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Mabinogi Online Fantasy Adventure MMORPG Review

by: William Usher ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

A complete breakdown, dissection and review of the Celtic based MMORPG from Nexon.

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    What Is Mabinogi?

    Paladins on guard Originally, Mabinogi is a series of eleven Celtic mythology tales that tell the story of heroic adventures throughout the land. The tales were written back in the 13th century, and Nexon decided to bring these stories back, by turning them into a MMORPG.

    Mabinogi Online is a free to play MMO that stays pretty close to the original Celtic stories, but tells a new story of Three Heroes that go on a quest to save the Goddess Morrighan. However things don’t go exactly how they had planned and they soon find that saving Morrighan is a lot more difficult then they had originally planned.

    Your character ends up being sucked into the whole mess by learning the story of the Three Heroes, by playing through flashback dungeons, and you eventually end up having to help save the world, save the Goddess, and help stop the evil Fomors from invading the land. The main storyline quests are broken down into parts called “Generation quests”. Unlike other MMO games, Mabinogi’s game play is actually story driven, so it helps make the game a whole lot more fun because you don’t have to rely on level grinding to get stronger and progress through the game.

    Mabinogi also has a unique rebirth and ageing system that allows players to turn back into a child and resets the character's current level back to level 1. Every Saturday (in real life) the player's character will gain one year to their age, until they reach 20 years old. The good thing about this is that the character will keep all their skills, titles and total power level, allowing old characters to level up as fast as a new player, but have the strength of a level 100 player. Players will also gain more ability points as a child, allowing them to upgrade their skills faster with the extra points. Find out more in this Mabinogi Online review.

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    Graphics And Sound

    Creating a character A boss dragon Some of the graphics and music is actually really nice, but other things sound and look like they came straight out of a 1995 classic PC title. I’m not sure if this was done on purpose to give the game a more cartoon like feel, or if it was just poorly put together.

    When I say poorly put together, I mean some of the textures literally look like they were drawn in window’s Paint. They will have two black dots for eyes, and a simple black line for a mouth. And when it comes to the music often times I will find myself turning the sound down, or even turning it off because the music sounds like it came from a NES game like Donkey kong.

    The only reason the game’s graphics and sound didn’t get a lower rating is because some of the graphics and environments aren’t all that bad and some things are even quite impressive to look at. The Dragon’s and flying pets are extremely fun to watch soaring through the skies, especially when you are on a flying mount and you soar over a waterfall or watch the wild animals below run through the fields of Iria.

    And the game’s storyline cut scenes are very well done and are highly entertaining to watch. But I’m giving you a fair warning, if you want to play a MMO game with high quality and realistic sound and graphics, then this definitely isn’t one of them. You'll have to look to Mortal Online for that.

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    A raid party having a camp fire I would like to point out that this game is catered towards young kids, and some of the dungeons require a lot of teamwork, tactics, and patience. Young kids and patience do not go hand in hand. Often times I found myself getting frustrated trying to get the kids to gather around to listen and stick to a certain plan so that we could get through a advanced dungeon without dying, and some of these dungeons can literally go on for about 2 hours or more if not done correctly. A lot of the time we would all die and have to redo the dungeon at another time because no one would stick together and follow orders. I also found that because of the free rebirth system many players are extremely high in level, and feel that they can run off on their own to handle the monsters by themselves, and because of this their overconfidence gets the whole team killed because the dungeons were not made to be soloed. Leeroy Jenkins would fit right in with many of the players in the game.

    If you are an older player that likes strategy and teamwork in MMO games, then this will be perfect for you. But I am warning you that the young kids may make things more difficult because they don’t follow orders. If you can get your friends to join you and stick to your plan, or find a good guild to help you out, then you will see just how much the combat and teamwork system shines compared to other MMO games.

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    Mabinogi uses a unique combat and PVP system that makes the game more strategy based, rather then the standard “skill spamming” or “hack and slash” that you often see in other MMO games, such as Vindictus or Dynasty Warriors Online. The game gives you four basic skills to start with.

    Battling a boss 1. “Defend” to block normal and windmill attacks,

    2. “Smash” to break the defend skill and do high damage,

    3. “Windmill” to stop counter attacks and hit multiple enemies,

    4. “Counter” to stop normal attacks and smash attacks.

    Players then have their basic combo moves to deal out quick damage to monsters and other players. There are also other weapons skills that you will gain as you progress through the game, such as archery, or alchemy based attacks.

    The combo system is unique because it is based on the timing of how fast, or slow you click your mouse. Depending on the weapon you use you can either do up to two hit combos with heavy weapons, or a max of three hit combos with normal or light weapons. Players can also choose to learn magic, or other more advance skills by doing quest or buying them from NPCs. Players can also choose to dual wield weapons to do a bit more damage to their enemies and do up to 6 hit combos.

    The game offers players “transformation” skills as well, by completing special quest in game. Humans can turn into Paladins or Dark Knights, and the Elves and Giants get the “Falcon and Beast” mode transformations.

    When you transform, it will greatly increase your strength and defense, and even adds a few more skills for combat.

    When teaming, players will find the in game “party board” system very helpful for finding others players to assist you when hunting monsters, and makes difficult dungeons extremely fun and easy to play through. The game encourages players from the start to have large parties when fighting monsters and doing dungeons, because it makes leveling and combat a whole lot easier.

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    Cash Shop And Player Customization

    Cash shop pets The cash shop has a large variety of items to choose from; ranging from player customization cards, to pets, to premium services. Many people will say that they don’t like free to play games because in order to enjoy the game you have to pay in the cash shop. But with Mabinogi, it has items that players will actually want to buy. The game has a large variety of pets to choose from, which can assist you in combat, and that you can also mount to help make traveling a lot faster. The pets range from normal running pets like cats, dogs and horses, to flying animals, to odd things like flying carpets and brooms. You can even customize the AI so that they battle to your own playing style.

    Riding a horse The Housing system that was mentioned from earlier is also a cash shop item, amongst many other things.

    Players can choose to rebirth for free at the age of twenty years old, or you can buy a rebirth card. Rebirth cards give players more choices for faces, hair styles and colors, and some special ones even give more clothing features. You will also receive a color dye to change the color of your clothing in game. When it comes to player customization, you will find that there are a whole lot of items to choose from. It’s rare that you will find two people that look alike. People, who choose to play this game and stick around, will find that the cash shop is actually something worth investing in. And as a bonus note, all of the story content is completely free to play, so you don’t have to pay money to access the story mode or run any of the dungeons.

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    Standing in town Overall, the gameplay and mechanics for this game is one of the best when it comes to MMOs. If you’re looking more for a hack and slash, or skill spamming game, then steer clear from this game because you may find the combat confusing and a bit hard to get used to because it’s not like many other games, instead try checking out the brutal physics-based MMO Vindictus. In addition to this, a fast internet connection is a must; otherwise you will literally not be able to hit a thing.

    As for new players, if you’re not used to games offering a large variety of content you may find yourself getting overwhelmed a bit by the vast amount of all the things the game has to offer for when you first start out. The life skills can be a bit tedious when gathering all the supplies you need, but it is a good alternative when you don’t feel like killing. And if you can’t pull together a good team that works well together, then dungeons can go on for hours.

    But all in all, you will find yourself largely entertained by the Generation quests, character customization, the pet and housing system, and the game’s unique player aging system. There are many other things that the game has to offer that would take hours to name in this review, but I think you have a basic idea of what the game has to offer. The game developers are always adding new game content like: skiing, capture the flag, or even new skills and dungeons to keep things fresh and fun.

    The game may be a bit old, and some of the graphics may look a bit dated, but when it comes to gameplay and fun factor, Mabinogi Online can still stand up with some of the best MMO games out there.