Sacred Seasons Season 2 Review: Changing Like the Seasons
By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
Sacred Seasons is a flash-based game that puts you in the shoes of cycle heroes whose mission is to take back the white city from the evil that has overrun it. The game is a mix of story-driven gameplay and a very engaging class system that you can say is similar to the job class system of console games Final Fantasy Tactics and Jean d'Arc.
Upon playing Sacred Season S2, I immediately noticed the revamp of the game's in-game look and quality. SS2 has indeed upgraded to a better-looking interface while retaining its cartoonish theme. At first I thought the game is another version of Adventure Quest, another flash based RPG, but as I ventured deep into Heartland I was totally in for a surprise.
Switching like the seasons
Seasons 'R' Us
First off, I liked how they incorporated the seasons into the gameplay, with each season having its own special characteristic that suits a player's preferred game style.Personally, I found the game's story quite interesting because this is my first time encountering a game that uses this theme even if the overall idea behind it is already overused in the RPG genre. I also liked that the game sticks to the story's overall concept behind the 'cycle heroes' while making it an interesting game both in its story and its gameplay.However, the most interesting feature the game has is neither of these two. It's the game's class system that practically provides almost 90% of the interest factor for SS2.
Pick your battles
Which to Choose?
In SS2, each season has its own version of the same classes. Let's say a soldier class may fall into the four seasons with each season providing a different attribute that is related to the season. Players may also change into the 23 classes available in the game including some hidden classes that can be acquired through special means. Players, however, need to pay a fee to be able to switch season and classes. Players also need to go through special quests before they can even unlock the other classes, which makes things pretty much a chore for new players.
So many classes to choose from
SS2s class system seems to be a convoluted mish-mash of different classes or the newbies, however, it is pretty important that you have a general idea how each class works and how the seasons affect each job class. Mixing and matching the classes and the season to your gameplay is an adventure in itself and will definitely take most of your time during the first few hours of gameplay. There are a lot of things you can discover in the job classes as you continue on playing and for sure there will be moments where you will eventually be inclined to go to another class and season even after you've already set your heart on one.
So I must say that the game's class system is not really suited for casual gamers who are looking for a pick up and go game. You can however wing it for your first few hours but I'm pretty sure that you'd eventually fall into the notion that you definitely need to understand the class system to be effective.
While the class system may be a daunting feature in SS2, the skill system is easy enough to understand. You need a mix of class and season points to learn skills. With the switchable class system in place the skill system puts a tinge of strategy on how you use the seasons skill points you have.
Of course what would a game be without equipment? With the switchable class system in place, there are a lot of equips and weapons you can use. While the majority of the equipment in the game may be used by several classes, there are some class specific weapons and equips in the higher levels.
The problem with the equipment and weapons in SS2 is that the fairly decent ones are only available in the game's World system, SS2's version of a premium item shop. Don't expect the game to be friendly to rely on playing the game for free because the non-currency related equipment are that weak. So if you're looking for a flash-based game that will provide equal footing for players who pay and for those who don't, go to another game and save yourself the trouble.
Sacred Season 2 is a good example that a game can be decent enough with the proper use of imagination and a very addictive game system. However this game would've been better if it was a client based 3D MMORPG rather than just a flash based one. This leads to another problem I found in the game. Being that SS2 is a flash-based MMORPG, the animation of the characters and the monsters are lacking in variations. This is where I stress the point that the game would look better if it were a client based MMO.
The other problem with SS2 is the seeming lack of imagination in terms of the game's skills and monsters. There are times when the skills are practically useless and you are better off using the basic attacks, on the other hand, you have monsters that seem to be doing the same thing over and over again. The lack of variation in attacks may take its toll and will probably lead you to stop playing if you plan on playing the game for a while.
Overall, SS2 is a game that has changed itself beautifully. It kept the things that made the first season of the game good and added a few changes and tweaks to make it into a stellar MMO. While it still has problems in a lot of areas, the game is quite decent enough to play. Players who are willing to part with some of their cash may find it more enjoyable though than free to play players, but then it's up to your own discretion to actually pay or not.
- Basic and easy to grasp gameplay
- Huge selection of classes to choose from
- Switchable class and season system.
- Decent items and many other things require you to use money
- Repetitive animations
- Unimaginative monsters.