Chronicles of Inotia: A Wanderer of Luone is looking like it just might shape up to be the game everyone had hoped the disappointing original would be. The developers have tweaked and evolved nearly every aspect players complained about in the first one, focusing their attentions on spinning a better story and involving players in a deeper role-playing experience. We’re waist-deep in a preview build of the new one, which has already been submitted to the App Store, and we’re here to tell you all about it.
The first thing you do in the game is pick your character from a choice of five classes: knight, magician, priest, thief, or Templar. Whichever you pick, you start out as a wandering mercenary who happens upon the town of Luone, looking for jobs. Your decision of which class to play as doesn’t seem to affect the storyline. What does change is your fighting style, upgrade tree, and the amount of cleavage you show. Yes, all female characters are healthily endowed and scantily dressed.
At the start of the game, you’re informed that long ago three warriors gave their lives to seal the Evil Dark Lord out of the world. Each warrior became a physical seal that some bad guys are now trying to unlock one by one in order to release His Royal Darkness. During one of your early mercenary missions, you’ll unwittingly help the enemies in their quest, so it falls to you to put a stop to them.
The way you’ll do this is by taking on missions from random townies, hacking, slashing, and magicking enemies, and leveling up your heroes. The gameplay is very similar to that of Zenonia, so anyone who played that game will feel right at home here. You have a choice between touch controls and an onscreen D-pad, plus a regular attack button and four slots that you can assign to special attacks or spells. You encounter and fight enemies in the regular game world, like in Zelda, so you won’t find any JRPG-style random battles.
Many of the side quests are standard RPG fare, like kill this many wolves, fetch that many scrolls, etc. All the while you’ll be leveling up your character and working your way down his or her skill tree. Each class’s skill tree consists of six active and six passive skills, each of which is upgradeable many times. Skills higher up on the tree are inaccessible until you reach certain levels.
Along the way you can hire up to two other mercenaries to help you. You can choose the class of these other party members, which helps you even out your party’s skills. However, their upgrade tree is very limited compared to your main character’s. Every member of your party is playable; you can switch to the others any time by tapping their icon in the corner of the screen.
You can also dictate what kind of fighters your AI-controlled party members are by making them use their special abilities aggressively or sparingly. They follow you wherever you go and help you take down enemies, and might even heal your party when necessary, depending on their class.
As you quest, you collect unusable objects you can combine into usable items. There’s a decent number of weapons and armor that you’ll find in shops and dropped by enemies throughout the world. Lots of enemy types are packed into the game, ensuring that you’ll never be stuck taking on too many of one kind for too long. A mini map and a world map are always available to let you know where you are in the game. Though the game world seems about as large as Zenonia’s, we played for several hours and did not come across any way to fast travel.
Outside of the single-player campaign, an online Match Up Mode puts you in an arena to battle your characters against the characters of real people online. There’s also a leaderboard that shows you who has reached the highest levels in Story Mode and who has defeated the most enemies in Match Up Mode.
All in all, there seems to be a ton of content packed into this game. If you’re an RPG fan, and Zenonia hit the right notes with you, Chronicles of Inotia: A Wanderer of Luone is one to keep a look out for. We’ll have a full review soon after the game’s release.