Written by Kelvin Cheung
There are many types of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) out on the Internet. However, IGG (Internet Gaming Gate), the corporation that has brought us Zu Online, Angels Online, and Tales of Pirates, has done something different in appealing the MMORPG market. Wonderland Online is a new game with an innovative battle system, a captivating story, and an abundance of side quests and crafting that can be done.
A big change from most traditional MMORPGs standards of today is that the game is fully two dimensional with 16-bit graphics. Although there are games such as Ragnarok Online that are 2D, the combat system is what stands out. Since most MMORPGs are in real-time combat, the battle system in Wonderland Online is turn-based. To those who have never played a turn-based game, you enter a battle through a random encounter by approaching an enemy, walking around, or an event. During battle, in the case of Wonderland Online, you have commands such as attack with an equipped weapon, use skills or items, defend from attacks, auto-attack, capture monsters, or escape from battle. The battle system is slow and can be monotonous, but a certain item can be acquired to help you not click the same buttons.
When starting the game for the first time, you have twelve characters to choose, including one hidden character in the game, preset with their own hairstyle and body shape. You can do different changes such as modify the skin, eye, clothing, and hair color, and select the element you want, which will determine which skills you will have, and status point distribution.
Graphically, Wonderland Online will not win any awards, but to those who have played the 16-bit game graphics genre will feel a nostalgic charm to the game. The game is filled with anime sprites. Sometimes there are cut scenes where a picture is shown with a detailed version of the character or the NPC (Non-playable character), which takes a break from the usual anime sprites that you see often in the game.
The music of Wonderland Online, although reminiscent to the Super Nintendo era, has some ups and downs. Some of the background music fit with the game, such as the island setting of the game, while the other background music are not as memorable.
There are some technical issues while playing the game. Some of these issues include translation errors, sometimes making the dialog confusing. Sometimes, the dialog accidentally has some vulgarity issues in the conversation during an event due to mistranslation. Aside from the translation, I noticed while in battle, when I defeat an enemy using a random tag team attack, I get two items instead of one. Although it is nice to get two items instead of one, this bug should be noticed.
One major issue lies in the special item known as the remote control. This clever item allows the players to automatically attack enemies and replenish health points and skill points. If used correctly, a player can easily be away from keyboard or AFK, and gain experience and loot, items that are obtained by killing enemies. While this item, although convenient as it is described, causes issues with gameplay. The game is very grinding, or tedious when training, and the game requires you to actually legitimately bot, an automated system to attack, harvest, and/or leveling, with the remote control item, which is often looked down upon other MMORPGs. Aside from legality issues, I have often played the game while AFK to train my character. After returning for two hours I find myself gaining only twenty percent of experience of the time leaving the computer on.
Beside from the issues, Wonderland Onlines plot is well executed. It can be from calm to dramatic, causing a roller coaster feeling. I found myself immersed with the story of the game because the way the story was told was spellbinding. However, the pace of the story is slowed down if you are not at a high level.
Another plus of Wonderland Online is the crafting system. If the players find themselves bored with the game, they can start crafting items to explore or to decorate the interior of their tents, an item that serves as a miniature house for the player. The vastness of the game can be explored through creating vehicles such as rafts, boats, aircraft, or even UFOs. To those who do not want to explore but want to show off their interior design, the players can also craft furniture to decorate the interior of the tents of the players. Sadly, it comes down to whether or not the player has enough patience to sit down and get the items from the monsters killed to craft the items.
The community of Wonderland Online is very active. Very often you will see the chat box be filled with world messages with people having conversations, thanks to the free radio item. When events occur, the players will log on to participate diligently, causing the servers to flood. Some of the events can be ingenious, such as Kung Fu Panda, based on the animated movie, while others can be for a good cause. The dedication of the prayer event for the disaster of the earthquake in China shows that the players of Wonderland Online are dedicated to the game and the events outside of the game.
Lastly, the website for Wonderland Online is first-timers friendly, giving access to a variety of information. I found myself often using the Wonderland Online website database for quests, characters, and locations, rather than having myself lost at Google. In addition, the forum has an abundance of information from finding a certain quest item, a hidden character, or a great training area. And should a player have technical problems, a 24/7 support is always available for needs of anyone.
Wonderland Online has some gameplay and technical issues, but the community and dedication to making this game worthwhile stands still. I found Wonderland Online to be a different experience along with many extras to do. This game has many hopes in becoming a standalone MMORPG.