For this week’s edition of the MMO Cartographer, I have pulled Aura Kingdom out of my magical bag of maps. It is a vibrant, colorful, adorably cute anime game from way back in 2013, created by X-Legend Entertainment and published in the west as a totally free-to-play title by Aeria games.
I had no difficulty having it set up and operating by means of Steam on Windows 10. That could sound like a low bar to clear, but I have not too long ago installed a further older game that wouldn’t run till I hunted down .dll files that have been missing. At least this one particular is all there! For an older game, the method needs are extremely low. This is fantastic news if you are attempting to run it on a toaster or if you like to jack all your settings up to ultra-max.
I dimly recall checking out this game in the previous, but if I had a character at some point in the previous, I do not have it any longer, so it turned out to be a entirely fresh begin with brand-new characters. There are 14 classes, and they are not gender-locked. Immediately after some of my other adventures, I believed it would be fantastic to settle on just one particular in order to make some progress, so I chose a Duelist, a dual blade-wielding melee class. The character customization is typical, with a quantity of faces, hairstyles, and colorings to decide on from. The final step in character creation is to choose an Eidolon, a magical companion. I chose the Cheery Sylph, the one particular that was rated finest for healing simply because I believed that could be a fantastic way to stay clear of dying. It turned out that I didn’t truly will need to be concerned substantially about that.
When you start the game, you are in a dream or a flash-forward, all decked out in fancy gear and facing risky foes. The initial NPC you meet is the however named Analisa. She offers you weapons and sends you off to meet your destiny.
After you have completed that, you wake up in Port Skandia devoid of your fancy pants, prepared to begin your grind. There are a bunch of quests that send you to speak to some NPC, kill x-quantity of critters, or gather so a lot of products, and then return to the NPC, who will give you the subsequent activity or send you on to the subsequent NPC. There are also “hidden quests” out in the planet, despite the fact that if they are attempting to hide, they do not do a extremely fantastic job of it: They have exclamation points and the words “hidden quest” floating above them.
When you initial get sent out of town, you will be killing bunnyhops. They are round bunny creatures that are as just cute as their name suggests. There is also a significant boss bunnyhop roaming about and a tiny bunnyhop that is the target of a hidden quest to tame that you get from a cabbage proper outdoors the town gates. As you go, you fight other sorts of monsters, some of which are not supposed to be cute but are cartoony adequate to stay clear of the dark grittiness that is so common these days. I specially liked the sunbirds, which appear like forest penguins.
There are some tiny variations in the controls from comparable MMOs, but you can reset them if you will need to. They are not tricky to get utilized to. Suitable-click to attack left-click to interact with objects in the planet. Simple peasy. I utilized WASD and mouselook to navigate the planet, but you can use click-to-move if that is what you are utilized to. The only factor that truly got to me is that “I” opens the item mall, not your inventory. That is “B” for “bag,” which you may possibly currently be utilized to from other games.
One more function I want to mention briefly is that your stat gear and your look gear are separate. I took off my look gear to see what the stat gear looked like and located myself standing there in pink underwear.
Fighting animations are complete of flashy effects and the combat feels smooth adequate. All the characters I attempted have been comparatively uncomplicated to get the hang of, and switching in between them didn’t trigger me a lot of confusion. As you’d anticipate in this setting, there are not any gore effects. It would be extremely strange if there have been.
1 of the initial quest lines sends you out to come across a undesirable guy who, like you, has an Eidolon. His name is Brian. In truth, a lot of characters have ordinary names, which can be a tiny jarring. Brian just does not sound like a villain you’d fight in an MMORPG. At least the names are uncomplicated to pronounce and do not endure from any of the awful fantasy name cliches, like meaningless apostrophes and overuse of uncommon letters. (Possibly that is just odd localization?)
I didn’t get into crafting or upgrading gear (or upgrading the stones that go into the gear) simply because the levels and the gear come quite quick, at least in the starting. And I am not substantially of a crafter. I am afraid I am a dyed-in-the-wool murder hobo.
As you level, you will get points to invest on attack and defense stats. There’s an auto button, but I like to spread out my points much more than that does. You will also get to decide on passive expertise and skills from the Envoy’s Path, which is set up in a grid pattern. You can decide on expertise subsequent to ones you have currently unlocked, so you could want to contemplate exactly where you are attempting to get to when you choose these.
It would be fair to say that this game has coaching wheels. That is not necessarily a undesirable factor, specially if you want to play it with youngsters or with an individual who is new to gaming. It has auto-run to quest targets, it auto-loots products, and if you will need to use an item for a quest, it seems in the quest tracking panel, so you can proper-click it proper from there. The principal quest line chains with each other, but quests would be uncomplicated to come across anyway, as they are marked with the traditional exclamation point and query mark. Even my 70-a thing-year-old mother, whose only video game experiences are solitaire and match-three games, could get up to speed in this game devoid of as well substantially difficulty.
The cute anime MMORPG subgenre appears to have fallen out of favor right here in the west at least, with fewer titles nevertheless operating or getting released than there when have been. It is a shame, at least for these of us who enjoyed them. The fantastic news is that there are nevertheless older titles out there that have some population nevertheless playing them.