Lost Ark Closed Beta Review

Lost Ark Beta Review

Lost Ark Closed Beta review

Lost Ark is a free-to-play top-down action MMORPG. Lost Ark was originally released in the Korean regions back on December 4th, 2019 and then moved onto the Russian regions shortly after. Lost Ark has seen great success in these areas and is now moving to the western markets. The release date at the time of this writing was March 31st, 2022.

The game takes place in a world called Arkesia. A fantasy world of magic, demons, swords, and guns. The main story takes your hero on a quest to hunt down a mythical item called the “Lost Ark” which is said to give the user the power to banish the demons back to their evil realm.

Lost Ark Beta Review - Initial Impressions

Initial Impressions of Lost Ark

My initial impressions of Lost Ark were that the game play was quite good, although it did take some time to get used to the controls. Even though the game is a tradition top-down action RPG, they took some liberties when it comes to the controls. For example, in most action RPGs that I have played you have the right-click to move and attack setup by default. This game has it set so that left click moves and right click attacks or vis versa. As far as I could tell there was no way to set one button to do both. This was by no means a huge issue just something I had to get used to as it was a bit different. The game also used “Q”- “R” and “A”- “F” for skills instead of 1-0. This is done because 1-0 are used for potions, scrolls, and other consumables.

The overall game play was quite fun once I wrapped my head around the controls. The combat reminded me a lot of Dungeon Fighter Online. The combat with trash mobs is generally about juggling\stuttering a group of mobs until they die, which is generally quick. The boss mobs are more about doing as much damage as you can before having to dodge a strong attack. Most of the bosses I fought (including 2-world bosses) did not have any difficult mechanics to learn.

Lost Ark Beta Review - First 10, err I mean 20 levels

First 10, err I Mean 20 Levels

So, with the closed beta, I started in a kind of transit station where I could test each advanced class available for the class I picked when creating the class. This was nice feature as it gave me a chance to test out each class. There are 5 primary classes, Warrior, Martial Artist, Gunner, Mage, and Assassin. Each of these classes have advance classes which I will list below. The advancement to the new classes appears to take place at level 10, based on my experience in the beta. It’s also interesting to note that the Martial Artist and the Gunner have a male\female variant which does change the available advance class\classes. I found this out much later into the beta.

Warrior – Berserker, Paladin, Gunlancer
Martial Artist – Striker (Male), Wardancer (Female), Scrapper (Female), Soulfist (Female)
Gunner – Gunslinger (Female), Artillerist (Male), Deadeye (Male), Sharpshooter (Male)
Mage – Bard, Summoner
Assassin – Shadowhunter, Deathblade

The leveling experience from 1-10 was pretty much non-existent in the beta. All I did was complete a quick tutorial and bam I was level 10. I would assume this is not how it will be in the full game but that was my experience in the beta.

Level 10 to 20 was completely different. It took me a while to get to level 20 as I tested multiple classes before sticking with the Deadeye. The game is very much on rails as you follow the story line to each new location. You also level almost entirely from the storyline\quest exp. The exp provided from trash monsters is very minimal.

Throughout the story I was sent to multiple story dungeons, all of which where quite easy for every class I tried. I was also sent to 3 different “group” dungeons. I say “group” because they gave you the option to search for a group, but I was able to solo them on hard mode without much trouble.

Lost Ark Beta Review - What's good and bad?

What’s Good and Bad?

As stated before, the combat in this game is quite fun. As you play through, you learn quickly that certain skills work or flow well with other skills and before long you are combo’ing those skills together in most fights. The graphics in the game are well done. However, the effects really stand out in my opinion. They did a great job of giving you that over-the-top feeling when you are in combat.

So, what is bad? Well, the story… As stated above, I played through about 10 levels of the story and I read through every section, and honestly, it was just bad. There was no draw, or interest. The characters were bland at best, and very predictable.

On top of the story being bad, the game is just easy. I never once found myself struggling to pass an area. I think I died like once, the whole time I played the game, over 5 different classes (some tanky’er then others). This concerned me so I reached out to the community and most users stated that the game gets much harder in end game, which is at level 50.

Final Judgment

Overall, I had fun playing the game, but I did find myself getting board towards the end of the level 10 to level 20 run. This was primarily due to the lack of difficulty and the very subpar story line. However, I have played many different free-to-play MMOs and the majority of them have subpar stories if they have a story at all. The story will not keep me from playing the game, but I am very concerned about the difficulty. If the game does not get hard in end game as stated by the community, then I would feel like I wasted a large amount of time grinding to end game. On the flip side, if the end game is challenging and rewards players who learn to combo their skills together while dodging horrifying attacks, then it could be quite a fun game at end game.

Guild Wars 2 Worth Playing in 2021?

Guild Wars 2 worth playing in 2021?

What is Guild Wars 2?

Well, if you are reading this there is a good chance that you already have some idea of what Guild Wars 2 is. But, if not, here is the basics. Guild Wars 2 is an MMORPG (follow the link if you want more details on what an MMORPG is). Guild Wars 2 was a bit different from other MMORPGs right from the start because Guild Wars 2 never had a subscription. The game started right from the git-go as pay to start free to play. On top of that, the game did away with the Holy Trinity (more on this here).

Guild Wars 2 has 5 playable races, the Asure, Charr, Humans, Norn, and Sylvari. Unlike many other MMORPGs, in Guild Wars 2, your race does not limit what Class you can pick. Instead, each race has unique abilities and stories that enhance your experience as you play the game. Asure’s for example are a smaller race of humanoids whose focus is on technology and intellectual prowess. They are not concerned with strength. A stark contrast to this is the Charr. The Charr were born in battle, it is all they have known, and with that comes the requirement to be strong and fierce.

Guild Wars 2, Is it worth it? - People in game!

Guild Wars 2, Still Worth it in 2021?

Guild Wars 2 is still a very active and exciting game. There is an estimated 17 million monthly players and roughly 750,000 daily players according to the last count on 6/16/2021. Keep in mind, those numbers are complete estimates that I found on the web. Those are not numbers reported by AreaNet so they could be completely different in reality. But still, that is a huge number of players still. And when you play, you can see it. While running around the world completing the area quests or gathering up some mats, you will constantly see other players. Even in the old world!

Then there is the question of content. Guild Wars 2 has content galore. Not only can you play through all 7 of the completely awesome stories, but these stories also are almost completely voice acted as well (rather well I might add). You also have countless other activities such as crafting, gathering, PvP (Player vs Player), WvW (World vs World), achievements, fractals, raids, strikes, and many others. I would rarely find myself lacking something to do while playing GW2. And more often than not, it was just because I was waiting for a guildie to get his butt in gear to run fractals.

Guild Wars 2, Is it worth it? - Combat

Some High Points of Guild Wars 2

So, you still might be wondering, “Why would I play Guild Wars 2 when there are so many other MMORPGs to pick from”. Well, there are a few really great answers to that question. One, the game is now completely free. When Guild Wars 2 first came out it was a pay-to-own free-to-play experience. What that means is you would pay to get the game initially, but no sub was required to play it. Now veterans to the MMORPG genre now jump to the dreaded “Cash Shop”. Yes, there is a Cash Shop, but there are never items in there that give you an advantage over other players. There are some quality of life items like never-ending gathering tools or the copper-fed-salvage-omatic. However, all of these items are not needed to enjoy the game or be successful in PvE or PvP.

Another great reason to play Guild Wars 2 is the fact that it is very casual and hardcore friendly. Now, I know that makes no sense at all but hear me out. Guild Wars 2’s end game starts at 80 (the current level cap). In most MMORPGs that I have played, at end game, you start the gear leveling grind. Always working on getting that next item that increases your stats by X%. Guild Wars 2 has that, but in reality, it is not needed for a majority of the content. You can still enjoy fractals, PVP, WvW, world bosses, new content, and much more. However, if you like that gear grind, you can do so with fractals, raids, and strikes. However, in the end, it really leaves it up to you how you want to play the end game. In most cases, the end game of all MMORPGs is fashion, and Guild Wars 2 has that in spades.

Guild Wars 2, Is it worth it? - Great View

There is Still Some Grime

As with any game, there are some issues with Guild Wars 2. One glaring issue, at least for me, is that some content is not playable. For example, living world season 1 is no longer accessible. This is due to some changes that were made during that season that made it impossible to allow players to go back and play it. They learned from that mistake and all living world seasons have been replayable since then, but that is a big annoyance for me. Then there is the open-world content. There are a good number of open-world quests or bosses that you cannot beat solo or even with a small group. These quests\bosses were created with a zerg of players in mind. It can be frustrating at times when you want to complete such a quest or world activity just to see it time out after you have died 50 times.

Should you Play Guild Wars 2?

Now the verdict. Is Guild Wars 2 worth your time? In my opinion…. Yes. Yes, it is. When you look at the fact that you can play the game for literally nothing and get such a great story from just that, I feel it is well worth it if you have never played Guild Wars 2 before. As for returning players, if you are willing to fork up a little extra cash to get the expansions and living world season (which they do give away for free off and on) I would highly recommend it as well. Guild Wars 2 is a fun, well-made, engaging MMORPG that has, so far, stood the test of time.

If you are looking to jump in under the non-free-to-play side I would recommend checking out G2A.com. They have great prices for all the DLC and gems.

I hope you enjoyed my review, if you did please drop me a comment. If you disagree with something I said, let me know. I am always open to debate. If you are interested in trying a much older but still great MMORPG, check out my review on Everquest 2!
Thanks all and Good Hunting.

Shadowrun Hong Kong Review

What is Shadowrun Hong Kong?

Shadowrun Hong Kong is a turn-based tactical RPG set in 2056 Hong Kong. Let me back up a little by explaining what Shadowrun is. Shadow run was originally a table-top game set in a near-future where cybernetics, magic, and fantasy-type creatures all collide.

In this world, most if not all governments, are corrupt and corporations run almost everything. Whether it’s from behind the scenes or right out in the open. Sounds a bit crazy at first. However, what I feel makes Shadow run so interesting is even though all these people have almost no control over their lives there is still a small group of people, who are considered criminals, who fight against the governments and corporations in their own way.

In this review of Shadowrun Hong Kong, I will explain, in the best way that I can, all that his game has to offer. By doing so, I hope to give you the information you need to decide whether you want to purchase and play this game or not.



Action in this game is very minimal. Everything is turn-based (that is the game design so ya…). So the action is always paused. Very rarely did I feel rushed. However, there are a few areas where you have limited turns to complete something which gave that feeling of “hurry the hell up!”



The combat system is turn-based. They use an AP system instead of a speed system. I am not a huge fan of that fact. I don’t like how my whole team gets to make their moves, then the whole enemy team makes their moves. Removes the illusion of real combat. It’s like saying, “Hey you stand there while I shoot you, kk thanks!” I do like how they have the dragon lines and the areas where you can summon spirits in combat. However, all of those are limited to magic users. There is like one instance where I could affect combat as a “Decker” and only a few instances where there were explosive barrels or something like that which could be interacted with to change the outcome of combat.



The progression of your character seems a bit random. You finish a mission and you might get a few karma points, you open some random secret and you get a karma point. (Karma points are what you need to advance your character’s skills and abilities.)


Over The Top Game Play

There is little to no point in the game where you are like some super badass who can take on the world. You are always with your team. There is a point in the very end where it kind of seems that your team is pretty awesome but it’s all a bit lackluster.


Story Interest

The story is pretty interesting and it gets right into it. I really enjoyed the main story. Be aware though, that 90% of the communication in this game is via text. That means you gotta do some reading. if you are reading this I would hope that wouldn’t be too much of an issue. Aside from that, I don’t want to give away any spoilers so you will have to check it out to get any details, but overall the main story is what kept me playing the game.


Story Progression

This is what almost made me not play the game. This seems to be the way Shadowrun games work. They give you the main story but you have to complete a bunch of little stories to get more information about your main story. The problem with this is sometimes you get more into the side story than the main story because you haven’t gotten an update on the main story for a while, and if you stop playing for a few days you might be completely lost.



Customization isn’t very strong on the visual side of things. However, you can customize your character quite a lot when it comes to skills which is very nice. When you initially create your character you can choose from a few set classes or you can just pick which skills you want your character to have.


The graphics of the game are all top-down aside from a handful of comic book-type cut scenes. You can always zoom in and out to get a better look at what is going on but you are unable to rotate the camera.


Memorable NPC

There are a total of 5 or 6 NPCs that I can remember right now, and for the most part that is just because I was always interacting with those NPCs. Don’t get me wrong I know that all NPCs can’t be unique but when the ones that are part of your team are so “plain Jane” that you forget who they are, that’s a problem.

Jumping into the Matrix

There is one part of Shadowrun Hong Kong that I found really interesting, and that is the Matrix. The Matrix is a type of physical representation of the digital world. With a Decker, you can enter the Matrix and hack into different security systems, data banks, and other computer integrated systems. However, when you are doing this there are intrusion detection systems and intrusion prevention systems that you have to deal with as well.

So if you are not careful you with trigger the quick response program that is there to basically remove you from their system, forcefully. If you do manage to make it to your destination hack site (security hub, information data bank, etc) this is where you will have to actually hack in a more traditional sense.

You are given 3 options normally. 1) hack the system with a penalty if you fail. 2) Brut force the system with a large penalty but always succeeds. 3) use a password you found in the real world. The Matrix in Shadowrun Hong Kong is almost like a game within the game and it’s quite a fun thing to play around in.


Although I do point out multiple criticisms throughout this review, I still enjoyed the game as a whole. If you are looking for an interesting turn-based combat RPG game I would check this one out. However, if you are not up for a bit of reading, steer clear quickly because 90% story in the game is text only.

If you are interested in trying out this game I would recommend picking it up from G2A.com. They have a great deal on this game and many others!

How did you like this review? Have you played this game and have a different opinion? Please let me know what you think in the comments below!

Good Hunting

Everquest 2, Is it worth it?

Everquest 2, Is it worth it?

What is Everquest 2?

Everquest 2 is an MMORPG (massive multi-player online role-playing game) set in the fantasy world of Norrath. For those who are not familiar with MMORPGs, they are large, never ending games that you play in real time with thousands of other people around the world. Everquest 2 was released on November 8th 2004 (yes the game is a bit old).

In Everquest 2 you create a character by selecting its race, class, gender, and general appearance. There are 21 races to choose from and 24 different classes. Each race brings unique abilities and stats to their class. For example, some races are able to breath underwater where others are able to teleport to an ally. Some of these abilities do overlap. For instance, the Froglok race (a race of frog-humanoid creatures) and the Iksar race (a race of lizard-humanoid) are both able to breath under water.

The 24 classes in the game fall under 4 general types priests, fighters, mages, and scouts. However, with in these 4 general types there are a wide range of options. Just to give a few examples, within the fighter type there is an option to be a monk, which follow the spiritual philosophy of mind-over-body. Monks have the ability to increase the speed of their attacks with just a thought, or remove detrimental effects from themselves.

In contrast to the Monk would be the Shadowknight. The Shadowknight lives to cause pain and fear to its enemies. Shadowknights summon dark magics to enhance their own prowess as well as weakening or draining their enemies. These are just a few of the fighter types that can be played. This customization only continues with the Alternant Advancement tree, Racal abilities, Focus Effects, Class Training, and Prestige advancement. Not to mention deities, Overseer, and many other options that make your character your own.

Everquest 2, Is it worth it? - People in game!

Is Everquest 2 still worth playing in 2020?

Everquest 2 is not a dead game. It does not have the same player base as launch and it has merged some servers over the years, however, the game continues to have a loyal following. According to mmo-population.com, Everquest 2 has approximately 210,000 players\subscribers. There is no lack of content either. Over the past 16 years that EQ2 has been out, they have released a new expansion every year. Along with 4 additional adventure packs (mini expansions basically). Each of these expansions would released large amount of content, such as additional zones, races to play, classes to try out, and always more raids to try.

They have also released multiple servers and server types. The server types consist of much of what is expected from an MMORPG; PvP (player vs Player), PvE (player vs Environment), and Roleplaying. However, they also have some unique server types such as Progression and Event server. The progression server releases the content again in a set progression allowing players to enjoy the original 15 years of EQ over again. The release time frame is a bit faster though. The progression server will release new expansions every 16 weeks.

The event server is similar to the progression server in that some parts of the game have not been released. In the latest event server, the content was released up to the Runes of Kunark, the 4th expansion released in 2007.

Everquest 2, Is it worth it? - Combat

What are the benefits of Everquest 2?

So why would it be worth playing EQ2? A game that was released in 2004. Well, as of the time of this writing, there was still a good size player base. My experience with the community was quite pleasant. Everyone I spoke with was very willing to help and very knowledgeable about the game.

I played the live server for a few months but found that the progress was far to fast for my liking. It was difficult for me to get used to the game because I had not played in a while. However, when I moved over to the progression server, it was like I had joined the game only shortly after release. People were all over the starter zones. People continued to ask for groups of all different level ranges. It was and still is, a great experience. There are many different guild types as well, some casual, some hardcore, some a little of both. I am currently with a guild that is a casual guild with a progressive raiding mind set.

Everquest 2, Is it worth it? - Great View

Not everything is great…

But of course, not everything is great. The game itself is dated which means the graphics for the game are not mind blowing or anything like that. However, the game does have quite descent graphics for its age as you can see here.

There are also some bugs in the game. I feel that this is kind of a given considering it is an MMORPG that is constantly changing, even now. They continue to patch, add, and hotfix things on a regular basis. One of the other unfortunate things about the game is that all the server types, aside from live, are locked behind the subscription. This means that if you ever wanted to try out that progression server that I like so much, you would have to buy a subscription. I understand why they do it, I am sure that recoding the game to return to its original state is not easy (or cheap) but it is still unfortunate.

So, is it worth your time?

I believe the game is still worth checking out. If you are into high fantasy RPGs and enjoy playing with multiple people, it is quite fun and worth your time. However, if you jump on the live server and feel that the progression is just to fast for you, I would highly recommend trying the progression server. You can kind of think of it like WoW’s (World of Warcraft) classic. It allows you to go back and enjoy the game the way it was originally meant to be. Before a large amount of content was added with the years of expansions.

What is an RPGame?

What an interesting question… What is an RPGame? I mean really, what is it? I know it stands for Role Playing Game but when I was asked this question by one of my kids the other day I was stumped when I tried to explain what it was. I mean I know what games I play that are RPGs but trying to answer this basic question of what made them RPGs was oddly difficult.


Dungeons and Dragons(DnD) is an RPG

WAIT!! Don’t run away yet! DnD will help us answer the question, “what is an RPG?”. Don’t worry though this whole post is not going to talk about the table-top RPG Dungeons and Dragons… Although I probably could write this whole post about it, I know some people run away at the thought of DnD assuming that only “nerds” play it. At least I know they used to but DnD is really where the roots of modern RPGs come from. There were other games before DnD, but many believe that it was DnD that really started the push that created this genre. Then the question is, why is DnD an RPG?


Walking In Their Shoes

One of the key elements to RPGs (DnD especially) is the ability to pretend to be or even physically act out the role of another character. This is, for me at least, the main reason I was drawn to RPGs. I love the idea that I can be that other character. I can be that crazy strong barbarian guy with the Huge sword, or the wise old magic user who throws fireballs like they are candy. And that’s when you’re only talking about fantasy RPGs. Move into the future or current time frame and who knows what you can be! Your imagination is literally the only limit! That idea is very appealing to me. For the most part no one could ever be those characters in reality. So, these RPGs give you a way to escape reality. But, that isn’t the only thing that makes a game an RPG.


Progression, It’s a Stat Thing

In almost every RPG I have ever played (even DnD) there is some form of progression. Whether you are leveling up your character to gain more power to devastate your enemies or becoming stronger to protect your allies. There is always some form of progression. There are many people out there that argue that this is what makes a game an RPG. All they want to see is the stats increase and the power level rise. My counter to this is that if all you needed was some form of progression or leveling up then almost every game made today would be considered an RPG. Progression is, however, a very important part of RPGs. It can give the player goals to shoot for like, “Oh, two more fights and I can use that new fireball spell!”… for example. Not that I would ever say that…. Anywho, the progression aspect of a game is a part of what makes a game an RPG it is not the only thing though. We have yet to get to one of, if not the MOST important part of what makes a game an RPG.


Best Story Ever

That’s right, the story. I have heard others say that you can have an RPG without having a story, and I suppose there is some truth to that, but for me it is an integral part of making a game an RPG. There is just something about that story that makes the world feel real and when the world feels real so does that character, and when the character feels real so does the Fireball! And I mean, who wouldn’t want real fireballs, am I right!? But, I digress. In the end, everyone loves a good story. We all watch movies for the story, or TV shows for the story. Heck, we even read crazy blog posts for the story. For as long as human beings have been able to communicate they have been sharing stories.


An RPG is…

So, apparently, I over thought this when my kid asked me what an RPG game is. The answer is basically in the name:

  • Role
    • You are taking on the role of another character in a different world as they are telling you the story of their lives. Showing you their pain, their joy, their triumph, and their failure.
  • Playing
    • During this time, you are progressing and gathering more power/strength to defeat your enemies and help your allies. You know, the number junkies
  • Game
    • In the end it is a game, so you can through Fireballs at dragons!

What do you think is required to make a game an RPG? Do you disagree with my assertion that all RPGs should have a story to make the world feel real? Please let me know the answer to these questions and ask any other questions in the comments below. Thanks!

Good Hunting