Lunia Online Review - Addictive Combo Mayhem!
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Lunia Online is an anime-styled MMO beat em' up cogame that lets players enjoy smashing tons of enemies with minimal effort. The game is arranged in a vaguely sequenced system where players take quests and eventually find themselves on a continuous chain of missions. The game is extremely fun, especially with the all the characters to choose from. The game play sports the traditional Final Fight system, which makes players crush everything on the screen before proceeding to the next part of the map. The game can be played with the keyboard but if you want that classic gaming feel I'd suggest a game pad.
Unlike other MMOs, Lunia Online presents you with pre generated character selection rather than the traditional generic archetype selector. Each character has its own unique set of skills but essentially the same type of game play. You will mostly be beating up everything on the map. The game also states the difficulty of handling each character. This form of rating allows players to distinguish which characters have easier combos as well as the survival rate of each character when soloing instances.
After entering the game world, you'll be opted to join a family for an extra boost. Families serve as your personal team in the game and are quite essential for your character's growth. Achievements and bonuses can be shared to family members provided that they are logged in at the time. It's the lazy man's way, but hell I'm lazy anyway.
BLOCK DAMN IT!
One of the things that caught my attention was the lockdown factor that occurs every time you get hit by a group of monsters. The game does not have a block option. This makes it hard for players to escape a group attack. Allow me to explain further. During my early levels, I found myself stranded in the middle of a wolf pack. Since most of their attacks don't knock you down, there's no invincibility window granted for you to escape the continuous bites draining your HP, and due to the absence of blocking, you'll probably just stand in place taking damage until a player saves you or die in the process. A block function wouldn't hurt.
Get A Gamepad With Tons Of Buttons
Since directional keys and basic attacks take most of the mapped controls, mapping the skills and essential items in the game can be a pain. Yeah, you're free to use a game pad, but due to the lack of buttons, players will most likely go back to the keyboard for the extra functions.
Quests And Missions
Like I said, quests tend to link every time you finish a mission. This means that the NPC you'll be meeting for the quest rewards will most likely give you another task after completing your current one.
Missions are instanced and will only be shared with your party members, so it's best that you recruit team members before rushing in, unless you want to repeat the whole thing after being massacred by mobs.
Lunia's missions and scenarios are done pretty well. You'd think it's the same as other MMO beat em' up games, but it's not. Aside from the continuous mobs, Lunia's missions are semi scripted, meaning things really happen as you venture across the instanced map. Much like Guild Wars, you'll find NPCs joining your crew as you progress. It's a very immersive way of storytelling, and yet a rare feature for MMOs to possess. Another thing great thing is the in game cinematic or comic strips. On random occasions, a clickable movie tab will be shown, allowing players to access a visual novel interface that explains the current situation. Once again, the artwork is anime-ish... a good way to hook people, I must say.
I was really amazed when I saw the World Map, if we can call it that. As you can see, there are episode tabs at the top portion of the screen. This pretty much signifies how long you'll be playing to finish the story :3. That's like 70 missions if you count 10 per episode. Worry not though, for the game has enough gimmicks and scripted goodness to remove the linearity of game play. The story is actually pretty interesting if you ask me.
The Map of Lunia
You can access PVP anytime on the world map simply by entering the PVP Room. This takes you to a list of hosted battles where you can either join or create your own session. There's a room made for beginners but I wasn't able to find any newbies to challenge. Your best bet would probably be to level up further and challenge the highbies when you get there. Matches can either be 1-on-1 or 2-on-2.
Graphics and Sounds
Cell shaded anime graphics... a simple and outdated system but still works for most gamers today. The spells look absolutely brilliant, with dynamic light effects that swivel across the screen and emphasize the said skill. The background is vibrant and quite colorful, allowing the character models to blend well with the surroundings. There are a whole variety of monsters and bosses, allowing players to see something new every time they progress further. Nothing rewards you better than a change of scenery right? The sounds are just brilliant. First off, the BGM is just invigorating and is perfect for the whole beat em' up feel. Secondly, character voices also add to the experience as they accompany the crunchy sound effects that manifest per hit. Superb!!!
Balls, Balls Everywhere!
I must say, Lunia Online got me hooked pretty fast. With character combos, instanced missions, epic boss battles, what more could you ask for? Perhaps the biggest thing that caught my attention was the game's moving storyline and visual novel storytelling. It's quite rare for MMOs to possess this feature and I'm happy to see it again. There are tons of characters in the game, and it's just sad that some of them are for sale... Hmm...they did say that the others can be unlocked through secret quests, so I guess I'll be looking for them. I had a few lag problems, but it was pretty easy to endure, especially since I was enjoying the game so much.. Nailing those combos may be a bit hard for newbies, but trust me when I say that it feels kind of nice when you've mastered them. Both fun and rewarding, Lunia Online is definitely something to enjoy.
-Excellent soundtrack and invigorating music
-Visual Novel Storytelling
-Some characters are for sale
-Long loading times.