DESTINIA GAMEVIL Inc.
So, a free RPG. A free RPG from GAMEVIL Inc., a company that started in S. Korea. Ooooookay. We know, to some extent, what we’re in for. We’re in for ads, we’re in for pressure to make in-game purchases, we’re in for a lack of quality… lets get this over with.
My first impressions aren’t too shabby. You get to pick from one of three classes to assign to the only character you can play with – a rather emo behaving and looking chap named Duke. You can be a Warrior, Thief, or Gunner – essentially, a big sword, two little fast swords, or a ranged weapon user. Fair enough. My first attempt at playing this game I went with Gunner.
After choosing my class, I’m subjected to the obligatory introduction story, which, alright, is a nice and classic storyline. Duke is a good guy disgraced by some very bad guys he works with and has a troubled and storied past. He spends six months in the slammer apparently near death, at which time some folks encounter him, spring him, and the adventure begins. I won’t trouble you with more details, because during this time the game decides to slap you about the face and head with their over-the-top attempts at sexy characters of both sexes.
Some um… girls:
It is at this point that, as a married man in my 30s, I realized this game may not exactly have been targeted at my demographic. Or maybe it was, I don’t know. All I know is that it doesn’t do a thing for me. Put some clothes on, where are your parents!? Oh wait, I’m sure the story talks about that at some point…
Anyways, I’m now into the game and its fairly fun so far. I just rolled around gunning down baddies, picking up items… things are fine, no buyer’s remorse yet. The game takes me out of the dungeon and to the first checkpoint area, where I’ll get my first buncha quests and there’s an Item Merchant and a Blacksmith yadda yadda. I accept all the quests, which are remarkably similar to the type of quests you’d get early in World of Warcraft; kill this many of this dude and report back, fetch me this many of that thing and report back… and I go do them. As this continues, my enthusiasm dwindles. The enemies are rather dumb and predictable but look good, but aside from the usual thrill of gunning down adorable creatures, the combat isn’t doing much for me. Practically every monster drops something, which is novel, lets you play around with the crafting systems from the get-go, however, your inventory is tiny, and you fill it very fast. Annoyingly, if you don’t stand on the item and hit the attack button in time, the item will start blinking and then fade away. Better be quick on those pauses so you can figure out how to make room!
In the pause screen, I explore a little more… what’s this? I can break down gear into its components for crafting? That’s pretty cool. I have 3 slots for expanding my inventory with new bags? Right on… Gear comes in the following colors, according to an NPC: white, green, blue, purple for legendary, and orange for epic? Er… a Grid skill leveling system? The NPCs that give quests are represented by exclamation points when they have a quest available, and a question mark when you have a quest to turn into them?! Between this and the fact that while playing Zenonia 3 I encountered Murloc enemies, I’m a little surprised they haven’t received a call from Activision Blizzard’s legal department yet, but hey, if they’re letting them get away with it, so can I. It’s not as if those were all totally original ideas anyways.
So I fight, I quest, I fight, I quest… ultimately I come up to the first boss (whom I neglected to take screenshots of… sigh) who is essentially some weirdo riding a dinosaur, and he prompty roasts and kicks my ass soundly. Good thing it has that ‘Do you want to save? Yes/No’ right before entering the boss room!
This is me gaming, however; I completely ignore the fact that I saved right outside the door, and burn through all my Resurrection Scrolls. When the last one was used, the game prompted me with this:
Still kind of stunned from how owned I just got, I hit OK, and I’m taken to a Market screen offering kindly to charge me a mere 99 cents for the privilege of coming back to life AND a chunk of coin. “Ahhh, there it is” I thought. “This is how they get you, they crank up the boss difficulty, make you pay money in order to live again, sweeten the offer with some tasty coinage.. those evil conniving bastards!” After a ragequit, I left the game for a day to cool down, only to discover upon starting that game again that I’d saved right outside the boss room (gladnobodysawmytantrum.jpg). I explore the pause menu some more, and find the cash shop.
“What?! The game has the ability to charge me a hundred bucks with a click or two? What if I handed a friend’s kid my Droid 2 to tool around with while they were at the house?! They could ruin me completely by accident! Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!” Re-ragequit.
I went to bed fully prepared mentally to unleash a vitriol-filled tirade about how immoral this company was for such dubious practices, and how they should be punished for it, fire ants and enormous syringes that said ants could be injected by were mentioned, oh man I was gunna get NASTY. However, when I awoke today, the rational hardworking author was in charge, and eventually talked the synapses in the back with the axes into allowing this game another chance.
The ads were only present during dialogue scenes, and they don’t really interfere with anything. While the “Special Shop” was there, I didn’t really feel any true need to use it – sure, dropping a fiver on the game would have made it buttery-smooth easy going, but it wasn’t in the least bit necessary (also: Pfffft) – I just have to manage my inventory better, ignore the ads, and remember that I saved right outside the boss room and don’t need to waste all my bloody Resurrection Scrolls. Also, I needed to try the other classes, because being a Gunner sucked ass.
Thus, I gave this game another chance, as a thief this time, and must say my enjoyment of the game was enhanced. Thieves dual-wield (my favorite kind of wielding), have much more intuitive special attacks to use, and are just spinning balls of stabbing-face goodness. I mowed through all the quests in the opening area, doing it right, raising my pets (more on this later), managing my inventory, making stuff, selling stuff back, put my skill points in better places – began having genuine fun, without spending a dime. Wasted that jerk boss, and got myself to the next quest hub. This is essentially an MMO without the MMO – imagine Rift or WoW with no other players (and phone game graphics) and you’ve got the shell of Destinia. Having gotten that far and still having a little time before I seriously needed to start writing, I decided to check out ‘Multimode’ which is how you access the PVP aspect of the game.
Multimode is pretty damn cool. You can pit your character against another person online in a similar style to Com2us’s Homerun Battle 3D, where you and your pet will fight someone else and their pet to the death. As far as I can tell, you drag your pet around in the single player game with you to level it up, and it only really fights at your side during PVP – I may be wrong here. As a lvl 16 thief, I ate Gunners for breakfast, being able to stun them and beat them half to death before they could get away; warriors kicked the crap out of me mostly due to having such good defensive stats (although it might have just been the veteran I was squaring off with), and other thieves were 50/50. It is a lot of fun, and unlike the single player part of the game, I didn’t see any ads in it, and in exploring it further, saw that you can grind your way to nice rewards with the Honor Points system. Lose a fight, get 1 Honor Point. Win, get quite a bit more. It was a wholly unexpected side of the game to me, because I hadn’t read anything about it going in; also, I tend to avoid this sort of thing because so many times you need to sign up, verify via e-mail, give out more personal info, etc.. It was a pleasant surprise that you don’t need to do anything special except have an internet connection to do this.
The game controls relatively well, very few/infrequent bugs, looks good on nearly every front… yet, it is a hated “free” game with the evil of in-game real money purchasing. It was a tough thing to swallow, but… I’m going to keep playing it now, despite my intense dislike of that system. It’s just well-made enough to be forgivable. This has a remarkably high rating in the Android Market, and now I can see it isn’t just because the game asks you to do it; it really is an awful lot to get for nothing.
- Yes, there is a cash shop. Yes, there are ads. They truly aren’t that bothersome.
- That said, don’t let little kids handle phones this is easy to access on, in case they decide to get the high score in ‘Overdraft Your Bank Account’
- You get an awful lot of decent game for no monetary investment.
- The phrase ‘World of Destinia-Craft’ came to mind more than once while playing.
- Fuck Gunners, Gunners suck. (strictly an opinion)