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devCAT | Official Site
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 03/27/08)  | Pub:Nexon
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:Free | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:Free
System Req: PC | Out of date info? Let us know!

A Mabinogi Review

Mabinogi is a game with anime style graphics and one of the craziest storylines RPGs can offer. Gameplay is great and is very unique compared to other MMORPGs.
Final Score

8
Great

Pros
 
 Great Storyline
 Interesting Graphics
 Helpful Players
 Fun Events
 Absolute Freedom
Cons
 
 Nexon's Matinence of the Game
 Lag is frequent with average computers
 Starting out only teaches you melee combat.
 too many channels cause some to be empty
 The Game takes alot of space on CPUs
Disclaimer: The following article is the sole opinion of its author and does not represent MMORPG.com in its thoughts or opinions. This is not an official MMORPG.com editorial article.

Before I Begin:

 
I have divided all the sections I will speak about Mabinogi for your convenience. I understand that everyone has a specific "want" in a review so you are able to find what you need and skip whatever you don't.
 
I also grew up in the 90s, when PlayStation 1 were the graphics of the time. So I appreciate a great storyline and content. So I’m very generous when it comes to Graphics.
 

What is Mabinogi?

 
Mabinogi is an MMORPG that has colorful 3D-like graphics. The game itself promotes absolute freedom for the player. You can level your characters in practically any way possible which means if you’re a hard core rpg grinder or just someone who doesn't like fighting but loves to hang out you'll always have a way to gain levels. At first glance you can expect a fun loving game that seems like G movie than anything (if you avoid doing the storyline). Getting into the storyline shows the darker side of the game which is filled with betrayal, death and a lot of end of the world sequences.
 

Starting Out:

 
When you finish downloading the massive program onto your computer (about 2 GB), you begin with the character screen which will give you one free basic character card. You get the option of choosing one of these races:
 
Human
 
Balanced in every way and able to go through all chapters of the storyline.
 
Elf
 
Experts in the use of Magic and Bows. They also have a special ability to use invisibility. They cannot do the entire story (As they didn't exist in the beginning)
 
Giant
 
Experts on short range combat. They cannot use bows but can throw stuff for range. They also can break trees and use them as weapons. They cannot do the entire story (As they didn't exist in the beginning)
 
It's recommended to begin as a human as you can score 1 or 2 free character cards.
 
Now since the card is Basic, you pretty much get the short end of the stick in character making. If you wish to unlock all of styles, you have to pay $9.50 for a Premium card; luckily you only have to pay once in your whole lifetime unless you wish to change your appearance. If you wish to get more characters, you can pay $7.90 to add a basic character or the $9.50 for Premium.
 
You then end up in what’s called the "Soul Stream" which will introduce you to Nao. Who will ask which destiny you can choose, in RPG terms, this is your Class. The Game offers absolute freedom, so you can train in any type of skill no matter what you choose. Choosing a destiny will offer faster training in certain skills so you can increase their power much more quickly. The Destinies are as Followed:
 
Warrior (Melee), Archer (Range), Mage (Magic), and Alchemist. All four classes are fun, but the game doesn't explain what skills you should look for when choosing one of these. The game then only teaches you basics for Melee combat and  ignores the rest of the Destinies for you to figure out yourself.
 
Once finished making your character, you can select up to 7 channels: channel 2 is where a lot of players hang out and will give you more people to ask for help if you need it but if there are a lot of people you may experience lag. You end up in your starting race city which will give you a chain of quests that will teach you some basics about the game and luckily you have a button to call another player to your side if you’re stuck as long as you offer some heart stickers (which lead to a reward for helping a lot) as an incentive to help you. Problem is if the person is away from keyboard or busy and don't want to help you, you’re stuck waiting for someone to respond to you which can be very frustrating. If you chose Human, there are plenty of guilds south of the starting city that offer new players help for some loyalty to their guild.
 

Advancing in the Game:

 
The most unique aspect of Mabinogi is how you Advance your character in the Game. Unlike other MMORPGs, levels don't mean anything in game. Everything you do in game is merely just to collect Ability Points (AP) which you can spend to increase your skill's power. There are different ways to collecting AP:
 
Leveling
 
Of course leveling. You level by fighting, making something from scratch, doing certain "Minigames" that are available such as Rafting, Commerce, etc.
 
Ageing
 
Mabinogi offers an Ageing system. Every week is a year in Mabinogi and you age 1 year every Saturday. You can start off as a 10 year old minimum or 17 maximum. The younger you are the weaker your character is but the more AP you receive when aging. Once your character becomes Age 20, you have the option of rebirthing your character to a younger age. Rebirthing will restart your level to 1, but will thankfully keep your AP collected and Skills. Most will just rebirth to age 17, as you will become age 20 faster to rebirth and level up more.
 
Exploration
 
Everyone has a secondary level that is exclusive to the larger continent in the game. You gain levels by finding hidden objects through various ways and can be fun if you want to take a break from fighting or searching for a new way to collect AP.
 

Storyline:

 
You never have to see the storyline of Mabinogi, you can live your little "Fantasy Life" in blissful ignorance or you can follow the storyline and learn the dark history of Mabinogi. The storyline is separated in Generations. These Generations are further grouped into “Chapters” as such:
 
Chapter 1 - Advent of the Goddess: Generation 1 - 3
 
Chapter 2 - Secrets of Ingrid: Generation 4 - 8
 
Chapter 3 - Alchemist: Generation 9 - 12
 
Chapter 4 - Shakespeare: Generation 13 - 15
 
The upside to them grouping the generations like this is that you can start at any Chapter, you can do Alchemist before Advent of the Goddess. The problem with this however are that all the sections will attack you once you meet the requirements to start it. This means you will see cut scenes that will start talking to you as if you know everything about Mabinogi... such as the cut scene for Generation 9, the dragon speaks about how the "Soul Stream" is in danger... and it causes the player to think: "What is the Soul Stream? And why do I care about saving it? And who the hell is this dragon?” This causes the meaning of the story to be dampened by confusion.
 
As stated before: The storyline is highly depressing. Betrayal at every corner, death is apparent and non-stop war. Personally, I think the twists and emotions in the storyline completely changes the outlook of the whole game. I believe that makes it one of the most powerful and emotional storylines a MMORPGs can offer. So awesome that they made a Prequel game called Mabinogi Heroes or as America likes to call it: “Vindictus”. A game with less freedom, but compelling graphics and answers a lot of plot holes you may find in Mabinogi.
 

My Rating:

Graphics 8/10
The unique graphics: they are colorful, anime-ish, and bring an interesting aspect of art that most people would hate because we live in the 3D generation. The graphics are pretty much the same from when I played in G3 and have not been cleaned up since which can be an eye sore if your into details.
 
Fun 9/10
There is always something to do in Mabinogi and best of all you get to choose. The Storyline is only fun when you reach the boss fight, other than that, storylines tend to be tedious with the occasional interesting part. The game however is not fun when you try to solo everything, but that’s what makes it an MMORPG. Mabinogi is very fun; the fighting seems more lively, there are a ridiculous amount of stuff you can do if you don’t have anything else to do, and constant events that come up.
 
Sound 9/10
I have to say the BGMs are classy and wonderful. The world still has some places that do not support BGMs and still see no attempt to change that. NPCs have their own theme music which gets a little annoying if you’re only talking to them for a second.
 
Community 7/10
(This pertains to the Tarlach Server)
The 7 channel system in Mabinogi is good for preventing problems with lag time, but some channels seem like complete ghost towns. The community is friendly with your occasional troll, but are seen far and few. A lot of people afk in the game, so unless they are moving or talking, they are afk, but you can still find plenty of people who are not. Guild system is very simple and will help you be introduced to new people but there are a massive amount of guilds and most don’t have more than 5 people in them. On an Age Range, I’d say you’re probably going to see 15-25 year olds playing this game.
 
Role-Playing 7/10
Customization of your character, millions of outfit options, this game pretty much can make you into any character you want for real money. The storyline includes you in it very well, though when you play other characters while doing the storyline it tends to be frustrating but luckily it’s rare.
 
Performance/Lag 6/10
Mabinogi has a lot of lag issues depending on the circumstance. Dungeons sometimes will lag monster spawn and prevent you from moving on in the dungeon for a good long period of time. Field lag is not apparent, but there are random and few world lags. On rare occasions if you do something too quickly (using Alienware mostly), Mabinogi may end up aborting you from the game. These instances probably happen once every two months. The downside is that Mabinogi is such a massive game that you need a really good computer to play for little or no lag or you will encounter frequent lag.
 
Value 8/10
Mabinogi is definitely worth your time, and if you like to dedicate money too, it’s even better. It’s a game that everyone should try.
 
Service 5/10
Nexon has nightmarish qualities. Even with all the maintenance they do, even little things like bugs and issues go unresolved. I have to give them some credit though because they do their best against hackers to keep the game running, but will let the game continue with a broken city that will boot you from the game. It also takes them a long time to fix issues when they are there, ones that seem very minor and easy to fix will remain for a week or two. The point is, Nexon tries but not up to the standards of the consumers who play this game. They do know how to make up for it by offering “Super” events.
 

OFFICIAL RATING 8/10 “Good”

Even with the problems, Mabinogi is a good game.

 

More Mabinogi Features:

Mabinogi - 'Classic Update' Adds New Mount, Same Sex Marriage Dev Journal added on Wednesday October 24
Mabinogi - Flying Mounts Screenshots Media added on Thursday August 06
Mabinogi - The T-Bird Mount General Article added on Thursday July 16

More Features:

Shards Online - The Development Road Map Column added on Friday July 11
The RPG Files - Dragon Age's Hinterlands Unveiled Column added on Friday July 11
 
 
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