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Hello once again, for those of you that have been following me from game to game I'm sure I need no introduction. As you all know, while I'm harsh in my reviews I also try to point out the pretty points as well. Some games have made that hard, and ToS is no exception. With sketchy details as far as what type of beta this is, and people trying to down this game before it's even finished; I always make it a point to give the developers a fair review. So, without further ado, here's my peice by peice review of Lingo Soft's Tales of Fantasy.
-graphics have the look and feel that at least someone knew what they were doing. The world is stunning to say the least. Even the rock outcroppings near the tiger pool looked like they might come to life and chew my character like a wad of gum. The character proportions were just right, in that the females weren't to buxom and the males weren't overly muscled. Though the choice of cute could have been left alone since cute in my opinion, doesn't include a balloon with legs. The high detail on the character's armor is just fantastic when you zoom in close. Even the reigns on the mount your given has that nice gold in the sun shine to it. There were some nice effects from your skills going off as well, though there was to much of that either way. Which leads to the next portion.
-sounds... Oh what I can say to that. The sounds for the skills that you get, and the sounds that the mobs make when you fight them sound like they were ripped right out of someone's World of Warcraft sound file. I'm sure there is nothing illegal about that, but just the same... have SOME orrigionality at least. I've already seen the complaints and comments about it, and I have to agree. That's the worst set of sounds that can ever be ripped off from a game. I mean, come on, World of Warcraft sounds?!? Are you serious?!? Let's hope Blizzard doesn't find out....
-movement is glitchy at best, and the click to move is as unintelligent as it can be. I don't know how many times I've gotten hung up on a node or couldn't move past an obsticle without haveing to use the keyboard for that. That is the single most frustrating way to move around if anything. Other than being on a horse that you can't dismount from. That's right, that pretty white stallion you get with the golden reigns, when you get it, you literally got it. It doesn't allow you to dismount either. As far as targeting and manipulating a quest node, you find that the horse seems to want to go where it wants to. In the meantime, while your trying to move around to a position where the horse won't buck and muck up your targeting of that node, the mob you just downed is back up and sticking a knife in your spleen. Not fun in my opinion. The same thing happens everytime your talking to one of the NPC vendors. The horse keeps trying to go through the wall behind that vendor, and seems to like running in place to boot. Other than the glitchy and inintelligent bee-line movement that the click to move offers you. At least you got the option to move around via keyboard. The only issue with that, is that there is no way to customize your keys, so your stuck with it as is. I will say, though, that this is the third online game I have seen that allows for mounted combat. Which is refreshing to see just the same. It brought back some very fond memories of an old favorite.
-quests are the general lead by the nose type, but in order for you to get to a specific NPC. You have to open up your quest log each time, click on the NPC's name, and then follow the arrow on the minimap. A more intuitive quest tracking system would have done wonders here. Some of them contain items that you can't even get in game. Which leads me to believe that a cash shop is in this game's future. They do have a very annoying repeatable that asks you to stay online for a given amount of time, and turn it in each time. All it offers is minimal xp and just as minimal cash just to stand around picking your nose. The xp/cash reward for completeing quests to repairs and purchases ratio is right on target. Which leads me to the next area for scrutiny, game economy.
-the game's economy is just horrible if anything. While you can purchase items that you need at a reasonable rate (I did say that the cash you get from quests is right on), as far as selling items back to the merchant... You get a very dismal 1-2% return. Thank god repairs to your gear are inexpensive, and horse feed is at a premium unlike today's gas prices. I've seen other beta testers selling purple and blue rated ore, but never bothered to ask what they were charging for them. I didn't need it.
-combat is fairly decent. I liked the fact that a single left click on your intended target brought you face to face with it (provided there wasn't a stick in the way), and the auto faceing was a nice touch. You had the choice of getting a sandwhich and autobattle it, or to the oh so wonderful sounds stolen from World of Warcraft, use your skills to quickly take down the mob. When the bloody work is over with, and here comes the worst part, you get to sit and rest. The health and power regeneration is painfully slow. Depending on how tough the fight was or how long you were taking a beating for, the rest period would have you waiting for a good 20+ minutes, maybe more. I don't know, I never waited that long and was looking forward to giving something else a good left clicking. The skill tree you get to choose from branches off first into two distinct class types, then two more and then another two. Once you've chosen your path, that was it. Not wholey a bad thing, but at least you get to plan ahead according to your own play style.
-community. I have to say this, before I had the chance to shout out or contact another player to ask some questions. I saw a newbie ask in the same area I happened to be in ask for help. Without hesitation, two of the most experienced players immidiatly asked how they could be of assistance. I watched the exchange, and saw a very helpful community with friendly players. Good job guys, your the first community I got to say was above just great. I just hope the community stays that way.
Well, in the end I have to say, despite it's obvious and very painful flaws. It has a potential for being a decent game. All they need is some orrigionality in where they get their sounds, a fix to the economy, and for god's sake let us dismount when we'd rather walk than ride!! A little communication from the developers wouldn't hurt either. All in all, it's worth keeping your eyes on, it could get better, or it could go worse. Either way, I had fun with it, and I'm sure others would as well. See you next time!!