Miniview: Dino-RPG (Browser)

Dino-RPG

I love:
…interaction-void battles. They’re simplistic – you always know what attack your dino is going to do next, if you can remember the highest-strength to lowest-strength order of its elemental attacks – but they’re just nice to watch.

I like:
…the art. It’s cartoony, yes, but it looks like Pokemon bred with Jade Cocoon; there are races of monsters, and then there are monsters within the races that focus on different elements, and as such have different appearances. The map isn’t bad, either; visitable locations are obvious, even if the routes between locations aren’t always what you expect.

I loathe:
…the slow-as-molasses and/or expensive recovery of HP. Okay. My one dino has 100 HP maximum. It is currently at 10 HP. Recovering to maximum without spending extra gold requires doing nothing for ninety hours. Because you only recover one point an hour. As for the ‘expensive’ part, you get around… 200 to 300 gold for a fight, and healing items cost 700 gold minimum… which gets you 10 HP, and you probably took damage in that fight, too. Apparently eventually you can find an item that lets you recover 5HP at midnight in a specific location. Wow. [/sarcasm]
…the inherent slowness of the game in general, come to think of it. Sure, you could buy extra dinos – at between 16000 and 20000 gold – to direct around, but it’s still only one action – one fight, one movement – every… five hours, now, and still ramping up. I think it’s eventually supposed to plateau around one action every twenty-four hours, barring buying an expensive item that gives you one extra action. From here, we leap to…
…how the game is seemingly designed to make you pay real money to get anywhere in any decently-quick length of time. The three ever-present labelled links on the left bar of the UI? The highest one is ‘Get Coins’, which takes you to a screen where you can spend real money. People moaned about how the Zork online game seemed made to take your money, but this one is worse. Zork, at least, grew on me and became soothing, even if I still can’t decipher how your chance of winning is calculated for a fight. Decent online games allow more than a single action a day – Legends of Zork allows 25 to 30 turns, stacking to somewhere around 99 if you don’t spend them. Kingdom of Loathing offers 30 to 50, unspent turns collecting up to 200 total. Billy vs SNAKEMAN depends on your rank, but can give you over 50 if you plan things well, but they don’t rollover. This game gives you one and one only, unless you buy those potions.

Verdict:
…meh. Initially promising in concept, but the incredibly-low limit on how many things you can do in the day is a real turn-off. Nice art will never save you from that. Go play Jade Cocoon, Azure Dreams or absolutely any other monster-raising game instead; nice art and good gameplay.

1 Comment

  1. Den said,

    May 2, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    You’re right, the game is rather unfair and really difficult.
    Turn system can take hours and all items are really expensive.


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