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Spouse Aggro!

I blog at www.spouseaggro.com, write for www.ablegamers.com, run www.mmovoices.ning.com and post all over the net. HOWDY!

Author: beauturkey

Remember FUN? Free Realms does.

Posted by beauturkey Friday May 1 2009 at 10:01PM
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I just had the time of my virtual life.

I finally got some good play time in with Free Realms, and I have to say that I was sucked in pretty bad. I ran around, discovered things, played games and met some other players. The art design is top notch,  and some of the areas are downright beautiful.

First off, I discovered the built in video recording. I immediately bought some new digs (you get 150 Station Cash for free) consisting of a skeleton hoodie and a military style hat. You can view all of the contents of the shop in a "dressing room" style mode which is a good thing considering that you should really see what you might be spending real life money on. Below is the little film I made, and I continued to play while it uploaded to YouTube ( an easy to use, built in feature):

CLICK HERE FOR MY FIRST RECORDED VIDEO.

I went on to discover a great monster town that played Oompa Polka music in the background...picture a kid-friendly OctoberFest. I found a neat looking little stage and decided to try my hands at conducting, a mini-game that makes you follow the beat and notes with your mouse. I took another video of it:

CLICK HERE FOR THE OTHER VIDEO! :)

I realized at this point that I had a smile on my face the entire time. The only time I have a constant goofy grin is when me and Leala are joking around or when I am playing with my pups.

The night before I went exploring, and found myself in a museum type cave, complete with a childrens group on a field trip, and missions to do. I followed the numbered rooms and read the story books that went along with the great paintings, and I discovered that Free Realms actually has a pretty tragic and deep back story. Beautiful stuff!

ex2

The game has some stunning details, and especially if you consider the download size and the fact that it streams most of these details while you play. I kept my Adventurer hat on and kept discovering new, clickable discoveries. I even managed to jump down on top of a tree to get a very rare discovery. I haven't lifted a finger in combat yet, but I've had the most incredible time.

This looks like they pulled it off. Not only can you see where they will be adding future areas and games, but you can see so much potential in this game for so many things. This game is like all the other social games I have played before, like There and Second Life, but on the next level. This is social-fun gaming 2.0.

I really give credit to the art design..like WoW, Free Realms depends not on massive textures but a feeling that the world flows together. Also, keeping the texture resolution down helps the game to run on many different PC's...another reason for WoWs success.

But that's where the similarities end. I actually read a blog that claimed that Free Realms was just a more cartoony WoW, with more grind. I was so amazed that someone could compare the two games. By that stretch of logic, Free Realms could be like any game that puts you in the driver seat of an avatar. Yes, there are quests and yes, there is combat, but Free Realms is attemtping to be as deep or as light as you want it to be. Of course, you would need to suspend a little more disbelief as an adult than if you were a child, but not much!

Speaking of that, could you imagine having a game like this when we were children? Wow, indeed.

snowy

It's hard to call Free Realms a game, much like it is hard to call Second Life or There a game. They have mini-games to play and goals to achieve, but there is no defined way to play. There are no rules and a great deal of customization, not only in your character, but in how you want to game.

Games like this are the future, but tweaked a bit for different audiences. Obviously Free Realms is geared more towards children, but take the delivery of Free Realms and wrap it with a more "mature" or "realistic" skin, and older players would climb all over it. In fact, most of the games I have experienced in the last year have been called "kids games" without even considering that all games stem from the same play drive in all of us, regardless of age.

purdy1

While I understand an older gamers need for a more realistic experience, I say give Free Realms a very large chance. Give it an evening to look around. No, leave those goal-oriented play sessions behind. Just log in and look around. Forget achieving anything and just take a walk. I think you'll like what you will see.

Beau Turkey

 

 

lluna writes:

And be sure to have your wallet ready.

Sat May 02 2009 5:41PM Report
beauturkey writes:

 You don't have to spend anything. In fact, you start off with enough cash to get a few items in the shop, and everything else can be paid for with in game gold from in game NPC's.

 Either way, paying something in Free Realms is no different than paying something in any other game, but thank you for stating the obvious! :)

 

 Beau

 

 

 

Sat May 02 2009 6:06PM Report
Kaenash writes:

Good blog post.

I don't know where in-game video recording is yet, and we had 0 station cash when we upgraded our membership. However, for 5 bucks a month that means you could spend 10 dollars on station cash a month and still basically break even to a game like WOW or COH.

What I think is amazing about this game, is just that they seem to have made doing something other than killing finally fun/interesting.

Why no other game thought to add stuff like this really boggles my mind.

 

Sat May 02 2009 6:13PM Report
Mystik86 writes:

I couldn't agree more about how amazing Free Realms is. I have honestly not had this much fun since I first started playing WoW back in 2004 and while the two games are indeed majorly different, they both have that whole flowing world thing going on.

I intend to subscribe eventually if they open up options for payment via Paypal (they only take credit card atm which I do not have). I'm eager to unlock everything this game has to offer.

Also, I would so recommend Beau, that you try out the TCG as it is just simply awesome. It reminds me very much of Magic or VTM.

Sat May 02 2009 6:15PM Report
Laserlife writes:

I'm in love with the in-game TCG.

 

I believe I may be terrible at it though...

Sun May 03 2009 12:06AM Report
beauturkey writes:

 I played it a bit in Beta, but I will need to give it another try now. Thanks for the comments guys!

 

 Beau

Sun May 03 2009 3:43AM Report
Ferretboy writes:

 You started with station cash?  You must have created your account with one of those membership cards that are bought at a retail store.  I use my same account I've always had with SOE, and no SC was thrown my way.

Sun May 03 2009 9:55AM Report
beauturkey writes:

 Hmm I didn't put any money into the game at all, and have had no cards. I was in the beta, so maybe that was it?

 Anyway, I had 150 SC. lol

 

 Beau

 

Sun May 03 2009 12:06PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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