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Android App Video Review: Zenonia 4

by Andrew Koziara

It hasn't been very long since the Korean RPG Zenonia hit the Android Market and became a huge hit. Since being crowned as one of the kings of mobile RPGs, we've been given a steady stream of new titles, and Gamevil has seen fit to throw yet another one our way with Zenonia 4.

This game changes things up in a big way, offering the first freemium price model of the series and featuring one of the most confusing plotlines yet. The graphics are better than ever, but the same Zenonia gameplay many have come to know and love is still here though.

I won't spend too much time on the plot, because it's obscenely confusing for someone who hasn't finished every other game in the series. Basically, you play as Regret, except you're younger than you used to be and apparently dead or something. You're stuck in some dream world afterlife place thing, and you eventually escape thanks to a fairy named Anya. Then the time travel driven plot begins, and things really get confusing. The story may be tailor made for fans of the series, but the presentation of that story is well done enough that it probably won't bother you, and the game does slowly explain the back-story of the franchise.

It's the same KRPG Gameplay you're all familiar with. Simple touch controls, real time combat, equipment that degrades over time, skill trees, plenty of options to tweak, an endless parade of fetch and item collection quests, and all the grinding your masochistic heart could ever desire. OK, I have yet to experience any horrible grinding where I am in the story, but I know it's in there. I just know it. You can also take your character online in one on one and team based player versus player matches, or a more cooperative mode called The Abyss. The game is free to play, but there's a special currency known as 'Zen.' The game is completely playable without any Zen, but oh lord can it be inconvenient at times.

The environments have this gorgeous painted look, and the anime-style sprites all look great in contrast with it. Oh, if your screen seems to go dim for no reason, that's not your device's brightness setting or anything. That's just how they convey night-time in this game. It's kind of lazy and confusing, but that's OK. The music and effects are top notch as well. The Android release of this game is much buggier than the iOS version. Backing out of the game through the home button or by death of battery can corrupt your progress, and I couldn't enter the online modes without the app crashing every time.

Thanks to the free-to-play price model, this is probably a great introductory game to the series, even with the confusing plot. Try it out, see if you find the characters, visuals and gameplay appealing, and who knows? Maybe you'll end up buying the previous games instantly. This is definitely a great entry in the series that shouldn't be missed out on, despite its flaws.

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