By Rickee Charbs (Jammart), OnRPG Journalist
Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu is one of the many free MMORPGs that have been run continuously by various hosts companies. This MMO in particular went through various revamps-even a few name changes at that. So to speak, that should define this MMO as a very refined title, but as much as this game was improved there are still flaws. Of course, one cannot always look at the pessimistic point of view of things; this game has been worked on with a great deal of attention and this is proved by its extremely unique gameplay and features and its ability to run as a successful MMORPG throughout all of these years.
Currently published by Aeriagames (Ndoors hosts the global version), Luminary is in its prime. Three servers: Zeus, Hera, and Athena are populated by various citizens aspiring to earn the noble rank of GoonZu (of which there is only one per server)!
Luminary bases itself on three large fields of gameplay, split into respective categories: economics, politics, and battle. That being said, the social aspect of Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu is extremely important and makes the game what it is to this day. As such, this game is very flexible in terms of advancement. One may choose to follow politics, and run a city or two in the game, or maybe become a legendary craftsman and try to make some gold on the market. On the other side of things, players may also follow the path of a fierce warrior, as a swordsman, spearman, axeman, caner, bowman, or even gunner. Ultimately, players yearn for the GoonZu title, which basically states that you have power over the entire server-you can only wonder why people want this rank!
Unfortunately, the battle system is very limited and does not really offer any challenge. You simply have to click on a monster, gather drops, rest, rinse and repeat. Those who play the game more seriously do not play it for the battle system. Casual gamers may find some interest in the game's battle systems, though, as various simple systems such as summoning add some entertainment to the fighting in the game.
The politics system is the absolute most unique aspect of this game. Aside from a mini politics system in every (player run) town, the game has one large board of player politicians that basically run the game. This system can be heavily compared to NexusTK's community systems; though Luminary offers much more power to its players in charge. The GoonZu, leader in charge of all Luminary politics, has the ability to appoint 5 ministers that all represent mythical Japanese beasts (Kirin, Phoenix, Blue Dragon, White Tiger, and Black Tortoise). Under the ministers are the judges, appointed by the Kirin, and finally the Guardian Angels appointed by the White Tiger. The ensemble of the GoonZu, his ministers, the judges, and the guardian angels, are in charge of all political and economical change within the game world. They must be re elected every 60 days.
Another side to this MMO are its economic buying and selling systems. They do require some sort of getting used to, however after a short learning curve the buying and reselling tactics will come to you like a charm. Unfortunately, on a few servers the economy is a little unbalanced and this makes for a difficult market to play with. With the extensive crafting element of Luminary, this system can prove to be quite fun for more casual gamers.
Graphics and Sound
Keeping in mind that Luminary is a pretty old MMORPG, the graphics and sound are both very mediocre. I did not particularly enjoy the background music as it was too repetitive, though it was not that much of a bother. The graphics take some getting used to, but they are not poorly made-they're just old. I liked the classical aspect of the game, and the graphics and sound sure amplified that feeling.
Luminary is most importantly known as a social MMORPG. The community and chat in this game is really enjoyable. I met a ton of really friendly people during my time in-game-it was actually a nice change from most free to play MMROPGS. I am more used to people yelling at me for a buff and then walking off without any thanks. With the many guilds and towns to visit, socializing is easy and fun. I have read of a few complaints of players who do not behave (racists, fascists, etc), with claims of the game being poorly moderated, but gladly I did not encounter any of that!
This game is made for those who enjoy playing with others, in large groups, and creating your own adventure as you advance in the game. Luminary offers many different PVP modes, such as town versus town or guild versus guild, not to mention the conventional PVP system in teams or solo. If you do not enjoy the PVP scene, you can choose to run the markets, become a politician, a policeman, a guardian angel given the duty of helping new players...It's all up to you.
I must admit that in the 2.5D/2D gaming world, I am very easy to please. Despite being very dated, I enjoyed most of what I played in this game. The lack of customization was the only major turnoff I had faced. I would have to label this game as an average MMORPG, though, but seeing as it is free there is not much to complain about. The community is great, the learning curve is tiny, the politics system is fun to be integrated in, and the chatting is endless fun. Happy gaming!
-Unique politics system
-Elaborate crafting feature
-Little to no learning curve.
-Slight lack in customization (unless you cough up the cash)
-The battle system is dull
-Various spelling mistakes in-game.