Twin Saga is a free to play MMO game from Aeria Games, which up front hasn't had the best track record with me. For the longest time in fact just having their name on something was a guarantee I was never going to touch it as they simply bring across eastern games with terrible english localization, immense grind mechanics and paywalls six feet thick as soon as you step out of the tutorial. I like asian games because of the bling factor and the focus on fast combat - I often refer to them as zen games because but there's only so much crappy UI you can handle before you chuck a game off your hard drive.
But what do you know - this game is adorably cute, has very funny (as in actually humorous) dialogue, quality UI and even some interesting looking game mechanics. I may not revamp my opinion of Aeria Games overnight but this one actually has some playable legs.
First off, four base classes with both genders available and... no healer class? Looks like once you get high enough you can unlock speciality classes though so perhaps Priest or Shaman opens up farther into the game. Going over the choices, I opted to roll me a cute little moppet mage, mostly because I liked her little beginning dress. It was a nice touch to have the ship sailing along through the islands while you mess with character creation too - eagles flew by, boats sailed in the distance, all very rustic and peaceful.
So a few things that hit me while I was playing the first couple of hours. While the game tracked the main quest, picking up side quests weren't marked at all - neither in the quest log nor on the "To Do" list onscreen. There were a few times when I was trying to figure out what I was supposed to do next and had to look at the quest item in my inventory again to try to figure out what I was supposed to do. Objectives were described (Talk to X Person) but nothing on the map indicated where they were, nor did they have a quest icon above their heads when you got close to them - basically I spent a bunch of time mousing over people to see if they were interactable. That took some getting used to and I had to stretch my rusty game memory muscles that I haven't used in far too long. Thankfully the starting area was rather linear and usually what I was looking for was right up the road in some manner.
Mage abilities had some synergy baked in, where casting one spell first would let others apply DoTs and have a chance of knockback if the target was hit before the first spell wore off. Definitely encouraging a specific rotation to get the max out of your capabilities. Looks like the classes get a very limited amount of skills and I suppose the game is going to be about modding those base powers to increase power and hopefully customize with procs. While pressing 3 1 2 is pretty satisfying at the start, it's going to need something in the later game to keep interest up and I'm not sure what that's going to be at the moment.
Using your basic abilities charges your Ultimate bar which lets you blast off a massive overdrive move when full. I experimented with it a little bit but on the starter/tutorial creatures it was massively overpowered so I stopped using it in favor of mowing though things faster since the animation is quite long. Still, nice to know there's a little extra something under the hood for those grim moments of do or die.
The dialogue is the unexpected gem in this game and is really tongue in cheek and I grinned at quite a few moments - the pumpkin pie making wife who makes lewd remarks about her husband, the hunter who can't hit the broadside of a barn from five paces away and this guy... Sekhmet. There's some real gold in the quest text and that's two thumbs up from me.
Story itself is very anime, two rival twin sisters (one red, one blue - guess which one is evil!) with a feud going on and you're conscripted to help mend the balance of heaven by helping the power-drained good sister find her "Divine Tears". Your character isn't very happy about being co-opted and doesn't mind letting people know about it. I'm apparently quite grumpy for somebody who doesn't remember who they are.
The bling factor out of the gate was good - gear is for stats only, its your costume that determines how you look. I got a little buff pet for first day log in and was given a pudgy little capabara mount after running a few quests. There's a bounty hunter who gives rewards if you defeat boss monsters in the wild. Mobs drop gear and "soul stones" which can be slotted in to customize your playstyle and of course are another way to spend time and effort on upgrading and making shinier. I dropped my stat points into +Crit because as a mage, why the hell not, and used soulstones that also either upped Critical or Accuracy. Even at only a few points in, I was starting to see reasonable criticals happening so I'm hoping this is a valid strategy going forward. Best defence is an overwhelming and unstoppable offense, yeah?
Overall, this might be worth sinking some time into. You can obtain senshi (warrior) companions who it seems will fight alongside you (and also need levelling, care and attention) and I understand that there's customizable housing as well further down the road.
It's relaxing, seems a good time waster and the bright, cheerful game world is a definite plus.
Senshi Control Screen