- Release Date: March 28, 2013
- Publisher: R2Games
- Developer: Teamtop Games
- Genre: MMORPG
Yitien is a turn-based action MMORPG inspired by a famed Kongfu novel by Chinese novelist Gu Long. Set in the late Yuan Dynasty, the game involves players in the quest of the Fated One, who is destined to dethrone the corrupted tyrant and bring peace and order to the ancient China.
In the game, players follow class-specific growth paths, acquire various skills, claim different weapons and outfits, and enhance the gear to improve their power whenever necessary. They travel inside a persistent world, join clans and battle against monsters and those from opposing clans. Along the journey, they not only obtain mounts, they also invite some bosses they manage to defeat to be their battle partners. Those are the typical MMORPG contents Yitien has to offer.
And the game mixes that typical MMORPG experience with other elements. Players can climb up the Kunlun Mountain in the disguise of Yeti and then battle monsters, in which case it is impossible to distinguish a player from the real Yetis on the Mountain. There is also the board game where players roll a dice and then move around, battle against others whenever they reach the same space, and play rock-paper-scissors in some cases to obtain extra rewards.
Yitien is a browser-based adventure RPG from R2Games Entertainment, a veteran game creator behind a lineup of well known titles including Crystal Saga and Wartune. Exquisite artwork, felicitous sound effects, together with a compelling storyline make this game very entertaining, but lackluster actions and prolix narrative unfortunately lessen its fun.
Pros: stunning visuals; you-are-there soundtrack; riveting storyline; a plethora of quests; great social network
Cons: lukewarm combats; redundant and sometimes inconsistent dialogue; a little bit messy interface
Undoubtedly, Yitien is a beauty. If you are shooting for a game that is entertaining and culture-immersed at once, Yitien, a new entry of R2Games, will not fail to live up to your expectations with its heavy reliance on the profound and extensive Chinese martial arts culture, detailed presentation of the accouterment and architectures typical of Yuan dynasty of China, as well as its unique repertoire of Chinese martial skills. Exquisite audiovisual effects, a multitude of enthralling quests, and a handful of multiplayer features are Yitien’s highlights, but several minor glitches and a few demerits in terms of gameplay tends to pale its resplendent prospect.
Visuals on the same par with those in Yitien are not commonly seen in other games. In the game’s world, you will not only encounter a great number of distinctive characters from different walks of life and dressed in a uniquely attractive way, but also may wander and explore lands and places steeped in Chinese aesthetics. For instance, one of the reason I chose to be a sword dancer was that I was attracted by her fancy ancient blue costumes with billowing wide sleeves, beautiful hairstyle, as well as charming facial features. These features will not fail to make you reminisce of the classic Chinese beauties portrayed in books, pictures and on screen if you happen to know something about the Chinese people’s views on beauty. Besides, almost every place per se in the game bears a special cultural image. The Peach Blossom Island, Emei Mountain, and Gleaming Summit are all famous fictitious places known to millions of Chinese martial-art-novel/TV series lovers, as each of these places is either depicted as a symbol of a certain school of martial arts or described as a sacred place where a Kong Fu master once resided in famous Kong Fu novels or movies. For example, Peach Blossom Island is not only an island where showers of pink peach petals whirl in the wind, as you can imagine, but also a place where a dreadful Kong Fu master lives, according to a Chinese novel called The Legend of The Condor Heroes. Though this game does not present exactly the same stories or characters, with this cultural image in mind, gamers will find it more easily to identify with the gameplay and their in game avatars. Aside from these generic places marked on the map, individual structures, like temples, passes and fortresses, are all pictured with great finesse. If you are on a busy street, you can see a dazzling wealth of goods typical of the era, like silk and cloth of different colors, finished ancient clothes of diverse styles and various chinas; however on a cloistered island, you see stretching patches of green lawns, limpid water, towering mountains, and antique bridges; or if your mission takes you to a hazardous fortress, your eyes are greeted with sandy landscapes, steep cliffs and wreckages of previous wars. These realistic touches in terms of static scenes really do a great job to create a subtle Hong Fu action movie vibe, but the dynamic part legs far behind here. When you run into somebody, you are not forced to stop or met with a violent collision. Instead, you go right through them as a shadow. When you want to go somewhere behind a wall, in reality you need to take a roundabout way, but in this game, you go through the wall too. This blatant disregard to reality unfavorably stains what otherwise would be an visually impeccable game. Of course, this does not mean there is nothing for the game to improve about its perspectives. Players’ views are usually strictly restricted to the immediately surrounding things, which greatly ramps up the difficulty and reduce the fun for gamers to find their own routes on each quest.
Dialogue-driven storyline unfolds over time to keep players interestedly engaged with surprising events and scenarios. Numerous quests send you off to a myriad of places to consult with a variety of AI characters or to vanquish an assortment of villains, pirates or disciples from trouble-making sects etc. The legend of Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre toned these quests(actually the name of this game is a transliteration of Heaven Sword) with a heroic color. According to the legend, Heaven Sword is the rightful weapon of an emperor, but when a depot rules, a hero may take it into control; Dragon Sabre can also be used to slay a tyrannical emperor. Their extraordinary powers lie in their mythical origin and top Hong Fu scripts inside. Set in Yuan Dynasty, one of the few dynasties that witness the vast land of China falls into the rule of ethnic minorities, the game thrust gamers into a time when the Mongolian emperor is misruling the country, various Kong Fu schools are vying for power, and innumerous innocent people are suffering from famine and other disasters. Only the “Fated One” could right the present chaos and make things take a turn for the better, though his way is steep and hazardous, strewn with difficulties from many parties.
Gameplay of the game is intuitive but the turn-based action part does lack spice. There are three classes, namely warriors, with high defense and high health, sword dancers, with good attacking abilities, and healers, with high hit and max Chi as well as the ability to heal themselves and allies. Each class are typical of different attributes in terms of Attack, Defense, Hit, Dodge, Crit and Block. Once you have chosen a class, you are off on to a journey to unravel strings of mysteries. Quests assigned to you by the system is fun enough, because you are getting closer to the truth and crux each time you finish one. You can use the auto-pathfinding mode or you can enjoy the fun of navigating by yourself. Yet even these are not good enough to keep your interest for hours because at the beginning, your opponents are not well matched with you. The general case is each time you land a hit on them, thousands of points (it could be more or less) are reduced on their parts, while you get only dozens lost when you take the damage. It makes you feel comfortable by sending to your feet a string of victories, but its conspicuous unfairness may hurt your pride. Completing each quest rewards you with some experience points, and when your experience points fill the progress bar at the bottom, you level up, unlocking new equipments and upgrades along with some other buffs for you. You also get pets and mounts over time to accompany you everywhere in the game’s world.
When you are tired of zipping alone to finish all kinds of quests, many of which could turn out little more than a natural transition for the game to press on, you actually can find a lot of other more challenging and interesting things if you take a closer look on the a bit clustered interface. The Arena is where you can challenge other players to win honors, fame and EXP. A cooldown ensues after the battle, but it can be bypassed if you are willing to spend some ingots. You may also challenge masters from various Hong Fu sects to win hero medals, Meridian Orb Synth Scroll and more. Apart from all these fighting scenarios, you might also be drawn to its convenient and conducive networking mechanism. You add friends in this game not only to chew the fat, vent your gripes, voice questions, get married and exchange gifts etc, but also to claim free bonuses. To improve your avatar’s attributes, you may find the Meridians very useful. There are altogether six of them corresponding to different attributes, but they all require you to input a certain number of Meridian orbs, which can be obtained through synthesis. All the rewards, bonuses, honors, and fame etc allow you to ramble in the a huge sea of luring items which are available in the shop to give you additional teeth in battles.
In a world, Yitien is a great game with nice audiovisual effects, accessible gameplay, absorbing storytelling, only marred a little by lukewarm turn-based actions.
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