DEVELOPER: Runewaker Entertainment
PUBLISHER: Sony Online Entertainment
SYSTEM: Windows PC
PRICE: Free with Microtransactions
ESRB RATING: Teen
REVIEW RATING: 3.0 stars (out of 5)
"World of Warcraft" has been the undisputed king of massively multiplayer online games for so long, developers have turned to free-to-play MMOs in an attempt to lure gamers away. Now a new MMO called "Dragon's Prophet" has swooped in to enter the arena, but the exciting game play doesn't make up for the lackluster mission structure.
Promising dragon tamers begin their adventure by creating a custom character from one of four DPS classes. Then it's time to venture into the gigantic world of Auratia to find fame, fortune, and dragons! If you can't tell by the name of the game, gaining dragon cohorts is the main focus of "Dragon's Prophet."
Many different dragons exist in this world, including some that resemble livestock more than scaly flying beasts! Each type of dragon offers different advantages, such as inflicting heavy damage or tanking enemies. In addition, training dragons lets players customize their abilities, and skill points can be spent to make them more effective.
It's really fun to seek out and tame different dragons and then use them to fight enemies. Speaking of which, I really enjoy the action-oriented combat in this game because it rewards skill more than traditional MMO combat. It's cool to alternate attacks from my character and my dragon in real time, and I can even fight while mounted on dragons at higher levels.
It's too bad that most of the game is incredibly linear and offers no alternative areas or paths. I also found the quests to be extremely boring, and it doesn't help that the game world seems bereft of other players during the first 30-plus levels. However, anyone who can endure the boring grind will be rewarded with in-depth housing, difficult dungeons and epic PvP battles in the endgame.
"Dragon's Prophet" has definite shortcomings, but there's no harm in giving this unusual free-to-play MMO a try.
'Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance'
DEVELOPER: Platinum Games
SYSTEM: Windows PC
ESRB RATING: Mature
REVIEW RATING: 4.0 stars (out of 5)
"Metal Gear Solid" hooked gamers with a winning combination of sneaky stealth, intense action, and high-quality visuals. Action fans loved the ability to play as a samurai-wielding cyborg in part two, and now Raiden stars in his own game. Although "Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance" oozes with style and hyper-intense combat, the game is way too short!
The story begins four years after the events of "Metal Gear Solid 4," and follows Raiden as he seeks revenge(ance) for getting his butt kicked in the opening scene. He immediately gets a major upgrade to his cyber-body and sets about slicing and dicing his way through cyborgs as easily as a Ginsu knife slices through warm butta.
This is where the trouble begins. Although the extremely flashy combat makes players feel totally badass, it could use more variety. Sure, it's cool to take down a towering Metal Gear by slicing off appendages, but why do I have to trod through boring, static environments and destroy dozens of mindless enemies in-between the cool battles? Why can't it all be cool instead?
Blade Mode helps to break up the repetitive combat by letting players initiate bouts of slow motion where they're free to cut through enemies to their heart's content. During Blade Mode, players can activate the Zandatsu move that steals energy from enemies so players can initiate Blade Mode again. While this is fun at first, it eventually turns into a disappointing lather, rinse and repeat style of play.
I would have been completely bored if not for the ability to scavenge additional weapons from bosses. Each one offers distinct benefits, such as gaining a further reach with the staff, launching enemies into the air with a heavy weapon and pulling enemies close to me with the Sai.
Due to the lower price and multitude of bonus content, "Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance" on the PC is a much better deal than on consoles.
REVIEW SCORING SYSTEM
5 stars = Must Have
4 stars = Very Good
3 stars = Above Average
2 stars = Bargain Bin
1 star = Don't Bother
Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)
E10+: (Everyone 10 and older)
T: Teen (13 and older)
M: Mature (17 and older)
To find out more about Jeb Haught and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.