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Occasional Blog Entries Happen Here

Don't expect me to be on a tight schedule with this one. Though, I blog and I like MMOs, alone that should be enough to make an okay blog. Oh! Did I mention I'm rather on the less-sane side?

Author: twinmill5000

Perpetuum and Aika, Closed Beta First Impressions

Posted by twinmill5000 Thursday February 4 2010 at 8:02PM
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Reviewers, if you think about it, have tremendous potential power over a game; they can make or break it with what goes into that little typebox... for better, or for worse. My key example of this would be the review of the famed game Bullet Witch, which I was introduced to by an oddly attractive anime style picture of Alicia holding an odd looking thing which actually, is a gun. The game wasn't perfect, and though ambitious, released early with its flaws... I believe this review is my prime example of what I'm talking about, though I could have sworn it was IGN. 'The kind of stuff that a reviewer posts with about an hour to string together something good, even if it's unjust.

With that being said, it makes me uncomfortable doing a review for two games that, honestly, I feel the Gamespot guy would cringe over in the same fashion simply because the servers are laggy. Still, to my disbelief, I got accepted to both, so here I go!

Perpetuum and Aika themselves are on the opposite ends of the spectrum as far as MMOs go. The former is a hardcore mech game that revolves around money versus levels without making it nightmarishly harsh. The latter, on the other hand, is, and I will say this proudly, a damn fine MMO that really, really tries.

My first time logging into Perpetuum, I was presented with a character customization system that reminded me alot of Mass Effect's system (sliders) with less options, which isn't nessecarily a bad thing. If I were to complain, I'd say that the choice in color and hairstyles is poor and prevented me from playing as my wonderful ArikaStack (see avatar,) but overall it wasn't bad at all, especially considering exactly what type of game this is. Besides, you're not staring at a character the whole time, rather your robot that kicks ass in accordance to how much money you invested into it.

One thing that interested me was the whole initial statting system. I like it. It's overwhelming, I guess for some, but it pretty much lets you spec your stats, as a whole, before you get into the game. It has its negatives, yes... but it works for this game.

The first thing that happened when I entered this world was the user interface literally dumping itself on me. It wasn't hard to figure out-- hardcore players will be fine, and that's fine seeing as this is a hardcore MMO without Face of Mankind's trolls. If it helps, there's also a help file that explains what's new, but isn't geared towards people new to the subgenre. After I was situated, I did what I was trained to do from all of those years and started killing-- maybe not the best idea but I could get away with it here. It was nice, seeing a game like this that didn't close off all combat from you, the player, for the sake of realism. The interface was alittle odd, so be warned that if you play this game to pay extra mind to it. I don't like the limit of only being able to accept one mission at a time from one place, but it stops you from doing goldfarming runs without working. Another thing to take note of in this game is how expensive everything currently is in the player driven only(?) market. Expect to stick with mob drops for now until you can mine enough money to get a new mech. At least... until the servers get full and people start getting competition with sales, that is.

Gameplay wise, I won't say much more than the fact it's solid due to the fact that this game was never meant to be an action thriller or even a asskick'n dungeon crawler like Diablo. The controls seem tight and I believe if you keep moving you'll get hit less, that's because I'm never the type to stand still when being shot at, though.

The game's world is wonderful-- literally, you shape it, though I haven't. Everything is interactable, and I believe it may remind one a bit of Wurm Online in that sense. The graphics are good. They're not photorealistic-- far from it, and they are not Gears of War. They're good. Good being they look good and you won't notice the bad until you get closer than the game intended and the fact it isn't overfilled with shaders. The mechs look good, but going back to Bullet Witch-- if you absolutely need a 3 million polygon car that reacts ultrealistically to lights, this game's not for you.

As a side note, Perpetuum, though with the usual CB lag, handled it wonderfully. Aika did too.

Speaking of Aika, aside form having a beautiful name, the game greeted me with its shiny foreign goodness. Graphically, this game is great. Still not like Gears of War, but I swear it comes close. The customization options were okay, and personally, I did like the gender restrictive classes because it meant Arika was a Gunner and not a Warlock, meaning she was that much harder to kill.

The game presents itself well, with a constant chain of quests and no grind at all so far save the kill monster X for item Y for npc Z routine. It also has an immersive story that I am enjoying right up there with Kurt Vonnegut's works. Speaking of that, the game does an excellent job of welcoming the player to the game-- it takes a different approach than most and blends speaking to you, the player comically, with the serious stuff quite well. That's probably why I like this game, aside from rock solid combat and optionally equally solid movement, the game gives its customers a warm welcome. Now that I think about it, that may be the most important part.

Now, yes, the servers were tremendously loaded with players like you cannot believe-- when I said Aika did well, I'm saying I didn't notice much lag at all. I mean, sure, there were little delays, but I don't recall one lagspike in my experience. I'll say what I was told overall with this game-- it makes a great single player MMO, and supposedly is even better with the dungeon aspect of it or whatever else there is. This one's largely unknown for me, I mean, I'm level 8, I think right now, but from what I've experienced, I can say I love this game.

The verdict: Both of the games are great games belonging to two entirely different genres of the MMORPG Master genre-- they both have good gameplay, good graphics, and immersive worlds. Admittedly, a good portion of my love for Aika comes from the character the MMO is based around (Aika) who seems strikingly similar to Arika in some ways. I must know more.

Don't take my word for it, though. Both of these games are FTP, so there's no risk in trying them. As with all reviews, never trust the reviewer farther than you can throw them when they say a game's good or bad. I've given you my opinions and judgements on features as well as some insight. Remember, if you want to know more about a game, the best way to do so is to look it up on Youtube from my experience; videos tell the truth quite well. I'll be posting a follow up to this when the closed betas end... until then, this is Ryan Otnes signing into Aika for a fun 3-day weekend of; see 'ya next time.