Wonderland Online review



by Michael Justice, Onrpg writer

When I think of a Wonderland, I think of a magical prairie filled with unicorns, butterflies, rainbows and sunshine. While you may think of this yourself as you first step into the game, do not be fooled by it's cutesey graphics. It may look like a two year old's episode of “My Little Pony”, but it's not. If you can take the game seriously, it has a lot to offer, MMORPG-wise. It has a unique combat system, a great economy, an amazing community and a very light emphasis on experience and such. It's a great casual game that pretty much anyone can go right in and start playing.

Gameplay
As I logged in for the first time back in closed beta, I remember being very questionable about the character creation. You can apparently choose a starting “character” and a corresponding element. The characters themselves are supposedly part of a story... like a boat they were all on crashed and... something or other... anyway; there's a decent amount of characters to choose from so it's not like everyone is walking around as Bob. The element you choose as well as the fighting style you pick probably is the most important thing you decide while choosing your character. All elements have physical offensive skills and offensive magic skills, so you can choose if you want to be a sword slinger or a magic magician.

After creating your character, and viewing some sequences you'll be right smack dab in the middle of the game. You'll get your first pet, a monkey, which will help you in combat! There is a bunch of other NPCs you can get as partners to aid you in battle, which I think is pretty nice. It can change the horrifyingly dull combat up a little. Now some people only play a game for the combat, however, those people probably will be disappointed in Wonderland then. While Wonderland does offer a unique turn-based combat system, there's only so much you can do in combat before you get instantly bored of it. I mean it's basically just pressing attack over and over again. To make up for this little bit of slack, there is a quest to get a “remote control”. This little gadget will let you legally bot... yes... legally bot in the game. Just set the orders and you're free to go! It's not very fun, but, there is a lot more stuff to Wonderland than just the combat!

As you kill monsters and such you'll get a bunch of materials you can use for crafting. I have to say that the amount of things you can craft in Wonderland is simply astounding. You create things inside of your magic tent, which can expand to the size of a mansion if you work on it enough. There is no “skill” for manufacturing, you just have to posses the right amount of materials as well as the proper tools to make it. It is quite fun if you like little hobbies like this, because I know people who can spend hours just doing that kind of stuff. I certainly had fun with it. You can make all kinds of stuff from weapons and armor to cars and spaceships to carpets and windows for your tent. I would have to say that this is definitely Wonderland's killer feature for the game and people must try this part out before they give up. There's also stuff like fishing, mining, wood chopping and collecting, which is used to gather stuff to craft with, although those do depend on skill levels to how fast you can collect them.

Quests and Storyline
There are some obvious quests that you have to do, such as talking to people, killing X monster 5 times, gathering X flower on the ground... and then there is the storyline for each individual NPC ally. It firsts becomes apparent that there is an actual storyline when you run into a local NPC being attacked by enemies. You kill the bad guys and she joins your party. From there on, a cut-scene will happen when you progress to an area she is linked with. Sometimes, when you have witnessed a key cut-scene, you will get a constellation. I really like this part, it's pretty neat, and I have to say that while I wasn't so much in to the whole combat, I was really tied to the storyline of the NPCs. While this is cool and all, your character, the one you made, has virtually no effect on the storyline other than helping out the NPC allies. It's kind of like reading a book, which some people enjoy, although, some people prefer to being part of the story. Either way, in the current day and age where MMORPGs hardly even try to have storylines, Wonderland does a great job at it.

Graphics
While some people are completely fine with the 2D cutesy graphics, other people who just can't accept 2D will obviously not even try the game. I preferably loved them. It reminded me very much of Golden Sun. The animations are pretty smooth, graphical effects are nice and crisp. There's nothing particularly wrong with them for a 2D game; it's just that some people actually need 3D to enjoy a game. Of course, this comes down to the big “graphics or gameplay?” question, and if you are a fan of gameplay, definitely try out Wonderland. If you're a big graphics junkie, I would probably stay away from Wonderland, as you'll probably be too put off by the 2D design to enjoy the actual game.

Pros

  • An actual storyline
  • Extensive and detailed crafting system
  • Housing and other various things to do other than grind
  • Unique combat system to MMORPGs

Cons

  • Not 3D graphics (if you don't like 2D)
  • Combat is monotonous
  • Not much character customization
  • Can take a while to get somewhere in crafting

Personal recommendation
If you like gameplay, and you like things in an MMORPG other than combat, Wonderland can definitely keep you sucked in for a while. There's a lot to do and it's very easy to do. It's a game to have fun without any competition. Make some friends, hang out together fishing or invite them into your tent for a quick dip in your hot tub!

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