Dragonica looks fun

Today I came across a post about Dragonica, a game I hadn’t heard of before.  I wasn’t initially too interested, but being a lazy Sunday I decided to do a quick google search on it and find a bit more info.  I’m glad I did, this game seems it may be quite fun =)

secret-of-manaIf anyone remembers way back in the old days, before the Internet took over our lives, we used to actually visit our friends houses to play games.  And in those times, when Super Nintendo ruled the world, Secret of Mana was an awesome game to have a few people over for.  It was a fairly straight-forward RPG, but with a very action-oriented combat system, rather unheard of back then.  And it was multiplayer, allowing up to 3 people to hack and slash together and adventure through the story.

I had such fond memories of Secret of Mana that after Super Nintendo’s time had passed I once tried setting up an SNES Emulator on my PC, grabbed the japanese sequel and an english patch and hoped to get a few friends to come play.  But alas, the Internet is here now, and few people will be up for abandoning a 3D MMO to come play a 16bit 2D scrolling game through an emulator at a friend’s house..

Which is why Dragonica makes me excited =)  This game reminds me a good deal of Secret of Mana.  It has the same action combat feel to it, where you can play with your friends and progress through a story.  It even has a similar graphics style.  Curious to see how this game actually plays?  Check out their trailor:

Dragonica will be free to play and is currently in beta.  I couldn’t find any estimation of a release date, but when it arrives I think I shall definitely have to give this a shot =)

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My most anticipated MMO for 2009

aion-anticipated

The more I read and see of Aion, the more I cannot wait to play it!  What is Aion?  The short version is its a PvP focused game, where you battle in a celestial war between the Elyos and Asmodians (if you want more info try here and here).  So why am I looking forward to this game?

Flight!  Every character in Aion can fly and the game is built from the ground up to support it!  The world is divided into two halves, with the Asmodians living on the upper half and the Elyos living below; the center is called the Abyss and is where all the real action happens.  Because of this setup, Aion has a huge amount of vertical space to discover, which makes flying very useful and the game much more unique.  Full Aerial combat is supported, some keeps you have to dive into to attack, and even some boss encounters take place in the air.

Advanced Combat!  The combat system in Aion seems amazing.  Certain abilities can trigger combos allowing you to chain together powerful attacks.  Moving around while fighting is encouraged, as movement affects your performance in combat, moving backwards increases your defence, moving forward increases your offence and strafing sideways increases your dodge.  Aerial and ground combat are also quite different, as you have less defence but more offensive capabilities while in flight, and aerial combat adds that extra dimension you must watchout for, the first few times you get attacked from above will likely take you completely by suprise!

The Abyss!  This sounds like my dream PvP playground!  It is a huge, open concept space with a ton of content in it.  Anywhere in the Abyss you are vulnerable to attacks from enemy players, making it a dangerous area.  But it has the best of everything in the game!  The best leveling spots, item drops, crafting materials and even many of the Raid Bosses are located right in the Abyss, giving you lots of reasons to want to get out there, and many opportunities to encounter enemy players!

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Meaningful PvP rankings!  Killing players in the Abyss awards you “Abyss Points”, except unlike most recent MMOs, Aion does have a death penalty!  When you die to enemy players you lose “Abyss Points”, making you perhaps think twice about how you may approach certain encounters.  The rankings in Aion are also limited in number, only 1 person can be the top ranking, Commander-in-chief, at a time, two people can be Commander, 6 can be Warlord, etc.  I love this concept as it makes your ranking that much more special!

Seamless World!  One of the things I perhaps miss most in Warhammer is the lack of a seamless world.  Warhammer really feels like a bunch of disconnected instances; there is no way for you to walk to the Inevitable City.  The lack of being able to approach major landmarks like that really disconnects you from the world.  Aion has a huge seamless world you can wander about and explore, much more similar to WoW, and exploring will feel quite unique due to the flight abilities and huge vertical spaces.

Polish!  I never quite understood why World of Warcraft was so popular until I played Warhammer.  Having a polished game that plays smooth and has few bugs is extremely important.  Warhammer sorely lacks that, and while I’m still enjoying Warhammer, I hate how unpolished, buggy and poorly done the game feels.  Nearly every review I’ve read of Aion raves about the amount of polish and how smooth the game plays.

That about covers my main reasons I’m looking forward to this game.  There are, of course, many other great aspects to Aion as well; amazing graphics, great character customization, detailed story sequences and what looks like a great crafting system.  It really looks like it may be an amazing game, is already massively popular in Asia, and can’t arrive here soon enough =)