Kitsu Saga – Review
Kitsu Saga is a new free MMORPG that’s brought to us by Aeria Games — the same folks who offer MMORPGs like Dynasty Warriors Online, Last Chaos, Shaiya Online, and Shin Megami Tensei, among many others. I think it’s supposed to take place in Japan, based on the term “Kitsu”, although it’s hard to tell thanks to the vague storyline and the abundance of Chinese elements also present.
Downloading and running the game is easy compared to many other free MMORPGs I’ve downloaded recently. As you might expect, you download a program which downloads the actual game for you. The download time is surprisingly quick for a 3D game, and I had no problems running the game despite a somewhat outdated laptop with an integrated graphics card. Even on the highest graphics setting, I had no stuttering or freezing.
When you first start the game, you’re asked to choose a faction: Order of the Iron Claw or Flamewind Society. There’s four different classes within each faction, so your faction will probably be determined more by which kind of character you want to play rather than how you feel about the faction. I was curious to try the Flamewind Society out, but I always play the cleric-type character when I first start a game, so I had to join the Order of the Iron Claw.
It’s a pretty standard martial arts MMORPG, overall. You choose your fighting style, choose your growth style. and so on. I chose the Clearmind style with Mystic growth. Customization is pretty limited, but it could be worse. Besides gender, you’re allowed to choose from three body sizes, five hairstyles, eight hair colors, etc.
Despite being a 3D MMORPG, it has vaguely flat, anime-ish style that I actually sort of love. The scenery is surprisingly pretty for the slightly cartoonish style. I really enjoyed the music, but that’s because I’m a huge fan of old/traditional Asian culture. However, it did seem like it was the same single song over and over again, which was less than awesome. Graphics are generally on the silly side, but occasionally there is a really pretty flash of lights to make it worth it.
The game itself is relatively intuitive, which was nice. Innovation can be fun, but I prefer that developers keep the controls and buttons more or less the same and use their creativity on the game and graphics! You level up incredibly fast in this game, at least at the start– Within five minutes I’d hit level 4, and that was with jumping out to type up notes for this review and snapping screenshots. The automatic run-to-the-quest-guy/enemy feature is quite nice, and even though some games do have it, there are just as many that don’t. Selecting an enemy to attack can be really hard, as even when the cursor turns into a sword, you still can’t always click and target the enemy! I’m sure there’s a way to auto-select, but I couldn’t find it. For whatever reason, my resolution was really small, and with the massive number of boxes popping up and text scrolling across the screen, it was a little hard to see the actual game (as you will note in the screenshots).
The cute little pets were a nice addition to the game, as well as an interesting change of pace. I liked it when my little Kitsu would talk to me in chat bubbles and say things like, “I found a treasure!” Your kitsu also picks up dropped items for you and serves as your helper in battle. Just set up the helper options to heal you with your herbs or restore your magic when you’re below a certain percentage. You can even set your kitsu up to revive you when you rush after the giant ninetails and get one-hit killed.
Obviously, not all features are available to low levels, or possibly anyone on this version of the game yet. One of the options I saw was the possibility of having lovers in the game, although unfortunately it looks like you can only have one! The game has many options for both social interactions and fighting. There are quests to help others and kill special monsters. The crafting system leaves much to be desired, however, and after a while you’re basically down to the typical MMORPG hack and slash for quests and experience. There is a local chat, and you can join party with people.
This is a fine MMORPG. I might even go so far as to say that it’s a really good MMORPG. But it has a problem that is unfortunately common in most MMORPGs– there’s no sticking factor. After a few hours of playing, I was level 8 but had no interest in continuing the game. I imagine I’d feel more inclined to keep playing it if I had friends that were playing with me, or if I joined a guild, or if I just really, really liked the premise of the game. but the fact of the matter is that I none of those apply to me.
Kitsu Saga is one of the more interesting and fun free MMORPGs I’ve played. Technically it has everything a person could want, and it’s certainly fun enough. But it’s still missing that “X factor” that keeps people hooked, in my opinion. There isn’t enough to make it stand out from other martial arts MMORPGs. While there’s many fun aspects of it, I can’t see myself playing it longterm like some MMORPGs. Give it a try for yourself and decide what you think of it.