Remnant Knights: Anime me this
By Neil Kewn (Murxidon) – OnRPG Journalist
I am not a fan of anime. Not in the slightest. I would like to say I share this opinion but these days I’m almost certainly in the minority – people love the Japanese art style and there are plenty of MMOs around that cater for it. OnRPG itself has a sub forum devoted to anime, and I can’t seem to read a thread without seeing at least one member hold an avatar of their favorite manga character. Logging into free-to-play MMO Remnant Knights for the first time, I wondered if the cutesy style and bright colors would discourage fans of the more visceral, realistic MMORPGs (like me, for example). Of course, graphics aren’t everything, and there’s a lot more to Remnant Knight’s than meets the eye.
Published by GameSamba, the game doesn’t drop you into the middle of a rent-a-world expecting you to fend for yourself. You are a member of one of two different schools, the Dragon or Owl institute. The former specializes in physical achievement whilst members of Owl enjoy spell casting and intellect over brute force. Accounts are limited by school, so if you create a character in Owl you can’t create another in Dragon. The creation process allows you to pick a Major (similar to real college but without the exorbitant fees), and this will act as your chosen specification. The Gun Circle deploy long range weaponry, The Magic Circle can use their powers to attack enemies or to heal allies and the Fight circle enjoy being in the thick of a battle. The school you choose determines your starting area and your faction, in a sense.
As a member of Owl Institute, teacher and student introductions were the first order of business. These act as a helpful tutorial, along with pop up prompts that show basic gameplay tips. The play style isn’t drastically different from most MMOs so there isn’t that much to learn if you are familiar with the genre. Killing enemies and completing quests earns experience that grants Skill Points when you level up. These are spent improving abilities, and you actually complete semesters and move up grades as you level.
Remnant Knight aims to be accessible. Quests are quick to complete and you are always given directions as to where to go. Unfortunately the quests aren’t as novel as the narrative, with kill and collect quests taking up a large portion of your time in the early game. The tasks given to you are predictably strange. Hunting Gingerbread Men, disposing of murderous trash cans and finding Halloween costumes aren’t the type of quests you would find in a more mature MMO, but it goes hand in hand with RK’s cartoony style and childish nature.
As shown in the screenshots, Remnant Knights visual style is heavily influenced by anime and cartoons. Employing an art style more reminiscent of Toontown Online than Flyff, the world of Kasmari consists of houses made out of cake and more primary colors than you can shake a stick at. You would be forgiven for dismissing the game as an overly simplified casual title, but thankfully there’s enough depth, dynamics and fun here to dismiss such claims. The story is written by renowned comic book writer Jim Krueger, and is one of the game’s most appealing features.
Combat is fast and fluid in Remnant Knights. Attacks are effective but not too powerful, and the quick animations and limited cool downs help give a nice sense of flow to battles. Often you will face groups of enemies placed close together. A Tension bar fills with each kill, granting you access to more powerful and over-the-top attacks that can dispose of troublesome mobs with ease. The main enemies in the game are called Skalari, beings from another dimension that apparently only “youths” can see. They often drop orbs that instantly recover HP and MP, helping keep downtime to a minimum.
Performance wise, the game isn’t strenuous on systems and the frame rate holds up well. Fortunate, as those great animations and spell effects really add to the aesthetic of the game. One of the reoccurring issues I had with the game was actually with its launcher, which can best be described as “useless”. It often becomes unresponsive and sometimes refuses to patch. The actual installation process had its own problems, as I suffered from a widely reported issue regarding incorrect version numbers stemming from installing the game in the wrong directory. Try installing to the root of your hard drive if you are having similar problems.
The Samba Shop is where players go to get their premium fix for an otherwise free-to-play game. Stocking clothes, consumables, accessories and mounts, there are products that will appease the aesthetically challenged or keep those who just that want a little boost happy. The store doesn’t do a particularly great job in explaining what all of the items do, and some of them actually expire after a certain number of days. Otherwise, it is well stocked with items that won’t spoil the game for the free players. Interestingly you can complete surveys and offers to earn Samba points instead of paying for them with a credit card.
Remnant Knights is an accessible MMO that is both fun and rewarding to play. Despite being relatively new the game has everything you would expect from a modern day MMO game. Player versus Player combat is here including a school versus school competition called “Marble Battle”, in addition to banking, auction houses and pets. Not all of this is available at the start, meaning the more you play (and the more you level), the more features you unlock. The game is currently in open beta so it is in need of a little polish, but Remnant Knights would make a fine addition to anyone’s anime MMO collection and is definitely one to keep an eye on. Feel free to give it a shot for yourself.
Graphics – 3
Controls – 4
Features – 4
Customization – 3
Community – 3