Legend of Martial Arts: You Got ta’ Kung Fu Fight!
by Vincent Haoson, OnRPG Journalist
Legend of Martial Arts is a “stylized anime” free to play MMORPG with a martial arts twist. The game plays around the concept of Demons and Humans co-existing in the world where Magic is real and learning martial arts is a way of life.
You are pushed to this world as part of either the Humans or the Reavers, the demon race of the LoMA universe.
LoMA doesn’t go so much with fanfare for new players. My usual complaint when it comes to F2P MMO’s tutorial systems is that it seems to assume that the person they’re “teaching” is experiencing playing an MMO for the first time. Thus going through tutorials is pretty much a tedious process, HOWEVER, there are times when tutorials are necessary, especially if some of the game’s features are unique to the game or at least different from what is deemed as the “WoW cookie cutter format”
However, LoMA took this advice to heart and removed the tutorial entirely. You are immediately thrust into the game without even a guide to tell you which NPC you should find. Under normal circumstances I like this idea since it pushes players to explore the game world; however in LoMA the sudden thrust into action is rather overwhelming.
Players who start off as a human are sure to be swamped with tons of NPCs saying hi or hello from the get-go because you are put smack dab in the middle of a town. Reavers on the other hand start off in a camp enclosure with NPCs strategically placed in such a way that it’s not providing you an NPC overload but helping you figure out what you need to do.
This only means that you can’t just start off in LoMA without a sense of logic or you will experience the aforementioned “getting lost” feeling.
LoMA’s gameplay adheres to the most often used gameplay system found in MMORPGs. LoMA’s gameplay is vanilla F2P MMORPG. The big difference however in LoMA is not about the innovative gameplay system but the amount of gameplay features it has.
The game features include: a skill combo system, a pet and mount system, a title system, and a specialized screenshot system to name the basics. The game even has a marriage system if you have the itch to get paired up in LoMA.
Also, LoMA uses the skill centric character growth system. As your character levels up you earn skill points instead of stat points thus emphasizing on the “inherent” skills of your character and your chosen profession.
The game’s quest system on the other hand follows the usual quest categories such as, kill x amount of monsters or go to x named NPC and get your quest there to kill x amount of monsters.
The only thing LoMA has as a “competitive feature” is it’s stylized anime visuals. To be honest, I have come to expect grand visuals from a game created by the people who gave us Perfect World. Its visuals are stunning and the NPC details are breathtaking. However the stunning visuals (at least in an F2P’s level) could not hide the fact that the interface is cluttered and poorly designed.
In your interface you will see texts going past the borders of the image that should contain said text. I’m not really surprised with this interface design since PW has consistently used this style in most games it creates and localizes. The trend continues here.
LoMA’s item mall contains mostly fashion items such as clothes and other character add-ons to further “beautify” your characters. The mall also contains exclusive cash shop mounts. The Item Mall offers utility items like exp boosts and even a video recorder.
You can also find other “nifty” items such as a dragon ball radar, foe finder and even a dimensional door, all of which would hail from an anime or two.
Unlike some MMOs where investing money into the Item Mall would ensure that you have a beefed up character, LoMA’s cash shop caters more to the vanity and the laziness of players. Still this is a great improvement over some of Perfect World’s cash shop heavy games and I approve of the new direction. One problem though is that there is a quest where the game requires you to have the above mentioned dimensional door before you can accomplish it.
Overall, LoMA feels like a generic martial arts themed MMORPG. It’s not so much that LoMA is generic but rather it plays so much like perfect world but with a cuter take on the whole Martial Arts genre. Perhaps I am just being critical due to so many great MMORPGs being released in the last few months. What can I say, the standards of the genre are improving!
The game does however offer a tad more job options considering the limited nature of the martial arts genre. Comparing itself to Scions of Fate I must say the game is offers a more flexible option for a wider range of play styles.
While the item mall isn’t much of a balance breaker, its convenience in the later stages of the game should not be underestimated. Any experience boosting item is vital when dealing with the steep endgame experience curve. However with the ascension update coming up and the level cap being raised, leveling is only going to get harder. It goes without saying that LoMA is a grind fest so don’t be shocked when you hit the exponential experience wall late game.
If you’re looking for a cute, martial-arts themed MMO to socialize and grind in, LoMA fits the bill. To this audience, Perfect World has hit a bulls-eye but left me desiring more out of my F2P.