La Tale Europe review: The Story of Admiration and Adoration
By Mohammed Afzal (MageMoa), OnRPG Journalist.
''Ah, finally! A sidescroller with a lot of potential.'' These words were probably my first thoughts when I saw OGPlanet's announcement about releasing La Tale's English version. La Tale, a 2D sidescroller MMORPG from Actoz Soft, seemed to be a cute MMO with easy controls and a lot of customization. However, when I started playing OGPlanet's La Tale I noticed that the game had these annoying delays, especially for Europeans. The game was barely playable, a disappointment for many European players.
When Aeria decided to host the European server of La Tale in 2009, I decided to give the game another try. That day, a new world opened to me: The world of La Tale.
'Adorable' is the best way to describe it
From the moment you enter the game you are captivated by the wonderful artwork and music of La Tale. The game offers you quite a lot of customization when creating a character and that is definitely not something you would expect from a 2D MMORPG. There are about ten hairstyles and five faces to choose from. Furthermore, you are able to pick a class from the start. La Tale used to offer four classes: Wizard, Explorer, Knight and Warrior. After a while a new class got added to the list: Engineer. The classes have several skill trees which you can mix to make your own, unique character. Anyway, back to the graphics:
The graphics of the game are unique and adorable. The colors are soft and smooth, which is great to look at. In addition, the character sprites seem to be drawn by hand, which makes the game stand out. On the other hand, the music really starts to work on your nerves if you stay in the same area for more than thirty minutes.
The scenery is a different story. There are so many different themes, from underwater maps to snowy areas, and so many different kinds of monsters that you will never be bored.
Smashing buttons and spectacular options
The combat of La Tale is anything but complex. Just as with other 2D games you basically have to face an opponent and spam your skills in order to kill it. This might sound very disappointing, but you will have so much fun seeing your enemies die that you actually forget that you are grinding, especially when you are partying with friends.
La Tale offers a huge variety of skills. All classes have their own skill trees, including at least two offensive and a few passive trees. There is so much to choose from, but you don't have to worry about ruining your character, because of the cheap skill resets which can be bought in every town for only 100k, which is basically nothing at higher levels. Moreover, the game offers you a career advancement at level 80. Various new skills are available and your character can even change its appearance after advancing.
Two Meisters in their MGs
As promised, I will give you a summary of the available classes:
Warriors are the offensive melee characters. They use spears or two-handed swords. At level 80, they have the option to choose between Blader and Warlord. Bladers do not have any offensive skills. However, their passives and buffs make them incredibly powerful. Furthermore, they use double blades and are incredibly fast. Warlords are much slower, but their offensive skills and high strength make up for that.
Knights are the defensive melee characters, better known as 'tanks'. They use clubs and one-handed swords and they often wear a shield. They have the ability to advance into a Guardian or a Templar at level 80. They both excel at the ability to buff and defend their parties, but Templars are much more defensive. They are basically an advancement of a regular Knight. Guardians, however, use knuckles and they are both offensive and defensive.
Wizards are the magic class of the game. They specialize in using elemental skills. Each wizard has the option to specialize in one of the four elements: Water, earth, fire and wind.
Wizards advance into Sorcerers and Bards. Sorcerers are powerful elemental Wizards, while Bards have the ability to heal and protect their party.
Explorers are a mix of rogues and archers. They use bows, knuckles, daggers and crossbows. Their advancements are Treasure Hunter and Gunslinger. Treasure Hunters specialize in the four weapons I mentioned, while Gunslingers use guns.
Last but not least: The Engineers. They use toolboxes and their mechanic skills to fight. At level 80 they advance into Meisters. A Meister drives around in a robot (MG) and uses it to fight enemies.
Instances and mythical monsters
La Tale offers its players a good number of instances. There is basically an instance for every ten levels. These instances are really challenging and entertaining. They all have different themes: There is a spooky instance, a supernatural one, one based on Egypt and so forth. Moreover, there are monsters in many instances which drop powerful set equipment. These clothes and weapons are often better than what you can buy from a random store, which makes the instances much more fun.
There is a downside, though. The game has many mobs with the same appearance, but different colors. It seems like the developers did not bother to create more unique opponents, which is a disappointment.
Crafting, Guilds and PvP
The developers did spend a lot of time on the crafting system though. At level 10, you will have the option to pick one of the five crafting methods: Weapon, Armor, Accessory, Refine and Alchemist. You can basically craft anything in-game, even rare weapons, as long as you have the materials. One has the ability to upgrade his crafting abilities in order to make other items by crafting a lot. The only downside of this system is that you cannot freely change your crafting method, unless you are willing to spend money in the Cash Shop.
The Cash Shop, however, does not affect game play that much. Many Cash Shop items can be bought from other players and Aeria offers enough possibilities to obtain Aeria Points.
La Tale's guild system is pretty outstanding. Guilds can only level if their members train and donate some of their EXP to the guild. With the arrival of Episode 4 the guild crop system will be made available, which makes it even more important to be part of a guild.
The PvP, however, is a bit generic. You sign up to fight and you wait until someone else does the same thing, which is quite annoying when you want to fight against a certain person. The PvP system is also very unbalanced. A level 5 player could easily kill my level 110 bard by using some knuckle skills.
The Crafting System
Updates and server
With the arrival of Episode 4 and Abio Club on OGPlanet's version, it seems as if they have a lot more content than the European server. However, Aeria Games' version does not differ that much from OGPlanet's. They are a few updates behind, but they have done an amazing job. In addition, there is basically no lag or delay for European players and Aeria's support is amazing. Make sure you check La Tale's forums in order to participate in one of the many events!
La Tale is a dynamic and diverse MMORPG. The graphics are adorable, the music is amazing and the different scenery is wonderful. There are also a lot of features, such as crafting and all the different instances. The game offers more than just grinding and doing quests and it seems as if Aeria is doing a great job as well.
There are definitely some flaws, like the unbalanced PvP, and it might take you some time to fully understand this game, but La Tale is exactly what you would expect from a sidescroller: Dynamic, cute and full of action.