Saturday, August 30, 2014

[Games] Onigiri Online

A unique action MMORPG featuring non-auto targeting combat system, the game theme is an ancient mythological in Japan. Its a fantasy world where human, Oni (Ogres), and Youkai (Monster) coexist. Player would play as an Oni that have a vague background that might relates him to even greater beings. Hence began the player's journey to unravel the mystery of the world balance between human and non-human being thrown in disarray with the awakening of Kamikui (God-Eater).

So the story goes so far. In case you are wondering, Onigiri means a 'rice ball' in Japanese. But the title (in Japanese) obviously written as Oni Giri, which means 'Demon Slash'. So the game is not about rice ball, though you'll get those as health potion in the game.

Developed by CyberStep, the game first appeared in CBT (Closed Beta Testing) since last year, finally open for all and welcomed everyone to participate in June 2014. Currently there are 2 version of this game, English and Japanese version in their own separate dedicated servers. The game was also released in 2 platforms of Windows PC and PlayStation 4.

But what so good about this game? First of all, this game is not like your traditional MMORPG where the player doesn't have any particular classes to be choose from. You can be anyone you want and use any weapons of you preference in combat. Though based on the weapon your choice, later in the game you'll end up either a Samurai, Spearman, Rogue, Mage.

It is highly advisable that the player to use more than one type of weapons. Depending only on one weapon will limit you from fully experiencing the game's visual stunning skills and precise combat. And of course, to prevent you from being under-powered.

To know which class you will belong later, here is the description of what you are based on the weapon you of your choice:

Samurai - Axe, Katana (Sword), Oodachi/Tachi/Nodachi (Great/Long Sword)
Rogue - Bow, Twin Swords
Mage - Staff, Wand
Spearman - Spear

But don't be misled, you can still change your weapon and the weapon slots allow you to equip up to four different weapons at a time. But as you progressed in the game, to efficiently raise your character in co-relation to the appointed status, you'll be concentrating to only one or two weapons at the time. Thus giving you the appearance of what class you might be. A Spearman might bring along a bow for versatility, and Samurai might equip a staff for self-heal.

For gameplay, this game provide whole lot of fun challenges. You can only bring 10 consumables items with 5 slots of hot-keys at a time in the dungeon, and the dungeons have 3 different difficulty which is Normal, Hard, and Hell mode. The game will prompt you the choices along with the suggested level for the player character to provide insight on what level of monsters that you'll be facing. But the monsters will have blind-spot and weaknesses that you can utilize, so don't worry if you are under-leveled a bit.

Instead of the traditional armor and equipment for you character, this game utilizes Magatama (a decorative jewelry) with 4 slots that you will equip for extra defence and status. Once you in a dungeon, you can't change you character setup, so make sure you bring the right weapons and consumables to challenge those dungeons.

Though I enjoyed this game very much, but this game is riddled with weird restrictions and flaws. To the point that I felt like its actually more of a problem rather than a challenge.

First of all, you can't manage you party. I don't why they make it that way, but if you make a party and search a recruitment (means you advertise your party in a big yellow dialog box), anyone can join your party. But the problem is that you can't kick out a member who is non-responsive member (usually a player who got disconnected but the game still recognize him to be in you party). Hence making you stuck with the player without being able to get a new recruit if your party at full capacity (5 people). Giving you no choice but to disband the entire party and make a new one.

Second, the weapon drops cost more to identify than its selling price. Making it almost ridiculous to have those weapon drops to be identified in the first place, unless of course the weapon drops were gold type, which the rare weapons you got would have better sale price. At first, you won't mind thing like this until you progress further into the game, where the difference of those cost and sales price would sky-rocketed to the point you can't afford to identity all of the weapon drops you got from raiding a dungeon.

Third, the game is made to look like it hated you. Specifically the monster drop trend. Apparently, the game keep notice on the things that you are looking for such as quest items or weapon drop. Let say, you have a quest that require you to find a 'Putrid Gastric Acid' that is a rare item dropped by certain monster. I learned it the hard way NOT to farm for quest item like this. Instead, you should continue your journey and if you're lucky, you'll get the drop somewhere along at the point of your adventures.

The game also keep notice on the weapon that you use. I didn't realized this before, until I perused the official forum for some tips. Apparently there are a lot of people complaining about the lack of weapon drops for a specific type of weapon. Mostly are the wand/staff user, complaining that they didn't get much of the wand/staff weapon drop. There was also a user complained that he didn't found a single bow that he was looking for in his dungeon raid even though he grinds through it over half a day.

Apparently, the people who are complaining about this, uses the very same weapon that they were looking for. Because they need the same duplicate weapon to upgrade their existing weapon. In short, a player who uses bow extensively, will find less bow weapon drops. The same goes for other weapon user. This is the part where where I learned it the hard way, to always uses more that one weapon at any given time so you'll get a decent weapon drops.

Finally, despite that I could deal with the previous problems without being completely lost interest on this game, there is one thing that annoyed me the most. The skill slot arrangement. I have never seen a game, where the skill that you wanted put into, will be inserted in a random slot which led to the existing skill on that slot to be replaced. It is completely ridiculous.

I understand that you need to grind hard to produce the skill cards, and get the perfect weapon with high damage and extra status buff. I can deal with that. But all of your effort and time would be in vain at the end, because you can't choose which slot that you wanted to put what skills on it.

Being a game with fast-paced combat system, you need to dive, dodge, block, shoot, slash, and dice, to fight the monsters. And the key to having in doing all that stuff is having the your skills arranged neatly in your skill slots, so you could 'combo' the monsters squared on their faces Chuck Norris style with all 'em nice lightning and ice effects thrown all over the places.

But sadly no. The game developer won't even let you to indulge in your one simple desire and vanity, just to have a nicely arranged skill slots just so you could execute your skills in perfect order to see all those pretty lights and flashes even though your character would bite the dust a few seconds later. Tch.. whatever happened to fun games, eh?

And there goes my enjoyment. A lot of my friends have already quit the game. So sad, the game have so much potential. I don't care if the game have reduced experience rate or monster drop rates, the game was incredibly enjoyable at the beginning. Addictive too, I might add.

But the game is constantly updated and patched. So perhaps if one day CyberStep decided remove the restriction on arranging your own skill slots, I might drop by and play again.


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