Sometimes I forget how nice it is to jump into a bright, cartoony world. MMOs can be such serious business these days. Remnant Knights
, published by GameSamba
, fills the need for escape into a wacky world. It's a truly free free-to-play game that hails from overseas. You know the type: a cash shop attached to an absolutely free client, no pay walls like the ones we see in Western freemium titles, gloriously cartoony and unabashedly cute.
plunks players down in a world of two schools: the Owl Academy and the Dragon Academy. I received a higher-level education with my press account, which made me a member of the Owls. Unfortunately there were no available slots left for me to create a new character, but let me tell you what I found anyway. Hint: It's wacky.
The main character I played this week was a dual-gunner, a bullet-slinging sharpshooter who specializes in crowd control. I was sort of surprised at how explosive many of my character's attacks were. Sure, he looked capable enough, but how I was supposed to know that he would sling packs of grenades and even miniature nuclear bombs at mobs? The great thing about having access to a maxed-out character is that I can go around and destroy boatloads of lower-level enemies to get used to how the game plays. I grabbed hordes of mushroom characters, killer wolves, and other things
and murdered them all. For such a cute game, Remnant Knights
sure employs a lot of explosions.
The downside of starting out on a higher-level character is that the experience is skewed. It's hard to get a read on how the game plays because that higher-level character skipped all of the tutorials and earlier missions that serve to train new players. Sure, I was able to go back and burn through a lot of the newbie quests easily, but I needed some time on a truly new character to get an appropriate feel for the game. I was this
close to using another unique account just to make a newbie character, but I found myself caught up in the world of the dual-gunner. Blowing things up was just too much fun.
"There's really no excuse for these type of mistakes these days; the era of the poorly translated free-to-play title is over. The top foreign free-to-play is now a high-quality experience, sometimes representing some of the best experiences there are in MMOs."
I explored different lands by flying around on some sort of flight path hover-plane thing, but once I got to the new lands, the quests were designed for other characters, were a part of a longer quest chain, or were simply glitched out and read like a string of commands from a programmer. I was let down by the number of unreadable quests in the game, especially since the rest of the world seemed put together well. There were some issues with localization, but nothing too jarring. There's really no excuse for these type of mistakes these days; the era of the poorly translated free-to-play title is over. The top foreign free-to-play is now a high-quality experience, sometimes representing some of the best
experiences there are in MMOs. I will even say that the foreign market is much more innovative and daring than the Western market. Mistakes like some of the ones found in Remnant Knights
are hard to find, but they do nothing but give more weight to the normally silly argument that foreign free-to-play games are never
Other than those quest issues, the game runs great. This is normal for games like Remnant Knights
. I think free-to-play titles, especially the ones from Korea, Japan, and China, rarely get the credit they deserve for bringing MMO gaming to the masses. Thanks to the accessible system requirements, the easy-to-learn but hard-to-master gameplay, and the sheer number of titles to pick from, we MMO-lovers now have the ability to become overwhelmed with MMOs. That feeling is the result of having way too much of a good thing, which, by the way, is still a good thing.
I really didn't fill my time in Remnant Knights
how you would expect in a typical MMO, especially one that I was bound to write an article about. Instead of pretending that I was going to write some insightful article about the finer aspects of the big-headed denizens of this virtual world, I knew I would just run around on my max-level character and blow stuff up. Why not? I had the power, and I knew I wanted to use it. I did run through quests, but I didn't care whether I finished them or not. My max level guaranteed that I would not gain experience, but I wanted to see how some of the systems worked. The crafting systems in Remnant Knights
are fun, for example. Fishing is my particular favorite. It's a simple minigame, a relaxing distraction from grinding that animates your avatar next to a body of water. You equip a fishing pole and bait and literally wait for a bite. Once you get one, you hit the line and hopefully pull in a catch. I enjoyed the simplicity. We can easily become preoccupied with deep and meta MMO debate, so playing a simple fishing game on a max-level, big-headed character was a nice escape.
I tried to find some PvP action but wasn't sure how it worked. The game wasn't very populated (or most players were off in other areas beside the newbie zones), so it was hard to locate someone from the other school. A PvP zone -- at least I thought it was a PvP zone -- was empty. Well, I did locate a GM there, someone who ended up helping me figure out why I was invisible. It turns out I had toggled some switch and forgot to toggle it back. I didn't think it was an appropriate time to attack him, but the thought crossed my mind.
"Poor customer service is the curse of many MMOs from all over the world, not one exclusive to Eastern imports. Still, it is nice to see that in Remnant Knights, customer service seems important."
The loading messages of Remnant Knights
mention that there is always some helpful GM online. I tested the theory, and sure enough, there was a GM on duty and willing to respond to me every time I was logged in. One of the loading messages mentioned that GameSamba's motto is something along the lines of "We're online when you're online." It seems to be true, in my experience. That shattered another stereotype of foreign free-to-play games. Poor customer service is the curse of many MMOs from all over the world, not one exclusive to Eastern imports. Still, it is nice to see that in Remnant Knights,
customer service seems important.
I'd like to spend some more time with this lovely game, but I still have issues with the botched quest text. As I mentioned before, there really is no reason the game should suffer such glaring problems, ones that can be fixed relatively easily. I simply had to ditch those messed-up quests. I enjoyed just running around the environments and trying out different mounts and costumes. I also played a mage character and was impressed by how explosive her attacks were as well. This is a game for people who like explosions. Remnant Knights
is yet another fun free-to-play game for people who want to jump in and try something new. It's similar enough to other MMOs but still has unique features.
Hopefully a patch or two can fix some of the game's issues; then it can be classed with many of the higher-quality titles. That is, if
it gets patched up.
Each week, Free for All brings you ideas, news, and reviews from the world of free-to-play, indie, and import games -- a world that is often overlooked by gamers. Leave it to Beau Hindman to talk about the games you didn't know you wanted! Have an idea for a subject or a killer new game that no one has heard of? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!