A Bad Habit: Arcane Saga Online Review

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“I should have moved on”
“I should have known better”
“I should have resisted your advances”

Those are three things that you would usually hear from a bad romance. Coincidentally, those same words circled around my ears while playing Arcane Saga Online (A.S.O.)

Those are three things that you would usually hear from a bad romance. Coincidentally, those same words circled around my ears while playing Arcane Saga Online (A.S.O.)

Arcane Saga Online, I have been informed, is actually a rehashed version of Prius Online. No, we are not talking about fuel economy MMOs. Nor are we talking about a generic MMOs borne out of some untold Chinese Mythos. A.S.O. is a fantasy-based, free-to-play MMO that prides itself with a fast paced, combo-driven gameplay. It has really pretty and colorful designs, free tiger mounts, and a loli to follow you wherever you may go. However, regarding the other features of this game, well… You will have to sort it by yourself. You will get thrown into the pit, anyway.

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To be honest, A.S.O. is everything that I objectively disliked about an MMORPG. You get thrown into its massive world like cash just flying around off an expensive strip club. NPCs are just standing around, sitting, lying down while you figure out what to do with them. Mind you, they also look as if they are someone else’s characters, and you might have difficulty locating them at times. It reeks of senseless grindfest. Do not get me wrong, though. SENSELESS grindfest. 5 bushels of this, 5 barrels of that. 5 more bottles of jack and I’m about to get some crack. (I just thought that I would be proper to depict that senselessness accurately.)

The initial camera controls were are also unforgivable as it reminded me of Shadow of the Colossus and Ico: Two games that I dearly love, but sadly had the fatal flaw of wobbly and dizzying camera angles and spots. The camera controls were supposedly provided to work hand-in-hand with the supposed active battle system that they devised: place directional controls (W,A,S,D where A and D were to rotate camera) to get the feel of manually controlling your character, and then the traditional hotkeys for the Skills and Items Shortcut. It failed.

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The supposed pride of this game, gameplay that involves chained combo of skills, is something I consider unappealing. Well, I got already turned off by most of the game’s features that I never really expected anything out of it. Their attempt to get an active control system is not organic. It was hard trying to play the game with a minimal use of the mouse button. As it turns out, I was able to switch back to the traditional point and click. I did not change that settings until the end of this review.

Adding to the expected disappointment, the game also felt cheap. Every other moment, it was as if the publishers wanted to bury me with their item mall endorsements. Pop-ups (yes, pop-ups!) appeared nearly every time near the chat box convincing me to spend a few coins for their star chips. “Pay-to-win.” I sighed.

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Most of all, this one particular bug (pun) caught my ire. I saw some creeps that were stuck in one location, trying to, but cannot move. I tried attacking it, and it turned out not being there. I really tried again and again until I held myself out of it. It oddly reminded me of Andrew Bynum’s Jesus Christ bug from NBA elite 11. (Reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VPwcYWDNIQ)

But to be honest, despite bashing the game for the most part, it did take me around 4 hours just to convince myself that this game is atrocious. (In fact, the game is still installed in my computer) During that time, I hate to admit, the game did give me a lot of cheap thrills. It was easy to just point and click and forget all the complexities that other games had to offer. The creeps and bosses were all pushovers, as I did feel powerful. And because it was free-to-play, it was easy to get some popcorn while watching a troll fight due to WoW comparisons at the World Chat. Lastly, since the game is (to the developer’s credit) really that pretty, my eyes were glued to some eye candy of an MMO.

And so it ends: I would like to say that Arcane Saga can possibly be your MMO mistress. While settling in with Guild Wars, Star Wars, or World of Warcraft as your main game, you can always count on the F2P A.S.O. to make you feel good with the cheap thrills. You do have remind yourself, though, that this is a bad romance with a bimbo. If you feel that you have wasted hours of your life justifying that this game is more than satisfactory, it is entirely your fault.

 

Game Rating: 2 out of 5

Platform: PC
Developer: CJ Internet Game Studio
Genre: MMORPG

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