Aion: Tower of Obvious Grind

Let’s get something out of the way before I start pouring out the bile and hatred on this little stupid Korean MMORPG.

It’s very, very, very pretty. In most cases, when it comes to the environment and scenery, I’ll go as far as “beautiful”, and that’s going far when it comes from the horrible human being who adores Impressionist art.

The environment is utterly alien and completely awesome, it vaguely reminds you of old Morrowind, simply because you see so much odd shit, unlike World of Warcraft, which is actually fairly generic fantasy bollocks.

The character design is as retarded as you’d expect from a Korean MMO, utterly useless armour, wings, bling and more bling.

It’s like some accidentally walked into a Cosplay convention covered in glue. Which I suppose is what Aion’s primary focus group wants: Anime chicks in steel bikinis. Or anime chick in metal dominatrix gear.

It’s silly, useless and about as practical as a sword during the Battle of Midway, standing on a battleship, on the Japanese side, before it gets fistful of torpedoes up it’s ass.


Now, onto the actual gameplay.

It plays like World of Warcraft, pretty much like World of Warcraft, select enemy, murder it, collect loot, enjoy the seething anger of Greenpeace.

There’s one or two stupid little gimmicks and one pretty large stupid gimmick. One of the small ones is the whole combo system, which I believe Age of Conan introduced into mainstream MMOs, which works I suppose, the timing doesn’t have to be absolute, so at least they know about the concept of lag.

The second much larger gimmick, and the one Aion’s been selling itself on, is flight. When you get to lvl 10, you go though a silly little cutscene, get a pair of wings and what? 40 or 50 seconds worth of flight. Woohooo!

I’ll admit that the ability to attack from the air is awesome, to bad there’s plenty of place where you can’t fly, due to gameplay issues and magic wizards of Oz.

So it remains a gimmick.

Now I never made it beyond lvl 12ish, because the game is boring as all hell, if you’re not some weaboo lunatic who lusts after Son-Goku’s useless arse.

I suppose it’s heaven for that particular part of the market, but it’s not heaven for any sane person with tastes that move beyond flashy lights and big muscular men screaming at each other.

Supposedly, there’s alot of active PvP and bollocks, but then, supposedly, Atlantis lies in Sweden and Copenhagen is the capital of Amsterdam.

So yeah, plays like World of Warcraft, looks pretty, has retarded character design only a delusional madman could possibly enjoy.

Which brings me to a small little spot of hatred: The female voices, occasionally you’ll get to hear your character produce some odd moans and noises, presumably in order to be “awesome” or something similar.

To bad the experience was ruined when my supposedly dark and hardcore fireball-slinging sorceress squaked like a four-year old during a cut-scene.

Dear merciful Osiris, they didn’t obliterate the retarded Asian high-pitched girlish scream from the game when they transferred it to the West?

Why am I surprised? This is a game for the deranged anime fans who watch Naruto like it was the second coming of Napoleon.

Anything else? Oh yeah, as I said, I never actually managed to get anywhere impressive with this silly game, so I’ll leave you with this, possibly outdated, little image:

Now, to be fair, I don’t know if it’s still accurate, but the fact that a company is capable of misjudging the entire MMO customer base of the Western world that badly, is kinda scary.

This isn’t the old EverQuest years NCSoft, there aren’t many hardcore loser gamers left, they’ve all gone casual, or have somehow managed to get a life.

The final verdict? Don’t buy this piece of shit, spend your money on something more useful.

Like a lobotomy.

About Ragnarokz

I am the Managing Director of the Balfour Institute of Internet Culture, and one of the world's foremost experts on the cultural phenomena of the Internet.
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