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Zenonia 5

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Diminishing returns

Product: Zenonia 5: Wheel of Destiny | Publisher: Gamevil | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Zenonia 5: Wheel of Destiny iPhone, thumbnail 1
Gamevil's Zenonia series has become one of mobile gaming's leading action RPG franchises, with its savvy combination of gorgeous visuals and addictive action earning millions of fans all over the globe.

However, aside from prettier visuals, the past couple of instalments have failed to really bring a massive amount of fresh features to the table - and the same is sadly true of this fifth entry.

Once again, the game is underpinned by a largely forgettable storyline involving good and evil, communicated via some particularly clumsy anime-style dialogue sequences.

Linking these scenes together is the usual selection of quests, which usually include defeating a certain number of enemies or giving a particular item to another character.

It's almost impossible to enter a conversation with someone without them asking you to run an errand - something which becomes boring incredibly quickly.

Not very fetching

Combat is also painfully limited, involving little more than tapping on the screen to perform combination attacks and occasionally using an item to heal yourself.

You can unlock various skills to make the job of eliminating monsters that little bit easier, and to be fair developing your character in this fashion is pretty appealing - it's certainly one of Zenonia 5's most likeable traits.

The high-res visuals are also a massive plus point, mixing together lush hand-drawn environments and expressive character sprites. Everything is super-cute - even the brutish bad guy looks like a schoolboy in a cape - but the overall presentation is excellent.

Cute and cuddly

It's just a shame that so much of what lies underneath is so lightweight. The story simply isn't appealing, and the way in which the game is constantly badgering you to spend real money is irritating - granted, free-to-play titles have to fund themselves somehow, but here it feels particularly obnoxious.

While there's certainly no lack of things to do in Zenonia 5, the formula is looking a little tired now. The graphics have incrementally improved with each sequel, but the gameplay has remained in stasis.

This, of course, means that Zenonia 5 will please long-standing lovers of the series, but everyone else is better off getting stuck into an RPG experience with more meat on the bones.
 
Zenonia 5
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 16 January 2013
Visually lush and easy to get into, Zenonia 5 has one big failing: it just doesn't do anything that hasn't been seen before. In-app purchases also upset the experience
 
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Joined:
Dec 2008
Post count:
1340
klouud | 00:46 - 21 January 2013
Level 20 Update:

I've tried all the characters and I must say that the game is more than playable without IAP's. Each character is powerful enough in his own right to play through.

I personally find the Wizard and Paladin the most fun to play as.
However, each character has the same exact passive skill tree which is confusing and makes your choice of character somewhat confusing. I say confusing because the characters are actually quite similar.

The wizard's main attack is a ranged attack which you can make more powerful through the passive skill tree. You almost don't even need to touch the "active skill tree" and that is disappointing.

I just don't see a wide enough gap between the characters to justify picking one over the other.

I would like to have seen a wizard that exclusively relies on mana and has no default attack. This would make SP potions a necessity - but that is part of the fun of using a mana user. It would also have been great for each class to be able to branch off to specialties like in Zen's past - i.e., dark mage, white mage, necromancer, wizard... whatever.

The game seems a bit underwhelming to me.
Never-the-less, its a great game if you want some excellent looking 2D graphics and mindless RPG action'y stuff.

tim
Joined:
Dec 2012
Post count:
84
@Jongjungbu | 17:47 - 16 January 2013
I haven't even tried this one. I don't like their grindy freemium model. I prefer the Zenonia 1 and 2 style but the gameplay/look of the later Zenonias. However, I don't think they'll go back to their paid app model.
Joined:
Dec 2008
Post count:
1340
klouud | 15:54 - 16 January 2013
V-Stick is a nice improvement, multi-tasking is perfect, and the character classes don't suck - unlike Zen4.

This is only my 10 minute impression tho.

tim
 
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