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Stairway Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 09/20/11)  | Pub:Perfect World Entertainment
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:n/a | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:n/a
System Req: PC | Out of date info? Let us know!

Rusty Hearts Review: A Quick & Easy to Pick Up Brawler - Edit

Innovation - 5

There’s not really a lot “new” about Rusty Hearts.  But I will say that bringing DMC-styled combat to the Action-MMO space is pretty nice, and it functions well enough to earn some props there.  This may also be one of the first anime-horror action MMO games on the block, so that’s worth mentioning.  I also quite enjoyed the boss fights, which are always a bit more unique than the rest of the game’s bobo-doll punching.  The first epic boss you fight has you freezing a giant sea monster with hydrant switches on a bridge, dodging the thing as it leaps at the screen and through the scenery, and ultimately it makes the trudge through the dungeon feel that more rewarding. 

Polish - 8

There’s not really anything broken in Rusty Hearts.  It all works well, runs smoothly, and the load times are tiny.  The combat just works, which it should as it’s the game’s main focus, and everything across the board is serviceable in every aspect, even if none of it excels to the point of true greatness.  The biggest qualm I have with the game’s level of polish is in its controls and the UI.  The sheer amount of skills you get, combined with limited hotbar space and having to cycle between them makes for frustration unless you can be content with just using 4-6 skills at all times.

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Longevity - 6

There’s a lot of quests here, and a lot of dungeons to run through.  With Awakenings adding over 500 new quests, and tons of new items to obtain, there’s a lot here for fans of dungeon crawlers.  The level cap has recently been opened up to 30, and without buying XP potions, this will likely take you about 30-50 hours to get to (I’m estimating here).  Beyond that, there’s the ever-present need to get the best stuff, best scores, and all of that.  But the longevity of Rusty Hearts will undoubtedly depend on how much you like the combat and repetitive nature of the gameplay.  If you’re like me, you’ll pick up RH when you need to bash some skulls, as it’s the perfect pick-up-and-play sort of game.  But unless you’re a hardcore fan of the dungeon crawl, it won’t be your mainstay.

Social - 7

PWE’s games are always a mixed bag of excellent people and total asshats.  Rusty Hearts is no different, but then this could probably be said of any game.  Find the right folks and hold onto them, and you’ll have dungeon buddies for life.  There’s a basic guild system, finding parties is as easy as pressing “P” in town near a dungeon’s portal, and pretty much anyone will gladly join up at anytime.  There’s not really much more you could want.  Just don’t be afraid to ignore people who deserve it and you’ll be fine.

Value - 10

Rusty Hearts does the F2P model right.  Most of what you’ll pay for, if you choose to pay anything at all, is cosmetic in nature.  There are items that give a small 10% XP boost, but by and large the real cash stuff is kept to frills and pomp.  You can do everything in RH without paying a dime, and the stuff you do pay for is priced reasonably.  The most expensive thing I saw equaled about five dollars, and it was a leveling pack that included some health and mana potions, some XP rate increases, and resurrection scrolls so you don’t have to restart dungeons.  Not exactly game-breaking in the way many fear these games will go.  You can’t really get any more value than completely free to play, as Rusty Hearts never forces you to spend a dime.

Lots of Punching for the Right Price

If you’re looking for a quick and easy to pick up brawler, there are few games in the space better catered to you than Rusty Hearts.  The combat is fast, frenetic, and absolutely fun.  Though the game’s ancillary features are somewhat lacking, it’s also not intended to be much more than a brawler, and it doesn’t try to mask this fact.  Rusty Hearts is about beating things up in a cool setting with an anime vibe.  In all that it tries to be, it succeeds.  You can’t really go wrong giving it a try, though the style of game won’t be for everyone.

Final Score

7.3

Pros
 A decent anime tale
 Benevolent cash shop
 Fast & addictive combat
Cons
 Extremely repetitive
 Grindy at times
 Unwieldy controls
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