The tradition remains alive. I have now had the pleasure of reviewing all three of GAMEVIL’s Zenonia games!
If you haven’t been following the series, Zenonia is a Zelda-like RPG that started on a Korean cell phone, but was ported over to the iPhone not that long ago. Its had such great success that it is now on its second sequel. No one could be more happy about that than me.
In this new version, you play as Chael, son of Regret (the hero from part one). He tells you of adventures past, both his and the group of four from the last game. It really ties the story together well. Unlike the last game, where your choice of character determined your weapon, Chael can use any of four weapons of your choosing, but once you pick, he’s stuck with it. Your options are the broadsword (strong, but slow), daggers (fast, but weak), magic (works from a distance, but slow), and electricity (works from a distance, fast, but weak). They’re essentially the same weapons from the previous Zenonia game, but the rifle was replaced with electricity as it was WAY too powerful (knocked back enemies so you never got hit). On the last game, I abused the awesome gun ability with Ecne, so I chose the electricity for this play-through.
Combat in Zenonia 3 plays out in real time. You move around a pseudo-3D map (2D, but with differing levels) with an overhead view. Enemies will show an exclamation mark when they see you and begin to pursue you, and you can button mash to attack. You also have a row of slots on the bottom of the screen to store items and special moves to use with a single tap. This third outing also has a nifty switch button that will rotate the menu on the bottom quickly to a second row of options. The animation is purposely clunky (a remnant of the first game in the series) which becomes quite endearing as you get into things. The controls are nice and smooth and extremely comfortable for a touch screen.
One of my absolute favorite things about the Zenonia series is the dialogue. This game does not take itself seriously, and it’s happy to break down the third wall frequently. I’ve always hated RPGs that can’t take a step back and laugh at themselves, or ones that try to hide instructions for the controller in vague terms in an attempt not to pull you out of the setting, but always do. You won’t find any pretentious crap in Zenonia 3. You’re going to get very unique humor, and characters talking about the fact they’re NPCs. It’s a very good way to ensure that you want to speak to everyone in the game as there’s very little, “I like gardening” moments.
The game has a very good experience system that lets you level up, get individual skills, special attacks and abilities, and level up your fairy who can learn neat tricks. Like the previous titles in the series, you can gain experience by grinding through baddies, or by taking on random quests from the people you meet. As well as customizing through the leveling system, you can also customize Chael with the items you buy. Whatever you have equipped will actually change his appearance.
I should also mention that Zenonia 3 features online battling with other players, which will randomly match you against people at the same level as you. It doesn’t do very much for you, but it can be a fun way to blow off steam if you’re stuck in the game somewhere.
If you’re even slightly a fan of RPGs, ZenoniaZenonia is a series that you can’t afford to skip. As far as the iPhone’s selection of RPGs goes, I honestly feel ZenoniaZenonia is at the top of the pack. Now for some great news…if you act quickly, for a limited time you can grab all three titles in the Zenonia series for just 99¢ each (saving you over $5 on the set)!