Choose My Mobile Adventure has changed locales from the Black Desert on over to the world of Villagers & Heroes, a game that has sat firmly on my “meaning to play it” list, in spite of the fact that it was available on PC for years before the mobile client went live. This list, as we all know, is a list one compiles with titles that they never get to for one reason or another. Which is not to say this game didn’t really strike my interest so much as other games struck my interest more. But now that I’ve had a brief bit of time in-game, I can say that I get why it has a fanbase.
For one thing, the color palate and stylistic character design immediate feel welcome to those who are perhaps familiar with another certain MMO. I don’t particularly consider that to be a demerit. I love stylistic graphics; they age better, they are more fun to watch in motion, and they allow for more creativity in general design. It’s one of the things that drew me to WildStar, and it’s one of the things that has me at least visually engaged with this game.
Gameplay is also pretty familiar as well. It’s not quite tab-target, with your target simply being selected by the mere dint of your attack skill happening to focus on the closest foe, but it’s close enough as to make next to no difference. After that, it’s a matter of simply clicking on skills that are available off-cooldown. Pretty standard stuff.
The questing, too, is familiar to anyone who has played a themepark MMORPG in the last few years as well. I admit that I’m blitzing through the quest text a bit, but mostly because I felt very familiar with what was happening and fell into some old themepark habits. I’ll admit that I’m not necessarily engrossed by the storylines that Villagers & Heroes is trying to weave here, either. Something about a guy named Molok? Some dark times coming? A lady disappeared as a warning to people, I know that much. That’s kind of about it.
Honestly, there’s so much in Villagers & Heroes that’s familiar to every other themepark MMO I’ve ever experienced that it felt like I was at my PC playing some long-forgotten classic. This game really does feel that familiar.
Unfortunately, that also does make it feel rather formulaic so far as well. There’s hardly anything new here to really shake the paradigm of MMORPG gaming, let alone mobile MMORPG gaming. The Shaman class that I was chosen to play feels like any other sword-and-board warrior out there, which is probably helped by the fact that I decided to go with an Earth Shaman (the tanky one) instead of a Water Shaman (the healy one).
Advancement so far is done by applying talent points to skills which will eventually unlock new skills, but the leveling curve feels rather sluggish in Villagers & Heroes. At least, it does when compared to Black Desert Mobile, which felt like it was handing out levels like candy. I suppose, though, that’s becaushe Villagers & Heroes is trying to be very much like a full-fledged PC MMORPG on a mobile device.
Sometimes, the convenience of having a mobile and the brief moments one is allowed to look at its screen to get as much done as possible is nice, but other times it sort of erodes one’s attention span for what could be considered more “serious” gaming. Villagers & Heroes feels like it wants to legitimize my cellphone as a handheld gaming device; a pocket PC that lets me play a full MMORPG that requires more commitment. It’s impressive, but it’s also hard to parse.
Or, perhaps, I’m just overthinking it and the game is just slow.
I admit that I didn’t have a great deal of time to play Villagers & Heroes like I wanted to (my second job has been absolutely batty for the past couple of weeks), and this game is so on-the-rails that I’m a bit hard-pressed to come up with many polling options for this one, but I at least have one more week to try to dive in to this game, knuckle down, and maybe get some levels.
I also kind of want to give both Villagers & Heroes and Black Desert Online a deeper dive in their cash shops – last week it was pointed out, rather rightfully, that the pop-ups that I bemoaned in BDM as cash shop billboards were actually alerts to free stuff, while Villagers & Heroes does have a pop-up pushing its subscription service, and so I feel I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to really plumb those depths.
…hey, you know what? That actually gives me a second poll idea! Would you fine people want me to really dig in to the cash shops of both of these titles?
Should I investigate the cash shops of our chosen mobile titles?
- Yes. Might as well do a full deep dive. (65%, 52 Votes)
- No. Focus on the gameplay instead. (35%, 28 Votes)
Total Voters: 80
As for the poll idea I actually was going to do, it’s perhaps a question addressed to anyone who’s more familiar with Villagers & Heroes than I am. I feel like I’ve cast my lot in with the Earth Shaman, especially since the items I’m getting as quest rewards are kind of specifically boosting those abilities. That said, I did happen to notice that the talent point accumulation screen does seem to let me pluck at a couple of other trees as well – namely Water and Air. I don’t believe that it’d be wise for me to pick up Water skills, and some of the Air skills seem to suggest that there’s interplay between it and Earth, but I’d rather defer to any experts out there. Or to those with an opinion about these things at the very least.
Where should I put my Talent Points?
- All Earth. Focus on being a tanky Shaman. (36%, 22 Votes)
- A mixture of Earth and Wind. Blending is good and smart. (41%, 25 Votes)
- Mixture of Earth and Water. Best of both worlds! (23%, 14 Votes)
Total Voters: 61
As usual, voting will wrap up at 1:00 p.m. EST on Friday, January 24th. And this time, I should be able to get some more play time in with Villagers & Heroes in an effort to form a more complete travelogue of our adventures. I’m going to try like hell, anyway. Second job permitting, I’ll have some quality time with my axe-swinging Shaman friend.