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2020 is Looking Good for MMOs and MMORPGs..

2020 is Looking Good for MMOs and MMORPGs..

Alright, so some of you – you guys know who you are, don’t pretend you don’t – doubted me when I mentioned last month that 2020 was going to be pretty good year for MMORPGs. I think it’s accurate to say that 2019 sucked, seriously, it’s okay to admit it.
We had games like DK Online, Guardians of Ember, Warlords Awakening.. games that had all launched in the past and failed, relaunched to attempt to milk gullible gamers by selling them Founder’s Packs, having pay to win cash shops, or.. worse.
Funny enough, all of those games have shut down or are currently in the process of shutting down, which goes to say something about their longevity.
Then we had the cancellation of several highly anticipated titles like Peria Chronicles, Dragon Hound, Monster Hunter Online and Dragons Dogma Online.
Lost Ark likely won’t be releasing in the West this year.. or the forseeable future apparently. Ashes of Creation released their Apocalypse Battle Royale into Early Access and has like 10 people playing it, and.. yeah, it was a crappy year. A real crappy year.
2020 though. This year looks significantly more positive in terms of releases. And I know people say that about each year. “Next year will be different!” So allow me to show you why this year looks so promising to me..

Phantasy Star Online 2 just held their very first closed beta test for the official English version of the game, after almost a decade of waiting. Granted, this was for the Xbox One version – the PC version and further, the remaining console versions of the game will release over the course of the next year.
Blue Protocol has a confirmed English release.. essentially. Bandai Namco are not only looking for staff to overlook the localization of the game, but they also recently registered the Blue Protocol trademark in North America and Europe. The game doesn’t currently have a confirmed release date, but they’re expecting to release it within Japan this year.
Project TL has been confirmed by NCSoft to be releasing within South Korea this year. While this isn’t a confirmation that we’ll be getting an English localized version any time soon, it’s promising to know they’re finally approaching development completion. Plus.. worst case scenario, we’ll be able to play via VPN.
Pearl Abyss went on to reveal 4 brand new upcoming games, 2 of which are MMORPGs. Or, kinda MMORPGs. DokeV is a monster-collecting MMO like Temtem, but without the whole “gym” or “dojo leader” dynamic, and Crimson Desert is a cross between a single-player game and an MMORPG, with Pearl Abyss stating that the game will have traditional MMORPG features.
Gran Saga is one of two brand new cross-platform Anime MMORPGs along with Project S being developed by NPIXEL, a new South Korean developer that has obtained tens of millions of dollars of funding to produce games en masse.
Temtem launched into Early Access last month and to quite the success. As of this minute, the game has upwards of 20,000 players playing concurrently.. which a month later, is pretty damn good. It is expected to remain in Early Access for approximately a year before fully launching.
Genshin Impact – while now confirmed to not be an MMORPG, but a large, open-world 4-player cooperative multiplayer Anime RPG is having its closed beta in the first quarter of this year, with a release date expected later this year.
New World, the Amazon-funded MMO.. kinda MMORPG? Still not entirely certain what to label this as, is holding a closed beta test in April, with the game fully launching in May 2020. That’s right around the corner!
Corepunk is a brand new MMORPG announced in.. December 2019 I believe? The game is essentially going to be Path of Exile or Diablo.. if they were full-MMORPGs. The game is in the process of undergoing internal alpha testing, but they are looking to have closed beta tests for the game available later in the year.
Ascent: Infinite Realm has undergone beta testing in several countries by this point, but players have been wondering when it’s going to show its face in the West? Well.. closed beta testing in North America looks to be happening this year, so.. I guess stay tuned for a more specific update in the coming months!
I’d speak a little more about indie MMOs but honestly.. the ones I’ve been following, Pantheon, Crowfall, Camelot Unchained, Ashes of Creation, Chronicles of Elyria.. There have just been repeated setbacks, delays, and.. I dunno. I feel like we won’t really be seeing much from them this year.
However, I’m looking forward to a few games – non MMO games more specifically, and I know a lotta you are as well. This year isn’t just looking promising for MMOs!
League of Maidens should be holding beta tests this year. When specifically is unconfirmed, but with how much progress has been made.. it’ll hopefully be sooner rather than later.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is probably the RPG most of you are looking forward to. It’s perhaps the most anticipated RPG of the year, maybe of the last few years. Square pushed the release date back until April 10th, but if that makes for a more polished experience.. I’m all for it. And seeing Tifa in all her HD glory.. worth for that alone.
Tales of Arise looks like it could be the best Tales of game since Vesperia. I was a huge fan of Phantasia, Symphonia and Vesperia.. with other titles being great as well, but Arise looks incredible. It doesn’t have an official date confirmed for its release, but it will be available in 2020 nonetheless!
Project Sakura Wars released in December in Japan, but will be available internationally this year. I’ve never played a Sakura Wars game before, but the trailer has me incredibly hyped to try this out as my first.
Ghost of Tsushima is essentially if Assassins Creed were set in feudal Japan… and my god, my body is ready for this. It doesn’t have an exact date specified for release, but it is confirmed for 2020.
Granblue Fantasy Relink – while again, it doesn’t have a specific release date mentioned, is going to be available in 2020. If you’re not hyped for this one.. you should watch the trailer, because you should be.
Trials of Mana is a remake of the Seiken Densetsu 3 Mana game released back in 1995. It’s a completely overhauled title with voice acting, new features, and better yet is releasing on April 24th!
While almost all of the aforementioned games are RPGs.. I feel as though that’s a genre we most closely relate to as MMORPG players.
While there are no doubt going to be some great FPS or strategy games releasing this year, I’ve always found myself enjoying RPGs, and more specifically, JRPGs like the Tales of games, Final Fantasy games, Legend of Dragoon, Suikoden games…
You could almost go out on a limb here and say that 2020 might be my favorite year in recent memory. There are so many good games, both MMO and non-MMO coming out that I almost don’t think I’ll have the time to dedicate to them.
However, that is why after all you buy what you like.. and put them away until you’re ready to play them, right?
While I’m sure that, at least pertaining to the MMOs, some of them will likely stand the test of time and largely appeal to the masses, I’m sure some will also fail to take off – or employ poor monetization methods that force the game to buckle under the pressure of negative player feedback and reception.
Hopefully this year provides some form of excitement for you guys. I’m looking forward to quite a bit – I’m quite an Anime fan, honestly, and I love RPGs and JRPGs specifically. So the combination of so many Anime-inspired MMOs and JRPGs has my appetite sufficiently whet.
But I know Anime isn’t everyone’s cup of tea so some of you might not be interested in those. Thus I pose a question to all of you: Regardless of this list of games that I’m excited for, what games, specifically, are you excited for?
What MMOs, what non-MMOs are you looking forward to releasing this year? Not next year – with a confirmed release date this year. That way maybe I can take a look at them, as there are still plenty of games I’ve missed.
And that’s pretty much everything I wanted to talk about. I just wanted to make kind of like a.. list of games that I was excited for in 2020. I just wanted to show you all that 2020 is going to be a pretty decent year in terms of game releases, MMO and non-MMO alike. So there’s something to hope for, something to be excited for.
I know that even with the revelation that this year looks solid enough there will be people that somehow find fault with or find reason to think this year’ll suck but hey, cheer up. I’m sure there’s something here that’ll interest you.

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5 Upcoming Anime MMORPGs You Absolutely NEED To Play In 2020 And Beyond!

5 Upcoming Anime MMORPGs You Absolutely NEED To Play In 2020 And Beyond!

2020 is turning out to be an incredibly solid year for Anime MMORPGs. We’ve had multiple Anime MMO announcements and confirmations that have everyone probably more excited than they have been in recent memory.
The last time we were excited about anything Anime related was when we thought KurtzPel was gonna be an MMO, and those hopes were crushed almost as fast as the the content was consumed.
So I thought it’d be a good idea to do a video listing the Anime MMOs slated for release in 2020 and beyond – a follow-up to my last video back in January 2018 that garnered over 700,000 views.

Blue Protocol

Blue Protocol is a beautiful, incredibly high quality AAA Japanese MMORPG being developed by Bandai Namco. It could potentially be the the biggest Anime MMO ever. No joke. For their Alpha test, they had over 5 million people register.
That was 8 months ago. The game has since exploded in popularity, and it’s likely there will be millions more interested in the Closed Beta.
The game utilizes a beautiful cel-shaded graphical style, and offers players large, but segregated zones to explore. These zones are not in any way instanced from other players, meaning you’re capable of not only seeing, but also partying and engaging in content with hundreds of other people.
The world functions like Final Fantasy XIV or Blade & Soul. Combat is free-aim action, meaning there is no tab-targeting. However, there is the ability to enable a lock-on function, which is primarily utilized by the Mage and Archer if I recall correctly.
This is toggleable, and is not at all required, but it seems to make general combat easier, while hitting critical hits and weak points is easier when you have the freedom to aim on your own.
There’s a pretty good character creation system available, with a lot of customization provided, however, I have yet to see the kind of in-game customization options like outfits or even gear variance.
PvP will be present in the form of instanced arenas, with no open-world PvP planned.
The game is still in development in Japan right now, with the first official Closed Beta being held in March 2020. Bandai Namco have stated that they’re looking to release the game this year in Japan, and it will likely have no IP blocks in place preventing us Westerner’s from playing it.
While the English localized version is unlikely this year, the devs are definitely hinting at looking to release it as soon as its Japanese version is complete. The game is also expected to be free-to-play.

Phantasy Star Online 2

Phantasy Star Online 2 just finished its very first closed beta on the Xbox One. There were some hiccups along the way, but ultimately it went over pretty well.
Some people thought that the game was too old to garner interest, yet there were so many people logging in that it completely overloaded the server, and that was just for the Xbox.. I couldn’t imagine if they’d released on PS4 and PC as well.
While the game definitely can look a little dated, especially when comparing it to a game like Blue Protocol, it still has a certain amount of charm to it. Like the aforementioned game, it’s also a AAA Japanese MMORPG, but developed by Sega.
Phantasy Star Online 2 is one of the largest MMOs in Japan, and looks like it’s going to be quite the success when it launches later this year.
The game world is.. semi-instanced. While it functions much like any other hub-based MMO, such as Vindictus, Soul Worker or Neverwinter, where in those titles you’re limited to a few players per party, and cannot see players outside of your party in the field, in PSO2 you can.
See, there are various multi-play areas that allow several groups of people to seamlessly occupy concurrently. This means that you can at times, while out questing, see random other players participating in the same content.
The combat is pure action combat – there is no tab-targeting, however there is a toggleable lock-on feature. Again, this can be utilized by ranged classes, and provides an easier way of engaging enemies.
Interestingly, you have several different weapon slots that you can swap between while out on missions, allowing for players to fill various different roles at any given time.
There’s a fair amount of customization available in terms of character creation, and that’s surprising, considering when the game was released. If the English version retains the outfits from the Japanese version.. the outfits selection, and subsequently the customization overall is going to be incredible.
There’s PvP in the form of the Battle Arena, but no open-world, or instanced-world PvP.
PSO2 is expected to undergo an Open Beta test in the near future, with the game launching onto the Xbox One in Spring this year. The game has both a PC and a PS4 launch scheduled, with the PC launch rolling out later this year. The game will be completely free-to-play.

Gran Saga

Not much is currently known about Gran Saga. It was announced recently by NPIXEL, a South Korean developer who’s experience was in the form of a single mobile game.. albeit that mobile game was highly successful, but you wouldn’t expect their next project to be an MMORPG.
Yet here we are, with NPIXEL developing Gran Saga – a cross-platform MMORPG targeting both mobile and PC devices. This is one of the first MMOs I’ve seen being developed with both platforms in mind, and it’s going to be very interesting seeing where this ultimately ends up leading the market.
Graphically, the game is about what you’d expect from South Korea: It’s very detailed and incredibly flashy.
From what we’ve been told, the game world is expected to be completely open-world. We can see, in the single trailer they’ve released up ’til this point, large, very open areas to explore. However we also see a world map, akin to what you’d find in old Final Fantasy or Tales of JRPGs.
Combat is pure action combat – at least from what the trailer showcased. Since the game is going to be cross-platform compatible with both PCs and Mobile devices, the complexity of the action is likely going to be much more limiting than other games like Blue Protocol or Project BBQ.
Likewise, there will probably be a limited amount of skills bindable to your action bar due to the limitations of mobile devices.
There has been no word on character customization right now, whether or not you’re capable of heavily altering your character, or if it’s something much more basic like hair colors and styles. But being as this is South Korea.. a lack of customization would be unlikely.
It’s unconfirmed if there will be any form of PvP – but it’s unlikely to have open-world PvP judging by the kind of game it is.
Gran Saga is expected to launch a beta test of some kind this year. It’s likely we’ll be able to sign up as we get closer to the release date – even as Westerner’s, but the beta, which is likely going to be a Closed Beta will probably be IP locked.
Like both the previous games, Gran Saga has a very high possibility of being free-to-play.


DokeV is an interesting title. It’s being developed by Pearl Abyss, and is completely different to anything they’ve ever created. But I’m excited – because it’s taking the known Pokemon formula, and adapting it in a way that makes it much more of an open-RPG than Pokemon games usually are.
Little has been revealed other than a single trailer thus far, and thus we’re left mostly speculating.
We haven’t even seen what the game’s going to look like properly in-game with a full gameplay trailer, but nevertheless.. we’re left to assume the graphics won’t be all that different to what’s displayed in the trailer. ’cause why would they be?
When the game was announced, 3 other games were as well, and have all been said to have the same graphics as is present in their trailers, so I believe it’s safe to assume we’ll end up with something similar to what we’re seeing.
According to the official DokeV website, the game is going to be a complete open-world MMO filled with story and monsters to collect.
While the exact combat style is unconfirmed as of this moment, what we can see is that we, the player specifically, do not engage in combat in any capacity. Instead, we send off our monster-slaves to fight in our stead.
Since information is limited, it hasn’t been confirmed how extensive the character creation will be, but considering this is Pearl Abyss.. and judging from the variety in the trailer, it’s probably going to be pretty damn good.
There is no info on PvP right now, but if there is PvP in-game it’ll likely take the form of instanced Pokemon-esque battles.
While there’s no confirmed release date, DokeV is aiming to enter open beta registration this year. The game is expected to be free-to-play and will be available on both PC and Consoles.

Project BBQ

Finally, there’s Project BBQ. I use footage from the Project BBQ trailer every now and then because the combat just looks so damn good. But then.. we only have that one, single trailer. And it’s been a year since Nexon revealed any information on the game.
Yes, Project BBQ is an upcoming MMORPG from Neople and Nexon, the devs behind Dungeon Fighter Online. Actually, the two games share the same world and are connected through various means.
Not much in the way of information has been revealed concerning the game thus far, but from what they stated, the game is supposed to feature a “seamless world” filled with large, open fields to explore along with instanced dungeons.
Graphically, the game is gorgeous. Interestingly, the only content we see seems a little linear, and the zones seem void of any other players but I’m assuming that’s just to show the areas off.
The combat looks like it could give Blue Protocol a run for its money in terms of action combat. You’ll have various different skills and combos to utilize in succession, and will have the ability to dodge and parry, much like Dungeon Fighter Online.
There has been no word at all regarding character creation, or character customization in any form thus far. I don’t believe Dungeon Fighter Online provided much, if any at all in the way of customization so it’ll be interesting to see what Project BBQ offers.
PvP isn’t confirmed right now, but will likely feature instanced arena fights like its predecessor.
The one thing stopping me from being truly excited with Project BBQ is the fact that the game has no release date scheduled, and the Alpha and Beta tests have been repeatedly delayed.
With all of the issues Nexon have been facing lately, it’s not safe to say that the game will be available in some state this year, but then we’re talking about both this and next year, and I believe Nexon aren’t dumb enough to wait yet another year to enter Alpha or Beta testing.
The game is, however, expected to be free-to-play, like all of their games.

And that’s pretty much what we have to look forward to right now. At least in terms of Anime MMOs. I was going to list Genshin Impact and Temtem, but unfortunately Genshin Impact is confirmed to be a multiplayer RPG as opposed to an MMO, and Temtem is already available via Steam.
It’s exciting right now to be a fan of the Anime genre. We have plenty of solid looking titles to hold our attention on the horizon. This might mark the return of popular Anime games, so it’ll definitely be interesting to see where the market goes over the course of the next couple years.

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Skyforge 2020 Impressions

Skyforge 2020 Impressions

So people often ask me what I think of Skyforge. Honestly, I haven’t played nearly as much of it as I probably could have, but the same can be said for the majority of MMOs. These days I just don’t have time to dedicate to more than one or two MMOs at any given time.
But 2020 just started, and I thought it’d be a good opportunity to go back and look at some of the better MMOs out there. So I went ahead and reached out to and asked if they wouldn’t mind essentially sponsoring a late-game look at the game by providing me with a max level character.
That way I can jump right in and talk about the content that I participated in. That way I don’t spend half the video talking about the leveling process.

The reason I wanted to do a video now, specifically, was because a brand new update was just rolled out. I spoke about it in my last Weekly Byte of MMORPG News video, but in essence, it adds new content in the form of Reaper invasions.
The Reapers of Death are monsters resurrected from Thanatos, the God of Death, not to be confused with his cousin, Thanos.
There are various types of Invasions going on at any given time. I think there were about.. 9 or 10 when I was logged in playing earlier. Each invasion varies quite significantly in difficulty – and it’s generally recommended you group up with and furthermore tackle the invasions in a group.
I’m an idiot and wanted to try the content out myself. So I’m sure you can guess what I did first – If you guessed “Stix went to tackle the most difficult content in the game by fighting one of the most powerful Gods in existence.. alone,” then you’d be right.
But I bet none of you thought I’d have the balls to do that. Okay in all honesty, I didn’t even know that was what I clicked. I saw the ship and wanted to see what it was. I got on to the ship and saw my first monster – which had 25G HP.
I have no idea how much HP that is but in the several minutes of fighting it.. it never lost more than .1% – yup, I was that outclassed.
After my repeated failures on Thanatos’ ship, I came to the realization that maybe I just wasn’t supposed to be there.. alone.. with a lack of gear, and only a basic understanding of my class.
I went and participated in other forms of content so I could at least get a better grasp of my class – which I ended up deciding on the dual wielding Slayer by the way, totally my kinda class, but I wanted to keep this mostly centered around the Reaper Invasions, since that’s what the update was about.
I’ll admit, at times the Invasions were incredibly difficult. I died repeatedly – but I know this is partly due to me going into them solo. When Mrs Stix and I did Invasions in the past, or at the very least missions in the past, I’d die but she’d always end up surviving.
But then she always played tank classes while I opted for DPS, because I like killing things. And there are tons of Reaper’s to kill. I’d pull several groups at once and every so often I’d emerge victorious, but man they hit hard.
I didn’t really know what I was expecting. I’m well aware that the combat in Skyforge is quite well done – I’ve never had any issues with it. I feel it’s probably some of the better action combat out there, and my class in specific was a blast to play as.
I’ve played Skyforge in the past, Mrs Stix and I played it last year when we played through another recently released update – the Grovewalker one? Or something akin to that. I just never expected it to be as difficult as it currently is – don’t get me wrong though. Its difficulty is what makes it fun and totally worth doing.
It always sucks to see content that is far too easy to complete.
There seems to be quite a bit of content to do from what I’ve seen later on in the game. While yes, the newest update introduced the Reaper Invasions along with new Seasonal Challenges that included new rewards, that isn’t all there is to the game.
There is a plethora of content to make your way through, 18 pretty unique classes that you can swap between at any time – which is honestly more than I really know what to do with, and.. well I stayed outta the PvP. I had my ass handed to me last time I tried that – my pride is still a little hurt.
The combat is still incredibly fun to play through and graphically – this is probably the best looking Sci-fi MMO I’ve ever played. You really need to get out into the world and begin exploring to appreciate exactly how good it looks.

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Phantasy Star Online 2 2020 First Impressions

Phantasy Star Online 2 2020 First Impressions

Alright, I know a lotta you guys have been waiting patiently for this.. Phantasy Star Online 2 just held their very first Closed Beta test.
Like the vast majority of beta tests – there were issues, but issues that anyone that has played a closed beta would be familiar with.
The general consensus for the beta was that while there was lag, disconnects and downtime, the game is about as exciting as everyone was anticipating. I’ve played the official Japanese version of the game quite extensively, so I know what to expect before the beta test took place but a lot of players didn’t.
And that was where a lot of the fun originated from: A lack of knowledge, people having no idea what was going on, lots of questions being asked and players generally having to learn how to play the game.

From what I witnessed, the beta went more or less as I had expected.
I saw people complaining that the PSO2 team should’ve been aware how many players had signed up for the test period, and thus should’ve taken the necessary precautions to ensure a smooth closed beta. But the goal of a closed beta isn’t to ensure it’s smooth.
See, while yes they probably had the exact number of players that were going to be participating in the beta test, it’s highly likely they didn’t expect the server load to be nearly as high as it was.
This is the case in many MMO launches: You really don’t know the strain of holding that many players, and thus can’t really prepare for it more than what you initially anticipate.
The closed beta test period was extended, and the instances of downtime, lag and disconnects were pretty much resolved. Which is promising news for their upcoming open beta – which yes, is confirmed to be happening. When approximately is unknown, at least as of this video, but it’s unlikely it’ll take place immediately after the closed beta finishes.
Something I noticed, which was kind of a reoccurring theme over on both Reddit and Twitter was that the game seemed a little easy. Fights required little effort and overall provided not much in the way of difficulty – but this is due to the balance changes that were made to classes since that content was originally released.
As you continue through the game things will increase quite rapidly in difficulty, providing much more of a challenge for players.
Also worth noting are certain changes made to the game – changes that were not present in the Japanese version. And I feel like this specifically is something I know a lot of you were waiting for.. the dreaded “censorship.”
So far there are 2 reported instances of alterations to the game. On the one hand, we have the reduced.. I’m just gonna go ahead and refer to it as “jiggle physics.”
There was someone who showed the difference between the bounce on female characters between the Japanese version and the localized English version, however, it’s also been reported that that is a glitch, as opposed to an actual change made to the game.
While I can’t confirm it myself, I would like to let people know that the majority of players on Reddit have been stating it’s a bug. I’m unsure of their source, but I hope that’s the case. The one confirmed alteration to the game has been in the way of height sliders.
They’ve increased the minimum height requirement for characters, essentially making it impossible to make smaller loli characters.
I know this has upset some people as they had intentions of making tiny little loli characters – honestly I wasn’t even aware you could go that small, but this is likely due to the fact that Western audiences, devs and publishers find loli’s highly distasteful.
That’s it though, at least currently. There may be additional changes made to outfits, scenes or other areas of the game but right now it seems like the majority of what’s available in the first batch of levels remained intact.
Overall, I feel like the closed beta was pretty much as successful as it could’ve been. There were a lot of players playing, and a lot of events went on.
When the urgent quests began, everyone would rush to the quest desk to participate – seeing so many players actively playing, actively moving around and actually doing.. stuff, just.. stuff.
Chatting, dancing, even watching the Sonic trailer, or the live concert… it was all very, very cool. Something that I’d forgotten happened in MMOs. While I know this won’t remain, as the novelty of the game will likely wear off, it’s still refreshing to see.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that while yes, initially there was lag, the combat felt as good as I remembered. Fast and very responsive. And the character creator.. seeing so many absurd looking characters was actually pleasant to laugh at.
Overall I feel like when PSO2 finally launches outta beta testing, and further launches onto PC and PS4, it’s really going to shake up the Western MMO market. While yeah, we got Blue Protocol coming, it’s fun to play something that is not only fun and beautiful like PSO2, but also a little silly and just… Iunno, fun? I guess.

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Arknights is a Fun New Tower Defense Mobile RPG

Arknights is a Fun New Tower Defense Mobile Game

Have you ever wanted to be a part of a drug lord’s mafia, do your parents want you to be a doctor, and have you craved to be surrounded by cute anime girls and boys? Well now you too can be in control of your animated medicinal destiny as a pharmaceutical company based in Rhodes Island where you murder countless people that are trying to stop you from solving the world’s infection problem. This game is basically a tower defense RPG with beautiful graphics and a gacha system that was created by Yostar Limited.

You begin by finding yourself in a room with some strange bunny girl telling you that you need to wake up for some lady that needs us. So of course, you are slammed back into your body only to hear the mutterings of what you’d assume were medical staff around you in a hospital, and quite honestly….as a nurse, some of the things this mobile game said just….yeah, from a made up drug and basically hinting that I am experiencing open heart surgery, I don’t really know how my character made it out alive and instantly began fighting. But anyway, here we are, with a case of amnesia and the title Doctor Mrs Stix. It is our duty to gather our operatives and begin trying to fight our way to freedom. 
So as you look at the main screen you’ll notice quite a few things crowding the view. For one, you have your combat, which leads you into various ways of farming supplies or through the main story. Which, by the way, the main story is actually quite cute if you follow it and the voice acting is super adorable. The combat itself is tower defense with varying waves of enemies coming at you, and it’s up to you to determine what you need to take them down. This by no means, is an easy feat. I’ve had to restart and level my operators more before moving onward. The easiest way to do that is to grind under supplies for XP items to help boost your squad,  which is your main group you’ll go into battle with. Once you clear a level with basically no hiccups, you’ll be able to run that level multiple times for supplies on auto-deploy as many times as you like until you run out of sanity. You’re limited the further you go along in doing runs though by your sanity, which is basically your stamina to continue onward for the day. You can design up to four separate squads to pick from depending upon what you’re going to be facing. And nextly you have your operator management, this allows you to slide through your list of waifus and husbies and begin leveling them up. 
As you can see, once you click one of their cards, you have their level, which is easy to boost just by farming the supplies and completing daily, main, and campaign quests. You’ll also be able to boost them to elite status once you have the supplies to do so, something I’m in the midst of farming. And also you can raise their potential which boosts their stats. You’ll also be able to raise their skill, which will help immensely on the battlefield. Then you’ll see that the operator has a specific trait that is unique to them, be weary when selecting your squad member as I feel some of these traits are more useful than others. Like for instance, one of my healers heals up to three allies simultaneously, while another heals one ally at a time within their range. So suffice to say, be aware!
Now for collecting your cute anime operators you need to recruit more by going to recruit, which of course takes supplies to run this gacha system in hopes you get someone even remotely good. There are a ton of guides out there on how to recruit with purpose though, that way you’re not getting trash or duplicates. But duplicates are viable as well as they can be put towards your potential.Then of course, headhunting, where you can end up spending money. I didn’t spend a single thing as you farm something known as Originite that can be used to unlock some pretty spiffy operators, so just bide your time, you’ll be able to unlock a lot of them. And of course, farming can be done, as I mentioned, by doing the missions. You’ll have daily, weekly, and campaign missions that’ll give you supplies to upgrade your skills to increasing your XP. 
Though, if you’re looking to relax a little, you can go over to your base of operations where you can chill and stare at your adorable operators and also work slowly on collecting useful items as well! Although, if you feel creative, you can decorate your dorm, but this won’t be for free, so in the meantime, my characters are going to walk around staring at boxes. Within your base, you can also build a reception area where you can visit with friends. The folks over on my Twitter were sweet enough to add me as friends on Arknights because like most games, there are friends with benefits. To divulge a little more on this, your friends can come assist you in battle beyond the tutorial, and you can be used to help them as well. You’ll also receive credits from visiting them to use in the shop. And most importantly, you’ll be able to search for clues in their bases, and also share clues with them, which also give you credits! And these credits are extremely precious as these give you the option to buy the materials to upgrade your operators. 
So, I mean, overall, this is a great looking tower defense game. Though if you’re not into grinding, then this is probably not for you. I’ve personally enjoyed unlocking and leveling my squad and trying to figure out how to survive the waves of attackers, this is harder than it looks! You actually have to put some thought into who you’re going to use, how you’re going to use them, and where to place them. Yes there’s a cash shop, but I feel like I say this a lot, you can just grind pretty much the same outcome by recruiting and biding your time for free currency to buy yourself a chance at something better, and there’s no rush.

The post Arknights is a Fun New Tower Defense Mobile RPG appeared first on MMOByte: Your #1 MMO Portal – MMORPG News, Reviews, Gameplay.

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Blue Protocol: Everything you Need to Know About the Upcoming Anime MMORPG

Blue Protocol: Everything you Need to Know About the Upcoming Anime MMORPG

We got a lot to talk about today. We’re going to cover Blue Protocol’s global release, their upcoming beta test, release date, and gameplay itself – world exploration, combat, classes and story.
This article is going to be an all-inclusive compilation of everything we currently know about the game, and will hopefully cover every question you have including what to expect going into the future.

Join the Largest Blue Protocol Subreddit


Alright, so by now you’ve probably seen the new trailer, you’ve went onto Youtube and checked various videos from a plethora of different players that got into the first Alpha test and you’re excited. Awesome – so am I and so is everyone else.
Blue Protocol is a beautiful, incredibly high quality AAA Japanese MMORPG being developed by Bandai Namco. The game is built on Unreal Engine 4 and has a fast, dynamic combat system similar to KurtzPel or Soul Worker. It utilizes a beautiful cel-shaded graphical style and is perhaps one of the best looking Anime MMOs I’ve ever seen.
Blue Protocol is still currently in development, however it does have an estimated release date of 2020. There was an Alpha test that took place back in the middle of 2019, and the game is going to be opening registration for Closed Beta testing on February 12th.


A lot of players have been wondering specifically what kind of world Blue Protocol has. Is it a sandbox, open-world, or is it like Soul Worker or Vindictus, and instanced off?
I’m sure a lot of you have played Final Fantasy XIV, Guild Wars 2 or Elder Scrolls. I feel like most MMO players have. Much like the aforementioned MMOs, Blue Protocol has very large, highly detailed segregated zones. However these zones aren’t instanced at all.
You’re fully capable of seeing hundreds of players in every area you enter. The game actually employs a megaserver, allowing every single player to play together on the same server. You might be wondering how this is going to work, then. And that’s a simple answer.
Like Elder Scrolls Online, the game is going to have smaller-scale channels or shards that split the players up so they don’t overcrowd areas.
There are various things to do out in the world: You’ll take quests like traditional MMOs, there are unique dungeons that you can tackle with other players, there are various world bosses to fight and kill for some sick loot and there’s more planned in the future.
Now speaking of classes, Blue Protocol actually took this in an interesting direction.
There are 4 classes total right now, the sword and shield wielding Aegis Fighter, the dual axe wielding Twin Striker, the long-range bow wielding Blast Archer, and finally, the powerful elemental magic wielding Spell Caster.
Upon inspecting the list of classes, you might think that there’s a holy trinity of tank:healer:DPS but that isn’t actually the case. Blue Protocol doesn’t have a dedicated tank or a dedicated healer. While there are classes that can technically generate additional threat and classes that can actually decrease threat, no class is classified as a tank.
Likewise, every class actually has access to their own self-heals, meaning that combat is going to be less focused on tanks tanking monsters and healers healing teams, and more focused on individual players working to keep themselves alive on their own while attempting to maximize damage output.
Although I do believe the Blast Archer and Spell Caster both have AoE heals which would make them a much more beneficial class to have during large-scale encounters.
Bandai Namco revealed that they have no intention, at least presently, of releasing additional classes but instead will focus on providing new, alternate ways for players to progress their class. This includes, but is not limited to continuing to introduce additional skills to customize your character to be a little more.. unique.
Interestingly, every class is also playable on a single character. This functions much like Final Fantasy XIV – each class has their own level, and thus must be leveled separately. What this means is that you can level all 4 classes on your character, and swap to them any time you want to.
Granted, you’re required to visit an NPC to change class but it’s still a fairly fast, painless method. Most importantly, and I know you’re all waiting for this.. unlike pretty much every single South Korean MMO, Blue Protocol will not feature gender locking of any kind. None.
Additionally, since you’ll likely be playing every class on a single character.. it’s probably refreshing to know that the character creator is pretty damn good too, huh?
Combat is complete action combat. If you’ve played KurtzPel, Soul Worker or heck, even TERA then the combat will likely feel very familiar to you. Unlike Black Desert that is all about memorizing combos and keybinds, Blue Protocol has a variety of hotkeys for you to set skills to.
And there are a lot of skills planned – meaning it’s crucial to determine the kind of playstyle you want to invest time into. Attacks are bound to left mouse button and right mouse button, with your actual skills being placed on your hotbars. You can move while casting, fighting, and even fight while jumping. The combat is highly dynamic!
Both crafting and gathering are going to be present in-game. While I’m unsure of the specifics with regards to what is planned for crafting, during the Alpha test you could craft 4 different tiers of weapons within the city.
Crafting requires materials obtained via gathering, killing monsters and even dungeons. Gathering takes 3 different forms: Mining ore, harvesting herbs and other plants, and then “sellable materials.” Again, there were 4 tiers for gathering materials as well.
Speaking of crafting, there’s a little more involved in upgrading your character. In Blue Protocol there exist various types of “souls.”
As of this moment, there are Equipment Souls, which are used to upgrade your gear by providing beneficial stats to each piece, there are Combat Souls which function more or less the same way but aren’t adhered to your gear, and Mount Souls, which were actually just revealed. These will allow players to obtain various mounts in-game.
Currently, I believe only ground mounts are planned, how many specifically is unknown.
Another thing I know a lot of you are curious of is the PvP, how it’s going to be implemented in-game and what forms of PvP there’ll end up being. I know you guys hate open-world PvP. Well, a lot of you hate it, if my videos and the associated comment sections are to be believed.
So I guess you’ll be pleased to know that Blue Protocol will have PvP, but PvP will take the form of instanced-matches. Revealed in the latest info drop was the Battle Arena, a large-scale Arena for players to fight one another in.
We don’t know what forms of PvP will be available, but it’s likely there’ll be at least 1v1, perhaps 2v2, and probably 3v3 fights. It is unconfirmed, but unlikely to have open-world PvP from anything players experienced during the Alpha test.


The Alpha test took place back at the end of July 2019. Bandai Namco had an NDA in place that prevented players from sharing what they recorded or captured at the time. The Alpha had 10,000 players participate over the course of several days, and had over 5 million applicants at the time of Alpha registration.
Bandai Namco have announced that on February 12th, 2020, they will be opening registration for a brand new Closed Beta testing phase. The limit this time will be 50,000 players, 5 times the number of the Closed Alpha.
However, with how much publicity the game has gotten over the last 8 months, it’s safe to say more than 5 million players will be applying this time around. It has been confirmed that there will be no NDA in place for the Closed Beta, meaning players can share any content they wish. Screenshots, videos, information.
While the Beta registration begins on February 12th, the registration process itself won’t end until March 4th. The Beta will run for 4 days, and is expected sometime in late March.
The Closed Alpha had no IP restrictions in place, allowing players to play without a VPN. Bandai Namco have not mentioned anything pertaining to IP blocks for the Closed Beta, and have even went as far as hinting at knowing there are streamers outside of Japan looking to stream footage.


This is one of the most important topics for the majority of us. Whether or not Bandai Namco have any intention of releasing the game globally.
Early in February, Bandai Namco posted a job opening for a “Localization Director,” that will be in charge of localizing Blue Protocol. People speculated that this meant they were looking to release the game in English, since that is the language required to be spoken fluently.
Shortly after, they proceeded to register the “Blue Protocol” trademark in North America and Europe, further confirming their stance on releasing the game within these regions. While the game is still not 100% confirmed to be releasing everywhere in the world, this is about as good as we’re likely going to get until an official confirmation is given.
There is currently no release date planned for the game within Japan currently, but they did mention their intention of releasing before the year ends. Since neither Alpha nor Beta will restrict players based on region, it’s safe to speculate that the game itself will not impose IP restrictions when it launches in Japan.
Finally, Bandai Namco expressed interest in launching Blue Protocol as a free-to-play MMORPG with a functional cash shop selling cosmetic items. We’ll have a better look at how the cash shop functions during the Closed Beta in March, but there will be no fee to play the game.
I cannot express verbally how excited I am for Blue Protocol. It’s a fast, beautiful action MMO with tens of thousands of other players out playing – that you can actually see, party with and engage with.
And it isn’t South Korean, so there are no gender locks, it isn’t going to take a decade, and is going to have a decent story.
This year is looking to be a very, very solid year, and Blue Protocol is partly responsible for that.

The post Blue Protocol: Everything you Need to Know About the Upcoming Anime MMORPG appeared first on MMOByte: Your #1 MMO Portal – MMORPG News, Reviews, Gameplay.

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Blue Protocol Closed Beta Registration Guide

Blue Protocol Closed Beta Registration Guide

Bandai Namco are opening registration for Blue Protocol’s Closed Beta test on February 12th, 2020. As of this moment, the registration page for Blue Protocol is unavailable, with the page opening on the 12th. However, registering for the Closed Beta requires you to have an active Bandai Namco account. Thus, thanks to the BlueProtocolDB website, I compiled a list of how to go about registering in anticipation of the Beta. The beta registration will be available from February 12th until March 4th, when applications will no longer continue to be accepted. The Closed Beta is expected to go live sometime towards the latter half of March.

Join the Largest Blue Protocol Subreddit

Step 1: Bandai Namco ID Website

Navigate on over to the official Bandai Namco ID website using the button below.

Bandai Namco ID Website
Step 2: Click Sign Up

Next, you’re going to see the following page.

On this page, you want to select the large green button that says “First Time Users for BANDAI NAMCO ID Sign Up”

Step 3: Select your Email-Address

Next, you’re going to see various different methods with which you can use to register for an account. Alternatively, if you already have a Bandai Namco ID.. you could log in with it and verify that it works. Otherwise, you’re going to want to select “Sign Up With an E-Mail Address”

Enter your email and password like you would during any registration process. Do note: Make sure your password is unique and strong enough that it doesn’t get hacked. ’cause that’d suck.

Step 4: Change your region

After proceeding to fill in your email and your password and clicking the “Next” button, a new window will pop-up.

You’re going to want to change whatever country and region is listed initially to both “Asia” and “Japan” respectively. This is important! After that, you’re going to want to fill out your date of birth, read the terms of service and privacy policy if you feel the need to, and then check, and click the “Agree” button.

Step 5: Authenticate your account

After clicking “Agree,” you’re going to end up on another page stating that your registration is not yet complete. This is normal. You’re going to receive an Authentication Code from Bandai Namco, normally instantly, but it can take several minutes depending on your email provider. After receiving the code, navigate on over to the Authentication page and paste the code into the “Authentication Code” field. After which, you’re going to proceed to click the “Authenticate” button.

And that’s all there is to it. After that, you’ll have successfully completed the registration process.

However, there are additional steps you can take to further fill-in information if you’d like to go about completing those. Honestly, I don’t believe it’s required to do considering you get a confirmation that your account was successfully registered, but the choice is up to you!

Register for the Blue Protocol Closed Beta

As noted, this was just to register for a Bandai Namco ID. You’re going to need to do a few additional steps to register for the Closed Beta, which I’ll outline below as soon as the registration page becomes available on February 12th. Make sure to check back!

The post Blue Protocol Closed Beta Registration Guide appeared first on MMOByte: Your #1 MMO Portal – MMORPG News, Reviews, Gameplay.

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MMORPG News: Blue Protocol NA & EU Announcement, PSO2 Closed Beta, Crimson Desert, FFXIV 5.2, The Sims 5 & Project TL

MMORPG News: Blue Protocol NA & EU Announcement, PSO2 Closed Beta, Crimson Desert, FFXIV 5.2 & Project TL

We got a lot of news to talk about this week. Thankfully my cold has cleared up, I’m no longer congested and I finally feel well enough to be making longer videos like this.
This week we’ll be talking about quite a few games – a lot of closed beta announcements, and even a couple games I’ve never heard of.
So, take a minute to get comfortable, get some sliced cucumbers for those tired eyes of yours – yes, I know you’re tired. It’s early right now.. or late, maybe if you live on the other side of the world – why aren’t you in bed? Wait, nevermind. We’re going off topic.
Let’s begin today’s Weekly Byte of MMORPG News.

Mad World

Let’s start this off with some interesting news on a game that has gone radio silent as of late. I know it’s been a while now, but you all remember Mad World, right? If not, then allow this to jog your memory. A few months ago, Jandisoft, the developers behind the game announced that Netmarble would be publishing the game.
They stated that the reason they had such poor communication with their players was due to sorting out issues involved in working with Netmarble. Fast forward to a week or two ago, Jandisoft finally made an announcement, or, more like posted an update on their official forums.
It included quite a bit of information – so if you’re interested in finding out exactly what was mentioned I urge you to navigate to their forums and take a read.
While there is still no confirmation in terms of a release, it’s refreshing to know that, at least according to Jandisoft, they’re going to be making an active effort to work on better communication with their community.

Project TL

I did a video – a complete, dedicated video on Project TL a week ago, so if you’re interested in finding out more about Project TL I urge you to watch that. Suffice it to say, NCSoft announced last year that they would be launching Project TL in 2020. In South Korea, anyway.
I know, I know. “We still have a while before it launches over here in the West though, Stix.”
However, I’m talking about this now because of two things: One, NCSoft just released a plethora of concept art for the game, and two, NCSoft actually claimed that the game would have a simultaneous global release. Granted, this was years ago and may not be the case anymore, but it’s a possibility we can’t ignore.

Phantasy Star Online 2

If you weren’t already aware.. Phantasy Star Online 2 currently has their very first closed beta running for Xbox One players. The beta began on February 7th and will continue through the weekend until February 8th.
PC players have been promised the game later through this year, and other platforms like the PS4 will also have a release.. at an undisclosed time.
The game will be fully voice acted in English with the option of swapping between English and Japanese languages, and interestingly, players will retain all of their progress through the beta test period when the game officially launches.
Finally, interestingly enough, the user manual for the game has confirmed that PSO2 will also be launching onto Steam, for players that would prefer to use Steam as the platform of their choice with which to play the game.

Tree of Savior

Interestingly, I’ve been leveling a character through Tree of Savior recently in hopes of getting far enough where I can make an educated video on the game. However, according to IMCGames, the developers behind Tree of Savior, 4 brand new servers are going to be opening up for new players; 1 server per region.
The servers will offer 300% increased XP, increased drops and a lot of other quality of life improvements to aid in reaching the level cap – a whopping 420, faster. I’m actually contemplating restarting so I can get through the outdated content as fast as possible, but at the same time I’ve invested weeks worth of time into this already.
Thus far, the general Tree of Savior community doesn’t seem all too thrilled with the idea of new increased rate servers.

Crimson Desert

You should all know about Crimson Desert by now. It was announced months ago, and heck, I even did a dedicated video on what to expect from the game earlier this week.
Regardless, Pearl Abyss have announced that they’re working very hard on getting the game ready for alpha and beta testing, but as of right now they’re not capable of giving an estimate on when the game will be launching.
What they did mention, was that the game will be going into beta testing later this year. They also went on to release some new screenshots from the game, and elaborate on the single-player story, the disconnect from Black Desert and a few other points.
If you’re interested in learning more, go watch my video. It covers everything.

Final Fantasy XIV

Square Enix have been hinting at Final Fantasy XIV’s latest update, Echoes of a Fallen Star for weeks now. As of February 6th, we not only finally have a brand new official trailer for the update in question, but they’ve also given us an exact release date for it: February 18th.
Echoes of a Fallen Star will bring with it a brand new dungeon, 4 more Eden raids, a new mount, new trials, story, and.. so, so much more. But mostly what you’d expect out of a large patch like this. I’m excited and Mrs Stix is incredibly excited to continue our journey through Shadowbringers.

Saga of Lucimia

This is actually the very first time I’ve heard of Saga of Lucimia. Upon further inspection, turns out the game is a PvE-oriented sandbox MMORPG that provides players a large amount of freedom to play the game how you want.
I’m not sure the exact kind of game this is, but according to the devs, you’re capable of choosing from hundreds of skills to build a character that is unique only to you. While that sounds pretty cool, it’s quite a ways off.
Apparently, the game is looking to launch sometime at the end of next year, and that’s with the expectation that nothing will go wrong between now and then.


I feel like we’re beginning the month with a list of games I haven’t talked about in.. well, months. Fractured is one such game that I’ve heard almost nothing on for quite a while. Upon investigation, the devs behind the game are actually planning their second Alpha test – and it’s literally this month. A couple weeks, actually.
While there’s no exact, definitive date, it is planned for late February, and will be introducing various social features into the game in the way of parties and guilds. That’s exciting, right?
I never played the first Alpha so I don’t know what was missing, but this looks like a great opportunity to really see what the game’s shaping up to be.

Project Gorgon

I cover Project Gorgon from time to time. It’s a solid game, and definitely deserves more attention than it gets. The reason I’m talking about it right now is because a brand new patch is rolling out in a few weeks, and with it, comes a brand new race that has been talked about since back in 2016: Faeries.
To unlock the new fairy race you’ll be required to first have a character of high enough level, and proceed to run through a dungeon called The Winter Nexus with other players, completing a level 40 quest and finally unlocking the race permanently.
I’ve been meaning to play through Project Gorgon more thoroughly.. so I guess this might be the time to.

Genshin Impact

I’m a very large fan of Genshin Impact. It’s one of the games I’m looking forward to playing with Mrs Stix. I know it’s not an MMORPG, but I also enjoy co-operative RPGs, and Genshin Impact will have online multiplayer.
So when they revealed the date they’re rolling out their closed beta, I was ecstatic. According to miHoYo, Genshin Impact will be launching into closed beta during the first quarter of 2020.
Which means we’re looking at a release within the next 6 weeks. This is very exciting news! If you haven’t already, then make sure you’ve signed up for the closed beta.

Star Trek Online

It’s not often an MMO gets to say they’ve been online for a decade. Star Trek Online is one of the few games that get to make that claim, and they’re holding a large anniversary event to go along with it!
While there are in-game events going on right now, and things you can redeem for logging in, it’s worth noting that a few goodies were leaked on Twitter: More specifically, screenshots from the Measure of Mortality episode featuring characters from Star Trek: Discovery and Voyager.
If you’re interested in the new Star Trek Picard series, or either Discovery or Voyager, then you’re gonna wanna see this.

Book of Travels

I’ve talked about Book of Travels a few times over the last several months. It’s a very interesting looking indie MMO that managed to raise over a quarter million dollars during its Kickstarter. But that isn’t what you’re interested in.
What you’re interested in is the fact that they’ve laid out their development plans for the year, and, more specifically, dated both their beta test and Early Access dates.
According to the devs behind the game, they’re going to be taking next month to decide what to include in their upcoming beta, with the beta in question taking place in both May and June, with the game finally launching into Early Access in October this year. Yup, the game’s that close!

Torchlight III

This was actually really weird news for me. See, Mrs Stix did a gameplay video for Torchlight Frontiers. In it, she partied with a group of people and went out, journeying around, having fun. However, that was last year, a while ago.
Recently, the devs behind the game revealed that the game would be going through an overhaul – and a drastic one at that. Instead of being an MMO – it’s going to be.. well, according them, they’re planning on going “back to their ARPG roots.”
Not only this, but they’re also going buy-to-play as opposed to free-to-play as they’d originally intended and promised, and stripping most, if not all of the multiplayer functionality from the game. Torchlight III is planned for a Summer release, but no exact date has been given thus far.

The Sims 5

This one… this one I had to include purely because I’ve always wanted a “Sims Online” game. I know, there was a “The Sims Online” game from the early 2000’s, but I wanted one from this generation. And it looks like that might actually be the plan for The Sims 5.
According to Andrew Wilson, the CEO of EA Games, they’re contemplating incorporating a lot of the features and functions that The Sims Online had into The Sims 5, with their goal of making them a core part of The Sims games going into the future.
Man I’d love a Sims MMO, allowing for tens of people, hundreds of people to play together, even on a local server like ARK. Heck, I’d be happy with 2-player co-op.

Gran Saga

Gran Saga is a brand new upcoming Action MMORPG from NPIXEL. Up until last week all we had was a simple cinematic trailer, however, NPIXEL revealed a full gameplay trailer showing exploration, combat and even dungeon footage.
The action combat looks fantastic, a cross somewhere between Black Desert and KurtzPel, and could potentially be one of the best looking upcoming MMOs this year. The game doesn’t have a release date right now, but it’s expected within 2020. Gran Saga is one of the first cross-platform MMORPGs.

Blue Protocol

If you weren’t here for Crimson Desert or Phantasy Star Online 2.. then this is what likely caught your attention. Yes, it has been more or less confirmed by this point that Blue Protocol is coming to both North America and Europe.
Bandai Namco not only posted a job opening for someone to overlook the English localization of the game, but they also went as far as registering the trademark for Blue Protocol in both North America and Europe. This is honestly all happening much faster than I thought it would but I can’t say I’m surprised.
I called this potentially happening when someone posted on Reddit a few months back that Bandai Namco had no intention of bringing the game over. Additionally, they’ve removed the NDA that was in place preventing players from sharing content they recorded during their Alpha test back in the middle of 2019.
Finally, Bandai Namco announced yesterday that they’re going to be holding a full Closed Beta holding 50,000 players total. Registration for the Closed Beta begins on February 12th, with the Beta test taking place in March – just next month.
The Closed Beta will be global, meaning that players will be able to play from anywhere in the world – without IP Blocks or a need for a VPN. While there’s no confirmed release date right now, it doesn’t look like it’ll be too far off as the game as making very steady progress.

The post MMORPG News: Blue Protocol NA & EU Announcement, PSO2 Closed Beta, Crimson Desert, FFXIV 5.2, The Sims 5 & Project TL appeared first on MMOByte: Your #1 MMO Portal – MMORPG News, Reviews, Gameplay.

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Sword Art Online: Alicization Rising Steel is Better Than I Thought it’d be.

Sword Art Online: Alicization Rising Steel is Better Than I Thought it’d be.

People keep telling me to play new Sword Art Online games – but honestly, I don’t even know how many there are. I think Sword Art Online: Alicization Rising Steel is the newest mobile Sword Art game, right? Well I guess it doesn’t really matter as that’s what I ultimately ended up downloading and playing.
With over 53,000 reviews, and the general review being at around 4.4 on the Google Play Store, I was pretty excited. That many people couldn’t be wrong, right? Thankfully that turned out to be the case. Man, I was surprised by how good this game ended up turning out.
Like, no, this game isn’t nearly close to being the best mobile RPG I’ve ever played, but I was pleasantly surprised by how accurate it is to the latest season – or, two seasons of the Anime series.
You take on the role of Kirito.. or you play with Kirito.. which sounds weird but I’m being sincere here – I think we’re kind of like an unnamed person accompanying both Kirito and Eugeo through the game.. but at the same time we’re not really there. It’s weird. But it works.
So, Rising Steel as I’m sure you’ve no doubt guessed is actually based on the Alicization arc in Sword Art Online. However, while it does follow through with the story from the original arc, Rising Steel actually contains additional original content that was developed exclusively for the game.
Whether or not that’s going to have a positive affect on how much enjoyment you get out of it remains to be seen, but more content is never bad. Especially if it’s canon content.

Graphically, the game looks pretty damn good. The character models themselves, both in cutscenes and battle alike – and even when just exploring the varied different environments are incredibly accurate and faithful to the Anime.
I’ll admit that the movements are a little jarring and disjointed at times and lack a certain level of fluidity, but it’s beautifully crafted. While exploring you don’t have the ability to freely roam, instead, you move along either horizontally through the area, or vertically to move to a different level of the area you’re exploring.
There are random encounters while out in the field, and every field you explore results in a boss battle – from what I could tell those battles consisted of more or less a larger, stronger version of what you’d been fighting.
There are plenty of mechanics in battle, but it consisted more or less of choosing whatever the enemy was weak against and building up our gauge to utilize a special super duper mega powerful combo attack. I know that’s not what it’s called, but I feel like that’s generally what it is in every game that has this kind of system.
The skill effects you’re given access to are all very flashy – while the description page claims that the battles are as flashy as they are in the Anime, and trust me.. they’re not, they are in fact very aesthetically appealing to watch. Even if I did find myself skipping them 90% of the time.
It was really interesting watching the story play out. Admittedly I’ve only played for a few hours so far, but I wanted to get this out now as I’ll be going on a small vacation next Friday and won’t have time to play it for the next couple weeks. Thus.. I wanted to talk about it while the information is fresh on my mind.
While there are fun little callbacks to Sword Art Online and Aincrad, there are also characters from Alfheim Online and Gun Gale Online making appearances as well. This allows for you to recruit quite a team!
This is probably the best looking Sword Art Online game I’ve played on Mobile thus far, and I’m excited to see where it goes and how much of the Alicization arc is covered.

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Trials of Mana – Square Enix’s New Remake of Seiken Densetsu 3 Looks Incredible.

Trials of Mana – Square Enix’s New Remake of Seiken Densetsu 3 Looks Incredible.

I can’t say I played many of the Mana JRPG series. My introduction to the series was Legend of Mana on the PS1, then Sword of Mana on the Gameboy Advance, followed by Children of Mana and Heroes of Mana on the DS. I think that’s it… Iunno, I might be missing one.
I’ve never played Trials of Mana, but it’s releasing onto the PS4, Switch and Steam.. all of which I have access to. With this in mind.. I actually haven’t watched the trailer for it yet as I just found out about it a week or so ago. Thus, I wanted to take the time to watch it with all of you.

Trials of Mana is a complete 3D remake of the game of the same name back in 1995 – well, back then it was called Seiken Densetsu 3. Since this is a JRPG.. you can bet it’s going to have an emphasis on story – but hey, that’s one of the things I enjoy most about Square Enix games.
Trials of Mana is set after the events of a great war between the Goddess of Mana and the eight Benevodons, evil monsters of destruction. Winning the war, the Goddess sealed the demons away and went into a deep slumber. Fast forward to present day, the world is on the brink of war and the Benevodons are almost free.
We take on the role of 6 heroes in their journey to defeat the monsters that threaten the destruction of our world.
The game offers quite a bit in the way of customization for your characters. I had to do a double-take on this and research a little deeper because I wasn’t sure this was legit, but each hero has a selection of classes they can choose between, with each class having an alignment between Light and Darkness.
Let’s use Angela as an example here, she’s a Magician by default. By leveling and advancing her class, she gains access to two new classes: The Sorceress with a Light alignment, and the Mysticist with a Dark alignment. The Sorceress has access to elemental magics, while the Mysticist utilizes dark magic.
Further down the line, every hero gains access to a third class. Angela has the ArcheMage and Grand Diviner with a Light alignment, and the Magus and Rune Seer with a Dark alignment. Each class is substantially different to one another, and provides players with a significant amount of customization for their party.
So in total, there are 6 heroes and each hero has 7 classes, totaling 42 different classes to level. Interestingly, when beginning the game you’re given the option of playing as one of the 6 heroes.
While you’ll no doubt end up meeting and recruiting all 6 characters, you get to choose who you ultimately play as, and who’s story you follow. The story, the characters you meet and how the game develops changes depending on who you choose as your main character.
I’m incredibly excited for this. I’m a fan of the Mana series. I know, I’ve technically only played through what, 4 of the games total? But I’ve loved every single one of them. And this looks just as good – probably even better.
It’s completely overhauled, features new systems, new mechanics, voice acting, and best of all.. it’s available in April. That’s just 2 months away! Trials of Mana is available for pre-order right now and comes with some unique goodies if you do, so if you own a PS4, a Switch or even wanna pre-order on Steam, now’s your chance!

The post Trials of Mana – Square Enix’s New Remake of Seiken Densetsu 3 Looks Incredible. appeared first on MMOByte: Your #1 MMO Portal – MMORPG News, Reviews, Gameplay.