Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Perfect World International

Name: Perfect World International
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Genre: Fantasy RPG
Price: Free, Cash Shop
Visual: 25/30
Audio: 15/30
Fun: 4/20
Community: 17/20
Final score: 61/100

Perfect World International, the North American localization of Perfect World Online, is a high fantasy RPG by Perfect World Entertainment. It boasts beautiful graphics and a high level of character customization.

The game doesn’t disappoint in that aspect. When making my character, I was amazed at the absurd level of appearance customization. Open up the advanced tab, and you can adjust the smallest detail to whatever level you want. It isn’t hard to make an absolutely beautiful character, or a terribly horrifying one.

Sadly, customization is pretty much limited to your appearance. Your class is dependent on your race. Want to be an archer? You HAVE to be an elf. Fighter? You’ve got to be a human or “untamed”, which looks kind of like a beast.

Gameplay is nothing special. You can move with the WASD keys, which is a nice change from the “click to move” style gameplay. Otherwise, it’s pretty standard for an online RPG. Take some quests, kill some monsters, level up, take some quests, kill some monsters, level up, buy new armor, takes some quests…

The music is nice, but nothing memorable. The game uses the seamless world style, not unlike WoW, and there aren’t that many world loops, so you’ll find yourself listening to the same song for a while if you’re grinding.

The world map itself is pretty standard. It is expansive, almost to the point of ridiculous. The developers tried for a somewhat realistic look, which doesn’t work for a game like this. Everything just looks dark, and the setting looks all the same: grassy, or dirty, or both.

The community wasn’t bad. Most people were recruiting for their clan or selling stuff, but I found a few people helping me when I was starting off.

The balance between players who can pay and players who can’t is present, but the paying players don’t brag too much. There are better weapons and equipment for players who can pay, but you aren’t missing out on too much if you can’t.

One really interesting thing I found was the ability to “embrace” a character. If you’re a guy, you take the girl into your arms; if you’re a girl, you hop into the arms of the guy. It sounds really simple, but it’s got great potential, and it looks really cute.

The game includes the basic features of an MMORPG, including player shops, guilds/clans, crafting, upgrading, and pets. Additionally, the game has a marriage system, but it must be between a male and female character. The game also has a mounts system, again, not unlike warcraft. These mounts allow you to fly and otherwise travel in style, though it’s not much faster than walking. Oh yeah, you can swim too, but that seems standard nowadays.

If you like fantasy and pretty things, you might like this game, but it’s really nothing new. It feels more like a free alternative to warcraft than anything else.

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