Huzzah! Zenonia is back!
Yes, Zenonia has made a triumphant return with a fancy 'S' in the title. That's not all that's changed though - it's now a fully-fledged MMO instead of a JRPG.
Wait, so all those NPCs I saw running around in circles are actually players?
Indeed - at least when you're in the town centre, doing raids, or fighting in the arena. When you take on a quest you're sent into your own instance where your only company is a bunch of nasty monsters.
So it's not really anything like the old Zenonias then?
Well, it's best to think of it as a streamlined Zenonia. No, there isn't a massive world to explore like before and you'll spend most of your time in randomised instances, but the main bulk of the experience is still combat and - get this - it's still an awful lot of fun.
Okay, well that's something at least. Do I still get to upgrade my character?
Absolutely - that all makes a return from the older games. You'll still have to increase your stats and figure out a build - as well as unlock new passive and active skills when you level up. There's not an awful lot of depth, but there's enough here to keep you interested.
Right, okay. So it's just fun instanced combat and character upgrades?
Yeah, for the most part. You've got PvP arenas to battle in for rewards and co-operative raids where you take on a much tougher boss monster with three other players for a massive reward. That's pretty fun.
What are these rewards you speak of?
Better gear for the most part. The gear system is a bit like Diablo - you're constantly picking up new stuff which you can either equip, sell, or break down into parts. You can also use it to upgrade existing gear to make it even better.
That's a lot of upgrades.
Well, that's what you're playing Zenonia S for, really. If you want to get the most out of it you're going to need to be motivated to build a really powerful character. The environments aren't particularly interesting to explore and you can automate combat to speed through levels - it's not particularly difficult.
So you wouldn't recommend it then?
If you're looking for a Zenonia, Diablo, or an MMO fix I'd absolutely recommend it. There's enough here to keep loot-gatherers and power-levellers busy for a good while. I just couldn't recommend it to JRPG fans or anyone else really as there's not a lot here to hold your interest outside of the combat and upgrade system.