La Tale Village

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La Tale – Before You Play Breakdown Review

La Tale is side scrolling action RPG for the PC that borrows a lot of elements from old style platform games and beat them ups.  As you play, you will unleash combo-attacks on enemies to earn XP and items. Although some would say that there are more better, more popular options, La Tale can still offer a few hours of fairly fun gameplay.

 

Highlights

  • Easy to play – novice friendly – everything sign-posted easily.
  • Clear and accessible quest log so if you do get lost you know where to go.
  • Fast paced side scrolling button mashing action.
  • Can level up and customize your character.
  • Variety of weapons for each class.
  • Comic style dialogues.
  • The game is free to download and play but has pay features the restrict freedom.
  • There are optional scenario quests which offer a refreshing break from normal play.

Character Customization

The customization of the characters is more limited than other entries like Maple Story but there is still a huge variety of options available.  There are no factions related to the class and all characters start from a common start point limiting re-play value.   The below video will give you a quick overview of the character customization available:

 

Story

I was unable to find much of a plot or premise to this game as you play.  After two hours of gameplay I am still clueless about who I am and what I am doing in this world. If there is an overarching evil that I am fighting, then it hasn’t made an appearance yet.  I am playing on the assumption that I just like killing forest creatures and have sought employment to satisfy my urges.

What story there is, is told through on screen dialogue.  The dialogue is presented through a stylish on screen comic so possibly the wordiness of it threw me off from the story in general as you have to take the time to carefully read it. Either way, the story seemed to have little to do with the actual gameplay.

Gameplay

The controls in La Tale will take some getting used to. Instead of the space bar to jump, for example, you will be pressing C or having to double tap a direction key in order to run. Although the controls are slightly different than normal, they are not that complex and getting the hang of them did not take that long.

The battling system is a side scrolling action fighter.  You are limiting to two attacks and there are no active powers that you can use. You are dropped in to the game without any weapons and face the quests with fists and foot alone.  The enemies drop weapons and armor frequently, so you won’t be unarmed for long however you will only be able to use items that pertain to your class.  I got continuously more frustrated as I got an array of Katana’s I couldn’t use, before I got a Great-Sword that I could.  Although this can make it tiring to actually get gear you can use it also adds an element of reality to the game as you rewards are more elusive than in other MMORPGs. Here’s a sneak peek at the action: –

 

As you can most probably tell from the above video the weapons my character can wield had a unique feel.  The Great-Sword always makes my character feel slightly off-balance.  My attacks either drag me forward into the enemies or pushing me backwards away from them.  The spear that I was also able to use was almost useless at close quarters and is very slow but hits a greater area so works better from a distance.

Gameplay progression is driven forward through a series of elimination and collection quests.  You receive the request in one town and have to progress to the next to fulfill them, where someone else will give you the rewards and new batch of requests.  All quests are easily completed on the journey to the next town.  Due to the simplicity and lack of challenge I found the quests easy and repetitive.

At the start of the game I was given an egg for a pet, that will hatch in six days.  This may add more options and versatile around the combat style of gameplay.

The maps themselves offer little to no surprises – the only boss-like creature I have encountered so far was a King Goblin who was easy to defeat.

 

I have found a scenario quest which does offer a better back story than the progression quests.  I have to help a spirit bound to a scroll return to her master. This mission also told me that by completing it I would learn more about Iris, whoever that is.  Why I would need this knowledge is a big question mark however these could provide a interesting distraction away from the main progression quests.

I did have an invitation to join a quiz but it froze when I opened it and couldn’t take part.  I was also given a book that allowed me to learn a lot of trade skills.  The extensive menu list makes it seem like there are random interactions outside of combat to keep you interested.

Graphics

Graphics are about average for a free MMORPG.

I played the game through a web browser and was not able to maximize or full screen it, this could be the game itself or somply something I was unable to figure out or do..  I found this slightly annoying as I prefer the full screen experience in my gameplay.

The character animations were great, and my character is customized with equipment that I was able to acquire as I played and there are some pretty unique and interesting monsters throughout the game.

Backgrounds were very well drawn but largely uninspired.  When they did embellish the background, it was enough of an oddity to make me think there was a purpose too it. On one map, there was a cannon pointing upwards.  I became convinced it was interactive somehow and spent ten minutes trying to jump in it, detonate it, move it to no avail.

The comic dialogues were also a fantastic embellishment to give some depth to the game.

Economy

The biggest issue I have encountered with the pay features are the use of storage spaces.  Inventory and storage merchants have very limit space for you to use and you have to pay to upgrade your 20 slots to 200.  This becomes very frustrating early on due to the amount of drops and drop collection requests.  It gets to the point where you can’t keep recipe items due to the small levels of space.   It is a fantastically annoying way to try and get people to invest.  It also leads to the impression it will get increasingly more pay to play as you progress.

Community

The community was very quiet.  I hardly saw anyone out on the fields and maps. This is most probably due to the me being low level more than anything. The last town seemed to be getting busier with a few players dropping in a visiting the quest givers.

Conclusion

A fun mindless button mashing game was the conclusion I was left with at the end of playing La Tale.   Basic gameplay, decent graphics, somewhat interesting monsters, various classes, a story that feels nonexistent during gameplay left me with a few hours of enjoyment but little change of addiction.

There are also a lot of non-combat play options as well, such as crafting, that may add more interesting elements to the game that I did not get into.

 

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