Tales of Fantasy
UPDATE: This game has been shutdown and is no longer available
Tales of Fantasy Overview
Tales of Fantasy is set in a traditional Asian landscape, and uses the same basic gameplay mechanics found in many other Asian MMORPGs. But the game has a variety of features to help it stand apart. New players chose from two nations which have access to the same classes but different character styles. Mounts and even mounted combat is made available from an early level, but players must wait until level 5 to pick their first class. At level 20 players make their second class advancement and their third at level 40.
Factions & Styles
Bohren - Founded by the descendants of the Qin with the help of Prince Fu Shu. Capital City: Jun Ma City.
Agile - A young boy or girl. Talent: +5% Agility. Talent Spell: Spirit of Speed – Immune to slowdown effects.
Handsome - A charming woman or dashing man. Talent: +5% Charm. Talent Spell: Divine Refreshment – Increases healing ability and healing boost by 30% for 15 seconds.
Ashland - The people of the East Land founded this Empire after the death of their king. Capital City: Lotus City.
Cute - A short, chubby girl or boy. Talent: +5% Intelligence. Talent Spell: Entrapment – Daze more than 4 enemies within 5 yards for 1 second.
Cool – A sultry lady or tough man. Talent: +5% Stamina. Talent Spell: Dauntless: Increases attack speed by spellcasting by 20% for 15 seconds.
Pugilist - Fighters skilled at using various types of weapons. Pugilists can specialize into Rogues or Warriors. Rogues can further specialize into Assassins or Marksmen while Warriors can specialize into Sentinels or Gladiators.
Apprentice - Masters of magic. Apprentices can specialize into Mages or Healers. Mages can further specialize into Summoners or Archmages while Healers can specialize into Druids or Priests.
Tales of Fantasy Screenshots
Tales of Fantasy Featured Video
Tales of Fantasy Review
By, Erhan Altay
Tales of Fantasy is the latest free to play MMORPG offering by the Chinese gaming portal IGG which is best known for publishing Tales of Pirates Angels Online, Godswar Online, and many other titles. The game is set in a traditional Asian world that consists of two feuding nations, Ashland and Bohren. Unlike many Asian games, however, Tales of Fantasy offers keyboard controls and host of interesting features including mounted combat. The graphics are also original, highly detailed character models mixed with somewhat bland terrain renders. How does the entire package hold up? Read on to fight out!
Tales of Fantasy may of made history when it was announced that its closed beta, which started on April 13th, 2010, wouldn’t be followed by a character wipe. The term ‘beta’ has almost lost all meaning by now, and at the very least it has lost its sense of exclusivity. Any and all players are welcome to sign-up or login using their existing IGG account. Each account is given a whopping eight character slots per server, enough for one of each of the final classes. The character creation process it self is simple, but has its own twist. Players start by selecting their nation and then their ‘style.’ Styles can best be thought of as races, there’s two per faction and each provides a 5% boost to a particular stat along with a unique talent skill. One of the style choices for each nation is a child while the other is an adult. It’s a bit odd to play as what looks like a chubby six year old girl with a sword, but the game earns points for originality there. There’s a small number of hair and face options available as well, but all new characters start as trainees. The first job advancement is available at level 5.
Highs and Lows
The newbie experience in Tales of Fantasy is simple, but a little vague. Several prompts help explain the controls and interface, but the font is so difficult to read that it isn’t worth the effort. In fact, the entire user interface is a mess. Even menus like the character info or map can’t be moved around freely, something common in MMORPGs, but rarely missed unless it isn’t available. The short comings in the font and interface are disappointing, especially considering the generally high quality character models and support for W,A,S,D movement. Western gamers seem to prefer this control method, and its a welcome addition. Click-to-Move is still supported, and I found myself using it out of habit, especially for short distanced between monsters while grinding. Quest descriptions are short and to the point. While there’s no auto-navigate feature like in Battle of the Immortals and most other Chinese developed MMORPGs, clicking on the name of an NPC or enemy on the quest navigator does produce an arrow pointing the way towards the objective.
The Tale Begins
New players start off in a small village near the outskirts of their respective kingdoms. The scenery in each area differs, but the experience is similar. A series of simple quests that ask players to equip armor, move from one NPC to another, and finally kill some local wildlife act as the game’s tutorial. These first few quest do come with experience and item rewards, but won’t level players up right away. The progression rate in Tales of Fantasy is on the slow end, but considering the level cap it is well paced. Players need not worry about manually allocating stat points in Tales of Fantasy, instead they earn ‘spell points’ which are used to learn or upgrade skills and spells. As a Trainee, new players won’t be able to acquire any skills beyond Focus (a self-buff) and Return (teleport to town), but even after successive class changes, it is possible to go back and learn skills from the previous class.
Cultural differences between Chinese and Western gamers are to blame for the boring combat and lack of challenge found in Tales of Fantasy and older MMORPGs like Zu Online or Jade Dynasty. Monsters are bunched in by type in certain areas and are generally not aggressive. When hunting enemies within their level range, players rarely have to bother using skills, auto attacks will suffice. The easy fights give players an opportunity to view some of the game’s graphics. Objects like guard towers, mountains in the distance, and other special geographic landmarks are all well rendered. The ground terrain is a bit bland, and the maps are expansive. Though I’m a fan of open environments, without much going on in most areas things can start looking rather dull. On the technical end, Tales of Fantasy provides a huge range of resolution options and the ability to tinker with specific visual effects like sunlight shadows, vegetation, and so on. The game can be played on full screen or windowed mode, and naturally includes black bars on the top and bottom of the screen to give it a wide-screen, movie like view.
Climbing the Class Tree
Players must chose from two first classes upon reaching level 5. Pugilist is the primary physical combat class and Apprentice is the base magic user class. Characters from both realms have access to the same class tree, but their racial bonuses may favor some classes over others. A second class advancement is available at level 20 and a third at level 40. Each time, players have two options to chose from. That leaves the final eight classes as Druid, Priest, Summoner, Archmage, Sentinel, Gladiator, Assassin, and Marksmen. Players don’t have to go into their class changes blind, by clicking on the corresponding box in the class and skill menu, players can see which classes have access to what skills and what they do.
Early to Mount, Early to Rise
The game world in Tales of Fantasy currently consists of 28 maps spread over three regions; Divine Land, Boundless Land, and Dragon Havens. There’s a forth region called Ruined Isle that is still being developed, but even with what sounds like a small map-count, the world is huge. To help players traverse this landmass, the game grants access to mounts at a very early stage. Even before hitting level 5, players will be riding their first steed. Eventually, much fancier mounts are available but the ability to fight while still mounted is very convenient. A noticeable inconvenience, however, is the limited bag space available early on.
Many classic MMORPG staples like crafting, resource gathering, and PvP options are available in Tales of Fantasy. Scattered across the world are special stumps, ore veins, and other spots where players can collect resources. Many monsters also drop raw material as loot when defeated. These materials can be used to craft new gear, but only after learning recipes. Each individual sword or piece of equipment has a corresponding recipe which can be found off monsters or received as a quest reward. This method of crafting is pretty basic, as is the game’s PvP system. Starting at level 10, players from the two factions can attack each other freely in neutral territories. Killing players of the opposing faction yields honor points which can be used to purchase special equipment. Players belonging to the same faction can still fight, but must mutually agree to duel.
Fusion Gives You Wings
The most original feature in Tales of Fantasy, one that I haven’t seen anywhere else is the soul fusion system. Starting at level 10, and after completing a special quest, players can use Soul Crystals to consume all their currently equipped gear to provide them a permanent stat and ability boost. The quality and consistence of the gear equipped plays a large role in determining just what benefits players receive with the soul fusion system. Several of the more potent possibilities are listed on the official website and are worth taking a look at. These powerful fusions actually grant players glowing wings on their avatars along with such potent effects as +20% item drop rate, +400 max HP, and so on. There’s much more to explore in Tales of Fantasy including instances, and a pet system whereby players can catch monsters and have them fight alongside their characters. There’s a lot of potential here, but since IGG released the closed beta with the cash shop open, and no plans for a wipe it must be graded on its current state. Hopefully some of the clumsy presentation problems will be patched up soon.
Final Verdict: Fair
While Tales of Fantasy does have some interesting features, the poor interface and repetitive gameplay prevent it from earning a higher recommendation. It’s free and easily accessible, but fans of Asian themed MMORPGs have plenty of games to chose from. Is Tales of Fantasy worth a look? That depends on what you’re looking for.
Tales of Fantasy Videos
Tales of Fantasy Official Trailer
Tales of Fantasy Character Creation
Tales of Fantasy Gameplay Footage
Tales of Fantasy Combat Footage
Tales of Fantasy Gameplay – First Look HD
Tales of Fantasy Links
Tales of Fantasy 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