Bounty Hounds Online

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Overview

Bounty Hounds Online Overview

Based on the third-person shooter Bounty Hounds for PSP, Bounty Hounds Online is a science fiction MMO. Players represent a human Mercenary, and may choose one of five classes: trooper, a frontline fighter; bioengineer, a tactical and healing support specialist; scientist, a melee and device-using fighter; agent, focused on powerful single-target attacks; and artillery, ranged-focused combatants. Players are also assisted by the CTU (Combat Tactical Unit), a pet that can specialize as tank, melee, or ranged, and may join one of four unique factions. The game focuses on high-level PvP, including open-world combat.

Bounty Hounds Online Screenshots

Bounty Hounds Online Featured Video

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Full Review

Bounty Hounds Online Review

Bounty Hounds Online Review

A mercenary in space – the concept is a transformation of our old ideals of cowboys in the wild and untamed West. From nuclear war and alien treaties, Namco Bandai’s Bounty Hounds, developed for the PSP, is now realized as a full-fledged MMORPG. Published by Suba Games, and similar to Global Agenda and ARGO Online, this game offers players the opportunity to explore the futuristic world of Empyrea.

We’re Going Into Space

When creating a character, you must first choose one of five classes: Trooper, Artillery, Scientist, Bioengineer and Agent.  The Trooper is a melee-focused combatant, while Artillery, as the name suggests, is the ranged specialist.  The Scientist is similar to a tank specialization, using damage mitigation to protect their allies.  Bioengineers offer healing specialization, while Agents are rogue-like in their abilities.

After selecting a class, you will next be prompted to select your faction.  Each group has their own ideals and motivations, and the selection you make will determine your enemies in player versus player combat. Of the four factions, Corona is the stereotypical “good guy,” Aurora spies and negotiates, Nucleo is a faction of elitist commanders, and Umbra shelters the criminally-minded.

Finally, you may customize your character.  There is a diverse selection of options to choose from for a free-to-play game.  Each faction has three specific faces, plus additional generic faces, to choose from.  Similarly, there are several hair styles and skin tones, making it easy to create a fairly unique character.

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Zero Gravity

After you have created a character and logged into the game, you are given a short, story-based cinematic.  The first area of the game introduces you to movement, quests, equipment, combat, and loot. These quests are designed to get you a basic set of armor and weapons to progress outside of the base.  Currently, there is no way to skip this tutorial, and players familiar with MMORPGs may find it simplistic in its approach.

A Tale of Two Levels

The tutorial also introduces you to character development.  Bounty Hounds Online features two character progression systems.  The first system is character experience (EXP), which is exactly like experience points in other games.  Once you gain enough experience points, you level up, and can assign three stat points.  The game does not tell you what stats are good for your class; however, looking at your character’s starting stats gives you a general idea of how you should focus character development.

The second system is Class Experience (C-EXP), which determines when you gain a skill point within your class’s skill tree. It takes more C-EXP to gain a Class Level than it does EXP to gain a character level.  Each skill in the class tree is gated by character level, ability tiers, and point values, so some thought may be necessary to build your character.

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My Best Friend

The pet system is an integral part of Bounty Hounds Online’s gameplay.  You will receive your first pet, known as a CTU (Combat & Tactical Unit), during the tutorial.  You may choose from a melee, ranged, or a tank type CTU, and can further customize it with paint, skill modules and stat gain modules.  Many quests are reliant on you using your pet, so it’s worth the time and effort to develop it properly.

Back and Forth

Combat in Bounty Hounds Online uses the auto-attack and skill combination found in many MMORPGs.  You have an auto-attack function (as does your pet), and you use the number keys to use any active skills you’ve learned.  Targeting in the game can be done with left-clicking the enemy, or the use of the TAB key.  TAB targets the nearest enemy around you, which may not be the one in front of you.  Quickly learning where your target is will save you from attacking the wrong enemy.

Most of the game is quest based, with missions varying from talking to another NPC, to killing ten enemies, to collecting ten of said enemies’ vital organs or extremities.  There is little to no variety in the quest system of the game, which leaves it bland and stale. You can do several quests at the same time, however, which helps a little in reducing the grind.  The game also features player versus player combat in later zones.

Bounty Hounds Online features an auto-battle feature, with extensive options that include which skills, buffs and pet skills to use; when to use healing items; and how many times to resurrect during a session.  By default, if using a pet’s skills, you have about six hours’ worth of auto-battling initially.  The amount of auto-battle time available (“energy”) recharges when you’re not using it.

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We Can Rebuild It

Bounty Hounds Online also features an extensive crafting system.  Materials can be purchased from NPCs, found off of various supply nodes in the world, or won by defeating enemies.  Each item you craft has multiple possible results.  For consumables, such as health potions, you may create more or fewer potions than default, based on a percentage scale.  For equipment, you have a chance to craft a more powerful piece of equipment, or you may produce nothing at all.  The items you make through crafting also tend to be better than similar vendor or quest items, so it’s a good idea to pay attention to your crafting levels.

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Final Verdict: Fair

Bounty Hounds Online is not without faults.  The translation is still in early stages, and objectives can be difficult to understand.  Additionally, there are currently some severe bugs in the game which may result in, among other things, an inability to play your character.  As previously mentioned, there is also little variety in the quests offered.  Despite these early flaws, the game does have some potential.  The battle system is complex, without being complicated and the pet system provides a good deal of depth.  Crafting is also enjoyable and offers a variety to your results. With some time and polish, Bounty Hounds Online may become a title to look into.

Screenshots

Bounty Hounds Online Screenshots

Videos

Bounty Hounds Online Videos

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System Requirements

Bounty Hounds Online Requirements

(estimates)

Minimum Requirements:
Intel Pentium IV 2.8GHz, AMD Athlon XP 2800+
1GB RAM
Nvidia 6600 GT (256MB) or Radeon X1650

Recommended Requirements:
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.6GHz, AMD Phenom X2
2GB RAM
Nvidia 9600 GT (512MB) or Radeon HD 3600

 
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