Tales of Fantasy Review: Awaken The Warrior Within
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Since MMOs nowadays offer nothing but repetitive content and generic gameplay, you'll probably need to try out a lot of different titles to find the MMO experience you've been waiting for. If so, then should Tales of Fantasy be in your to-try-list? After seeing the trailer, I could not help but feel hyped over the idea of mounted combat. Since mounts have been nothing more than a fast travelling aid in various MMOs, it was quite refreshing to see players fight while on the backs of their fast moving horses. Tales of Fantasy is a free to play MMORPG that features a broad 3D world where players can travel while immersing themselves further in the game's questing storyline. It also features open PVP, as well as a handful of other things that may appeal to most gamers today. The question is, does Tales of Fantasy have enough features to outlast today's MMOs? Let's see, shall we?
Time To Awaken Thy Inner Warrior
Upon starting the game, players are opted to choose between two warring factions (Bohren and Ashland). Each faction has two unique styles to choose from: Agile and Handsome for the Bohrens, and Cute and Cool for the Ashlanders. Other than aesthetics, players must be careful when choosing their style as it also gives them various stat bonuses and unique skills that boost the capabilities of specific classes. There are also two starting classes to choose from: the Pugilist, which is the default melee class that can branch out to either Warrior or Rogue, and the Apprentice, who specializes on spell casting, eventually taking the role of either Mage or Healer. The game sports the traditional job system, which allows classes to "evolve" after reaching a certain level. All-in-all there are four basic classes, and eight final classes. Each class can pick one of two superior classes every time they require a job change.
Final classes are as follows:
Rogues: Marksman and Assassin
Warrior: Gladiator and Sentinel
Mages: Summoner and Archmage
Healers: Priest and Druid
The Joy of PVP
Although you'll spend most of your time completing quests and grinding on monsters, PVP still plays a role in almost any MMO. What is good about Tales of Fantasy's PVP system is the reward function, which allows players to earn points, which they can use to purchase in-game items after slaying a member of the opposing faction. Once you enter neutral territory, you better watch your back, as player killers are most likely to be lurking around. There's also the duel function, which allows you to fight your friends to see who is the better warrior. There's a penalty for killing low-level players though, so keep your sword sheathed unless you're about to engage a formidable opponent. Although I find the whole "no-killing-lowbies" rule bothersome, it does make it easier for players to start without worrying about getting GANKED. In my experience, allowing players to kill 'lowbies' without penalties often results in them contacting the high-leveled players of their faction to come to their aid. It is a good way for faction members to exercise teamwork, thus making use of the massively multiplayer function of the game, but I suppose this will have to do.
Other Functions For Mounts
With all the MMO games you've played so far, aren't you tired of using the generic mount function? Mounts are great for travelling, especially if your game makes you travel great distances with a character who has a stamina bar. Luckily, Tales of Fantasy decided to change all that by introducing mounted combat. Unlike most games, players can access their first mount as early as level 5. Once astride their mighty mounts, players can wield their weapons against their enemies while making use of the mount's speed and agility. Might I say that I was absolutely impressed with this feature, as most games only use mounts for travelling purposes. Another mount feature is the 'Horse Race System', which allows players to race each other to see who's fast and who's ABOUT to be furious.
One of the unique features in the game is Soul Fusion, which lets you upgrade various types of equipment by forging magic items known as Soul Crystals into them. Doing so greatly enhances the equipment's stats, and offers a lot of bonuses that can aid you in your journey. Also, fusing these items together grants your character a set of wings that add up to your style factor. There are different wings in the game depending on which crystal you use, so have fun fusing.
When it comes to graphics, I would say that Tales of Fantasy is above most titles. The landscape can feel repetitive at times, but the action-packed lighting effects and spell animations greatly make up for it. Graphic-wise, I'm very contented with this game. The interface on the other hand, really needs a makeover as it normally presents itself with a black bar on the top and bottom part of your screen, regardless of which resolution you use. I don't understand the relevance of this, but I guess it makes it easier to see the life bar (?).
Despite its features, the game's repetitive nature really pulled it down. Although the game sports quests and a variety of ways to strengthen your character, the fact that you'll be doing everything in a linear and systemized way makes it feel more like a chore rather than a game. The Soul Fusion system is very fun to use, and the mounted combat feature makes this game's PVP a must try for everyone, but I really don't think it makes up for the game's lack of diversity. I would still recommend this game to various MMO gamers, but if you're feeling drab by playing it, don't force it.
-Open PVP system
-Soul Fusion system (Wings are just charming)
-Repetitive backgrounds (change matters)
-What is WITH those black bars? I'm not even sure if they really wanted that effect or if they just did a poor job with the resolution <_<