By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
Have you ever wondered how it would feel to wake up one day with no memory of what happened to you the night before, and with an orc near your bed calling you honey? Well, look no further because that is how you start off your adventure in Gekkeiju Online.
A little background
Before I continue on the review, a short backgrounder for the game must be done because there are several aspects in the game that is hard to actually convey without at least a prior knowledge of the whole thing. This is not like most of the games you see out that you can immediately judge from the get go.
First, according to the site’s Wiki-page, the developers of Gekkeiju Online does not consider itself an MMO, their reason is that the game population is not that big. Next would be that the game considers itself an ‘Independent Project’. It means that the game is not forced to earn the developer a huge amount of profit. Third, the game prides itself that unlike most MMOs, the game is in a constant flux meaning the game updates itself in a constant manner totally unlike most commercial MMOs that are finished products when they start operation.
Gekkeiju Online does not pride itself for having the best graphics in the industry. The characters are roughly done and if you would notice, there is a huge difference between the male and female characters which shows the bias the developers have in terms of genders. The male characters look bad while the female characters are better rendered. It is quite obvious that the game’s graphics engine is using some old 3d engine because the monsters look like chunks of big blocks. Oh and before you get surprised, during character creation your character does curse you by chucking his or her arms at you, so better be prepared for that.
The game background quality is also similar to how your character looks. If you are expecting to having a little reprieve from all the visible polygons you see when you do look at the game’s horizon, I must be honest and tell you that you will be disappointed.
What your eye perceives in Gekkeiju Online is what you will get when it comes to the game’s controls. Your characters move awkwardly and robotic, it’s as if your character is like those round-up robot toys you get when you were a kid. That is not just limited to your character. Even the monsters movements are not as smooth and there are times where you can just laugh at how they move because they look like string puppets.
Gekkeiju Online makes up for the poor graphics with tons of game features that are exclusively unique to the game. One of the first things you would notice is that the game has a different leveling system compared to the usual MMORPGs. IN Gekkeiju Online level advancement must be done through an NPC that is found in the villages. You do not get stat points nor get to jump to the next level of the game by just merely killing monsters. Though you do get to receive experience points, but these serve as payment for the advancement of your character.
Another unique feature the game has its character creation. Gekkeiju Online lets you choose what kind of character you have, what god does it worship and what kind of ‘character’ your character has in the beginning. You can have the option of getting a certain background for your character which sets the stat bonuses your character will get.
Another character related feature the game has is that it has an NPC that gives allows you to change races in the game. This gives you the opportunity of trying out the other races without having to create another account. Of course it would mean that you would have to start from scratch but it beats having you make another character just to know how it feels to be an elf.
Some of the other features the game has include the option of sailing on boats and travel the seas of Gekkeiju Online. There is also a game system where you have to bury your kills or they return from the grave as undead skeletons hell bent on bringing you to hell with them.
One of Gekkeiju Online’s biggest asset as an independent game is that the developers are given free rein on almost everything about the game. This would mean that they can do whatever they please without worrying too much what the players would think. This freedom gives way for the game to have a charm you would not normally find in any commercial MMORPG. Where would you find a game that welcomes you into its world by introducing you as an orc’s lover regardless of your character’s gender or that would you even encounter a game that insults you when you die? These are but a few of the little charms that make Gekkeiju make a gem even if the game looks like it was made in the 90s.
For a game that has a huge disadvantage because it has such a dated graphics engine, the game does deliver its promise of having a feature heavy online game. The amount of features the game has can in fact offset the game’s visual limitations. There is also the charm the game has. Gekkeiju Online is a game that has stepped over the line and is a game that bites back because its developers do not have the need to earn a lot from the game. As of the moment, the developers have yet to disprove any of the claims they have and this gives the game a different and fresh feeling that most MMOs have failed to achieve.
If you are the type of person who doesn’t rely too much on visuals and prefers a game that offers something new to a genre that has lost its luster then by all means go ahead and try Gekkeiju Online. A word of caution though, you better prepare yourself for the abuse you’re going to get from a certain orc when you start playing.
– The game has a lot of unique features that you won’t find in other games
– The game has attitude and won’t be taking things sitting down
– It’s fun to see NPCs cursing you and insulting you after being saturated with ‘kid friendly’ MMOs.
– Very dated graphics
– The BGM becomes irritating if you play the game long enough
– If you are used to a ‘friendlier’ gaming environment then you should think twice on playing the game.