By Rick Charbs
Have you ever dreamt of playing Diablo II as a mmorpg? Well now is your chance!
Red Stone is a mmorpg that brings you back to the classic era of gaming. This title features many aspects of classic and casual gaming, whilst still offering state of the art ideas and concepts. During my days of adventuring the continent of Prandel, I have discovered plenty of enjoyable content, although there is still much room to grow. This review will feature many of those aspects and my personal view on how they relate to the average playability of this title.
Staff and Support
Firstly, I will explain the aspect of customer support. As you may or may not know, the host of this title, the K2 Network, has always maintained a poor reputation with all of their game releases. However, during my experiences with Red Stone, I have been amazed by how their staff members were so quickly responsive, helpful, polite and best of all, fun! Both in-game and on the forums, there is staff online during weekdays fulltime. However, despite their activity during weekdays, there is next to no support on weekends on the Red Stone forums or in-game (with K2 Network support as an exception).
Classical Game Concept?
Another interesting aspect of Red Stone is its classical feel. If youve ever played Diablo I or II and were addicted like humans are to oxygen, you just have to try this game out. The game is in 2.5d (also known as Isometric) with colourful environments, another retro-feel games dont seem to retain these days. There is also a paper doll function for a large portion of equipment, although not every piece of armour will change the way your character looks (there are about three to four different armour looks per character so far). All equipment can be enchanted for extra powers, such as extra skill points, poison effect, and many more! Another classic aspect Red Stone adopts from previous titles is its lengthy dungeons. They may seem bland and repetitive at first but their length will compensate. Some dungeons last forever!
Basic Game play
Red Stone features a level cap of 999. This cap hasnt even been reached on the Japanese servers that have been open for years: the game play is quite literally endless. This classic monster bash mmorpg features simple controls, being controlled by a mouse and a keyboard for hot keyed potions and skills. There are many towns and terrains to explore throughout the lands of Prandel, where you will meet the largest and most feared monsters around. Make sure not to die during your travels or you will be sent all the way back to your saved town!
As this title brings back certain classic features, you need to expect a certain quality put into the questing aspect of the game. Red Stone features a chapter quest that you follow throughout your journey that seems almost endless. This main quest displays many cut scenes and interesting stories that I simply indulged! This chapter quest really immersed me in the Red Stone world. Provided that this main chapter quest is so delightful, one cannot expect the same from the other provided quests. The basic quests uninvolved in the chapter quests are mainly for levelling purposes and require you to do repetitive boring tasks such as killing X amount of monsters and reporting back, or gathering X amount of items and brining them back. I stayed very clear from those quests and decided to go adventure the vast terrain instead.
I can play two characters at once?
Thats right! Every character class in Red Stone has a transformation that has its own skill set and equipment. Its basically like playing two classes at once, and you can switch freely to your hearts content. For instance, your necromancer can double up as a demon, or your priest can double up as a fallen angel. This is a great twist on playing an mmorpg! Think about it this way: If you get tired of your character thats at a high level, all you have to do is transform and voila, youre an entirely new class with new achievements to attain! I believe this boosts the playability of this game times a million. This feature is very unique to this title and has amazing response by its player base.
Graphics and sounds
As previously stated, Red Stone contains elements from classic role playing games rather than modern ones. The quality in this game lies in its game play. The graphics arent necessarily horrid; they are just simple and can be easily judged by todays gaming community. The concept art is of great quality and I enjoyed watching them as I changed maps during a loading screen.
I loved the music for the first hour, but it soon became highly repetitive and basically annoying. The sounds are just mediocre. Personally, I decided to mute the game, but I suppose it could be more interesting if youre raiding a dungeon with a bunch of friends or guild mates.
Red Stone is a very unique mmorpg. I was fascinated with it at first sight, due to its resemblance to so many old school titles. The game play was simply addictive, although a little slow in comparison with Diablo and other isometric games. The community is very friendly, the support staff is amazing, the economy is balanced, and the skill combinations are endless! However, the sound is not very tasteful, the dungeons are terribly repetitive, and the graphics are simple and easily judged. I would recommend anyone to try this game out because it does have true potential. The tutorial is very simple and the learning curve is nothing more than a devastating five minutes. You will truly enjoy the community and the K2 Network staff working on this title. What have you to lose?
Personally, I rate this mmorpg a: 7/10