Around this time last year, Gamevil established their presence on the App Store with the first full-fledged action RPG for the iPhone: Zenonia. This set into motion a chain of similar types of games, such as Across Age and Inotia: A Wanderer of Luone. Now the mobile RPG maker returns with the sequel to the iPhone gaming milestone, and we are happy to report it sets the bar once again.
Zenonia 2 tells of four young adventurers who are chosen to embark on a dangerous mission to revive the tree of memories. You select one of these heroes to play as: a paladin, a melee fighter, a mage, and a sharpshooter. Each has a unique personality, style of play, and minor plot differences. They also have equipment sets exclusive to their class. For our review playthrough, we chose to play as Ecne, a chick who handles big guns.
One thing holding back the first Zenonia was its unbalanced difficulty, which hindered the flow of the game’s progression. In the sequel, Gamevil has worked out the kinks. There is no longer any need to stop completing quests to grind a few levels or rack up some money. Provided you don’t sneak past all the enemies in the game, you should always be ready for the road ahead without straying from the quest line.
The classic team of mechs and floating eyeballs.
That isn’t to say the game doesn’t still feel like a grind at times. Most of the quests still revolve around getting a certain number of an item or killing X number of enemies. Without a method to quickly move to areas you’ve been, you are left backtracking through the world quite often, slashing your way through enemies as you proceed.
Another drawback of the first Zenonia was the menu system, which was in no way optimized for the iPhone. Zenonia 2’s interface has been completely remodeled, offering a quick way to view your inventory, stats, and skill tree. You can also customize the control layout, with the ability to move buttons to anywhere you like, change the D-Pad size, and make the controls transparent. This allows people to find a layout that works for them.
Online Player-vs-Player multiplayer is well implemented, too. You can either team up with friends or take on a random user. Each round only lasts a few seconds, which is great for short sessions. The goal is to simply kill your opponent as fast as possible, but we kept coming back for more deathmatch action.
A closet that would make Carrie Bradshaw jealous.
Grammar issues remain a problem in Zenonia 2. While far fewer than in the original, we often found the dialogue written in broken English. There are also moments where the game breaks the fourth wall, although it’s not too distracting and generally adds to the comedic qualities of the game.
One of our favorite aspects is how armor and weapons change the character sprite’s appearance. This is purely cosmetic, but it makes it so it always feels fresh to use your character.
Most RPGs lack replay value, but Zenonia 2 nails it. At first you must play through the normal difficulty, but completing the game unlocks Hard and Hell modes. These include more loot and a secret bonus boss, plus give players an incentive to try new classes.
We can see ourselves coming back to Zenonia 2 for some time. It likely won’t get people who disliked the original to become fans, but otherwise this is a must-have title on your iPhone.