By John Walker on August 2nd, 2011 at 9:02 am.
Clearly at least five new MMOs are announced every minute. Since I started writing this sentence, the five from the previous minute have each received over three million sign-ups, with over $400,000,000 of micro-transactions processed. If a PC gaming website were to report on each of these MMOs, not only would the readers all pluck out their own eyeballs, but the internet would simply stop in protest. Although every now and then one of them captures my eye. Today it’s Tiara Concerto. Which leads me to ponder some thoughts.
It’s a music-themed MMO! Now, if only it were a genuine musical – something all of gaming has so far grotesquely failed to offer – but I feel willing to raise an interested eyebrow a game that boasts musical instruments are used to “ward off enemies” and “unlock new dimensions”. We all know that happens in life, but finally it’s being offered in a game.
It shall come as a surprise to no one that it features giant-eyed manga characters whose nipples are barely covered by passing feathers, nor indeed that it was originally Chinese (and the trailer released today doesn’t seem to have noticed it’s in Europe – forgive my horrible ignorance of Asian languages, but I think this is in Japanese). Set 800 years in the past, something something Seven Wise Men dimension judgment floating islands Tuning. Ah, that’s it – the bit that caught my eye. Tuning is the use of instruments to produce a resonance with energy from the past, allowing players to something something something. Apparently playing the correct tunes opens up new dimensions to play in, as well as allowing special combat techniques and “ornate fight actions”. Watch the berserk trailer:
Okay, so here’s the point. Firstly, it looks gorgeous, right? It’s easy to become blind to that, in the face of the 900 trillion other games that look exactly the same. But that’s a damn pretty game. Second, the combat actually looks fun. If it weren’t an MMO I’d probably be wanting a play of something that seems to move that fast, and allow that much choppy action. And thirdly, as much as we may roll our eyes so continuously at the assault of overseas MMOs constantly invading our shores that we get dizzy and pass out, they’re packed with imagination. Imagination I know I’ll never be able to tap into or enjoy, because of these vast barriers that prevent me from ever wanting to click enough times on the garish websites to find a download.
Admittely Tiara Concerto isn’t at the point of offering downloads to the Western world at this point, so I couldn’t if somehow I wanted to. But even here, where the press release caught my eye and I madly hoped for something different – something that may truly be about music rather than hitting with swords – I know I’ll never get around to finding out.
So my question is, have you? Are there any of these less known non-Western MMOs that you’ve found yourself getting into? Have you managed to see past the shrill, manic colour and sound and find the game within? What did you find there? Tell us!