Ever since my April Fool’s video I’ve been getting a lot of requests, be in here, on Twitter, or wherever to actually do a full episode FRSRS on this game… and… well. Yeah. While I’m perfectly capable of doing just that, as it fits all the criteria is hell of a lot more of an MMO than a lot of the fare I review on this show, the reason I don’t is simply because… You know exactly what this game is like. You watched the video? You saw an ad or a trailer somewhere? Yes. It’s exactly what you think it is.
Still it seems that’s not entirely good enough, so in its stead, I’ll go into a bit more depth about the game and how I feel about, this time without the backhanded compliments and snarky subtext.
Hoo boy. Geez… you just never know how things are going to turn out, do ya?
I was originally going to do this as an OWU, but I have far delayed this beyond being able to call this an Off-Week. However, as much as I DON’T want to reopen this can of worms, I will address a few of the most common criticisms of what I’d said.
- “You hated this game, so you were unfair to it!”
Oh. This WAS me being fair. Those who attended my stream, or hell, even read what I’d written on this very site a few times know just how much I really despise TERA. Regardless I could have been much MUCH harsher to this game, but I reeled back every time I felt something was unquestionably my distaste and not being an objective representation of the game. I personally find the combat to be painfully overrated, the graphics to be “pretty for the sake of pretty”, lacking completely in immersion and substance. I’m not just including this because of a certain commenter that seems to have at least backed off from trying to infiltrate my filters, as it was a fairly common observation. However, I can’t help but wonder… had I not openly stated my distaste for this game, would everyone still think I was being unfair, and taking every standard observation and critique as a damnation of this game?
- “Playing an Elin doesn’t make me a pedo!”
I never said it did. This was probably the moment that most baffling got taken out of context. This whole part was a mere observation of the most common criticism of TERA, as well as addressing the controversy behind it. I fully understand there are players of the game, usually female players, who like the Elin because they are a “cute and girly” race that still can kick ass with giant axes and swords. It’s a fun juxtaposition, and no different from the players of WoW who wanted to play as Female Gnomes for the same reason. However, there’s another audience out there who aren’t interested in them for that. There’s a reason they’re wearing bikini bottom thongs in Korea, and despite why YOU play an Elin, there are many MANY others playing them for an entirely different reason. Those crying censorship over them being placed in (very short) shorts I can’t help but feel shouldn’t concern themselves with their avatar’s crotch, “fashion faux-pas” or not. Trust me, most of those in an uproar were NOT concerned about the “fashion choice”. Also the last sentence of the rant was meant for those people, not for people who roll Elin in general. They’re the ones trying to excuse their behavior with logic detours, like “But they’re really thousands of years old!” That does not make an avatar designed to look like an 8 year old OK to dress up in revealing clothing, and no amount of stupid arguments I have received, or have yet to receive, will convince me otherwise. I will not budge on this stance. As I said to one comment on this site mocking me for this purely opinionated observation, “I’m objective to the games. Pedos can fuck right off.”
- “Quest translation was fun, not bad!”
Story time. Does anyone remember US anime publisher “ADV Films”, original rights holder to Evangelion, Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, Martian Successor Nadesico, Generator Gawl and many more? Well they got a LOT of shit for “playing around” with translations, in some cases the English Dub was so far from the Subtitled track that they were almost literally two different stories. Entire SCENES would have their meaning changed. I remember specifically in Gawl when two female characters were talking about the main characters, the Japanese track was a fairly innocuous conversation about crushes, while the English Dub had them speculating if the main character was gay. This was pretty common in early ADV stuff, dropping in purely American references that wouldn’t make contextual sense in the universe of the show, or adding in lines that were never there. What ADV saw as spicing up the dialogue and “having fun”, a lot more anime fans took as being disrespectful to the original content. When you have characters in space making references to an old McDonalds slogan it not only rips you out of the universe, it completely dates it, a joke that will be killed by time. I feel EnMasse is doing this exact thing with TERA. How can you respect a story that doesn’t respect itself? This is a pretty common thing in Free-to-Plays, to be honest, especially with Korean Grinders. LUNA Online was notorious for it, but what story did it have? TERA obviously has a story, with cutscenes abound, (even if the Vekas thing is horrendously stupid) but when your game seems to not give a shit about something that’s obviously there, it comes across as being just as disrespectful as those old ADV translations. If it’s your lore, like Blizzard (notorious for references abound), fine, do whatever you want. But it’s not EnMasse’s story. It’s Bluehole’s.
- “The game isn’t grindy at all!”
Again, I think this is some out of context observations being translated incorrectly, but I feel this game is a SLOG, not a grind. When I think grind, it’s when I’m out of quests and am forced to walk around killing monsters in order to reach a new level. When I think slog, it’s when the quests themselves feel like you’re grinding, and TERA has NO imagination on what it’s doing. It’s the most basic quest types in MMOs. you kill, you collect, you travel. NOTHING interesting happens during any of these moments. Other MMOs might try to break up the monotony, changing up what you do mid-quest, having an event occur while you’re playing, but TERA keeps things at the basic formula and does nothing to change it, relying solely on the combat to carry it along… when you don’t think the combat is the best thing ever, it’s NOT fun to play. With only a level 60 cap, I don’t see why people think this game has fast progression. I even crowdsourced the question to Twitter, believing maybe I was being unfair, but a lot more people felt the game just drags on. The 20-30 minute opening tutorial followed by an even longer and insultingly simple Newbie Island is NOT a good way to start out the game. I think the game would been loads better if they cut down the time of both areas, or removed one of them altogether. (Yes, I know the tutorial is skippable later, but being forced to enter it initially, only being able to skip it by logging out and in shows they really wanted people to play it.) In any case, it’s a poorly paced game and could seriously benefit from some early game streamlining.
With that I am DONE talking about TERA. Not planning on a backtrack for a LONG time, and I uninstalled it the minute the review was uploaded. If you like, cool, great, whatever. I’m not stopping you, and you certainly shouldn’t need my approval. However, you want to know how I really feel, it should be pretty obvious by now. There’s also a “secret code” of recommendation I do only on Blistered Thumbs. I wonder if anyone noticed it yet…