By Kei Beneza (Dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Pi Story is a cutesy anime-ish Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) that shares the same concept as Secret of Mana and Lunia. Unlike most MMOs, Pi Story’s combat is completely instanced. This means that every player will have to go through each level on their own. This style of instancing is similar to that of Guild Wars. Players are free to interact in towns and social zones but will have to organize parties in order to meet up in monster-infested areas.
The Story of Pi
The story revolves around a powerful egg known as the ‘Pi’ which was the entity that brought everything to life. As the world’s population grew, its inhabitants could no longer bear the small space given. With the world reeking from chaos, the Gods decided to divide the land to rid the world of more arguments and bickering. Shortly after this tragic division, the Gods started to fight for power and control. Unable to bear the violence and destruction that befell the world, the Egg scattered into different pieces across the globe.
Realizing the folly of their ways, the Gods sent forth their most trusted apostles to seek the legendary person who could mend the pieces of the Pi back together. Who is this legendary hero? Let me give you a clue… It’s not “me” and it rhymes with “clue”.
One Pi that isn’t squared
Despite its handicap in graphics, the game is still worth playing. Character creation is a breeze and will only take a couple of seconds before the game immerses you into the world. After naming your character and customizing his/her looks, you’re all set and ready to go. Everyone starts as a newbie/beginner class and will soon change into the player’s desired class as they progress in the game.
Classes are as follows: Fighter, Mage, and Cleric. Despite the game’s lack of classes, its unique game play is more than enough to keep you on for countless hours of game play. The game looks entirely like Legend of Mana due to the isometric 2d game play that lets you scroll around the area while attacking those you wish.
Not too old to be a fossil
Aside from its crisp 2D sprites, the game’s graphics still look good to be outdated. Since some of today’s active MMOs (ex. Gunbound) still share the same graphic engine, these types of games are still loved by people worldwide.
The visuals are cute and colorful. Most of them, if I may compare looks a lot like Gaia online which allows the 2d character sprites to blend well with their surroundings. 2d games are easier to harmonize when it comes to visuals. If that’s the case, then this game is no exception. The skills don’t look that flashy compared to the most up to date games. Some of the in game elements (such as fire) are often displayed as a big block that doesn’t really seem to move despite its velocity or speed. Casting a fireball would look no different from throwing a rock (like I said, a block). The towns and villages look really awesome, with bright colors that emphasize shadows and details. Cell shaded anime drawings appear whenever you interact with an assigned NPC making it more appealing to the eyes whenever you do so (Hey… they’re cute >_<). The monsters in the game are really cute making them hard to squash. Heck, even the giant crab looks huggable. For a 2D mmo, the visuals are really satisfying. No wonder it doesn’t get old.
Whack em’ hard and whack em good.
Combat is one of the best features this game has to offer. Aside from the comfy keyboard controls, the game lets you perform multiple actions in a fast and stylish manner. Aside from swinging your weapon like a mad swordsman, you’ll soon be rewarded by a bunch of skills that will later compliment your game play. If you think that you’ll be hacking and slashing throughout the game then you’re dead wrong (cuz you’ll be hacking and slashing WITH STYLE). The game shares the Skill Tree System that lets you distribute points to further enhance your character to fit your optimal play style. Some of the other skills (like spells) actually require you to type them down in order to cast them. This makes excellent role playing elements that may soon aid you when adventuring with fellow role players.
The game also has quests so you won’t have to worry about this game being made entirely of hacking and slashing. Some of the quests may come off as repetitive as you progress through the game. It may sound all gruesome for you questing-fanatics but It’s not that much of a big deal since most MMOs share the same illness. The game has a very small quest list limit, meaning you can’t have more than 5 active quests on your log. This is a bit disappointing when it comes to questers since the game pretty much promotes going back to town after finishing 5 quests, which may come off as a nuisance to other players who want to get things done in a flash.
Take me home!
One of the best unique elements of Pi Story would be its housing system, which lets players build their own house for future transactions and in game business. After building a house, players may soon have their very own NPC family to do their transactions for them. Each house can be decorated to fit the user’s preferences (of course that means more money). Guilds can also make their own guild house, making it much easier for members to decorate the place since “More people = more money”.
Pi Story is a charming MMO that would appeal to any MMO fanatic out there. The game does lack a lot of things but the playability strongly makes up for its flaws. The graphics are in 2d but at its finest. Lots of cheap but effective gimmicks such as type casting have been laid out making it a lot more fun when using your characters. Instancing combat may be a good thing since it disintegrates the possibility of kill stealing, but the thought of being alone throughout the game does feel rather melancholic. If you’d rather play a persistent MMO then I suggest you play something else. This game does have a lot to offer, and if you’re willing to give it a shot then you most definitely won’t get disappointed.
-Excellent combat system
-Cute and funny characters
-Excellent 2d visuals
-Lack of classes
-Lack of details (some stuff looks like hollow blocks)
-Quest log limit