Here is a review from Erhan Altay of MMOHut for the game Asda Story.
Asda Story Full Review
By Erhan Altay
Asda story was originally released in Japan and Korea under the name ‘MicMac Online’ but has only recently been brought to the North American market by the publisher Games Campus. The open beta for the game started in August 2008 and new content and features continue to be developed. Even though the game is years old now, it still remains popular.
In The Beginning
Asda Story is not the most in depth MMORPG out there, this is evident from both character creation and class choices available. Besides selecting gender, hair and face styles, players can chose from several outfits that make them look like a knight or a Roman legionnaire. These outfits can be mixed and matched but its best to stick to one set to avoid looking too goofy. In any event, equipment picked up once you actually start playing will soon replace your starting clothes so don’t get too attached. Like many other (Asian) MMORPGs, players do not immediately select a class in Asda Story. Instead, all players start as novices and must make the first class change upon reaching level 5. There are a paltry 3 class choices currently available; Fighter, Archer, and Mage. Luckily, each has three unique skill lines to add some variety but from my experience there is quite a bit of unbalance even between the three classes. I’ve found archers to be far more powerful than fighters, especially during the first 30 or so levels.
Asda Story lacks a formal tutorial but the game shouldn’t be too difficult for anything with prior gaming experience to figure out. The interface, movement, and gameplay are standard MMORPG fare. Asda Story takes very little chances; movement is done through point and click, a toolbar is available to assign spells, skills, and healing items to. Combat is done by double clicking the target and waiting. There are no stat points you need to worry about, only a single skill point earned every level starting at level 5. Skills are broken down in a tree structure with lower level skills being prerequisites for the fancier ones. The game’s graphics have a very manga/anime feel, even more so than other Asian MMORPGs. Where Asda Story does part ways with most free MMORPGs is its heavily quest driven progression. There are always quests available and the only logical way to level is by completing them. Simply killing a monster yields almost no experience while quests have massive experience rewards attached to them. I personally favor this quest driven system because it gives players a sense of purpose, at least until the leveling rate slows down and you realize the quests are all recycled on every new map. The only thing you need to worry about is death, which carries a stiff 10% experience penalty. This may not seem like much of a problem, especially during the first few levels but it throws off the whole quest line. It seems there are just enough quests each level to get you to the next level, dying means you’ll have to grind back that 10% the hard way.
Asda Story focuses on PvE content and generally does a better job of it than most games. Even at lower levels there are instanced dungeons available which must be completed with a small group. The first of these is a cavern made of chess boards where players fight wave after wave of various chess pieces with the final boss being the Queen. The fact that there are dozens of quests associated with this dungeon and all the other zones adds to the players desire to complete all available content. The regular quests themselves are generic kill quests or something along the lines of ‘go talk to that NPC than report back’ but even this still beats grinding, especially with the auto walk feature available through the map. As mentioned earlier, the interface in Asda Story is standard fare but it does making tracking quests simple. NPCs relevant to quests that can be obtained or with those you have ongoing quests with are marked on the mini map and a quest log is available to give players all the relevant information regarding quests they’ve accepted.
PvP-wise, the game has a faction warfare PvP system. Players can join any of the game’s three factions (Light, Darkness and CHaos) and participate in faction wars on instanced battlefields where the three factions must duke it out for supremacy. Each battlefield supports upwards of 90 players on the screen at once (30 from each faction). If a single battlefield fills up, another one will open up so players will never have to “queue up” to begin PvPing when battles take place. Participating in PvP is rewarding, as players can earn honor points and coins which can be used to purchase special faction warfare items and gear that isn’t otherwise available in the game.
The one unique feature that Asda Story does manage to bring in is the Soul Mate system. At first this may seem like a glorified marriage gimmick which is available in many games these days but its nothing of the sort. Firstly, you can become soul mates with any other players provided they don’t currently have a soul mate already. There’s no special procedure involved, just click add a soul mate and put in their name to await a response. As both you and your soul mate level, special skills become available based on your Soul Mate level. Soul Mates can teleport to one another, which helps cut the long travel times involved in Asda Story. Another skill allows players to actually level up their soul mate’s character while they’re not even logged in! Like most MMORPGs, Asda Story is best enjoyed with one or more friends who go into the game together, the soul mate system really compounds this by making the game much more accessible to those playing at least one other person. How much you’ll enjoy Asda Story depends on what you’re expecting. The game offers little but quest directed grinding but is simple to jump into. When I first started playing during the open beta the game, the newbie zones were far more crowded than they are now. Hopefully the content upgrades that were promised are delivered.
Final Verdict – Good
Asda Story doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it’s a simple MMOPRG with limited class choices (3) and basic gameplay. If you’re looking for a no hassle anime styled fantasy MMORPG, give Asda Story a try. If you’re looking for something you haven’t seen before, look elsewhere.
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