My companion for this wild ride was Mabinogi Community Manager Sabina. Sabina is a "fashionogi" (as they call it in-game), someone who enjoys customizing her characters more than sending them into battle. Mabinogi allows for almost any style of play, from combat mastery to roleplay to fashion obsession.
The community showed up during my livestreams to give me plenty of advice during my hard times in combat because the game is known for its challenge level. It's time to recap some of my favorite moments of those times and discuss what I liked... and didn't like.
Now that you're familiar, I'll recap my favorite moments. I don't have time to go over all of them, so be sure to leave your favorite memories in the comment section!
The connecting thread of the Saga was the story. It's a very complex one, a tale of drama, power, and of course, dragons. It centers around three warriors: the archer Mari, the warrior Ruari, and the mage Tarlach. Although the three started off together, what happens in the Saga will change them forever. During the Saga, I was often thrust into the role of a unique or powerful character. I controlled characters that were normally NPCs, both good and evil. It gave me a good chance to roleplay as something I never would have and to feel what it is like to act essentially as a god.
The Saga is filled with many memorable fights, and most of them are very challenging. Luckily for me I had a chat room that was willing and able to dish out tons of combat strategies, but the numerous different ideas often sent my head into a spin. There were times during the Saga that I felt undefeatable thanks to my temporary position as a character from the story. I played a demon who could smash through crowds of enemies and played characters like Milia, a snotty but powerful young Shaman who seemed to dislike everyone around her.
If there is one thing I learned during my Saga run, it's that I still need to learn more. I have never been a Mabinogi combat fanatic. The fact is that the combat system is more than a bit complicated, and there are so many options to take during combat thanks to Mabinogi's massive skill list that it's very, very easy to get overwhelmed. I found that relying on two basic skills, archery and melee with a mace, did the most good. My highest skill is in archery, but the mace provided me with optional frontline abilities. Mabinogi allowed me to switch between weapon sets on the fly, so if I failed with one, I could try the other.
Luckily, all of the Saga chapters can be played again, as many times as the player is willing to spend gold on it. If you complete all 10, you get a randomly colored armored pegasus, a wicked-looking pet in a game that is already filled with awesome creatures. I was never able to finish chapters four and nine, but I plan on going back to complete the task. The amount of experience I gained was simply staggering, so I can only imagine what another run-through would accomplish! Players can also unlock the gunslinger skills, a fantastic new ranged ability that puts players in the roll of a six-shooter deadeye!
Granted, I had plenty of complaints during my time in the Saga. First, there were way too many bugs that literally stopped my gameplay. I saw enemies disappear, quests go uncompleted, and baddies act as though they were dead when they were not. Granted, I was able to reload the quests or try again and found that the game was not broken, but it was tough to see so many bugs pop up. Second, the story is very confusing. Even when I go back and watch the videos, I remain confused about certain parts. I can only recommend that players take their time in the Saga and possibly give each chapter a second run in order to get it all down.
After all was done, the Saga Iria was still a blast. The story, although intense and wacky, was a lot of fun to participate in. I gained so many levels and was able to train so many abilities that I'm an even more powerful character. The adventure felt grand, sweeping, and massive.
Just like a Saga should!
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!