Sphere: Reborn- formerly Sphere Online
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Sphere Online (or rather Sphere Reborn) is the first Russian made Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). It takes place in a fantasy world called the Sphere (no doi), a parallel universe that has been prophesized to cause turmoil throughout Earth through its self inflicted damage (emo planet, yey!). In order to counter this global catastrophe, the world's greatest warriors banded together to form an alliance against this unruly evil. The best part about this game is that it's free to play. That means you can pretty much walk around without having to worry about progress cause you're not paying for it anyway LOL.
Gamers! What are your professions?!
One good thing about this game is its interesting array of characters. Being a first, you'd probably expect this game to lack classes. Unfortunately, Sphere online actually has tons of them, so I guess that's a big fist up yours. There are 14 classes (referred to as specializations) in the game: Assassin, Hunter, Crusader, Druid, Inquisitor, Thief, Barbarian, Archmage, Armourer, Master of Steel, Blacksmith, Wizard, Necromancer, and Bandier. While I haven't had the time to actually try them all, I feel it's safe to say that everyone of them have their own respective balance and reserved play style.
While skills are supposed to represent a character's individuality, this game really lacks the capability to create characters that are unique due to its lack of actual customization. The uniformity of skills are very similar to RF Online which lets character individuality be separated through class and not through builds alone. It's tad disappointing, but I've seen worse.
What to look forward to:
The game has both PVE and PVP (isn't that enough to look forward to?), which is a good thing since it caters to both carebears (PVE lovers) and bloodthirsty Orcs (the opposite). There are hundreds of evil monsters in the game, lessening the possibility of a linear grind spree. I mean you wouldn't want to keep seeing the same monster with their color as your basis for their level right? I thought so.
PVP lovers may find themselves locked in castle sieges as they try to take the right to own the castles in the game. You can also duel with other players but I suppose you'd prefer to own people in an all out war instead of doing it one on one.
Sphere Online is also blessed with a gratuitous amount of quests which will probably knock any PVE lover off their time frame. Quests aren't really mandatory as most free to play encourages people to grind. The best part about the quests in this game is that they actually feel a bit more like those in retail games. No they don't really have special scripts that makes you go "@__@ guh", but they do provide enough decency to actually get you to go somewhere WITHOUT killing something.
Spear or sword? --- can I have that thing over there?
The game has a huge arsenal of weapons, ready to be picked up. According to the game, there are 500+ weapons scattered throughout the Sphere. I for one think that this is a good feature since players are always going around looking for weapons that look different from the rest. Don't get your hopes up though; I said there are 500+ weapons in the game, not 500+ different looking weapons (I was tricked too so don't worry <_<).
The extent of exploration
Exploration: one of the greatest parts in your everyday MMO life.
When dealing with this feature, Sphere Reborn has much to offer as it makes use of four diverse continents for players to explore. The place is filled with various areas that gradually change as you step from one place to another. Monsters tend to differ in each area as well, so I guess you're in for a different feel every time you progress.
The English version of Sphere online was launched back then in 2007. You may think that the game is all polished by now but it still contains a bunch of grammatical errors that come off as awkward every time you read them. It's not really a big deal but they could at least remove such a simple errors.
Graphics and Sounds
The graphics are reaaaaaaally bad, and when I say really bad, I mean "Ran online looks so much better than this game" bad. They did bring the world to life through its elements, but the engine used was just too old for its own good. 2007? Some games from 2003 look better. The sounds effects are ok, probably too good for the visuals. The game could use a few BGMs since hearing the sound of weapons clashing is getting kind of dull, and you'll find yourself creeping through dead silent areas most of the time.
One thing I have to say about the graphics though, is that even though it uses a really crappy and outdated engine, they still managed to blend the elements well. You'd probably see the timelessness of this game through that factor alone.
The first Russian MMORPG right? I kind of think they did pretty well (no really! Ido!). The graphics are bearable at most points and they did supply an awesome form of gameplay. Decent quests in a free to play game? I'm cool with that. The game has tons of classes, most of which have never been seen in the MMO world. When it comes to character creation, having a choice is always a big factor for players. They did give a lot of classes to choose from, but I wish they could've exercised more individuality rather than just separating characters through their classes like an animal farm. Exploration in this game is also good as it takes players into a world that gradually changes as they progress further. I'm sure these things can justify how good this game is. A must play? Could be... but do you really have to know my opinion to know if you wanna play it or not?
- 14 Classes
- Diverse Areas
- Sound effects rock
- Could use a bit more music
- Graphics are terrible
- Character individuality
- Bad grammar.