Reviews: Adventure Quest

You get what you pay for.

Adventure Quest is probably worth the $20 fee that it costs to play it properly. Good console games cost $50-60, after all. Adventure Quest starts out as a time trial demo of sorts, although Atrix Entertainment conveniently forgets to remind newcomers about the 'time trial' aspect when starting to play—which is fair... maybe.

The game itself is entertaining... at times. Having managed to reach up to level 95 with a fairly optimized mage-type character before getting bored, I can vouch that 95% of Adventure Quest is essentially just grinding for new levels and gold, which while obviously not fun, is a staple characteristic in nearly all online games anyway, so it's difficult to complain in that respect. However, if the equivalent of raising a Pokemon to level 1000 to gain the first 60 (and easiest) levels is a put off to anyone, don't play AQ. The battle system itself is also extremely one-dimensional. Click a button to attack, and you attack. Repeat for about 20 turns. It's Better than it sounds, but not by much.

The game has a somewhat severe case of GuideDangIt, and any first-time player will inevitably mess up in allotting stats and buying useless weapons. This is somewhat infuriating, because stats and weapons cost gold, which is pretty much the game's lifeblood when it comes down to it. For anyone interested in playing this game, be sure to look up character optimization strategies on the player forums. It will save you worlds of grief.

Aside from AE's arguably justified obsession with advertising, upon playing the game, one thing becomes extremely obvious: The AE staff are dorks—and I mean, irredeemable Nerds in every sense of the word. The amount of IncrediblyLamePuns in particular is cringe inducing and about 25% of the in-game monsters are JokeCharacters. Think, space invading salt shaker at that trope's peak. The next 35% of enemies is made up of Killer Rabbits of all sorts: little flower fuzz balls, cute weapon wielding bunnies, transforming bambi deer, you name it. The rest somewhat more faithfully follow the game's cyberfantasy theme type.

Basically, AQ is more or less worth paying just the initial $20 fee. You won't really regret it, but you won't exactly want more either. It's entertaining for a while, but otherwise, it isn't especially noteworthy.

Great Plot, Polarizing Gameplay

AdventureQuest is a single-player Western RPG that has been referred to as a Massively Singleplayer Online Roleplaying Game. The game is singleplayer almost entirely, but events known as wars feature a meter that all players contribute to by fighting monsters in order to complete. The other multiplayer aspect comes from the forums, which are pretty much neccesary to use to fully enjoy the game. The forums add a new level of strategy to the game that you wouldn't normally know about and, especially during wars, create a strong sense of community.

The plot itself is superbly great and complicated. By this point (the game updates weekly), the plot's evolved into something really special and unique. It has also, sadly, become almost impossible to fully understand. This is made especially bad due to some of the early quests no longer being available in game. However, it isn't too hard to grasp events as they happen if you use the forums. The original main plot took quite a few years to finish, and no noticable Plot Holes can be found. The plot is still going strong now, with the Hall of Memories being particularly good. The game's plot also has some humour in it, though this is mostly toned down for the main plot and kept in sidequests. There is an odd relation in characters. The most iconic of AdventureQuest's are actually some of the most least plot important in the grand scheme, being intergrated into DragonFable. However, when they show up they can often be fun, and all serious character present a good plot. Zorbak is a favourite character of mine, and one of the more iconic "side" characters.

The gameplay is not for everyone. It's turnbased and features the same sort of animation each time you attack. In early levels, the best strategy is simply to buy the most powerful stuff and hit monsters with them. It gets better as the game goes on, but it remains turnbased and that might turn off a few people. The graphics are unique. Some of the earlier monsters may be a bit of an eyesore, but all of them are undergoing revamps. However, some revamps do more hard than good, and can upset people with nostalgia. There are some things I don't like about the revamps, for instance the Frogzard Hunter looked a lot better originally in my opinion.