Wild Arms: Alter Code F

FEATURE Wild Arms:Alter Code F


Released: Nov 15, 2005

Agetec Productions

I recently received a copy of Agetec's rpg Wild Arms:Alter Code F, which is a remake of the classic Wild Arms that was released for the Playstation. Before Final Fantasy VII captured everyone's imagination, Wild Arms opened up an original world with an engaging plot. It was one of the first rpg that featured 3D battles, and a combination if science and magic. Now, it's been reinvented for the PS2. And it's amazing.

The original Wild Arms centered on 3 playable characters. Rudy, who can control the powers of the forbidden Arms, Jack, a swordsman treasure hunter who works with his blue rodent friend Hanpan, and Cecilia, your magic wielding princess turned adventurer trying to save her people. In this remake, you can also control 3 additional characters: Calamity Jane, a great gunfighter who's got a bit of an attitude, McDullen, her butler who tries to keep her in line and fights with a sword, and Emma, a scientist studying the Arms and acquire abilities from enemies.

The world is really very large, with areas opening up as the game progresses, through the use of teleporters, caves, a ship, etc. The pace worked well, as I've never felt that I was progressing too fast or too slow. Enemies always seemed a perfect match.

Getting into battles has a unique feature as well. You've got a Migrant meter. With each battle, that meter goes up. You can see the monsters on the screen and can avoid battle with a hit of a button as long as you've got some points left on the Migrant meter. The weaker the enemy, the less it takes off your meter to skip. But you'll not be able to skip too many battles from a monster as strong as you.

Battles themselves have a familiar turn based feel. You can choose between regular melee, special attacks, magic, and items. You gain Force Points in battle that allow you to use Special attacks (or Summon Gaurdians in the case of Cecilia).

Graphically the game looks great. The lush colors really stand out, as do the character graphics. The cut scenes won't hold up when compared to some games such as FFX, but they look good nonetheless.

One of my big complaints is the lack of voice-overs. There are none at all. The story is very full, with some great characters, but to hear the voices rather than having to read everything would add more of an emmersion, in my opinion.

Now the game boasts 60+ hours of gameplay. I've not made it through half that yet. But the first time I sat down and played, I clocked in approximately 10 hours straight. This game pulls you into the plot very quickly.

If you've played the original version, you'll feel very comfortable revisting old friends. If you've never played it, you'll quickly fall for this great rpg title. I highly recommend this great title from Agetec!

Control Monger (closed BETA) Review

FEATURE Overview:

Control Monger is a fully 3D MMOFPS (Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter game) developed by NetCharger.


You can play as heavy gunner bot, construction bot, repair bot, sniper bot, demolition bot, soldier bot, or spy bot.

Match Types:

There are five different match types in Control Monger, each different than the other. The Match types are Capture the Flag, Last Man Standing, Objective, King of the Hill, and Death Match. Some of the matches can be played as teams (like Capture the Flag for instance) and are very addictive and fun.


Finding a good server in Control Monger isn't very hard. Anyone can host a game on their computer and some do. There are always at least two player hosted games at a time. Besides the player hosted games there is one dedicated server owned by a player and two official servers hosted by NetCharger. The ping is relatively good on the dedicated server and is great on the official servers.


Control Monger has incredible graphics for a free MMOFPS of its kind. I have failed to see a free game that meets these standards. The environment is very detailed and looks great. Most of the games in Control Monger take place inside a building. From the floor to the crates you hide behind Control Monger accomplishes graphics most other games of its genre haven't.



The Control Monger music isn't a bragging point for the game. When you start the game you are greeted with an annoying guitar solo, however the in game sounds more than make up for this. When you enter the game you are greeted with a robotic "Welcome" voice. When someone captures a flag the same voice will say "Flag Captured". The sounds from your guns are very nice also. Overall the in game sounds are great, out-of-game music, meh.



Control Monger gameplay is varied by what kind of bot you play as. I generally play as a heavy gunner bot which is portrayed as a large clunky hunk of metal with a powerful gun. The game manages to make gameplay like you would think for your bot. A spy bot is quick and weak, the gunner bot is large and slow. When you bump into the walls your bot will realisticly lean to the side. The game manages to balance out the bots also. Instead of the gunner bot dominating the rest of the bots like tanks do in most games, it can be beaten by weaker bots. To fire your large gun you must hold down the left mouse button for about 5 seconds for your bot to begin to fire. Once the bullets start raining out of your machine gun you will dominate however. Overall, the Control Monger combat system impresses.


Runescape II

FEATURE Runescape II:

Game play:You start off in tutorial isalnd,customizing your charcters clothes,and looks,chooisng the gender and the color.
Going through each NPC's(non player computer)Task,learning how to play,and what to do.Once you finish Tutorial island,you'll be given a set of runes (magic casting items) bow and arrows,a sword,dagger and a sheild,Bread.Etc.
Of most MMORPGS this point is well,becoming the best player there is.

Eco:To make money,you have skills..Which you train,from doing diffrent thing,for example,Woodcutting,you'll need a woodcutting axe,Some trees can not be cut down without a proper Woodcutting levels,same goes with Mining,you'll need a pickaxe,Gaining the items,from woodcutting (wood),Mining(ore),Etc.,to buy yourself New Items,Weapons,Armor,Etc.

Graphics:The graphics for this game are in a 3D resoultion.Which is very good,for a java game.The requirements aren't very high like most other games,which makes it unique.No long downloads,and likely,all most all of the Computers can play it..Unless they're like what,ten years old...or something.

Updates:The Runescape Updates Are constant and they're ussaly a update every week.All the updates are very good,adding new thing,and fixing bugs in the game.

Sound & Music:The music,for well me is good,they added this loop system so you can listen to it over and over again,some people may not like the music,but i'm just saying i do.They also added Weapon Sounds,when you use you weapon (swing,use magic,or shoot bow)They have added sounds to the Attack,which is also a good adding for Runescape II (Runescape I,has no sounds and music)

Community:This is were i rant.I'm ranting about the community.it's very hard finding someone to help you,most call you a "noob" just for asking,or trying to buy something of theirs,when you don't know how much it is.But otherwise You'll find a few people to help you,in anyways they can..(Don't flame me about this part >:o,Flame me about all the others >:o)

Events:Well the events,are all for holidays,But unfortuanltey No mods come on runescape,to celebrate it,instead they use bots,which do the celebrating for you..That's all iv'e got to say for the Events...

Conclusion:Even though Runescape is a good game,it's still preffered as a "MMORPG Newbie Game".It get's boring after months through years of game play,don't get me wrong,i like the game,but it just get's boring.For those who have lots of extra time,Play this game,you've got lots of skills to work on,and all the way to lvl 126..to get to a lvl.Over all 8/10


FEATURE Not much time so I am going to make this quick.

Graphics: Not to shabby , most computars of the modern world could run this game smoothly.But there is no Grafics options , so you must play from there settings.The character models are very nicly done..Every character had detail down to the very finger tips..And not to mention the animations are soo smooth..No runescape movement in this..(lol)...7/10

Gameplay: This where the game shines its brightess..This will keep you involved in whats going..Instead of watching TV waiting for you character to kill a monster..Basicly the combat , is using both the mouse and the W A S D keys in sync..You move with the W A S D keys and do most attacks with the mouse..But a few attacks require both..And if you miss..ITS YOUR FAULT...But missing usally ends up getting badly hurt..Becuase someone will come up and grab you ( very pleasing to see :) ] Each class will have its special abilities per button combinations..But most of the time the differnce is the animation or the delay time after the attack..Because , delay means you Cant attack , Cant move , or block..Which usally..is bad!..There are a few glitches with some attacks but most of the time its fine...NOTE: you do join rooms to play..Like gunz::::9/10

Sound: Theres not really much to talk about..Theres 3-4 differnt background songs..And a variety of sword clashes , and so on... 5/10

Classes/Races: There are 5 classes...They are: Swordsmen , Ninja , Mage , archer , and blacksmith...They all are stuck the gender they are asigned..Some of yoou might not like this , but please dont complain..Every class differs in size , weapon and armor , and so on..There also is no custimization.Which is needed....7/10

Items: Not many..You can buy : Basic armor ( chest and legs ) , Helmets , Gloves , shoulder s, summons ( monster that fight for you 8) ] , Necklaces , ranged weapons ( the ones asigned to your class ) , and melee weapons ( asigned to your class ).

A very good game...Beware tho , make sure you have time to finish a game..They can last more than 2 hours...


FEATURE I downloaded this game,when the English Beta for Dofus,came out.

I'll get down to what it's like and other such.

Battle:For many people the game play is pretty much,crap and slow.I mean tactics is good,but like only for singler player,but still good.You have about 15 - 30 seconds doing your turn using your Action Points and Movement points.Using Spells and killing the crap out of your enemies.The battle style is a little of what,err 1 year ago or something,but still nice to see some tactics around.

Map:The Graphics for Dofus is pretty much 2D/3D,Move around by clicking a spot on your mouse,and going on to a Small little sun picture on the tiles,to go to another map.Pretty much easy as that.

Community:As all the Online RPG crap around their,each have a constant community to keep you playing.Most in this game are Helpful and talkitive,you'll find a few Badasses who torment you around,but that's what makes games fun,no?

Items:The items,are woo,i got to tell you Have weried names,i mean seriously wouldn't a twiggy sword,be like a twig 0.0;.Anyways,their are alot of items,most of which have sets where you can get the st and blahdy blahdy blah.

Monsters:Monsters,are tough to fight,unless your in a freaking party,so i go to the newb place,and party up with a bunch of people so you can kill some freaking monsters.And man are some annoying,for instance a tofu,hits you and runs away,keep going closer,it does the same thing,your bound to die from these annoying monsters.

PvP:Well it's like the same thing as fighting monsters,just you can talk to them,other players can also join into a team they want,and man do i got to tell you,some races can kick others ass.Like i was using the old man race,and my freind he was using This other one (I'm lvl 7,he's lvl 4) and damn,he kicked my ass like 5 times before i could beat him.


Community is good.
The graphics are almost 3D
Monsters are tough,so it's challenging.
Almost Modern Age battle system.
You can get a Secret Hideout for you,freinds,and guild.


The grapchis are still in the 2D Section
Monsters are to tough to fight alone.
Battling takes forever for newbies,if they don't hit the next button.
Secret Hideouts cost to much

Over all Rating:6

DOFUS Online

FEATURE Graphics 8.5/10:

The graphics were very good indeed, if you take into consideration that this IS a Flash game, and that it is only a 40 megabyte game. The graphics were very modern and doesn't resemble something from the 1990's. They were cute, and when too many people walked into a map, they turned into funny blob-like creatures reflecting your class. The animations for Professions were very well done, and the enviromental graphics were tuned. There were minor text issues, like the K in Talk was a bit cut off at the top and things like that.

Overall, I enjoyed the graphics and found them to be funny and enjoyable to look at.

Note: Funny animations appear when

-Tree pops back up

-Monsters Die

Gameplay: 6/10

Gameplay is where this little game did less than planned. The interaction with your enviroment was so realistic that you have to wait for more trees to pop up before you get to cut em, mineral veins have to come back 'fore you mine 'em, etc. The professions are really fun to do aside from constantly killing monsters on your way, hopping around the globe finding ingredients to gather, cut, and the like, although getting the Professions themselves are not as easy as you think, in fact I think that's the reason I lowered the score from a 7-6, there are almost NO indications on the map to where a certain major location is, you can see the basic icons on the map, but there is no legend, your wandering around for an hour wondering where the heck that guy who wanted you to go around killing hundreds of monsters, is.

Despite the Hacking and Slashing of the game, the battles themselves are fun if you have the time to spare it. PvP Battles is like going in an Instance if you've played WoW. You need alot of time to do them, especillay in Team PvP (Dear God). I swear, after 20 minutes of Team PvP, we were still at Full HP...but I was the only one dead (Stupid Healer). The game does require alot of smarts to plan it out. But the classes are overpowered while the Healer is stuck being the most underpowered class in existence.

Straying from the Combat, you can buy houses or spots to meet up in, you can create guilds, and other things. These are neat attributes to make gaming fun.

Music & Sounds: 8/10

Well, mainly being in Amakna and the noob place, I found the music to be good to listen to while fighting, travelling, etc. It was a foresty-melodish-upbeat kind of music, but it got repetetive after hour 8 at which point I shut off all means of it playing that horrible repetetive tune (The tune on no repeat is probably about 5 minutes..or longer I forgot) and just turned on some Sweatshop Union.

The sound effects themselves are well done, humourous at times, realistic effects and the sort, they add to the realism of the game and they don't leave the game to be dull. Good sound effects.

DOFUS passes with great colours in Music and Sound.


This is about it I can think of for DOFUS. To sum it up; You'll first want to have a love of Tactical MMORPGs, have lot's of time if you want to devote yourself to PvP, and enjoy slaughtering monsters. I like this game for it's fun points at times. The classes are great fun in PvE.

You should at least try it once.

Free World (beta)

FEATURE A game in beta testing is usually small. A game in beta testing usually has a couple of towns, a few monsters to fight, and a couple of weapons to get. Free World is in beta testing, but is neither if these. For a game in beta, FW is amazing. It has everything a reliesed mmo has. Pets? got it. Housing? got it. Full movement system? got it.

Graphics wise, this game is ok. They are pretty good, comparable to late Dreamcast graphics. It has some nice little effects too, like when a storm is blowing up, you look up into the trees, and you see the leaves rustle. Although the actual rain drops are kinda cheesy, it has cool fog effects and darkness effects. Another advantage of FW is the night and day system. In the tutorial, you get a lantern, verry useful in the nighttime. Char models are pretty good. The best part about the graphics though is that they dont take much. I have a dial-up connection and i can run all of the animations smoothly without a single bit of lag.

The sound in FW is mediocer. Whenever you attack, you get an odd little "Ungh!" sound. You kinda squat a little, too. There isnt any voice acting, and the only really good thing in the sounds is the weather effects and score. At night you hear happy little cricets, chirrping their heads off, and the wind sounds are really loud and pronounced. I loved the rustling leaf sound. The score is nice, and it serves its purpose for background music.

Gameplay was where FW really shines. It has a nice set of skills, although the system is confusing. I still havent figured it out. The controls may take a little getting used to, but they work, and they work perfectly. This game is really open ended, and you can lvl up without fighting. Although there are only like 20 people that play it (one reason im writing this is to raise the hype), they are all friendly. Someone is always ready to play a good game of hide and seek in one of the maze like towns (if you have certain armor, you really blend in with the enviroments. I was playing Hide and Seek once, and a guy hid in a bookshelf. never found him.). The npc's are cleverly named, and give you the occaisonal quest. Pets are a great conveniance, because you can ride them on that 30 minute hike youve been neglecting. The charecter costomization is ok, but it needs to explain the skills a little better. The tutorial is a nice learning experience, where you get to know the look and feel of FW. The archery range was awesome, so i just wasted like an hour screwing around (: -P.

The battle system was wayy to hack-and-slashy to me. I perfer the battle style of, say, Guild Wars, or WoW. One of the major drawbacks of FW comes to PvP. There is no PvP. None. Zip. Natta.

So, overall, if your intellegent enough to figure out how FW works, its worth it.

~~SLJ x

The Kingdom of Loathing (Out of Beta)

FEATURE As someone once said, stupidity breeds contempt.

Scratch that, why feel contempt when you can LOATHE instead?

Yes, The Kingdom of Loathing offers you all the silliness you ever need, on the surface, that is. The creators of The Kingdom of Loathing (KoL for short), Jick and Mr. Skullhead, have designed an intricate kingdom for you to explore in.

Whether it's the Distant Woods, the Nearby Plains, or the Orc Chasm (no, seriously.), there is nothing less than hilarity in the form of innuendo. Or you can choose to take it as it is.

This game, undoubtedly, calls for the veteran players of every video game genre, for he who has played many games will understand the subtle puns and satires of RPGs and MMOs.

The ridicule, however, has not reduced the gameplay in any way, it runs smoothly, blending and integrating well into the storyline. There is not one part of Jick and Mr. Skullhead's world that totally does not make sense. If it doesn't make sense at first, no matter, look back at it later, discover the truth behind the Toot Oriole, or the Possibility (Might be?) Giants.

KoL does not leave newbies out of the picture, and makes an attempt (albeit indefinitely) to lend a helping hand to any new adventurer oblivious of the goings-on in the Kingdom, save scammers, looters and people who are not intellectually aware of their existence and role in the Kingdom.

In lieu of the previous review (there is already one!) of KoL, this review recovers KoL as it goes through its transition out of Beta, and into a complete functioning game with your typical ending boss. But make no mistake, it takes more than Muscle (strength), Moxie (agility) and Mysticality (intelligence) to whoop the Naughty Sorceress's inviting behind, intricate and tricky puzzles await to be solved, for only the worthy can ascend.

Ascension, the final chapter into the game's completion, allows the player to "ascend" beyond the heavens. Just that? Aside from being able to converse with your ancestors, you can choose to reincarnate into another class (2 paths, softcore and hardcore), retaining one of your skills, unlocking new areas, familiars and skills!

The chat channel (I assume most of you able to unlock the Altar of Literacy quest) is always open for help and assistance, if required.

As usual, I extend a helping hand to newbies out there and am partially free to answer questions. Drop a PM to ResiLiang ingame if need be and I'll see how I can help.

The fun (and loathing) never stops at the Kingdom of Loathing, so just in case your faith was wavered over the months...

An Adventurer IS STILL You!

World of Warcraft

FEATURE Community
Go into a sixth grade classroom, hand them a bunch of swords, give them a license to kill, and let them say any profanity they wish. That pretty much sums up the World of Warcraft community. People are generally very rude in this game, and would rather gank (kill) you than provide any assistance. Now don't get me wrong, many can get rather lucky and avoid that for some time, but not forever.

Prepare to hear the word “ghey” every ten to twenty seconds or get ganked just as much both will likely happen at the same time. It is a general belief that Warcraft died with the release of Warcraft 3, which in my opinion is quite true. They made WC3 way too friendly, and it cost Blizzard a lot of loyal fans, including me.

A lot of the WC3 fans undoubtedly moved into this game when it was released, because you can expect the same kind of treatment in the previous game as well. It doesn’t make the game very fun when most of the people playing it are rude and obnoxious. The game can kill most of the fans with just that.

The Dreaded Level Grind of Doom
Ok, maybe that was a ridiculous title, but almost every game has it. World of Warcraft does a fairly nice job of masking the level grind for a good part of the game. Level 40+ is when you really start to feel the grind, some say it doesn’t start until 50+ so it does vary. But you will feel it, I guarantee it. There really isn’t much to say about the level grind, it’s pretty much straightforward.


Ah, this is where it really matters. That one word is simple yet can split up into so many different aspects of every game known. WoW is definitely no exception; however, the tastes of the gamer decide just how good it is. I’ve seen people say they hate it, I’ve seen people say they love it. So I’ll try to cover both sides here as well as I can. However, I’m just one person, so I can only stay neutral for so long.

The interface and controls in WoW is easy to learn and live with. Period. It’s much easier then Guild Wars but there is something to note in that. They made the controls/interface a little TOO easy. Is there such a thing, you ask? Why yes there is. I didn’t know it was possible until I played this game. The interface/controls are so easy that a nine year old could easily pick it up and start playing. So this is kind of a good/bad thing.

Character creation in the game is nicely done, although the graphics are somewhat cartoonish. Another good/bad thing there as you can see. You get a decent selection of “limbs” but the graphic style is another big reason the younger generation has turned WoW into its home base. However, even though the selection is decent, that doesn’t mean you won’t see clones of yourself walking around. You will, so get used to it.

Now even though the graphics are cartoonish, that doesn’t mean they aren’t good. It still looks rather good and not to horrendously painted on as most games do. After awhile, if the graphics didn’t take to your liking before, they kind of grow on you and it’s hard to hate them anymore. Combat in the game can be surprisingly fun, and it really does make up for much of its cons.

It can be a lot like your typical hack and slash but Blizzard did something good with it and made it enjoyable. But like I said, the level grind will kick in.

Customer Support

Well…this is an interesting subject for WoW. Too put it simply, yet bluntly, the Customer Support would be better if a bunch of country hics did a hostile take over. Let me explain a few things about this games Customer Support. Lag in the game can be horrible quite a bit, but even if you had a government supercomputer, the Customer Support always blames it on your computer.

If there is ANY problem with the game, it’s usually your fault NEVER theirs. So don’t contact customer support. Really, just save yourself the frustration and find out yourself. You’ll likely get a response back faster if you just make World of Warcraft 2. Blizzard, please work on that if you have any hope of gaining me back as a player.

Replay Value

Err…replay value…right…Umm. Ok here we go, you just go to level 60, you enjoyed the game, and you owned everyone in your path! What next, you ask yourself. You can farm a lot, or fight instances over and over, which takes hours, to gain more items and stuff. But that gets old in like what, a week? Should you start a new character? Sure! But then…you’d have to do all those quests over again….ok not so much fun sounding all of a sudden.

Through all of that you can pretty much see what I’m saying. The game has replay value, but do you seriously want to waste $15 more dollars a month doing the same stuff all over again? Some would, many wouldn’t. I know I didn’t. This game could be fun for almost anyone the first time through; even then it’ll chip away at the gamers, shortening them down to the real hardcore fans, or those who have no life.

Then there will be the absolute fans out there that will stick with the game until they are the only ones left. They are the fanboys, and most fanboys cannot be reasoned with, so I avoid them. Overall, is this game fun? Definitely! Is it playable? Hell yes! Is it REplayable? Little chance in hell. Should you buy it? Yes it’s worth a try, you can usually find out if you want to play it during the trial period.

My score?


Score: This game just really doesn't quite cut it. If you look at a comment in my Guild Wars review, one of the people told me to play WoW, that is a typical player in the WoW community. Thanks, you gave me the PERFECT example to go by. This game is NOT worth $15 a month. I feel like I HAVE to play the game or I'm wasting my money and that's sad. This game can do it for a lot of people, but for anyone who has pride in their skills, minds, and gaming aptitude, this game is no better then Knight Online.


FEATURE Graphics (8/10):
Graphics are quite good for a free game. Some of the items have odd pictures in your inventory, and a lot of the sprites for items on the ground repeat.

Gameplay (9/10):
Gameplay is awesome. Not as much variety in monsters as there could be, but the ability to fly on a broomstick or hoverboard is very unique! There will probably be more monsters added as the beta continues, and after the beta.

Community (10/10):
The community is great. Almost everybody there is friendly. Of course, you have a few rotten apples, but overall the people are great.

Sound (7/10):
Surprisingly good for a beta. The music can be a bit obnoxious after a while, but it turns off after looping a few times if you are not fighting a monster.

Overall (9/10):
Flyff is a very fun game. One of the few problems is that it is not translated well. You will see a lot of phrases such as "You are become stronger." But, that is a small price to pay for such a great game.

Guild Wars

FEATURE These days MMORPG's are becoming so frequent and so large in number that there's several different ones in every genre. Most MMORPG's, or at least the true gems, require a monthly fee on top of the original cost. For a lot of gamers this can be the deciding factor whether they play the game or not.

Guild Wars made sure everyone knew right from the beginning that the game would require no monthly fee. That's a welcome change to gamers everywhere and many wondered what's the catch. There is no catch! All you have to do is but the game at your local retailer.

You can even just download the small client off their website and pay for the key online to save you the trip. All you pay is $50(price can vary) and you can play the game for life.

Now you may wonder if your system can even run the game. Despite the great graphics it is the most smoothest game I've ever played. Here are my system specs:

1.5ghz Processor

512mb Ram

124mb Nvidia Geforce 4 MX Graphics Card(Crap!)

80gb HD

As you can see I don't have the best system specs. And because of my MX card I cannot run any games that require pixel shading and that is required in most games being released these days. Despite that, this game is runs amazingly well on my computer and so far no lag whatsoever. If you're worried that your computer won't run it, it likely will.

The battle system for Guild Wars is relatively simple although still fun. You click your enemy and you start to automatically attack them, or you have skills/spells in the quickslot at the bottom of the screen that you can just click to use or hit the hotkey(1-8).

The battles in Guild Wars are fast paced, exciting, and fun. If you're getting sick of the typical "Run out, kill stuff, go back to town, repeat" then this might be a refreshing turn for you. You still pretty much do that exact same thing, but the battles make it so that it doesn't feel repetitive at all.

This aspect of the game is one of the key features that makes Guild Wars so addictive. If you get bored with this game then it's you, not the game. You learn a number of skills throughout the game by either buying them or completing quests for them. However, you can only take out 8 different skills into combat.

You can only change the skills in town and only then you have to put the desired spells in your quickslots. This takes care of the annoyance of having fifty spells and getting confused with which ones to use. It also makes you think strategically. Like what will help your team in combat, what skill will best defeat your enemies, what spell will hurt the enemies element the most.

So before you leave town, think of that and rearrange your skills accordingly. Now one key feature of this game is that all battlefields are instanced. Which means when you exit a town you have the entire map all to yourself. This is quite unique but has it's ups and downs. The good part is that you never have to wait a respawn points and never have to wait for a monster to reappear to complete a quest.

The bad part is that you'll never see anyone else on the battlefield except your party and NPC's. This ALSO means that once you return to town all monsters respawn and the quests that you failed in that area start up again. That can be quite frustrating.

You're in luck though because in every battlefield there are way points that bring you back to life and completely heal you and your party if you have one. But as in most games there's a penalty when you die. No they don't take EXP. What they DO is take down your HP and MP by a certain % each time you die.

And that's your MAX HP they take down. Which means if your HP is at 200 and you die it can be taken down to 180. It'll keep decreasing the more you die. There are two ways to fix this. Killing monsters will start to bring your health back o normal. Oh and going back to town, which of course respawns the monsters. ;)

As you can see the battles in this game are very challenging. One of the best aspects of this game is that unlike other games it does not require you to have a team. If you get sick of looking for a good party then you can just have henchmen. You can hire these henchmen in almost every area and the computer will control them in combat.

However, only use henchmen if you just don't want to wait for your friends or if you need a filler to go with your human group. The henchmen are rather stupid and have many flaws. They are completely out of your control. They'll attack enemy's you had no intention of attacking at the time, and they'll pretty much attack anything you attack.

It's much better to get a human team. Unlike most games the Guild Wars community is really good. You'll meet some friendly players that you'll gladly add to your friends list over a small amount of time. During the time I've played I have added a lot of cool people to my list.

This'll help you form parties. But it's also a lot easier to just go into a town and say what quest you're going on and ask who else wants to go along. In about five minutes you'll have a full party of good players. And because of the addictiveness of this game, you won't need to worry about them saying that they gotta go five minutes into a mission.

Overall, the community in Guild Wars is one of the best I've ever seen. No onto Character Creation. The character creation is pretty simple. You pick your class, your stats, your appearance etc. There is a good selection of things to choose from for your appearance but isn't anymore then most of the good MMORPG's to date. But still, you won't see a hundred clones of you walking around.

Your class selections are the Warrior, Monk, Necromancer, Mesmer, Elementalist, and Ranger. All of them have their strengths and weaknesses, mostly to each other, that balance out the game perfectly so it counts on the skill of the player and not just the stuff he's wearing.

One of the best things about this game is that although you are one class at the beginning of the game, you quickly get the option to dual class. Which means you can be two classes instead of one. With the large number of skills in the game, this doubles your destructive potential.

The Guild Wars staff stresses the fact that no combination is better then any other combination which is partly true. It still mostly depends on the skill of the player. However, some combinations, like a Warrior/Monk is considered great because it's the tank. Fighting skills combined with healing magic.

Tip: In the first part of the game find as many skills as you can. Ask an NPC where you can find your next skills and they'll tell you. If you don't get them now they'll cost something later or the quests to get them will be MUCH harder.

The quests in this game are rather simple. You go do this for this person and you get items and EXP. Or you bring this to this person and you get EXP. The quests are still fun and challenging though and you'll often find yourself fighting for your life just to complete one quest that you thought would be so simple.

Tip: You have a map on the upper right corner. Just because you don't see enemies doesn't mean there isn't any. Some enemies come out of the ground. Most missions give you a marker on the map, follow it if you get lost.

Now let's talk graphics. This game is in every way very beautiful. You'll notice this the instant you login. Just walk down a few feet and turn to your right. The water effects in this game are amazing. They reflect EVERYTHING. Everything in the game from landscape to other characters is very richly detailed.

This is quite surprising considering how fast the game installs and loads. If you've heard that it installs and loads quickly, people are not lying. It can take at most 5 minutes to install, only 2 minutes to make an account, and about 5 SECONDS to login and start playing.

There are load times as you move into certain areas. But it takes at least 3-5 seconds to load between each area. In this game you'll never have to wait long to really get playing. So no more trips to the bathroom or the kitchen between load times.

In a lot of games these days, once you enter a crowded town your frame rate can take a nose dive. In this game you will rarely, if ever, experience that. The design team did an amazing job with the graphics and were still able to make your framerate soar!

How do they take care of lag you ask? Each town or outpost is divided up into districts. Each district has other players that you cannot see. It saves on a bunch of lag.

Now lets move onto the PVP. Unlike most games that either let you PK like crazy (Lineage 2) or have different ways to kill people (Ragnarok Online, Dark Age of Camelot) Guild Wars has a completely unique and fun way of PVP. When you first create a character you have a choice of making a one for the roleplay part or the PVP part.

With the PVP part you get the opportunity to create a high level character with the best stats that you can choose, and a range of abilities. You can jump into PVP almost immediately after that. However, to use most of the abilities for PVP, you need to unlock them in the Roleplay mode. Modifications to your weapons can also be unlocked in Roleplay mode by use of identification and salvage kits.

Once you enter PVP you will see people gathered around the area and you can jump right into PVP by clicking the Enter Mission button at the right of your screen. It will give you a countdown and then bring you right into a battle. It will not launch you into combat that has already begun. It will always put you into the match 30sec to a minute before it begins so you can see your team members and notice your strengths and weaknesses.

When the battle begins the gate will open and the entire area is your battlefield. Despite all of the people on the screen battling at once, the framerate is still very damn good and you'll never feel any lag. The PVP in this game is what truly stands out and the GW staff specifically stated that this game was built with PVP in mind.

That being said, PVP was their main focus and it is one of the best aspects of the game. It's literally Players vs Player. I think most MMORPG's fail to realize what that means. It means that your skill with games will determine whether you win or lose. In other MMORPG's it depends mostly on items and level.

I never used to PVP. And I mean never. But I really got into the PVP in Guild Wars. It's always fun and people are mostly always a good sport whether they win or lose. If you get Guild Wars, you just have to play the PVP.

Now that you've heard the good stuff, let's go into some of the bad stuff.

(1)Most of the items you get in the game need to be crafted because you'll rarely find what you want on the ground. You'll NEVER find armor on the ground.

(2)The only way to get armor is to craft it. There is two ways to get the materials. Go out and hunt for it. Or buy it. There is a bad thing to buying it. You can only buy materials in bulks of ten! Lets say you needed two clothe and 4 scales. Buying those two things in bulks of ten can range from 150gp-200gp. That's a lot of money. However, you can buy them from other people for a set amount. You just have to find them.

(3)For some gamers this game can be too hard because they're too used to games out there that practically hand them experience, gold, and items. This game does not do that nearly as frequently. Only play this game if you're willing to devote a long streatch of time.

(4)Sometimes towns can be filled with a lot of chatter. Especially people trading stuff. It can be difficult for you and others to talk because messages are flying by so quickly!

(5)The henchmen are glitchy. There are some instances when you and your henchmen die, and when that henchmen is ressurected at a waypoint then they will go straight back to where they died. They don't really give a damn what's in their way. Meaning they will litterally walk through mountains and over huge cliffs to get back to where they died. Only to die again and you being one henchman short. They also sometimes stand on stuff like levers or in certain spots that block you from completing your objective.

(6)The exp gain in this game can be really messed up. You could fight literally thousands of monsters and only get halfway to your next level. That happened with me when I tried to get from level 9 to 10. They are making quests way to mandatory.

(7)Most of the simplest of monsters are just too damn overpowered. You'll find yourself fighting groups of monsters that you should be able to kill easily but all they need to do is have one skill to screw up you and your party and they can obliterate you in just a few seconds. It makes getting from point a to point b ALWAYS hard. You just really don't catch a breath in this game.

(8)You'll find yourself constantly frustrated with your character. Sometimes you'll just want to start a new one, which is fine because you can have up to four different characters at any time, but you will face most of the same quests as before. The battles always feel different but it gives you little surprise and even more frustration as you're hounded by the same problems you had before, except in different ways.

That's all of the problems I found in this game. Overall, Guild Wars is an exciting game that is ranked even above World of Warcraft at www.mmorpg.com. Some wouldn't consider that a major achievement. But WoW took that long to stay at the top, and in less then a month Guild Wars obliterated it. The first WEEK it was ranked higher then WoW.

Just about anyone will find Guild Wars to be an exciting and fun experience that will last a very long time, whether in Roleplay mode or in PVP. You'll be playing this game for a very long time and without the monthly fee most common in MMORPG's today, plus the one time cost of the game, as well as the long time gameplay that seeps from it. You really have nothing to lose getting this game.

If you're an avid gamer, or just someone looking for a fun time between work and/or classes. This game will definitely fill that need. If someone else has told you the game sucks, don't listen to them. Found out for yourself and get the game. There is still so much more about this game to talk about, but I reccomend you buy it and see for yourself.

Palin Garrde (Level 10 Elementalist/Monk)

Have fun everyone!
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