Cloud Nine

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Overview

Cloud Nine Overview

Fans of the original Holic can finally rejoice! Cloud Nine, which is known as Holic 2 in Asia, is the successor to the quirky anime-styled MMORPG.  The graphics and gameplay features of Cloud Nine are similar to those found in the original Holic Online but have been upgraded considerably.  Players will have the option to pick a second class, which will effect their character’s growth options.  A monster card system allows players to tame any monster in the game, and even transform into a monster to participate in an innovative PvP system.  Traditional PvP modes such as guild battles and faction wars are also included between the two warring nations of Primus Union and Ganav Libero.

Races:

Seneka - A highly intelligent race who have the same appearance as the gods.  Their relentless pursuit of technology comes at the expense of nature, which has angered the Matsuka.

Koshare - The children of the Earth.  The Koshare are fairy-like beings who are known as tricksters.  They make excellent crafters due to their dexterous hands and insatiable curiosity.

Matsuka - Half-animal and half-humanoid, the Matsuka are brave and honorable warriors who are often found serving as mercenaries for the other races. They value harmony with nature above all else. This belief has caused conflict with the Seneka in the past and tensions remain high.

Classes:

Warrior - With high health and defense, the warrior makes the ideal tank.  Warriors take the battle to their opponents in closed ranged combat.

Monk - Highly disciplined melee fighters who are adept at controlling the flow of ki.  They can take the roll of a tank or damage dealer.

Rogue - Cunning fighters who sneak up and attack their enemies from behind.

Hunter - Masters of the Bow.  Hunters attack their enemies with speed and force, leaving their opponents dazed and confused.

Mage - Powerful casters with immense damage potential.  They are vulnerable to physical attacks and must keep a safe distance from their foes.

Cleric - Supportive spellcasters who who posses healing and buffing spells.  Clerics rely on other classes to defend them during battle.

Cloud Nine Screenshots

Cloud Nine Featured Video

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Full Review

Cloud Nine Review

By Omer Altay

Cloud Nine (called Holic Online 2 in Asia) is a 3D, anime-inspired fantasy MMORPG by Netgame that is, for all practical purposes, an upgraded version of Holic Online. Holic Online fans should definitely rejoice with the launching on Cloud Nine, as the game is a massive improvement over the original title, which was shut down sometime in early 2009. Graphically speaking, Cloud Nine is quite impressive, as the game has gorgeous cel-shaded, anime-inspired graphics with a unique art style that vaguely resembles the graphics in games like Florensia and Fly for Fun, except crisper and more lively. Though the graphics have a distinct look, the gameplay is another story, as its extremely generic. That’s not  a bad thing, though, as it’s still satisfying and the game as a whole is quite in-depth.

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Lots of Variety

The first thing I noticed when logging into Cloud Nine was the game’s in-depth character customization and variety. Before you can get to the character creation page you’ll need to choose from one of the game’s two nations – the Primus Union or Ganav Libero. Keep in mind, this CANNOT be changed, so choose wisely. Upon selecting a nation, choose from one of three playable races and six distinctly different classes. The three playable races are Seneka, Koshare and Matsuka. The six playable classes are Warrior, Mage, Hunter, Monk, Cleric and Rogue. The actual customization options are pretty good as well; players can choose from six different hairstyles, hair colors and face types, which is quite impressive for a free-to-play game.

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Perhaps one the most interesting features in Cloud Nine is the game’s unique ‘racial’ skill trees. Like each class in the game, every race has their own separate set of skills under an entirely different ‘skill tree’. Unlike regular skill points (which are earned every level), ‘race skill’ points are earned every five levels. The fact that each race has their own unique skill tree adds an entirely new layer of customization to Cloud Nine, as choosing which race to play is an important decision. Some races obviously work better with certain classes, but the fact that every race can play any class allows players to build their character in their own unique way.

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Solid Gameplay and Content

Like Holic Online, Cloud Nine’s gameplay is quite good, and one of the game’s strongest points. Combat is moderately paced and the game has a boat-load of quests to keep players busy. One small complaint that I have with the Cloud Nine is that the game isn’t as linear as I would prefer. Players are sort of tossed into the game world with little direction. Some sort of ‘main’ chain quest would have made the first few levels of the game much more enjoyable. Quests in general feel a bit too spread out and there aren’t too many really lengthy chain quests. Players will often find themselves completing quests for many different NPCs, rather than a few lengthy quests for a single NPC.

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Cloud Nine has an enormous amount of content. Aside from the game’s many unique classes and races the game world in Cloud Nine is quite big. Each of the game’s many continents have loads of different areas to explore, each of which contain different unique NPCs, monsters and dungeons.  Make sure to grab a mount before running off and exploring, though. Players can get their first mount after completing a quest at level 6. If grinding and exploration ever gets boring, players can also participate in the game’s PvP (Faction Wars) after reaching level 30, which can get quite hectic. If PvP doesn’t suit your fancy, Cloud Nine features a decent resource collection/crafting system as well as a pet/monster taming system to keep players busy.

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A Great Look with a Great Interface

Cloud Nine’s strongest point is its presentation. Everything from the game’s graphics to music are top notch. Even though the graphics are ‘cartoony’, they’re some of the best cartoony graphics of any free-to-play game. The interface is also great, as it’s very user-friendly and extremely detailed. The game’s map for example shows where every quest NPC in the area is, as well as the location of every different kind of monster in an area, making adventuring even easier. The game’s audio is also up there in terms of quality. Even though it’s not nearly as ‘epic’ as the Sword of the New World music, the tunes in Cloud Nine are still excellent. One of the tunes in particular (the one that plays in town) is one of the best pieces of music I’ve heard in any MMORPG. The game’s background music (BGM) is turned off by default, so don’t forget to turn it on!

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A Few Small Complaints…

Even though Cloud Nine is an all-around enjoyable MMORPG, I do have a few complaints, my main one being the game’s lack of a duel system. As is stands, there is absolutely no way to fight a player in the same faction as yours. Whether it’s to prove who’s the strongest man in the room or just for fun, dueling is sort of a standard feature of any MMORPG and should have been included in Cloud Nine. Another small issue I have with the game is that quest items must physically be ‘looted’ from enemies. Personally, when a quest reads ‘Collect 6 chicken legs by killing 6 chickens’, I don’t want to manually loot every single chicken leg, as it’s sort of repetitive. A lot of games today usually get around this little nuisance by making quest items looted automatically. Lastly, the English translations in Cloud Nine are pretty terrible. I say terrible because most of the sentences in the game have spelling mistakes, grammar issues or are completely incoherent. This last issue is actually sort of a big one and I hope folks over at Netgame optimize the translations over the next few patches, because the poor translations a lot away from the game.

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Final Verdict – Great

Cloud Nine is an enormous improvement over the original Holic Online game. The game has an enormous amount of content to keep players busy, as well as enough variety to keep things fresh. Anyone that’s looking for a top notch free-to-play MMORPG and is a fan of ‘cartoony’ graphics should definitely give Cloud Nine a try. The game’s only drawbacks at the moment are the poor translations and a few occasional glitches

Videos

Cloud Nine Videos

Cloud Nine Character Creation Video

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Cloud Nine Gameplay Video

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Cloud Nine Fight Boss

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Cloud Nine Feature Video

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Links

Cloud Nine Links

Cloud Nine Official Site

 

System Requirements

Cloud Nine System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:
OS: Windows XP / Vista
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 1.2 Ghz or AMD 1600+
RAM: 256 MB
HDD: 7 GB Free
Graphics Card: GeForce4 Ti 4200 or ATI Radeon 9000

Recommended Specifications:
OS: Windows XP / Vista
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.4 Ghz
RAM: 512 MB Free
HDD: 7 GB Free
Graphics Card: GeForce FX5200 or ATI Radeon 9250

 
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