fbpx

North American Lost Ark alternatives?

As you all are aware, or maybe not? Lost Ark was just released October 7th at 2pm (KST) in Korea. For the uninformed, Lost Ark is a very appealing action (think diablo-esque) oriented MMORPG. There are already numerous ways for North American and Global players to play this game in its native language, but I myself am not willing to spend the money and time to tackle the huge language barrier. So with this all in mind, it has me curious what does the North American gamer have to satiate their hunger for a new MMO that promises entertainment on the scale of a game like Lost Ark. So I’ve included here, my top contenders.

FRACTURED

Fractured is the first open-world sandbox MMORPG mixing action combat with fully interactable environments, appealing equally to lovers of competitive and cooperative gameplay. Jump right into the fray from day one. Defeat your enemies through your own skill and cleverness, not equipment or level. Gather resources, craft, trade and venture into legendary travels as a solitary hero, or start a settlement with your guild and grow it into the next empire. -via official web page

That sounds very appealing, particularly defeating your enemies through your own skill and cleverness. The screen shots and video also have some impressive visuals. Fractured is going into Alpha 1 testing come December 2018. Players that get to test this game exclusive to Kickstarter backers. That being said you can expect a couple months for an official release.

 

LEGENDS OF ARIA

Inspired by the original sandbox MMORPGs like Ultima Online, discover a non-instanced persistent world driven by you. Build your character your way, be you a crafter, adventurer, or humble fisherman. The first full-scale MMORPG to support community servers and modding.-Via official steam page

This is arguably the most unique MMO to be released. And to be excited I am sure you can all expect this game to be released Officially on December 2018.

 

MAD WORLD

Mad World is an MMORPG. It stays true to classic MMORPGs but has unique setting, characters, and choatic and yet addictive combat system combining targeting and non-targeting combat.

Farming, Hunting, PVP, PVE, Quests, Giant Bosses, Item Trading, and other enjoyable features often found in traditional MMORPGs plus something original that we are thinking of adding. -VIA Official FAQ

Looking at the style and direction of this game it has me really excited. It will be ran through HTML-5 so it will not be a stand alone client you have to download. They also mention that because of it’s HTML-5 structure, you can expect to this to be released cross platforms. No release has been listed.

That concludes my list. I did omit some other promising titles particularly Project TL (The Lineage). But I think this list gives some realistic expectations, and not just pie in the sky details.

 

 

 

 

Tengai Makyou: Daiyon no Mokushiroku (Far East of Eden: The Apocalypse IV)

Tengai Makyo: The Apocalypse IV is the latest installment of the extremely popular Far East of Eden series (also known as Tengai Makyo) which spans from the Super Famicom (TM Zero), to the PC engine (TM Ziria, TM Manjimaru and TM Gaiden ~ Kabuki Klash) and the Sega Saturn (TM The Apocalypse IV). The Tengai Makyo series has a tradition of stunning cinematic, solid game-play and its own original style of humor. The Apocalypse IV continues the tradition.

The Apocalypse IV is actually based on the writings of a fictional author called “P.H. Chada” who chronicles an over-the-top, bizarre and downright crazy version of 19th century America. This game is as historically and politically incorrect as you can get and it makes for an original and entertaining setting for an RPG. The Apocalypse IV is also one of the darker RPGs ever made, dealing with topics such as The Book of Revelations and Satanism. That, combined with the insane setting gave this title little chance of making it stateside (sadly).

The story of Apocalypse IV follows the story of a young Demon Hunter named Rizing and his quest to rid America of the plague of demonic evil that infects it more and more each day. Along the way Rizing will encounter memorable allies, insane, ominous villains and other characters that seem to be the product of smoking reefer and paint-chips. The Apocalypse IV’s cast is incredible, from the colorful and deep main characters to the villains who range from hilarious to satanic. I enjoyed TA IV’s story from start to end and it had some very memorable moments that I won’t mention to risk spoiling the surprise for people who haven’t played it yet. The story is also pretty easy to follow even if you don’t understand Japanese (I know about 3 words of Japanese, heh) and combined with a game guide found at gamefaqs.com you’ll be all set.

The battle system in The Apocalypse IV is pretty traditional and basic in its scope, mirroring the battle system found in the Phantasy Star series with a few alterations. For instance, the time of day affects your enemies’ strength and your whole party uses one MP pool. You are also able to pull off combination attacks ala PS 4 and Chrono Trigger. As you progress in the story you receive more techniques and you earn new magic spells from various Indian chiefs spread throughout America. The game-play offers nothing groundbreaking, but it provides a solid and fun experience.

The Apocalypse IV is a 2D lover’s dream, from the incredible anime to the colorful towns/battles, this is definitely one of the finer looking 2D RPGs on the market. The anime FMV in this game is amazing and pushes the Saturn to the limit. There is little to no pixilation to be found. Not only is the quality of the anime compression amazing but the art is great as well. Once you see the opening sequence with Rizing ice surfing through the Alaskan tundra you will know that you’re in for an anime experience that few games can compare with. The battle scenes are played out in interactive first-person anime scenes, think Phantasy Star with 100 times the animation and effects. The town and dungeon graphics are your basic 2D style but the attention to detail is very impressive, it may not be in the same league as some of the newer 2D RPGs detail-wise but it gets the job done.

The Apocalypse IV’s soundtrack is solid and has some of the best Saturn PCM I have ever heard. In fact the music played during the anime scenes is incredible. Toshiyuki Sasagawa’s score combines techno, rock and atmospheric tracks for a unique and above average soundtrack that fits the game perfectly.

The voice acting in this game is high quality and there are over 20 different voice actors used. This is usually a given in RED co. games since they take pride in top of the line voice acting.

If you are looking for an original and fun RPG to eat up your time look no further. Tengai Makyo: TA IV’s original story, memorable characters, colorful graphics, great music, low language barrier and solid game-play make it a good buy for Saturn importers. Lets hope we see Tengai Makyo on the Dreamcast in the near future.

Albert Odyssey – Sega Saturn

Albert Odyssey: LoE was released in 1997 to hungry US Saturn owners who would take any RPG that was thrown there way. Even though Albert Odyssey LoE wasn’t what you would call an “epic” or “classic” RPG, it did have enough substance and Working Designs humor to make it a worthwhile purchase to Saturn owners who were desperately starving for an RPG that they didn’t have to import.

The story of Albert Odyssey: LoE is not what you would call “developed” or “original” but it still is a somewhat enjoyable quest even if it goes through a library of cliches along the way. AO:LoE stars the a generic hero named Pike who sets out on a quest to eventually save the world. Sure the plot is basically generic and cliche but Working Designs’ translation makes the plot much more enjoyable thanks to the added humor and well written dialogue. Some may say that the humor goes to far at some points and at times it does but it is still a lot better than the horribly translated RPGs that some US publishers crap out nowadays.

AO:LoE has one big fault, the battles. There is nothing wrong with the actual turn-based battle system but it’s the loading times in the battles that make them so horribly boring and slow-paced. Each command takes an eternity to pull off and it completely took all of the fun out of the battles. I still cant believe that the loading times in the battles were actually worse in the Japanese version of this game. I’m not one that usually complains about loading times but this is ridiculous. AO: LoE is also not that difficult and you wont spend much time planning strategy against most bosses. If you can stand the horrendous load times then you should enjoy the 25 – 35 hours of game-play in AO:LoE.

I really liked the graphics in AO:LoE, the graphics were in the traditional 2D style but they were vividly colorful and very detailed. However, the over-world was done in full 3D and reminds looks exactly like the over-world in Tales of Destiny. Albert Odyessy LoE is one of the best looking 2D rpgs, even to this day.

Albert Odyssey: LoE has a solid soundtrack with its fair share of great tracks. The quality of the music is very high since most of the tracks were done in red-book audio that is playable via a CD player. The soundtrack may not be as well composed as Xenogears or Lunar 2 but it is still a solid soundtrack nonetheless.

Overall, Albert Odyssey: LoE would be just an average RPG if it wasnt for the great translation by Working Designs. Sadly the horrible loading times in the battles brings this game down a lot and the cliched plot may bore some people. Its a solid RPG to add to your collection but I wouldn’t suggest going nuts to track it down.