• Game Review 17.07.2009
    Aion, a very pretty game indeed.
    Aion, a very pretty game indeed.

    I spent a weekend on and off playing a closed beta version of Aion: Tower of Eternity, and I have to say it’s a very pretty game. In fact, it may be one of the most visually appealing MMO’s out there. The art direction is very consistent with the standard anime feel of most eastern developed properties.  The style of armors and weapons are reminiscent of Lineage 2, another NCSoft game.   And the terrain visuals are grand and inviting.  The whole world just has that “giant amusement park” feel to it, and you can’t wait to run around and hop on the rides.

    Buy my baker's dozen.
    Buy my baker’s dozen.

    Crytek’s CryENGINE, which powers Aions visuals, does a good job of keeping the frame rates up even when there’s a good deal of effects and players running in view.  There seemed to be a lack of any noticeable lag or anything that would detract from the enjoyment of your play session.  I guess the best thing I can say about the experience is, you don’t notice anything.  Animations seemed smooth from one stance to another, casting animations and combat seemed smooth with nary a glitch.

    Glowy plants on a small island in a shallow lake.

    Glowy plants on a small island in a shallow lake.

    Now, before I go any further I should qualify my statements with the following disclaimer. I am a casual gamer. And I say I’m a casual gamer because I have a short attention span for games. I get bored of any particular game pretty easily and move on. This is especially so for MMOs. I’ve played or tried almost all of them in search of an MMO home. For a while, I thought I found my home in World of Warcraft… until I got bored. I have to say, I stuck with it for a while. I made it as far as a level 59 hunter which took me 2 years (on and off.)  I loved the Lineage 2 BETA which was absolute, glorious mayhem, then got bored.  EverQuest 2 and Final Fantasy Online kept my attention for about one week. And I won’t even get into Age of Conan or Tabula Rasa. And it’s just not the pay to plays. I’ve also tried Florensia, Silkroad, Perfect World… all of which I’ll talk about in another post.

    capital city floating in the clouds.

    Capital city floating in the clouds.

    Ok, so we’ve established that I’m a casual gamer  So is to say, my depth of any particular game is lacking, but my breadth of gaming experience is pretty broad.  This thus brings us back to Aion. As fickle a player as I am, I honestly believe I’m going to enjoy Aion. I have enjoyed Aion. It’s engaging and lulls you into another world- a very well crafted other world. The interface is well thought out and so are the quest structures- at least the ones I played.

    It's not a fantasy world without talking trees.

    It's not a fantasy world without talking trees.

    The environment doesn’t seem like static cardboard with a bunny painted on it. You feel like you’re running through a living world with all kinds of stuff running about. And because you get used to the idea of miscellaneous inhabitants, you start to look out for them as you move from one area to another. And you know the world you’re in is genuine fantasy the first moment you come across a talking tree. Now, there’s going to be a lot of other previews out there about the technicals of the game, the classes, the weapons and crits.  That’s not me. I play games for the sheer enjoyment, win or loose. I’d rather not play the game like an accountant, number crunching variables for maximum gearage. So I’m looking at this game from a more emotional perspective…

    Pretty, uhm... graphics.

    Uhm... pretty graphics.

    I’m happy and calm when I play Aion.  It’s soothing.  The visuals are aesthetically appealing like a perfect marble cube.  The audio and music is superior to anything I’ve heard thus far in an MMO.  Seriously, the music is great in this game.  And because Aion makes me feel sooo good, I’m going to play it more.   I’m going to take my time and maybe go through the starter areas four or seven times before I move on.  I don’t feel rushed in Aion, so, don’t be surprised if you see a character running around in Aion at level 20… for 12 months.  If you’re a WoW refugee, you owe it to yourself to give this a solid try.  Just stop crunching numbers when you’re in the game, and just play.

    Epic structures dot the main Elyos city.

    Epic structures dot the main Elyos city.

    People crafting +10 odor eating socks.

    People crafting +10 odor eating socks.

     

     

    Posted by Otakukon @ 10:23 pm

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Chatter Box

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Latest on Wed, 08:59 am

kurou: i was in awe when i saw these pics. such exelent focus! i was the guy with the face mask [...]

Otakukon: Argh, stayed up too late watching some K-On, again.

Otakukon: Playing Aion closed beta.

Otakukon: Registered for Zenkaikon! I'll be there both Saturday and Sunday. Should be a great con!

Gaijin Otaku: Fish balls. Yummy.

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