Browse by Episode Number
Episode 1: LUNA Online (07/23/2011) (Backtrack 04/2016)
A decent beginner’s 3D MMORPG with an easy-to-grasp style, but becoming more frustrating at later levels, often relying on the grind to advance.
(Unique Features: Dating system and Date Dungeons)
Episode 2: Pangya (08/04/2011) (Backtrack 11/2013)
A fun and quirky fantasy golf MMO with great graphics, a quiet community, and a steep learning curve.
(Unique Features: Special physics-warping shots)
Episode 3: Maple Story (08/23/2011)
A colorful and cute beginner’s 2D MMORPG unfortunately hampered by annoying gameplay issues and an obnoxious community.
(Unique Features: Platforming elements and “Jump Quests”)
Episode 4: Lord of the Rings Online (09/07/2011)
A greatly immersive, but slow leveling WoW clone with nice graphics and fantastic music, but relying on some sort of Cash Shop investment to alleviate some of the bigger inconveniences.
(Unique Features: Musical instruments and truly different Day/Night system)
Episode 5: Dungeon Fighter Online (09/20/2011)
A fast-paced action 2D beat-em-up MMO with classic 90’s arcade graphics, hampered only by repetitive gameplay and a lack of personal customization.
(Unique Features: Complex, in-depth combo system and special move input.)
Episode 6: Myst Online Uru (10/03/2011)
An immersive and beautiful environmental puzzle based title and part of the Myst series of games. Hampered by age and awkward controls.
(Unique features: Truly free to play. No combat element.)
Episode 7: Eden Eternal (10/18/2011)
A very well animated an colorful MMORPG/WoW Clone that has several ingenious features to make for a simpler MMO experience. Only hampered slightly by a younger, and mildly obnoxious community.
(Unique Features: Fully interchangeable class system. One-Player dungeons. Automatic quest router.)
Episode 8: Hellgate: London (10/31/2011)
A formerly failed FPS/3PS MMO made by the original developers of Diablo. A great atmosphere, with decent action, but mired by muddy graphics, overly repetitive gameplay and a complex inventory system.
(Unique Features: First or Third Person play modes. Slightly randomized dungeons.)
Episode 9: Rusty Hearts (11/14/2011) (Backtrack 11/2013)
A 3D brawler/beat-em-up/hack-‘n-slash with a gorgeous cel-shaded, gothic horror style. Lends to the repetitive gameplay of the genre.
(Unique Features: Heavy story, cutscenes, and voice acting.) (SHUT DOWN SEPTEMBER 15th, 2014)
Episode 10: League of Legends (11/29/2011) (Backtrack 04/2012)
Technically not an MMO by my ideal, this free to play MOBA, RTS, or whatever you want to call it, features a colorful cast of characters, both in the champions, and the seriously jerkish community members.
(Unique Features: Consistent content. Large cast of characters.)
Episode 11: Fantasy Tennis (12/11/2011)
Another sports MMO, with similar layout to Pangya, despite being made by an entirely different company. An excellent and amusing battle mode, hampered by a silent, uncooperative, and “noob unfriendly” community.
(Unique Features: Wacky skill shots, and attack items.) (SHUT DOWN MARCH 10th, 2013)
Episode 12: City of Heroes (12/28/2011)
The winner of the Superhero MMO poll. A highly involved character customization system and friendly community held back by major chat restrictions for free accounts, requiring some form of purchase.
(Unique Features: Highly customizable characters and powers. Ability to create missions.)(SHUT DOWN NOVEMBER 30TH, 2012)
Episode 13: Doctor Who: Worlds in Time (01/18/2012) (Backtrack 12/2012)
My first browser-based MMO as well as my first Puzzle MMO (Unless you count Myst). The games reliance on Flash seems to bog down a lot of connections, but the game has a strangely addictive charm if you’re in the right mindset for it.
(Unique Features: First official MMO Doctor Who game. Interesting balance of strategy and puzzle.) (SHUT DOWN MARCH 3RD, 2014)
Episode 14: Lineage II (02/02/2012)
A basic, and aged Sword and Sorcery MMO that recently underwent a free-to-play conversion. Large amount of races and class paths, but limited character creator. Painfully trollish community, hampered further by highly outdated game mechanics.
(Unique Features: Extremely PK/PvP centered gameplay. Castle Sieges.)
Episode 15: Star Trek Online (02/18/2012)
Another former subscription game turned F2P/Sub hybrid made by Cryptic, this time based on the beloved Star Trek franchise. Deeper then expected character creator, but highly limited “class structure”. Features combat in both ground and space.
(Unique features: Engaging and complex space combat. “RPG” and “Shooter” ground combat modes.)
Episode 16: World of Tanks (03/02/2012) (Backtrack 02/2013)
An Arena combat shooter based entirely around tank warfare. Surprisingly deep and involving system, despite the simple premise. Progression slows greatly at higher “tiers” but an excellent game for casual players.
(Unique Features: Historically accurate tank designs.)
Episode 17: La Tale (03/15/2012) (Backtrack: Season 2 Update)
A 2D MMORPG Platformer in the same vein as Maple Story. A great community and interesting, well animated graphics mired only by a slow start and terrible translation. (Unique Features: Quiz feature. Complex 2D MMO control allowing for more combat and movement options.)
Episode 18: Champions Online (03/29/2012)
Cryptic’s other 3D Superhero MMORPG. Cel-shaded, but intense graphic requirements featured in this more lighthearted but generally less loved Superhero MMO.
(Unique Features: Dozens of travel powers. “Freeform” class creator only available as paid content.)
Episode 19: Elsword (04/14/2012)
A 2.5D cel-shaded beat-em-up with very flashy gameplay, mired slightly by an immature, but unintrusive community, and the typical issue of excessive repetition. Also contains a Stamina system that limits gameplay time.
(Unique Features: Heavy Manga-style influence. 2D gameplay in a 3D world.)
Episode 20: World of Warcraft (04/26/2012)
Current reigning champion of the 3D Fantasy MMOs, and the go-to reference point for MMOs and the media in general. Reviewed as its limited “Free-to-Try” model. One of the oldest and most polished games on the market with many race and class choices, but dragged down by its age and overly robotic community.
(Unique Features: Vehicle system)
Episode 21: Project Powder (05/09/2012)
A snowboarding racer MMO that’s highly similar to SSX. Despite developer shutdown, the publisher continues to run it, although no new content is being produced.
(Unique features: Mario Kart style “Battle Mode” with SSX gameplay.) (SHUT DOWN ALONG WITH PUBLISHER OUTSPARK)
Episode 22: Brick-Force (05/26/2012) (Backtrack 10/2012)
A hybrid Minecraft/FPS arena shooter previously looked at in my “Sidequest” series. A fun, casual shooter with an intuitive build mode, marred heavily by balance issues and a downright horrific community. Still early in development, so there’s room for improvement.
(Unique features: Fully customizible build mode with destructible bricks.)
Episode 23: Aion (06/12/2012)
Another former free-to-play game by NCSoft converted to “Truly Free-to-Play”, Aion is a fairly standard, but fun, fantasy MMO grinder, with faction PvP. Graphics intensive, and hard to run, also plagued with the typical “F2P” community.
(Unique features: Wing and flight system. VERY deep and complex character customization.)
Episode 24: Spiral Knights (06/21/2012)
Developer Three Rings delves into the action market with this SEGA published Zelda-Inspired dungeon crawler. Fun for casuals but limited by “energy” based gameplay and a generally repetitive nature.
(Unique Features: Dungeons “customized” by community. Multiple weapons systems.)
Episode 25: Vindictus (07/06/2012) (Backtrack: Season 2 Update)
Nexon’s 3rd person hack and slash MMO, and the prequel to Mabinogi of all things. Intense action, and amazing music, mired by a very taxing graphics requirement and genre specific repetitive gameplay… also, Nexon.
(Unique Features: Combo-based combat skills without the need of hotkeys. Massive raid bosses.)
Episode 26: Fiesta (07/19/2012)
Outspark’s most famous MMO, and one of the most simple. Crisp, but dated graphics, and easy gameplay held back by its age and a serious grinding feel.
(Unique Features: Non-regenerating health. Scheduled “Kingdom Quest” instances.)
Episode 27: Shin Megami Tensei: IMAGINE (08/08/2012)
Atlus’s most famous franchise’s MMO recently placed back in their hands. A 3d MMORPG fitting on the SMT universe, hampered by dated graphics, and a very confusing newbie experience.
(Unique Features: Demon recruitment and summoning system. Slow, but deep combat and customization system.) (SHUT DOWN FEBRUARY 28th, 2014)
Episode 28: Hunter Blade (08/22/2012)
A Chinese company takes everything from the popular Monster Hunter franchise to create a localized Monster Hunter Clone MMO. A 3D dungeon based action MMO, with a hilariously bad translation and generally sloppy execution.
(Unique Features: Weapon based classes and fighting styles.) (SHUT DOWN OCTOBER 25TH, 2012)
Episode 29: Audition (09/04/2012)
A massive amalgamation of music games, Audition is a dance MMO based of the gameplay of Bust-A-Groove, with a dash of Guitar Hero, and Parappa for extra flavor. Originally published by Nexon globally until overtaken by hackers, now under the control of Redbana in the NA, and Alaplaya in the EU.
(Unique Features: Numerous music game modes. massive tracklist.)
Episode 30: DC Universe Online (09/19/2012)
The third and final option on the “Superhero MMO Poll”, DCUO is a 3dMMORPG with action and Third-person elements, taking place and based upon the DC Universe. A simple, fun action packed title, marred slightly by its unfriendly Keyboard/Mouse control scheme, and the “less than a hero” status of your character, often taking a backseat to the more “important” heroes.
(Unique Features: Tons of classic DC cartoon voice actors. Mission challenges based on Travel power movement.)
Episode 31: Tribes: Ascend (10/03/2012)
A fast paced shooter (and that’s a bit of an understatement), Tribes: Ascend continues the classic Tribes games legacy, keeping the signature jetpacks and “ski” mechanics while adding a few new twists of its own. Marred only by a bit of a learning curve, and the occasionally mouthy player.
(Unique features: Speed based gameplay. “Ski” mechanic. “VGS” simplified chat system.)
Episode 32: DarkBlood (11/13/2012)
A violent and occasionally perverted 2D beat em-up with a dark medieval theme. Fun and intense combo-based fighting system and DFO styled skill system, marred only by the indicative repetitiveness of the genre and a real lack of varied locations.
(Unique features: Expansive crafting options. Terrifyingly hilarious dance emote. Strangest breast physics ever. )
Episode 33: Star Wars: The Old Republic (11/27/2012)
The “WoW killer” that didn’t come close. Despite the pedigree of BioWare at the helm, this now “Free”-to-Play title failed to latch on to the market and is now chained to heavily draconian restrictions for free players, locking them out of even some of the most inconsequential and innocuous features, like displaying titles, and hiding helmets. Despite a deeply story based and heavily voice acted quest system, it’s basically upside down WoW in space.
(Unique Features: Star Wars MMO in the KOTOR universe. Rail shooter “space missions”. Companion system.)
Episode 34: RaiderZ (12/11/2012)
Called a Monster Hunter clone, a Vindictus clone, and a TERA clone by people of various knowledge, RaiderZ is a 3D action fantasy MMO that combines the battle system of Vindictus with the open world setting of WoW…. so yeah, it’s a TERA clone. A decent amount of fun for a free to play title, mired slightly by a sporadically sloppy visuals, bad voice acting, and a gold spammer infested community.
(Unique Features: 3rd person combat and camera movement. Crafting focused equipment system.)
Episode 35: Mechwarrior Online (12/25/2012)
The long-running “Walking Tank” series is in the hands of a new developer and makes its way into the Free-to-Play market. Realistic, and complex mech combat that might prove challenging for new players to understand, made more difficult by some rather underwhelming and difficult to use “trial mechs”.
(Unique Features: Involved combat. Customizable mechs and playstyles.)
Episode 36: Dungeons and Dragons Online (01/22/2013)
A niche market title and MMO translation of the Tabletop RPG that started it all, DDO is well loved among it’s players, but polarized by those expecting a more open and usual take on the fantasy MMO. Mired by outdated graphics, and a fairly difficult learning curve when delving deep into the game’s systems.
(Unique Features: Near fully customizable character classes using the D&D 3.5 Edition ruleset.)
Episode 37: Path of Exile (02/06/2013)
When Diablo 3 isn’t Diablo enough, enter Grinding Gear Games with their take on the loot based dungeon grinding action RPG, Path of Exile. A solid indie title with a lot of potential, mired by the repetitiveness of the genre.
(Unique Features: Massive customizable “skill web” and character builds.)
Episode 38: TERA (03/06/2013)
The former subscription title that totes a “True Action Combat” system, TERA take the World MMO staple and revolves it around a more action-fan-friendly reticle combat system. Graphically stunning and well built, but mired by an mediocre, unimaginative questing system, a tendency to never take itself seriously, and unapologetically abhorrent community and fanbase.
Episode 39: SMITE (03/20/2013) (Backtrack: 11/2013)
Hi-Rez takes a stab at the MOBA genre by changing the basic gameplay style, but keeping the mechanics in tact, this time having gods of polytheistic pantheons meet on the field of battle for dominance. A simple to understand MOBA game with a fun action system, but bogged by the general sort of rude players and community these kind of games tend to attract.
(Unique Features: 3D “Third Person Shooter” perspective in the MOBA formula. “Try before you buy” solo practice mode.)
Episode 40: Age of Conan (04/05/2013)
Funcom’s “WoW killer” that wasn’t, Age of Conan offers a mature take on the fantasy MMO experience, but drowned in its own hype. An interesting take on standard “Target and Click” combat, held back by it’s confusing systems and general layout.
(Unique features: Multiple attack angle combat and Shield system.)
Episode 41: Hawken (04/16/2013)
An indie developer takes a shot at the Mech genre by combining the massive metal monstrosities with fast twitch-shooter FPS gameplay. Fun and casual gameplay held back by typical arena shooter repetitiveness and a lack of any real variety.
(Unique Features: Interesting multi-phased “Siege mode”.)
Episode 42: Age of Wushu (04/30/2013) (Backtrack: Mount Hua Update)
What seems like another drop in the bucket of Martial Arts MMOs is far more than what it seems due to dozens of interesting, if odd systems. With an AFK viable levelling strategy, open PvP world that actually PUNISHES random gankers, and dozens of other quirky features in tow, Age of Wushu is a game you are either going to love or hate. It’s unquestionably a different kind of game.
(Unique Features: Where do I even begin…)
Episode 43: Neverwinter (05/17/2013) (Backtrack: Hunter Update)
Cryptic takes another shot at the MMO Market with an anticipated title, and the first developed entirely under the ownership of Perfect World. Taking place in the popular Forgotten Realms campaign of Dungeons and Dragons, and the setting of the popular PC title Neverwinter Nights, Neverwinter is a 3D action MMO with a reticle combat control style similar to TERA, but with more instance focused gameplay. Dragged down by a general sense of repetitiveness, and an absolutely abhorrent community.
(Unique Features: Integrated player created content in the Foundry system.)
Episode 44: RIFT (07/04/2013)
Trion Worlds’ flagship MMO goes free-to-play. A simple but polished WoW clone, with an interest Dynamic Event “Rift” system, RIFT takes the tried and true WoW formula and polishes it in places it needed it the most. Despite a very unimaginative questing system, highly limiting inventory space, and a world not as vast as some other World MMOs, RIFT is a fairly competent and polished game, with subscription quality, for free.
(Unique Features: Rift events, warring factions can actually team up.)
Episode 45: Warframe (07/17/2013) (Backtrack: Archwing Update)
A third-person shooter with a hell of a lot of twists. Action heavy, even if it occasionally gets TOO action heavy, Warframe is a slick sci-fi shooter, with a near seamless blend of shooter and melee gameplay. Suffers mostly from Beta issues, the repetitive nature of the genre and a love-it-or-hate-it art style. It’s Ninjas in space. I shouldn’t have to say much else.
(Unique Features: Parkour Ninja moves, like wall running, jump kicks, sliding and more.)
Episode 46: Ragnarok 2 (08/09/2013)
Everyone’s favorite not Norse Mythology themed game gets a sequel in 3D… that’s a WoW clone. Charming and quaint, but simplistic and bringing nothing new to the table, Ragnarok 2 is interesting but very repetitive. Great for beginners, but MMO vets, and even fans of the original Ragnarok might not enjoy the title as much.
(Unique Features: “Khara” title/achievement system)
Episode 47: Firefall (08/28/2013) (Backtrack: Official Launch)
A long awaited MMO shooter with a sandbox approach, Firefall takes a lot of risks that many wonder are actually for the best. With a grind-crafting focused progression system, and open world hinged entirely on dynamic events, and a skill-focused, not gear-focused, PvP system, it might wear thin on those looking for structure. Held down by it’s complex grind and crafting system, and a community that can be just as selfish as it should be cooperative.
(Unique Features: “Staged Content” approach withholds content and story until the players are truly ready to complete it… or so is the plan. Consistent push and pull territory war with the enemy.)
Episode 48: War Thunder (09/18/2013) (Backtrack: Ground Forces Update)
When the World of Warplanes Sidequest got a torrent of comments talking about a game that was a lot like it, I decided to investigate. War Thunder is aspiring to be an all encompassing War game like the World of Tanks/Warplanes/Warships franchise, but as of now, all we’ve got is a pretty solid, and far more sim-heavy aviation combat title.
(Unique Features: Heavy sim styled “Full Real Battle” mode, and Historical Battles based on true events.)
Episode 49: Dragon’s Prophet (10/02/2013)
Bugs and boobs abound in this reticle-combat-meets-Pokemon styled world of trainable dragon pets. Calling itself an official launch with more bugs than an alpha, it can be a rather fun title when it’s not hell bent on screwing up on you. Dragon’s Prophet: Better with SYS10078265_NAME!
(Unique Features: Capture-able, Ride-able and trainable combat dragon pets. Combo based reticle combat system… with no reticle. 5 Breast sliders… FIVE.)
Episode 50: Everquest 2 (10/16/2013)
The sequel to SOE’s reigning champion of MMOs, and the “WoW before WoW”, that wasn’t able to latch onto the market like it’s predecessor, going as far as ending up as a free to play before the original Everquest did. Some annoying play restrictions and dated gameplay hide a complex world, and decent playerbase.
(Unique Features: Massive race and class list. Dark Minstrel “Dirge” class. Language learning system. Heroic Character upgrades.)
Episode 51: Requiem (10/31/2013)
The Halloween tradition of reviewing a horror MMO… probably ends here. Despite the promise of “horror”, the game comes across as more goofy and immature, with overly simplistic enemies to fight, and a generally dull tone without all the blood and Havok physics.
(Unique Features: Exploding enemy and body parts. Visible character and enemy damage. “Nightmare” time summoning more difficult enemies.)
Episode 52: Heva Clonia (12/25/2013)
A fairly new MMO to hit the U.S. Market, Heva Clonia combines several genres of MMO into a fairly simplistic game, and unfortunately becomes a bit of an overly easy grinder in the process.
(Unique Features: Enemy cloning pet system.) (SHUT DOWN DECEMBER 22ND, 2014)
Episode 53: Aura Kingdom (02/05/2014)
What seems like a “SUPAH KAWAII” game with bright cheery graphics hides some clever systems, and a dark story, in a solid presentation. Another strong showing from Eden Eternal’s developer “X-Legend”, hampered only by a lack of high level content, hyper-speed level gaining, and a generally easy solo experience.
(Unique Features: “Eidolon” pet system. Achievement quests.)
Episode 54: Loadout (02/19/2014)
You know what TF2 always needed? Did you say “dick jokes?” Well, I was talking about customizable weaponry, but Loadout has answered both of our prayers. A simple shooter with a sophomoric sense of humor, and a fun premise, mired only in its general feeling of incompleteness at the time of this review.
(Unique Features: Weapon Building, cartoonish over-the-top violence and humor.)
Episode 55: Digimon Masters (04/17/2014)
A crisp, but simple-looking anime MMO based upon the Digimon franchise, specifically the 5th season, “Data Squad”, DMO is a simple to play game that should hold the attention of long-time fans of the series, but offers little beyond the pet collection system to anyone not familiar with the series.
(Unique Features: Licensed Digimon MMO. Interchangable evolution system.)
Episode 56: Scarlet Blade (04/30/2014)
Yeeeah. While a pretty, and very scenic sci-fi MMO, Scarlet Blade has one glaringly obvious draw. Or should I say, “two.” If you can get past the perversion there’s a generally decent MMO here, with some genuinely fun PvP. It’s just…. you know… shameless.
(Unique Features: Just… just… Just watch it.)
Episode 57: Grand Chase (05/28/2014)
The predecessor to Elsword. Yes. Really. Deal with it. Grand Chase is a 2D platformer/beat-em-up with cute anime characters. Featuring many gameplay features from Elsword, but slower and more deliberate than straight up action based.
(Unique Features: Vast cast of characters for a beat-em-up, each with a different playstyle.)
Episode 58: World Tour Fishing (06/16/2014)
If fishing was your favorite part of any World MMO… you’re in for a treat. Yes, the entire game is centered around fishing, from finding a spot, casting the line, and reeling in the catch. Nice graphics, a hilari-bad translation, and mostly fair priced cash shop, it’s still a fishing MMO. That’s really all there is to be said.
(Unique Features: It’s a fishing MMO.)
Episode 59: Global Agenda (07/25/2014)
Hi-Rez was the pioneer of both Free-to-play games on Steam, and the action MMO shooter. Too bad they had no faith in the project, abandoning this title to the wasteland it uses as a setting. The game is a simple to grasp action shooter, but it’s lack of a playerbase and dev support is leaving this out in the dust for other shooters of the same type to take it over. If you like Hi-Rez, play SMITE. If you like MMO Shooters, stick with Defiance or Firefall.
(Unique features: Cool Tron-like armor, AvA “Guild battles”)
Episode 60: Mabinogi (08/22/2014)
One of Nexon’s only in-house properties, and a beloved but polarizing classic MMO, Mabinogi sets itself apart with a timing-based combat system and a variety of life and crafting skills, that gets hampered by its older feel and very complex systems. (Unique Features: Rebirth system. Celtic Mythology setting. Timing based combat.)
Episode 61: Marvel Heroes 2015 (09/09/2014)
A Diablo-style Action RPG with the pedigree of Diablo’s original creators behind it, Marvel Heroes met with a lackluster launch that garnered backlash, and a forced name change adding an arbitrary year, but quickly grew to become one of the most favored ARPGs on the market. Flashy graphics and tongue-in-cheek Marvel humor, only held back by the repetitive nature of the genre.
(Unique Features: Closest thing to a Marvel MMO we have. Characters automatically interact with each other.)
Episode 62: Onigiri (09/26/2014)
The most kawaii MMO to ever desu! This japanese developed game features every anime trope in the book, but packs some fun, flashy combat. Mired by an insanely heavy grindwall thanks to an arbitrary XP nerf in the English release.
(Unique Features: Cash Shop currency earned through community selling. NPCs each have a personality, their own combat and vendor purposes.)
Episode 63: ArcheAge (10/13/2014)
When sandbox forgets how to be sandbox, it becomes ArcheAge. A game with great ideas mired by faulty execution. Open PK system and property destruction, with a weak player-run Justice system, renders the game a griefer’s paradise. Restricts freedom through arbitrary means or both level grinding, and a labor-limiting subscription paywall.
(Unique Features: Land and naval combat. Land ownership system.)
Episode 64: F.E.A.R. Online (10/30/2014)
The only thing you have to fear in this game, is that fact you’re playing it. Sounding far cooler on paper than it is executed, F.E.A.R. Online takes the franchise’s name, characters and settings, and does nothing interesting with them, resulting in a lazy, weak Call of Duty clone with .jpg jumpscares.
(Unique Features: Pond of near invincibility. action.)
Episode 65: S4 League (11/12/2014)
Another arena shooter, and beheld as a classic by many fans and weeaboos alike, S4 League has not aged well, and plenty of cash shop bonuses, and poorly tweaked mechanics belie the stylish fast-paced action this game once promised.
(Unique features: Supah Kawaii… with guns. Testing available for every weapon.)
Episode 66: ZMR (12/12/2014)
Yet another arena shooter, this time a full on Gears of War clone in disguise, ZMR (a.k.a. “Zombies Monster Robots!” a.k.a “Mercenary Online” in China, a.k.a. “Hazard Ops” in Europe) takes assets and gameplay from Gears of War, but provides more content and play options than most arena shooters, even if originality isn’t at this game’s forefront.
(Unique Features: Plenty of PvE and PvP modes. Essentially an online-only PC version of Gears of War.)
Episode 67: Dead Island Epidemic (12/26/2014)
DI:E attempts to break the MOBA mold by offering a more unique take on gameplay, like WASD controls, and upgradable weapon choices, but the rash decision made by the developers to cut out the original PvE mode with a still in development version makes the experience falter quite a bit.
(Unique Features: MOBA features in a fully controllable playstyle. 3 team PvP mode.)
Episode 68: Trove (01/21/2015)
Trion Worlds takes a shot at the voxel market with Trove, an online MMO voxel builder, with a heavy community focus. Has a great combat system, but falters slightly in the ability to create, as well as common drastic changes to core gameplay elements.
(Unique Features: Online only Voxel MMO. Transferable “Cornerstone” mechanic. Official content is designed and created by the community.)
Episode 69: Black Gold (02/19/2015)
Snail does it again, and by “does it” I mean “over-complicates the simple.” In Black Gold you play a steampunk version of James Cameron’s “Avatar”, and choose from one of two copyright skirting factions, in a war between Nature and Industrial Revolution era technology. Plays simply enough but bogged down with those Wushu quality bugs we’ve come to know and love from Snail.
(Unique Features: Mounted combat.)
Episode 70: Dragon Nest (03/17/2015)
Nexon nexons up another action MMO with a supah kawaii 3D brawler. Not as flashy, visceral or even remotely as challenging as Vindictus, but fun for the flash. Great stylized graphics hampered by the usual Nexonian fare.
(Unique Features: Multi-faceted story for a brawler, depending entirely on your chosen class.)
Episode 71: Allods Online (04/15/2015)
Against “All-ods” don’t bother with this. Originally the definitive WoW clone F2P MMO constant reworks and games of publisher leapfrog caused this once slick looking faction-based Fantasy MMO to become a pay-to-win and pay-to-progress slogfest. (Unique Features: “Astral Ship” PvP/Endgame combat)
Episode 72: Wakfu (04/30/2015)
It’s a turn-based, positional-tactic-grid-based sandbox grinder MMO with an accompanying anime… from France. I shouldn’t need to go further. A truly unique experience hampered by it’s community dependent mechanics, and heavy grind.
(Unique Features: You read that paragraph, right?)
Episode 73: Star Conflict (05/17/2015)
Gaijin published yet another warfare game, except this time, it’s in space. Alternative modes to PvP matches brings about some uniqueness, but the game is still marred by the grindy nature of the tiered arena shooter.
(Unique Features: Multiple play modes that go beyond simple bot matches. Explorable universe.)
Episode 74: Pirates of the Burning Sea (05/31/2015)
A former SoE published title, the threatened shutdown but it into the hands of it’s former devs under a new company name. However, the dated title has been spinning its tires in the mud since 2013, and despite a dedicated, and utterly confusing community, the title plays like a decent sandbox game, if you’re into naval pirate combat. (Unique Features: Highly detailed ship combat.)
Episode 75: Drift City (06/19/2015)
An open world driving/racing game with a completely ridiculous story and premise, but a slick cel-shaded style. The driving can be tough to get used to, but the poor direction of missions and the general drop in quality and visible developer neglect has enraged more than a fair share of people who have played it.
(Unique Features: Open World driving and racing. Magical automobile fuel created by the tears of angels. Yes, seriously.)
Episode 76: Heroes of the Storm (06/30/2015)
Blizzard tosses their hat into the MOBA ring by offering up Heroes of the Storm, the most not-DotA-like DotA clone MOBA, featuring shared team experience and a cast of Blizzard favorites. The competitve edge and character customization ends up taking a backseat compared to others in the genre, but holds well as a more casual addition.
(Unique Features: All-Star Blizzard cast. Shared Team XP. Uniquely controlled heroes.)
Episode 77: Echo of Soul (07/31/2015)
Aeria’s latest MMO offering seems a day late and a dollar short, despite some very simple gameplay mechanics and easy leveling experience, Echo of Soul offers up nothing special to set it apart from every other Korean styled Fantasy MMO on the market.
(Unique Features: Soul forging and collection system offering temporary combat buffs. That’s about it.)
Episode 78: Skyforge (08/29/2015)
Allods Team and Obsidian Entertainment group up to create this American/Russian hybrid, that plays like Neverwinter and feels like running on a treadmill. Despite wonderful graphics and a unique setting, only those willing to constantly work on slow moving progression systems will be able to sit with this game.
(Unique Features: God and Pantheon systems. Massive skill web offered in various tiers.)
Episode 79: World of Warplanes (09/16/2015)
A once promising title that was usurped by newcomer Gaijin’s take on the same genre, World of Warplanes is easily the weakest title among the Wargaming library. While combat feels expected of an aerial combat game, odd quirks like the constant plane ramming techniques, and general abandoned feel of it’s community leave the game a pale comparison to War Thunder’s offering.
(Unique Features: The “Pancake”. What the hell IS that thing?)
Episode 80: World of Warships (09/30/2015)
Out with the abandoned, in with the new. With Wargaming beating Gaijin to the punch in Naval combat, this military themed arena shooter launched a little light on content, but with solid presentation and gameplay that intrigues even those not interested in the genre.
(Unique Features: Historically accurate ship designs.)
Episode 81: Dragomon Hunter (11/30/2015)
The SUPAH KAWAII Monster Hunter that isn’t anything like Monster Hunter. Dragomon Hunter may be an XLegend title that comes across as derivative of other properties, but the only thing it’s really guilty of copying is every other XLegend title. Mired by a spambot infestation, and some really cheap one-hit deaths. It could have easily been called “Aura Kingdom 2: This Time the Story is Crap”.
(Unique Features: Changeable and equippable “Hoppalong” pet. Prefix/Suffix create-a-title system.)
Episode 82: ELOA (12/17/2015)
In which I learn “Hack and Slash” doesn’t necessarily mean what I think it means… ELOA is a Diablo style game without the Diablo style charm, offering an interesting stance switching system, but remaining unimpressive in all other aspects.
(Unique Features: Stance switching weapon combat)
Episode 83: Armored Warfare (12/30/2015)
Russia takes yet another stab at the “Tank Combat” genre, this time backed by American developer, Obsidian. Featuring an interested and robust PvE mode, along with the standard PvP, and offers plenty of generous perks that make it seem less like it’s only after your money… so far. Regardless, it’s still a tank combat game.
(Unique Features: Mission and Objective based PvE mode in a tank combat game.)
Episode 84: Warface (01/15/2016)
Crytek takes a stab at making an online game instead of just lending its engine out to people. A run-of-the-mill PvE shooter that doesn’t do anything all that special, but still manages to entertain.
(Unique features: Interesting shooter classes with defined roles.)
Episode 85: Blade and Soul (01/30/2016)
A game with tons of anticipation behind it, Blade and Soul finally saw a stateside release all of 4 years later. A very flashy anime-inspired game with a polarizing but thematic story, and a heavy emphasis on action combat. Tons of fun, but a fairly linear experience overall, mired heavily by an upgrade system that relies on luck more than skill.
(Unique features: Tag-Team PvP mode. Optional open PvP. Flashy action combat.)
Episode 86: Swordsman (02/26/2016)
Ok, fine. It’s a Wuxia inspired MMO that takes pages from Snail’s offering, but Perfect World International offers up a game that comes across as even more clunky and feels completely phoned in. Possibly promising for fans of the genre, but an overall unfulfilling experience.
(Unique features: AFK auto-botting system built into the game. Based on a very old franchise and series of novels from China.)
Episode 87: Tree of Savior (05/31/2016)
Those hoping Ragnarok 2 was more like Ragnarok 1 might be in luck with Tree of Savior. A classically styled 2.5D grinder MMO, featuring fantastic artwork, and an interesting, but eclectic soundtrack, Tree of Savior is still hampered by its poor optimization, and odd gameplay choices, with a developer people are steadily losing faith in.
(Unique Features: 2D inspired 3D graphics. Real time instanced story boss fights.)
Episode 88: ASTA (06/29/2016)
When you’re craving vanilla, why not ASTA? Taking pages from the the very first edition of World of Warcraft, ASTA, keeps things simple and classic… perhaps too simple and classic as the combat feels archaic, and the graphics quality betrays the engine it uses.
(Unique Features: Robot Fish Motorcycle.)
Episode 89: Riders of Icarus (07/21/2016)
Nexon looks to bring in some fresh meat to the market with a game that feels like it came from 2010. Focusing on mounted combat and pet collection, Riders of Icarus still keeps a familiar style that doesn’t do much to break the mold.
(Unique Features: Fully realized mounted combat and collection system. Tab-Target/Action hybrid combat.)
Episode 90: StarBreak (07/31/2016)
A former Browser-Based episode gets a full look of permadeath frustration. A 2D “Metroidvania” style shooter MMO, but with all the punishing cheap shots of Realm of the Mad God.
(Unique Features: It’s a permadeath Roguelike Metroidvania MMO. That’s not exactly a common category…)
Episode 91: HeroWarz (08/28/2016)
A fast heavy action beat-em-up with a ridiculous name and a far more ridiculous story. Embrace the convolution and you’ll find a solid action beat-em-up here.
(Unique Features: MOBA style moves in Diablo-Style PvE gameplay.)
Episode 92: Twin Saga (09/30/2016)
X-Legend strikes back with the same game they’ve always been making, this time combining Aura Kingdom with Eden Eternal, capturing neither the charm nor the unique feeling of either game.
(Unique Features: Astral Realm “choose your own adventure” map quests.)
Episode 93: Winning Putt (11/30/2016)
Project New Sky is golf! It’s GOLF!!!
A ridiculously broken supposedly next-gen looking golf game turns out to be the buggy unpolished pay-to-win kind of mess you’d expect more from a game in 2006.
(Unique Features: “Facebook Game” stat upgrades. Makes the CryEngine weep.)
Episode 94: Paladins (12/30/2016)
Hi-Rez set out to make an arena shooter with an interesting card mechanic, a fun tank siege mode, and unique character… then entered Open Beta and just xeroxed Overwatch. Still a functional and fun game if you can overlook its very obvious influence.
(Unique Features: Passive skill modifying card system.)
Episode 95: Atlas Reactor (01/31/2017)
Trion tries to break the MOBA mold by creating a turn-based grid-based strategy game where everyone takes the same turn. It’s fast-paced, hop-in-hop-out fun but can still alienate more hardcore strategy fans with plenty of guesswork and luck-based gameplay based more on instinct than careful planning.
(Unique Features: Simultaneous turn-based strategy MOBA.)
Sometimes I review a game that isn’t free, or doesn’t fit my specification. These non-numbered episodes can be found here:
April Fools Episode (4/1/2012)
In which I review the most painful experience out there. My own show.
(Unique features: Structured review format. Not a glorified commentary/LP.)
Being unfairly overshadowed by Overwatch, Battleborn chose to come out in the wrong place at the wrong time. Despite being an entry in the emergant “Hero Shooter” genre, Battleborn has a unique gameplay and style all its own, and is one of the most amusing games out there, to boot. Brought down by its full-price tag, season pass advertising and graphic effect overload.
(Unique Features: A proper hybridization of FPS and MOBA elements. More customizable characters to provide replayability and match adjustment. PvP focused game with robust PvE element.)
Black Desert (03/24/2016)
Despite being a free-to-play game literally EVERYWHERE else, this hyped sandbox title garnered a ton of attention for a character creator that really isn’t at all freeform. It’s still a solid, but polarizing title that harkens back to the days where MMOs were about the journey and not the destination… Not that that would stop some of it’s more hardcore fans from thinking otherwise.
(Unique features: Completely open non-instanced world. Robust “Node system” for trading and housing purposes. Knowledge system that rewards you for for discovering more of the world.)
The Crew (10/31/2016)
Ubisoft: The Game meets Fast and the Furious. A rather ambitious open-world racing game mired by the looming spectre of its infamous publisher and its equally infamous tropes.
(Unique Features: Massive “Mini-USA” open world racing)
A Buy-to-Play title by Trion Worlds, (now free-to-play) Defiance combines the shooting mechanics of an FPS with the open world questing system of other MMOs, along with massive dynamic events. A rather messy launch branded this game with a fairly undue stigma, and while the game seems to fail to capture the attention of both the major FPS and MMO demographic, it’s easily one of the most interesting attempts at the genre. Originally planned as a cross-console port, but available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Also ties in with a television show on the Syfy network.
(Unique Features: Truly massively multiplayer “Arkfall events”. TV-to-Game synergy with “Episode missions”)
The Division (04/19/2016)
A “kind of an MMO but not really, but eh why not”, Ubisoft’s latest entry in a series that drags a long dead novelist’s name through the mud, The Division has little to nothing to do with Tom Clancy, or any of the tactical realism of the Tom Clancy games, but can be a pretty fun experience if you’re willing to play it as an RPG Shooter, with a heavy loot system, and ignore the heavy-handed hypocritical themes in the story.
(Unique Features: Single or Group focused PvE. Free-for-All Dark Zone PvP. Ballistic Hoodies.)
The Elder Scrolls Online (03/30/2015) (Backtrack: 06/2016)
Everyone’s pick for “most disappointing game” of 2014 faced an expected Buy-to-Play conversion, and an unexpected improvement across the board. Bug fixes, a new “justice system” and early game streamlining turned this formerly mediocre-feeling game I was dreading having to look at, into one of my personal favorites. Mired by it occasionally simple design mistakes, and a rather obnoxious early-game community.
(Unique Features: Heart-wrenching moral choices that can even affect the look and play of the game. Thievery with risk/reward based “Justice System”)
Final Fantasy XIV (11/25/2014)
A Raid Leader request from “Sabin” and provided by him as well, many fans of Final Fantasy XIV were wondering if I’d ever give the game a fair shake, despite my no longer being a fan of SquareEnix in general. Despite the agonizingly slow-paced beginning, and generally simplistic gameplay mechanics, the game picks up once nearing max level, and can be great fun with a group of committed friends. Excellent for Final Fantasy Fans and MMO beginners, not so much for MMO vets and fans of FFXI.
(Unique Features: …umm… Hey look! Chocobos! Materia! Cid! Bahamut! Remember those?!)
Guild Wars 2 (10/17/2012)
Due not to special requests, but to the fact I wanted an excuse to play it for a while, ArenaNet’s feverishly anticipated sequel to its original “pay, but not subscribe” MMO. A casual friendly MMO, with a collection of great ideas, mired by an overtly zealous fanbase, some annoying and unaddressed bugs, and an outright infestation of botters.
(Unique Features: Customizable “personal story”. Massive emphasis on player cooperation. No set class roles.)
I can’t believe it’s not Team Fortress 2! Blizzard takes a stab at the arena shooter with the remaining scraps of “Project Titan” and accidentally creates the most creepily obsessed game fandom since… Team Fortress 2.
(Unique Features: Massive cast of characters with distinct personalities. Ultimate Blizzard meme-farm.)
Rocket League (11/18/2015)
Soccer with cars. A popular enough title, but so simplistic that those not immediately sold on the premise will find little else of note here… but what is here is definitely worth a look.
(Unique Features: It’s soccer with cars.)
The Secret World (10/31/2012) (Backtrack: 02/2013)
Done as the 2012 Halloween special, this formerly (as of 12-12-12) subscription-based (now Buy-To-Play) modern day MMO has been lambasted and dismissed by critics for issues Guild Wars 2 was given a free pass for. One of the most unique MMOs on the market, and my personal favorite, The Secret World features a massive emphasis on story and atmosphere.
(Unique Features: No levels. No class system. Stealth-focused “Sabotage” missions and puzzle-heavy “Investigation” missions.)
Warhammer: The End Times – Vermintide (10/31/2015)
The 2015 Halloween special might be a complete stretch compared to previous episode offerings, but the game is a solid Left 4 Dead style title mired only by it’s frankly odd and potentially useless loot system.
(Unique Features: Immense Warhammer Fantasy detail. Interesting (but flawed) loot reward system.)
Done as part of a Patreon Goal, that would allow me to look at new subscription based and buy-to-play games, Wildstar snuck onto the market with little fanfare, and shocking admission of going with a full subscription model. The pedigree of the developer is looking to bring back the “old-school” MMO feel to the modern market, but despite the fun aesthetic, and interesting combat system, the traditionalist values are alienating more players than they are attracting.
(Unique Features: “Target field” combat system. Outlandish humor.)