Free Cel-Shaded MMORPG: Dream of Mirror Online Review

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Dream of Mirror is a Casual Affair

Have you been getting or are you tired of the MMORPG genre? Are you sick of playing free MMOs only to be overshadowed by other players who pay for powerful items and equipment? Do you enjoy spending endless hours playing MMORPGs? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Dream of Mirror Online is probably not the game for you.

On the other hand, if you play free MMOs to pass the time, or if you play them to make new friends and feel a sense of community, then chances are Dream of Mirror Online is right up your alley.

Dream of Mirror Online (otherwise known as DOMO) is Aeria Online’s sole cute, casual-style MMORPG. Developed in China, DOMO doesn’t deviate much from the other online games that come out of China or South Korean, but it has some unique graphical, gameplay, and character customization options that can make it worth a try for any regular free MMORPG player, if just for a little while.

Backstory and Lore in Dream of Mirror Online (3 out of 5)

The official backstory that sets up the world of DOMO is:

Based on ancient Chinese mythology, the world of Dream of Mirror Online exists as an alternate reality inside the “Kunlun Mirror,” a sacred artifact. According to the legends, the world we know was born from the Kunlun Mirror, and the mirror contains the power to destroy the world as well.

The story itself in DOMO doesn’t really stand out, though that’s not a surprise: The real world is in turmoil and all the catastrophes and maliciousness in reality are making monsters appear in the Kunlun Mirror World, a world appropriately named as the players are supposed to be people in real life who got transported into mirrors to help save the Kunlun World. Still with me? It gets a little better, I promise.

What’s notable is not the story, but how unfolds during gameplay. While doing certain quests, the game gives you a custom cutscene with what’s happening being told directly to your character. It gives a game a more personal feel than most MMORPGs, which usually have their stories tacked on and the quests have little or nothing to do with the story at all. Dream of Mirror is plagued with “go here, kill X amount of that” quests, but certain quests just feel more epic than others. Even if you’re really just going underground to kill a bunch of slimes.

Combat in Dream of Mirror Online (4 out of 5)

Combat is simple click-to-attack, push a number to use skills or spells style. The game does have a combo system, where while you’re attacking the combo bar goes rises. When it’s full you can use your class’s combo attack, which is substantially stronger than your regular attack. The combo system isn’t very deep, to be sure. It just gives a mana-free strong attack to keep things interesting amidst clicking and occasional number pushing.

So what makes Dream of Mirror Online above the more free MMORPGs out there?

Character Customization Options in DOMO Are Endless

DOMO has 13 completely unique job classes, with a 14th on the way. That’s quite a bit more than the usual 3 to 7 that most MMORPGs host. The large amount of job classes isn’t what makes DOMO special, though that is pretty nice. It’s the fact that you are free to job change and retain skills from other classes after you switch, so you can have a medley of skills to play your character the way you want to. At level 10 you get to pick your initial class, and at level 15 plus you can change to other classes to customize yourself. It’s highly rewarding to be able to tank and heal yourself when you need to.

Since there are so many ways to customize your character’s skills, every character is unique. Moreover, when you change classes you are moved back to level 10, though you keep the skills from class you just left. If you want to go back to being a high level, you can switch at any time.

Movement in DOMO (3 out of 5)

Anyone who hates the click to move systems that several MMOs use will be pleasantly surprised to know that movement in DOMO is WASD controlled with mouse camera movement. The downside to this is that moving feels a little clunky and takes some time to get get comfortable with, even if you’ve used to WASD control schemes.

Graphics in Dream of Mirror Online (3 out of 5)

Another plus to DOMO is the cel-shaded graphics, which fit the theme of the game very well and look unlike any other MMO out there. The cel-shading looks really impressive for a free game, though it’s mostly employed to cover up the lackluster character models and sometimes blurry textures. The cel-shading doesn’t fix the low-res problem, but it does make it less noticeable and gives the whole world a playful feel.

Dream of Mirror Online Community (4 out of 5)

As with most cute MMOs, the game attracts a lot of younger players and more friendly adult players than most darker-themed games. If you ask a question, you will probably get an answer from a player eager to help. The combat after level 15 or so is very party-based. Since there are others out there who needs to get the quests done as well, getting a party is very easy, unlike several other MMORPGs I’ve played.

Less Focus On Reaching Level Cap

Normally if an MMO set you back however many levels for any goal it would inspire a lot of complaints, but due to the lack of high-end content seems like less of a hindrance because it actually gives you more to do, even if that “more” consists of things you’ve already done at least once. Unlike many subscription based MMOs out there, the obsession with “end game” is not at the forefront.

Other Noteworthy Features

It is important to note a few other core features of the game that are important to some players.

Crafting: DOMO has a very robust and detailed crafting system: “Players can choose from among 6 skills: meditation, mining, animal herding, farming, fishing, and forestry - to gather the raw materials necessary to make brand-new weapons and armor with the power of alchemy."

Social bonds: There are a number of social relationships you can form with other players that unlock additional features: “Players can develop special bonds with others, such as master/disciple, lovers and friends, which confer special abilities when they fight together in battle!"

Pet System: If you enjoy pet features in MMOs, DOMO has a very developed and varied pet system. “Players have the ability to nurture and earn the loyalty of various pets. A loyal pet can be your pride and joy, fun to show off in town and a valuable partner in battle. They can even save your life sometimes!"

The Bottom Line on DOMO (4 out of 5)

Overall Dream of Mirror is a little more fun than your average free MMORPG fare. The graphics are very fitting to the theme of the game, the player base is very nice, and there are more than enough character builds to keep you busy. It is definitely a game you can put a few hours a week into, but past that the entertainment value is pretty limited.

DOMO’s player base is fairly dedicated and the forums are bustling. If you’re more in the market for an interactive community than a game, then give Dream of Mirror Online some serious consideration. It won’t satisfy those hardcore MMO gamers out there, but it is perfect for those who just want some casual entertainment.