"Hold up, a MMORPG based on fairy tales? Targeted at kids, especially girls? They’re wrong, this game is really for everyone."

A little bit of info... For the ones who don't know this game.

This game is a product of CiB Net Station. For those of you who don't know, this game is in beta, though most of the game is complete. As for the story of the game, as all MMORPG players know, there is no real storyline to an MMORPG, at least not within the game itself. The story is usually developed within expansions, like the one that was just announced (as of this writing).

The story of FairyLand is that everyone who ever thought about doing something like in a fairy tale; anyone who is still young at heart; can enter this realm and live out their dreams in endless ways. With this in mind, there ARE limitations, this game is an RPG.

As for a little bit of history about this game, it's been in beta for quite some time now. It's also starting to show signs of being released live in Singapore and the rest of far-east Asia.

And now, on with the actual review.

Gameplay
9/10
This game's gameplay is very well refined. Based on an isometric grid with Ultima Online, RuneScape and Ragnarok Online like movement controls within the actual world roaming. The controls for selecting skills, work skills, magic, items, equipment, your pet, ANYTHING, is well placed and very well identified. There are shortcuts to most menus and there are even 5 customizable hotkeys available for skills, items and/or magic. As for anything else, the most impressive part of the actual main framework is the smoothness within everything.

As for the world roaming, quest hunting, and "main game functions", there are few things to be worried about. World roaming is quite easy, though the only exception is trying to get into doorways. You might get stuck trying to click into a doorway only to see yourself walk past it fifty times, though you might walk past one and enter it automatically. For quest hunting, many are quite simple, though some might take a LOT of world roaming or battling in order to be able to complete them. As for "main game functions", I mean doing the walking around, emoticons, animations, chat functions, etc. This is quite easy to get the hang of, anyone should be able to do learn it quickly.

Now, Pet handling. Pets are somewhat of a mysterious part of this game, them being somewhat of an extremely important part of your advancement in the game, yet being incredibly useless in many ways unless you want to spend hours trying to groom them. When you get your starting pet, you can choose to have it do nothing, walk around (check the pet guide for more info on what it's used for), or "fuse" into your weapon, adding elemental damage and augmenting somewhat your attack strength. Later on, you can make it fuse into other aspects of your stats. This "fuse" and combat system is very well thought out, making the game quite interesting, and easier to level up in, if you learn how to do it right. For an entirely new master-pet co-op system, it's quite impressive and well designed. Since you can have more than one pet at any given time (10 being the absolute maximum you can have on your active character) you can end up with an army, or multiple fusions that create massive stat enhancement. This alone explains why I rated gameplay so high.

Next up is the Work Skill system. Not much to say here, all you have to for the basic ones is buy tools to work, then use the skill in appropriate places. For the advanced ones, you need to supply certain items in order to produce something useful. It's quite boring, since it takes about 3 seconds to automatically try again to find/create something, with no way to speed up the process. This is a slight hit to the game's gameplay.

Finally, the combat system. Unfortunately, it's not what most people would think: it's not Diablo 2-style, nor Ragnarok Online style. It's almost like a mix of Final Fantasy and any isometric game. When walking around in unsafe zones, you may be attacked by some enemies (can't really say monsters here, everything looks WAY too cute). Then you go into a turn-based combat system, like the good old days of Final Fantasy 1. Only this time, you have a blue timer bar that limits how long you can be idle in thinking about your move. Aside from that, it's point, click, attack, destroy, gain EXP, Wash, Rinse, Repeat, gain a level while doing this... Welcome to what most MMORPG players refer to as the "Level-up grind". Yep, this game has a grind, though it's not as intense as, say, EverQuest's grind. Not to mention it's quite diversified, making you have to strategize where you're going to level up depending on what you're inclined to use as elemental attacks. Albeit having a nice combat system, it's quite bland after all. With the lack of realtime battle strategy within the game, I've solidified my 9/10 rating.

Story
3/10
Seriously, it's an MMORPG. If you know of an endless or vast MMORPG that has an ongoing story that actually requires the whole world to revolve toward changing the story, email me NOW. I WANT to play that game.

Well, yeah. This game has nearly no story, aside from cute references to classic fairy tales from all over the world. Nothing special, as you only see bits of stories within quests and talking to people (who usually are the ones giving you the quests, anyway).

Graphics / Sound
7/10
Yeah, they're pretty good. The graphics are just GORGEOUS, the only gripe I have is the actual cutesiness oozing from every possible corner of the game. Even the trees look like they came out of a Disney (fairytale-style) movie. Your characters look decent, though. The elves being the best designed, even their battle movement is fluid and appropriate (dwarves just punch at their enemies, even when they have a ten foot sword in front of them). Then again, this game IS supposed to be targeted at a younger audience. I'd give the graphics alone an 8/10.

The sound is good too. Looping tunes that came out of fairy tale cassettes is also something you'd come to expect of this game, but it delivers wonderfully. The one thing that gets EXTREMELY annoying are the sound effects that occur EVERY time you click within a menu, choose to use an option, whatever. Though you can remove the sound effects, you need them if you're doing stuff like using work skills or fighting, to know if you've selected monsters for attacks and such. I'd give the sound a 6/10, simply because of the essential-yet-excruciating SFX.

Translation
7/10
Not too bad. Since this is an Asian game, I HAVE to put this in, just to warn people that Asian games that are translated in Asia without any North American or European support in correcting errors creates MASSIVE typos and miss-translations.

Well, this one isn't too bad. Though there are some things that DO get on my nerves. The kingdom announcements are filled with typos, being the only system-set texts that have massive errors. There's nothing more confusing when you see something written in blue saying "Attenting! We need 56 ~`?20 at Bluebird now". So... Umm... What? You need 56 of people to fight 20 monsters? No? OH!! You want 56 people at level 20 to fight at Bluebird!
You get my point.

As for the rest of the game, it's not too bad. Some item descriptions have typos, but it's most JUST typos, not completely incomprehensible sections of the game.

This game's translation isn't as good as the one I've seen in Lineage 2 (flawless), but it flat out beats Gunbound. (reference: they're both Korean games with no native-English translation teams)

Replay, Playtime, Try/Buy/Avoid
Try it

Replay: Infinite
Playtime: Infinite (as with an MMORPG)
You should try it, then see if you want to play it more, well into its live release. I personally would want to see what the final beta stage will be like before considering buying this game. (it's still free as of this writing)

Conclusion
This game, being targeted at younger audiences, is perfect for them. For teens, not quite. For adults, it all depends on how young at heart they are.
This is a great novice MMORPG, good for learning the basics of playing them.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/13/04


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