Game Reviews, MMOs

Aion Closed Beta #5

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This closed beta has brought some changes that everyone was pretty excited about, including:

  • New Sound files have been added
    • NPCs should now have a greet and farewell voice
    • Cutscenes will now have voice
    • Race Prologues are now available when you create a new character for Elyos and Asmodian
    • Tutorial videos are now available in game via the help menu
    • Player voices are now available at character creation
    • System voices are now available

Your characters’ voice emotes are still in their original language, which is sort of endearing and sort of not since my female characters always sound like hentai schoolgirls being goosed by a tentacle.

The NPC voices are homogeneous and a bit bland, which I suppose makes sense if everyone is the same race. The non-human NPCs have a bit more character, but overall everyone sounds as though they are voiced by voiceover artists (the people who do radio commercials) rather than by actors. But I don’t want to compare it to games like Warhammer and Warcraft, who have very distinct and stylised racial characteristics.

The introductory cutscenes after character creation are beautiful (aside from some initial stuttering on both)…but why, oh why, didn’t they use your own character in them?  One of the things I loved when I started playing Aion was the first cinematic-type cutscene where you realise that your own characte is featured. Why not use the character that you created, and have an initial “oh my god, that’s so cool” moment? They sort of did in Conan, but it was boring and had less impact.

For some reason, I found more bugged quests and items this time around, and my characters have a disconcerting habit of jerking forwards or backwards a few feet to match up to where the server thinks they are. No queues to get in though, and that was very nice.

I almost didn’t play this time, but I did want to write about the new additions. I started a very pretty-boy mage, since I hadn’t tried a Spiritmaster yet, and finally got immersed and began having fun with him.

It seems I can have fun playing male characters if they’re pretty enough.  :)  I simply just can’t play the muscle-bound, snarling males in Warcraft who just look as though they’re bound up and in need of a really good poo. Give me pretty, sensitive boys every time.

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