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Aion
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Aion

Release Date:  March,2012
Publisher:  NCsoft
Developer:  NCsoft
Genre:  MMORPG, Fantasy
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Aion: The Tower of Eternity (Korean: 아이온: 영원의 탑; China: 永恒之塔; Japan: タワー オブ アイオン) is a fantasy MMORPG by NCsoft, a leading game developer behind  Wildstar, Lineage Eternal and City of Heroes.

It was originally a subscription-based MMO critically acclaimed and in 2012 it became a free to play title in part from the competition of a great number of new titles like RIFT, Star Wars the Old Republic but largely most of classic MMOs have been transferred into free to play game.

Review:

To call Aion a milestone is a shame, because Aion makes milestone sound ugly. What’s Aion? It’s a world I want to live in–forever. In fact here I need a word that could “double” the forever. The whole environment that is deemed irrelevant to quests in other games is literally a live ecosystem, a healed version of the current one we are staring at.

This is another MMORPG that tasks you to battles against various animals and humans that are good for nothing or good for something, such as, for their skins, furs, wings, squames and even their hearts. As I often unwillingly admitted, such MMORPGs blame everything for the unrest or the overly silence of the gaming world. Few makers are animal protectionist, at least when they are working on games. And I also believe that, something can make all this violence naturally acceptable, make the killing actions less alike to a nightmare of the in-game protagonist and give new life to the old, classic genre. This something I mean is an honest simulation to the ecosystem and social system of a remote ancient time or an always consistent interpretation to a fantasized age, where you can believe its humans are not developed enough to distinguish themselves from other animals by successfully fending off them.

There is no magical gate to reach an invisible region at once. Every meter of the road is to be walked, jumped or flied over. Lovely creatures like chickens, bunnies and squirrels are part of the road traffic as well as real players, while the insects hanging or lying there are part of the complicated headphone music. The mountains stretch their foot to roads gesturing a welcome; the trees claim the land under it with fully open arms touching the ground and entertain the earth animals with broad trunk for resting upon. Of course, some of them have mouth and eyes, talk and worry about their kind. The rippling sunlight cast by a river onto the wall indicates that the air is breathable, the water is drinkable, and the light is not the harsh rays looking ready to stab a creature and highly susceptible to do harm to all tree leaves. I used to feel embarrassed to express my pain looking at the sunny-day landscape in other games, but now I find my support in Aion, and I can speak my feeling loud that the so called epic fantasy world is not one to breed or give birth to any life, especially with its light and waters looking hostile.

As I mentioned above, this is a real world with real people, real gates and real roads. When you can’t find a quest-related NPC in the open air, don’t forget to look into a door. Its 3D effect is amazing. Running along the roads while turning your camera is the best thing modern technology has enabled us–Because it simply doubles your identity by providing a godly shadow behind you who is able to change his body height up and down while turning his neck in all direction. And this all-around flexibility in views makes the mountains coming and going, swelling and shirking like living things. All that you see in Aion is grand, so that I can’t help calling every hill a mountain.

Not only does the 3D effect make environments prone to vision rules, but many other things happen to remind you about the ubiquitous physical rules. When you ram into a barbed fence or a deep river, your avatar loses HP and suffers. And most of the barriers and narrow gap do block your steps. Besides change of seasons, climate types are not limited to sunny day–it rains a lot, and the umbrella people use is a big leave. I don’t know why I simply believe there is credibly such a big leave. I just know this is not so easily believed elsewhere.

It’s still a real time battle mode, with some cooling down time to demonstrate the processing and the result of skills. At about lvl 4, a powerful flame ball is available, together with a paralyzing skill that wraps the targeted animal with plant splints. At lvl 6, a handsome warrior challenges me to a duel, which inspired me to check my skill combining again. I mean, characters look so appealing that to lose a duel just means sitting down to have a rest. Different sizes of multiplayer modes are suggested roughly according to the size of the task animal population.

The convenient interface comes with skill symbols that are easy to understand. But when somebody asked me to join a group, I didn’t find the enter bar. Another thing to mention is the healing girl in water with her clothes on rock, whose name is shown in red as forbidding. In fact I have witnessed another girl hoping to heal there killed by her.

Customization of characters is unprecedentedly complicated, with detailed setting of your body parts and facial parts. I chose a fat man with big thighs. Some martial art elements of china are applied in the game, including music and clothing.

Needless to ask who’s the maker, because it’s beyond language to praise, appreciate or show gratitude. And no bother to label Aion as masterpiece or milestone, it’s just a game that makes lip king shut up himself for more minutes to enjoy it.

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