Thursday, September 3, 2009

Life After the Party Part 4/4

A long overview/review in four parts; part four.


Top image: Granado Espada login screen; bottom image: Atlantica Online login screen.

SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES
One amusing set of similarities between GE and AO lies in their settings. GE is located in an alternate-universe version of our own reality: the Old World features countries named Oporto, Vespanola, Correa, and Katai, while the New World boasts of locations named the Bahamar Swamplands.

(Oporto = Portugal; Vespanola = Spain, Correa = South Korea, Katai = China; the Bahamar Swamplands are an allusion to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and its tropical setting.)

On the other side of the coin, AO is set in a fantasy version of the Northern Hemisphere: towns include locations such as Manila, Saint Petersburg, and Chicago, while dungeons are set in wonders of the world and locations of interest such as the Taj Mahal, the Valley of the Kings, and the fabled pirate-infested coves of the Caribbean Sea.

Since both games have heavy graphics and AI loads they both require better computers and Internet connections. Additionally, GE's soundtrack works best piped through good speakers, in order to showcase the quality of the music. Other game bloggers have recommended going better than the recommended computer specifications given for both titles to maximize performance, making for a better playing experience.

Comments on both GE and AO from Filipino players attribute a kind of "learning curve" to the two titles. For one thing, the entire idea of the one-player-multiple-characters concept is like nothing else encountered in other locally-released MMO titles; the exceptions being those who had previously been exposed to Final Fantasy, its successors, and/or Tactics-type titles.

Titles of this sort call on players to have certain skills in strategy, long-term thinking, tactics and decision-making. It's best to make plans right at the outset: what makes a good family/formation at the newbie stages? What changes are required in order to survive in the endgame? On creating an account in either GE or AO, one must already be thinking about everything from starting equipment to working within the in-game economy to making plans for which extra characters to recruit and the order of recruitment, and all the way until the level cap is reached. And then what does one do when one reaches that cap?

Were that it were possible for more people to try new experiences even in online gaming. And for now, barring the continued progression of the genre as a whole and new advances in gameplay, GE and AO stand on the cutting edge, offering whole new levels of gaming experiences to casual and dedicated gamers alike. Both games come highly recommended and serve as groundbreaking titles.

***

These blog posts are dedicated to several friends and fellow gamers, and particularly to Mistress Hrin. Inspired by the musings of the MMOtaku.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

1 comment:

DeSanggria said...

impeccable writing, as always. :D

oi btw...can you be OL in GE this sunday? we're sending off hrin for the last time. hope you can be there as one of the pioneering GE gamers from our region. :) hrin's going to be in-game, so this'll be a sad & exciting gathering. XD