Spirit Tales is an upcoming free-to-play anime-style MMORPG from publisher, KoramGame. The game is set in a great continent where the northern tribes have invaded the southern tribes and pushed them to the southern most points of their kingdom. Unleashing their evil and cruel creations upon these defenceless people, the Northern tribes quickly took control over the vast majority of the continents resources.
Spirit Tales Beta Preview
Cute is definitely the correct word I am looking for here, everything about Spirit Tales screams “my girlfriend is going to love this”. The game features chibi-style, furry characters and a bright colorful world that rolls towards you as you move, much like the game Animal Crossing. Players choose from one of three tribes: the Gold Kirin, the Maned Dragon and the Lunar Fox. Each tribe has two unique classes available to that particular tribe.
The Gold Kirin may choose either a Fighter or Shaman, the Maned Dragon a Warrior or Archer and the Lunar Fox a Sorcerer or Assassin. The character customization is rather typical, players can change the major features such as hair, face, eyes etc and change their color. All choices must be made from a pool of pre-determined looks, but there are enough options to keep most happy. Lets just say, it isn’t just pick from four options and move along.
Upon entering the world, players are immediately seated on the roller-coaster that is the theme-park ride of many MMORPGs. One of the initial things I discovered about Spirit Tales is that it’s impossible to at any point not know what you are doing. Players begin their new life with the traditional quests you would expect, kill x of y to collect <item>. The game throws this quests at you pretty quickly, they are easy to complete and will take you on a one-way trip through the zone.
Before you know it you are several levels ahead and in an entirely new area, which is perfect. I didn’t even have time to figure out if an area was boring because I was in a new area looking at something so fast that the initial charm hadn’t worn off. Charm is something this game spews out in buckets, the environments and the way the land rolls towards you is so simple yet refreshing. The game begins to feel a little like some form of MapleStory 3D or maybe even Ragnarok to a small extent. It just has that charm, how else do I explain it?
So i’m smashing through these quests, laughing at this pitiful beasts as I effortlessly click my way through their corpses (well they actually disappear but still!). Before you know it I am level 10 and given a quest to unlock my Spirit Transformation, now this sounds interesting. I had decided to go with a Lunar Fox Assassin, picking a female for the awesome dual-wielding daggers. My spirit transformation was essentially a ninja and I am all for that.
As you fight you gain SP, which is displayed in a purple bar below your hotbar. Once this bar is full players can activate their spirit form and for a certain amount of time will become killing machines. Think of this like racking up a multiplier and activating star power in guitar hero, for a brief moment, you rock. It’s a nice addition to the combat, which for the most part doesn’t stray too far from any traditional target-based hotkey mashing MMORPG.
Spirit Tales has a slightly different approach to combat, it’s still target-based hotkey mashing though. Players can activate skills with their left and right mouse buttons when clicking on an enemy. Doing so will make your character run to that enemy and perform the selected skill, then proceed to auto-attack, making combat very easy. Players can improve their skills and learn some specialized skills through a skill tree, much like other MMOs.
I chose to begin spending points in skills that increased my chance to crit, combined with a skill that increased my evasion when I landed a crit. Basically I would crit big more often and become harder to hit while doing so, if I did actually crit that is. There appears to be a little bit of depth here in the way you can tweak your class to be different to another player of the exact same class. It’s a nice touch and will keep the PvP fans happy, there are battlegrounds and such within the game so get your min/maxing skills up to scratch!
With the look I’ve had so far the game appears to be the perfect introductory MMORPG. By that I mean it seems like it would be the perfect game for a perhaps younger gamer who is looking to get in to MMOs but wants to start off with something relatively easy. Players are constantly guided and if they are ever lost they can just right click on a quest objective and their character will automatically run to the required location.
The other group who might have an interest in Spirit Tales are those looking for an alternative MMORPG similar to MapleStory or other ‘cute MMOs’. This game has everything you would really expect from the quests, skills, pets, dungeons, battlegrounds and more. There is a lot on offer and it’s presented in a way that is easy to understand and follow.
It still remains to be seen whether the game is any good and I am honestly looking forward to diving in to the deeper end to discover some of the end-game goodness, if it exists at all. I can’t say so far that Spirit Tales is a good or bad game, it’s just a casual game for casual gamers.