Fantasy Earth Zero
UPDATE: This game has been shutdown and is no longer available
Fantasy Earth Zero Overview
Finally, Square Enix’s other MMORPG is making its way to America! Originally released back in 2006, Fantasy Earth Zero was a pay to play MMORPG that didn’t catch on in Japan. Square quickly abandoned the project, but a free to play publisher called Gamepot picked it up and gave it new life. The game has enjoyed moderate success in Asia and is now scheduled for closed beta testing here in North America. The graphics are a bit aged, but Fantasy Earth Zero is still worth checking out. The game has a great soundtrack, plenty of PvP options and a depth of gameplay unseen in most f2p MMORPGs. There are four classes in the game which each have multiple skill trees and the ability to transform into various monster.s
The classes are: Warrior, Mage, Scout, Fencer
Fantasy Earth Zero Screenshots
Fantasy Earth Zero Featured Video
Fantasy Earth Zero Review
By, Erhan Altay
Fantasy Earth Zero is a PvP themed MMORPG with a complicated past. It was developed by Fenix Soft and originally published in Japan by Square Enix back in 2006. The game had a short run as a pay to play game but was quickly closed down due to lack of demand. Months later, Gamepot picked it up and revived it as a free to play game. Since then, Fantasy Earth Zero has enjoyed modest success throughout Asia. The North American version of the game entered open beta testing in March 2010 as Gamepot’s third US release after Mir 2 and Bright Shadow.
Blast From the Past
We in the West have had to wait until 2010 to get a peak at Fantasy Earth Zero, but the game was originally released four years earlier. Even before logging in for the first time, players will notice the game’s dated graphics. The video settings menu offers four resolution options with 1280×960 being the highest available. Other graphic settings are also limited. The in-game visuals themselves are similarly unimpressive. Even for a 2006 game, the character models have a low polygon, blocky look. The intro screen has a bold sound track and displays the game’s title in a distinctly Final Fantasy fashion. The music throughout Fantasy Earth Zero is top notch and does far more for immersion than the graphics themselves.
Rocks, Papers, Scissors
Fantasy Earth Zero has four classes to chose from with each playing a very important and clearly defined role. If you’re familiar with the classic school yard game of Rocks, Papers, Scissors, you’ll have a good idea of how Warriors, Scouts, and Sorcerers interact in FEZ. Warriors have high physical defense and deal heavy melee damage which makes them perfect for crushing Scouts. Scouts are fast and can easily move in on Sorcerers to cut them to pieces. Finally, Sorcerers can blast away at Warriors from a distance. Nothing prevents a skilled Scout from taking out a Warrior, but the game gives incentives to encourage players to target their respective foes. The newer fourth class, the Fencer, acts as a front line supportive melee class. The game does offer plenty of appearance customization options during character. Players can chose from 5 body types, 3 skin colors, 7 face types, 5 eye colors, 7 hair styles, and 5 hair colors.
To Serve One’s Nation
After character creation, players must chose which of the five waring nations they wish to join. Netzavare, Cesedria, Yelsord, Hordaine, and Gevrandia each have their own background but no real gameplay differences between them. Each nation has a home continent made up of 13 maps which players must fight over to claim. The game world is arranged so that the five home continents form a circle with a sixth, larger neutral continent in the center. A seventh area, called Vinelle Island is also available. It contains an Amusement park and Colosseum but no contested maps. All this may sound confusing at first, but players are introduced to the game’s Kingdom Battles system gradually. New players will start their adventures in their nation’s capital city where they will be greeted by an NPC offering a line of tutorial quests.
Learning to Walk…
The optional tutorial quests in Fantasy Earth Zero start off simple. The game uses keyboard controls which will come as a relief to many gamer who are tired of point-and-click MMORPGs. W,A,S,D control character movement, and players may switch between the two mouse modes. While in ‘one mouse mode, players will see a courser and can move it to click on interface objects or NPCs. In the second mouse mode, moving the mouse actually moves the character’s cross-hairs. Combat in Fantasy Earth Zero is real-time and actually requires proper aiming. The left mouse button performs the skill a player has activated in their skill bar. To toggle between skills and standard attacks, player can use the mouse wheel or number pad. Players will be able to try out combat on monsters located in areas near the starting zone. In fact, as players traverse the game world they will enter new zones rather abruptly. Invisible zone walls abound.
A Unique Scenario
Fantasy Earth Zero has a persistent game world where nations vie for control over the various maps across the six continents. When at least five players of one faction team up, they are free to declare war on any territory adjacent to one their nation already controls. In order to capture that map for their side, they must win the ensuing battle. Battles in Fantasy Earth Zero can accommodate up to 100 players simultaneously with up to 50 on each side. Battles are won by destroying the enemy’s castle. Damage can be dealt to the opposing force’s castle in numerous ways. The primary method is territorial attrition. Players must take control of territory across the battlefield by constructing obelisks. Every few seconds, each nations’ castle will lose health in proportion to the territory the opposing force controls. Additional damage can be dealt to the opposing castle by killing members of that nation on the battlefield or by destroying obelisks belonging to that side. As the battle progresses, older obelisks become higher priority targets since they inflict more damage when destroyed.
There’s a lot of strategy involved in obelisk placement. Firstly, it costs ‘crystals’ to construct them. Crystals can be acquired either by ‘farming’ them by crouching (hit c) near large blue crystals scattered across the battle field, or by killing enemy players. Battles are generally in the defending nation’s favor since they win either by destroying the attacker’s castle or by staying alive for 45 minutes. Crystals have other uses too. If players manage to collect 30 or more of them, they can transform into powerful monsters such as Giants and Chimeras. These are much more powerful than standard characters but are lost after a single death. Death also carries a 3 crystal penalty, but respawn times are generally short. After a battle has ended, players are rewarded with currency and experience based on their individual performance. Individual skill and team work both play a critical role in Fantasy Earth Zero. Aiming attacks properly and dodging enemy strikes is arguably more important than a character’s base level. While there are only four classes, each can specialize in a number of ways as they level. For example, Sorcerers can learn ice, fire, or lightning related skills.
The Thick of Battle
Combat may be action oriented, but that doesn’t always translate to fast paced gameplay. In large battles with near 50 player per side, choke points can quickly cause bottlenecks and bring things to a stand still. Scouts and Sorcerers are especially frustrating to move up against since their continued attacks can literally stun lock players. In many ways, gameplay is similar to Rakion. It can seem rough at first but slowly makes sense as players gain experience. Proper teamwork can turn the tide of a battle remarkably fast. Overall, Fantasy Earth Zero is an team based action MMO with a thin layer of persistence and RPG elements thrown in. Fighting monsters is unbearably boring, but players will rarely have to do so. Anyone not interested in a competitive, PvP centric game should skip this one.
Final Verdict: Fair
Fantasy Earth Zero has some very interesting gameplay mechanics, but they are presented in a crude package. The kingdom vs kingdom battles are fun, but the game is thin on PvE. Players who enjoy PvP and can look past the graphics should give the game a try.
Fantasy Earth Zero Videos
Fantasy Earth Zero Character Creation
Fantasy Earth Zero Links
Fantasy Earth Zero System Requirements
OS: Windows 2000 / XP /Vista / 7
CPU: Pentium 4 2.0 Ghz
RAM: 1 GB RAM
HDD: 3 GB Free
Graphics Card: nVIDIA GeForce FX5200 series / ATI Radeon X700 series
OS: Windows 2000 / XP /Vista / 7
CPU: Pentium 4 3.0 Ghz or faster processor
RAM: 2 GB RAM
HDD: 3 GB Free
Graphics Card: nVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT series / ATI Radeon X1600 series