Reviewed: December 10, 2008
Released: October 14, 2008
Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (or MMOs) are hotter now than they have ever been this year. WoW has released its 2nd expansion, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning and Conan have taken the world that is willing to pay to play by storm. But we all know that we are all not made of money and some of us have to get our fix elsewhere.
So companies like NHN USA are one such company that provides gamers with quality online titles such as Gunz, Drift City and Gunbound. While all of these titles are cool in their own ways, Iím not here to write about them. The topic of this review is to talk about NHN and Allmís Lunia: Record of Lunia War (or Lunia) for the PC.
Lunia is a fantasy action-packed arcade game mixed with all the trimming of any good MMORPG. The difference is that while most MMOís go the point and click route, Lunia allows the player to control their characters directly with a keyboard or various controllers if you wish to. The story of Lunia takes some time after the events of a huge war where all the warring races now trade and pass the knowledge life amongst each other. Though the world is not as peaceful as it seems, or so a group of travelers find out.
Lunia has an interface that is pretty much the same as every other MMO on the face of the planet so no surprises there. What makes Lunia different than most MMOs is the way that the combat system works. As I mentioned above you use the keyboard as you main weapon of destruction. A lot of titles use the mouse to do the damage and while that is great and all I can think of a few reasons where letting go of the mouse is a good thing.
Character movement both in and out of combat is controlled by the arrow keys or the WASD cluster if you so choose like some MMOs out there. Attacking your opponents is simple due to a two button (or keys) setup as well. Players can also pull off advanced attacks by stringing together different key commands to really put the hurt on your enemies.
But besides the simple control scheme, one of my favorite things about Lunia is the character development. Lunia is an RPG at its heart and I am a big fan of all things RPG. Players can choose between 6 total character presets, each with their own set abilities. Four of the six are available right off the bat, and the other two can be earned through a bit of old fashioned hard work.
Upon choosing your character type you can then name it then youíre off to kick some butt. While the character creation is not as advanced as some RPGs, the character development makes up for that. Players earn experience points by defeating enemies. Earning enough experience will allow you to rise up in levels. Every time a character levels up they gain skill points that can be used to gain or raise the levels of over 30+ available skills.
My personal favorite character preset to use is the thief named Tia; she pulls off a mix of acrobatics, quick attacks and the use of traps and deadly poisons. Lunia not only has cool characters but even cooler weapons and items to purchase and collect. While there is no real way to make you character distinctively yours, you can tweak the controls and HUD to fit your needs no matter how you play.
As you are aware by now, Lunia is a free to play title. All you need to do is download the software, create an account and your set. But for those that wish to enjoy Lunia to the fullest there are items of all types to be had for a price at the Item Shop.
Unlike the shops found around the continent of Rodesia, the Item Shop uses G Coins to buy them. There are so many items, such as costumes, weapons, armor and even furry companions that alter your abilities. G Coins can be bought by various means including a Credit/Debit cards or the increasingly popular G Coin Cards. It is not required to buy G Coins to play Lunia, but it does add a bit of fun to the playerís adventures.
Graphically, Lunia looks pretty sweet. Everything from the character models to the environments sport a cel-shaded look that is quite good. What really blew me away initially was the opening menu animation. Lunia features this quick zoom and slide technique that is pretty cool. Most people think that if a title is free to play online it wonít be graphically appealing. Well that is not the case here. Lunia looks every bit as good as it plays.
The story of Lunia is presented nicely in comic book style panels. This is a pretty cool way to convey a story. The only thing that I noticed is that the characters arenít always as smoothly animated as they usually are, as they kind of go out of focus and become a bit pixilated. But other than that Lunia looks awesome.
Before you even see the main menu screen the theme song kicks in with full vocals, which again impressed me to no end. There are actually a couple different vocal song tracks in Lunia as well to hear. I also like the background music that plays while you are traveling through various locations. The sound effects used in combat are also well done. Everything from the whirl of my character doing a series of spin kicks or the sound of my twin blades slicing into my opponents is just cool.
Lunia is a fairly long title as there are around 50 levels to slice your way through. The cool thing is that you can do them alone (sometimes) or team up with friends or random players to fight by your side. There is also a hard difficulty where you can play through the same levels where the enemies are tougher and you receive mad experience for defeating them.
All in all, Lunia is an awesome title. There isnít much I dislike about it. One of the coolest things about Lunia however is the capability to use gamepads as well as conventional keyboard commands. I am a big fan of RPGs and MMOs in particular. Playing with other gamers is a pretty awesome experience, regardless if you pay to play or not. I highly recommend this title to anyone looking for a cool MMO experience without the monthly cost.