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Posted by admin on Feb 2, 2011
Zenonia 2 Review

Zenonia 2 Review

Amid a host of similar real-time, top-down action RPGs, Zenonia seems to hold some sort of pedigree as a progenitor of the trend. The original was a fun, pick up and play title with good play time and ample amounts of fun. So when I picked up Zenonia 2 in a sale, I was expecting more of the same. I find myself with a game and mixed feelings as a result.

Zenonia shares its predecessor’s look and general style, but this time – instead of choosing from one of three classes for protagonist Regret – you are presented with four main characters to choose from: Daza a warrior and the primary melee character, Morpice, the magician who uses – you guessed it – magic. The ladies of the game are Lu, a stout paladin, and Ecne a somewhat incongruous gunner. First off the bat, I have to say it is quite a relief to look at the list and not see anyone with quite as melodramatic and overbearing a name as ‘Regret’. However, fans of the previous game will notice right away that a greater emphasis has been placed on range and magic classes, giving a new element and definition to combat. Fundamentally, while each character differs, it is simple enough to play as any one and enjoy a relatively pain-free adventure. More inexperienced or casual players might prefer to pick Daza or Lu, simply because their play style tends to be more accessible. However, the weakness in these four characters is not a gameplay mechanic, but a story element. Each character lacks even the fairly light characterization that was afforded to Regret in the first game. Each character seems a sketch of an actual character, losing a bit of the crucial RPG element of character building.

Battles are much the same: real time fields full of enemies where you traverse, Zelda-style about, completing objectives and quests. In short, nothing terribly new there. Nothing fresh. This is one of my complaints about the game, how it feels like a somewhat expanded and re-charactered Zenonia. But, while the battle system may not be the newest thing in the world, it cannot be said to be anything other than fun, a genuinely enjoyable RPG to be had on the god.

Despite the lack of freshness in certain facets of the game and the fact that the very essence of the game is decidedly the same as it’s predecessor, that isn’t to say there aren’t new and interesting things to be had. The four new characters, as I said, offer new ways to play, and the character customization has certainly improved. In a somewhat Ys-style, Zenonia has introduced more challenging landscapes – ice and lava obvious choices – but have some trouble escaping from how generic the game can feel at times. Occasionally the game seems to boil down to a series of fetch quests where weaker monsters occasionally impede your progress.

However, I have to say, despite the occasional generic looks and feel, the recycled looks, the sketchy characters, and the somewhat stretched-out, washed out look that can happen with the graphics, Zenonia 2 is, for lack of a better word, just fun. The battles are fast-paced and enjoyable, the story Рwhile being a bit weak and clich̩d Рis functional enough to deliver up more good gameplay, and the new character classes add more replayablity and options to an already solid portable RPG.

Author: Kit Marlowe

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