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News & Features Discussion  » Freaky Creatures: Review

8 posts found
  Stradden

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/08/05
Posts: 6729

 
OP  4/30/09 8:27:58 AM#1

MMORPG.com's Carolyn Koh takes a look at Freaky Creatures, the children's PvP game from Abandon Interactive Entertainment.

It's a world of the future where Corporations rule and the heirs raise genetically engineered creatures to fight their wars. That's what the comic-book that came with my Press Kit informed me at any rate. The story is much like Saturday morning cartoons for kids such as Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Chaotic-CodeScanner where kids are the heroes of the stories. To parents, they are commercials for children's toys thinly disguised as adventure cartoons. To kids, they are the mostest, awesomest TV shows and they want to be just like those kids! Freaky Creatures fits into that genre of adventure stories and would probably be a popular kid's cartoon if made into a TV show. Instead, it is an MMO. A mostest, awesomest MMO.

Read the Freaky Creatures Review

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

  rhinok

Novice Member

Joined: 2/01/07
Posts: 1813

4/30/09 9:57:14 AM#2

I couldn't stand this game.  I was really excited about it and I think there are a ton of great concepts, especially with their toystore marketing, social portal, character customization, etc.., but the core of the actual game is combat and I hate the combat, as it's currently implemented.  The issues I have with the combat are:

  • Lack of Strategy - Combat is nothing more than a version of rock-paper-scissors with 5 possible attack choices (Head, Back, Tail, Left Arm, Right Arm,).  The amount of damage you give or take correlates to the attack you choose vs. your opponent.  If you each do the same attack, you each do medium damage.  If you take opposite attacks, one will be max damage, one will be a miss.  I literally fought one battle where, apparently, I selected the opposite attack from my opponent every time.  I missed at least 6 times in a row, whereas he hit me for max damage every time.  I never hit him the entire match. How is that fun?  There's no strategy, because it's all up to chance.*  Personally, I'd much rather see a system with at least rudimentary defense and attack ratings, especially if they scale based on level or level ranges. 
  • Boring - combat takes a long time.  The core of this game is PvP, but attack selection and animation take too long.  It's literally a matter of doing nothing more than picking your attack, then waiting for your opponent to choose his or her attack.  It's boring.  I'd much rather see a shorter timer, maybe even as short as 5 seconds.  It would dramatically improve the pace of the game, in my opinion.

~Ripper

 

* You can see when an opponent is prepping certain attack powers, so if you know what body parts those powers use, you can try to guess which body party the opponent will attack with, but this isn't always certain, depending on the power.  There's still a lot left to chance.

  bmdevine

Novice Member

Joined: 4/09/09
Posts: 430

4/30/09 10:01:14 AM#3

Have to agree w/ Rhino on this one.  The turn-based nature of 1 on 1 combat didn't seem very engaging, and there are a lot of things that could be done to make it more exciting if it's going to be all you do besides prepping your monster for your next fight.

  mindw0rk

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/31/06
Posts: 1361

5/01/09 5:14:34 AM#4

 Ignore author's praises. This game is horribly done and no fun at all. I tried it and was bored in few minutes. There is hardly any opponents too, since noone plays it

  Reiden

Novice Member

Joined: 9/09/06
Posts: 12

5/01/09 6:35:51 AM#5

.... sigh... was it really that long of a review that you couldn't read the whole thing and had to skim?

Rhinok has valid points... if you are not the target audience.  That being said....

It was designed for kids.

Being 22 years of age, yes, the combat is slow and there is a lack of complex strategy, but if I was 10 years younger, to many complexities would create confusion and frustration as I constanly lost to anyone who spent time studying the game, as I'm sure most kids wouldn't do.  The slower pace of the combat reflects this, allowing these younger gamers to think about how they want to attack.  I also think that designing the game like this, also helps keep out the "Hardcore/Powergamers" so that the targetted audience will have a much more enjoyable experience.

As a Kids Game/MMO  I feel they did an excellent job with it, and focused on the areas that I would view as important if I was in that age range, and in fact, even falling outside of that range, there are alot of features that I think many of today's popular MMO's should start paying attention to, like customization, player control, and fun.

  JGMIII

Novice Member

Joined: 3/17/09
Posts: 1284

If a game is Fun, It's a good game.

5/01/09 6:44:58 AM#6

Must you guys break down a childrens game?

Noone cares about these kidde games besides children and the parents that pay the subs.

If you're able to break down the game bit by bit you are too advance for games like FC, Fusion Fall, Free realms, Toon town and Wizard 101.

 

These games should lack depth and over all strats they need to be quick mindless fun that any child could pick up within minutes and feel like they are actually good with virtually no practice.

 

Playing: EvE, Ryzom

  CarolynKoh

Staff Writer

Joined: 1/04/06
Posts: 204

So many games, so little time...

5/01/09 12:19:15 PM#7

As any adult watching kids play Rayman Raving Rabbids on the Wii can testify... what kids find fun and what adults find fun... are on two complete ends of the spectrum.

Reviews are always one person's opinion, and I typically test on more than just my niece and nephew, as they've been testing games with me since they were 3 and 4, and are wa-ay above the curve of other youngsters their age.

The turns are quick if you are playing against adults actually, but how the combat plays out, like Wizard 101 is what attracts kids.  It's the same reason a child will watch the same movie over and over until you can hear the songs in your sleep, and the attaction of "99 bottles of beer on the wall."

 

Notice: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of MMORPG.com or its management.

  rhinok

Novice Member

Joined: 2/01/07
Posts: 1813

5/03/09 10:42:06 PM#8

I hate the "It's a kid's game" excuse, because it's just that - an excuse.  Kid's aren't stupid, nor are they so simple that they can't or don't enjoy more complex gameplay mechanics.  I grew up as part of the Atari/arcade generation and haven't stopped playing video games in the 31 years since I was 7 years old.  My kids all play video games and they all enjoy levels of complexity beyond what Freaky Creatures offers. When I review kid's games, I do so  based on what I know my children like and I make sure to get their opinions, too.  . 

There are some cool ideas behind Freaky Creatures and I was excited to test it.  I think it has an interesting revenue model, basically a "boy's" version of Webkinz in that you buy a physical action figure pack, which gets you started. The website has some free flash games and some interesting social networking aspects to it, as well.  The game, itself, however, just isn't that great. As an example, I took my son out to dinner tonight for a little one-on-one time and we played rock-paper-scissors while waiting for our food.  We definitely had fun, but not enough to last very long, which demonstrates my point about Freaky Creatures.  The combat can be fun, if it moves quickly enough, but there's not enough strategy to it to keep it interesting for long, even for kids.  I can guarantee you that my son might enjoy Freaky Creatures in small doses, but not enough to justify paying for it and he'll definitely get bored and move on to Wizard101 or one of his console games with more action.

Based on the kid's games I've tested in the last few months, I'd personally rate them (based on combat only, not other features, since the core of Freaky Creatures is combat), from top-to-bottom:

  1. Wizard101 - simple turn-based TCG combat, but with enough randomness to keep it exciting.  As you get higher in level and unlock more spells, deck building and strategy gets more complex.  PvP can be especially fun.
  2. Free Realms - combat is very simple, but it's interactive and real-time, which makes it more like an action-title. You only have two attacks, but you can have special attack  items like stun grenades, too.
  3. Fusion Fall - hold down LMB and wait until either you or the monster dies.  Occasionally, you might need to move to avoid a special attack or you might want to use one of your 3 nano skills assuming you have them slotted for combat.
  4. Freaky Creatures - 5-attack variation of rock-paper-scissors.  Very little strategy involved except when you see your opponent preparing for a special attack,.

~Ripper