lot of its game interface and graphics from anime-like designs. However it uses freakishly long arms and legs instead of the usual shorter designed characters used by majority of the cute MMORPGs.
You can't deny that the game really banks on the cuteness factor because aside from the characters, everything feels colorful and, innocent. The game's cuteness really works well with however you still need to get used to a character with long arms and legs whacking monsters. Personally, it took me a while to accept it.
With the game taking the cute route, I think it's safe to assume that you will probably expect pop music to play all throughout the game. Well, you are right and wrong with that assumption. Yes, you hear pop like music as you play the game, but, it's not the pop kind of music you'd expect.
The game's BGM varies in every map you get into. It adjusts to the atmosphere the map seems to be projecting. What I like about the game's BGM is that you never get tired of hearing it, even after playing the game for a long time. The music variation is good and it's never too loud.
As mentioned, the game uses a familiar game system, which is found in most MMORPGs out there. You have the linear leveling system where your options of gaining experience is either though doing quests or grinding. The game also uses a stat based leveling system where you get to choose where to allocate stat points that you earn every level up. However, there is an added system in Bright Shadow's leveling which I will explain in detail later on.
Bright Shadow has your typical PvE game system setup. I'm not sure if the game will include a PvP system later on, but currently there is none included in the game. You'll have your hands full just by doing the game's numerous quest but once you've reached the level cap you have nothing to really make you keep on playing except for the episode updates.
Current System Changes
Speaking of episode updates. The game released its episode 1 on February 8, 2010. The update gave way to new job classes, new maps and an increased level cap. I don't have word yet when the next update is but I'm sure that you'll have your hands full trying to get to the level cap.
Other Game Systems
As I mentioned earlier, there's an innovative game system that Bright Shadow has incorporated into the leveling system. The game calls it the Soul Unlock. It's a character stat bonus system where you will get bonuses ranging from attack to defense and even weight capacity. You get these stat bonuses when you allocate your stat points in the various general stats in your character screen.
The computation of what bonus you get is fairly simple to understand. It's linked to how many points you allocate on a stat. The game's bonus puts emphasis on the player's stat allocation. You only have limited space for the bonuses so you need to have a firm grip on the stats you need to allocate.
Another game system in Bright Shadow to look forward to is the Umbra guide. According to the game documentation, the Umbra guide serves as the "princesses", the celestial beings that once protected humanity and helped the humans protect themselves from the monsters, or Umbras.
The Umbra guide works like a card holder for the monster cards you get to acquire in Bright Shadow. Monster cards in Bright Shadow can be used as buffs or you can trade them for better items on selected NPCs. You can also summon monsters from the cards, however it seems that system has yet to be implemented with Bright Shadow so the card's full potential is still locked tight.
Bright Shadow has incorporated a burst system that helps you in your adventures. You basically earn burst points, which you can save up to 5. Burst points serve as a unique drop whenever you successfully kill a monster. The points look like purple orbs on an enemy carcasses. Once you get the max burst point your character is then super buffed for about a minute. It may not be a long buff but you'd realize as you continue on playing Bright Shadow having burst points can mean life or death for your character.
Bright Shadow currently has a myriad of minor features that can make your gaming experience pleasurable. This includes the skill system the game has. It's unique because it lets you "forget" skills if you deem It necessary. Also, the points you use in learning skills is earned through getting "reiki" or the bubble like glowing stuff whenever you kill a monster. This is then converted to SP which serves to either provide you with points to learn or use your skills.
Another cute feature in Bright Shadow is that you can morph into monsters if you have the skill learned. The monsters vary as you progress through the game and it's really fun to see your character become a big monster that you get to control.
Morphed into a monster
A minor feature that I liked in Bright Shadow is the speech balloons that pop up while you play the game. These speech balloons come from monsters and NPCs. They vary from monsters cursing you and humanity for killing them or random ramblings of NPCs. I also find the speech balloons funny because of the grammatically incorrect statements from the NPCs. Though I think this is mainly due to the translation the game has gone through but it's not really a serious problem.
All in all I think Bright Shadow has a lot of potential as a MMORPG. However, the game has yet to show its true potential because right now I'm seeing a skeleton of the game rather than something complete. I like the idea that players will have something to look forward to because for sure there will be more feature updates in the succeeding patches. It also works the other way because a lot of players may be turned off with the game because it's not yet complete.
Bright Shadow has yet to show us what it can provide and I'm really looking forward to seeing the game grow into a complete MMO.
- Umbra Guide keeps you grounded on other things aside from PvE and Questing
- A refreshing take on the anime-ish cutesy MMORPGs
- Adds to the usual leveling system the game.
- The game has yet to unlock a lot of the game systems
- You have only PvEs and questing as ways to earn experience
- May be too cute for some people.