Zenonia Review

zenonia title

Title: Zenonia
Developer: Gamevil USA
Game Type: PlayStation Mini
Download: 22 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download | Direct Download

EU Availability: Digital Download | Direct Download

Ever since the platform had become available on the PSP, the PlayStation Mini library had become home to many games that were like Mobile games, but also games that were Mobile games.  Looking back at games we have reviewed like Young Thor and Tehra Dark Warrior, it’s pretty clear that some of these games were taken straight from the iOS and Android libraries and brought over with button controls for the PSP and PS3 to play.

There were a lot of games like this in the PlayStation Mini library.  Even the ever-popular Angry Birds franchise had managed to slingshot its way onto the PSP, though I am certain playing that game would be a little different with not having the options for touch controls like it did on the iPhone.  It was part of a library slowly growing in size to the 200+ games that it has today.

Another rather iconic Mobile game that came to the PlayStation Mini platform is an Action RPG called Zenonia.  Merging Zelda-like gameplay with gameplay of Action RPGs, Zenonia launched and caused quite a fuss on Mobile.  Did it do the same when it came over to the PlayStation Mini platform, did it not get ported over well?  Your answers are here and waiting for you.  Here is our official review of the PlayStation Mini, Zenonia.

Story

zenonia story

In the world of Zenonia, there are two races that have been at work for many years, the Human species and the Dragon Clan, beings that have dragon-like magical abilities.  15 years before the game begins, there is a decisive battle between the Holy Knights, the main defensive force for the Human species, and the leaders of the Dragon Clan.  After what seemed like hours, the Holy Knights were victorious and the Dragon Clan’s leaders fled the battlefield, with only a small baby being left in all the carnage, only to be taken up by the leader of the Holy Knights.

15 years later, a boy named Regret awakens, only to know that his father has been slain by some sort of demon force.  Being shunned and hated by everyone in his hometown, Regret travels the world, joining a Guild in the hopes of finding the answers to what really happened to his father and, unknown to him, uncovering a greater evil at work in the events of his life and the lives of everyone around him.

The story of Zenonia isn’t a great one, but what makes it unique is that it has two paths.  At one point in the story, you can make a choice, which will lead you through a Good Story Path or an Evil Story Path.  This greatly effects where you go, which Guild you join, and more. The translation isn’t the best there is, but it is entertaining enough to keep you thinking and wondering what’s going to happen next.

Gameplay

zenonia gameplay 2

Zenonia is an Action RPG that progresses and plays much like a 2D Legend of Zelda game.  You will be controlling Regret throughout the game as you travel the world, complete quests, defeat monsters, and increase your own skills and abilities.

When you first begin the game, you will have an option for a character class.  You will be able to either choose to be a Paladin, Assassin, or Warrior.  Each one of these has their own unique fighting styles and their own unique sets of skills that can be learned as you progress through the game.  The Paladin’s skills will be more based on magic, while the Assassin’s skills will be more set on dealing large damage to unsuspecting foes.  While the story doesn’t change based on your class, your fighting style and skills will.  Just like the Good and Evil story paths, this cannot be changed after it has been chosen.

Game progress will have you moving from town to town and taking on missions from various NPC’s as well as collecting and upgrading your equipment and items, along the way.  Quests could be as simple as taking a package from one shop to another or as extensive as tracking down a thief and returning stolen items to your Guild.  The game’s progress will hinge on performing quests, though there are many Side-Quests that have nothing to do with the game’s story that offer a bit of insight to the world around you.

When you’re out on a quest, you aren’t limited to just one, either.  If you want to take on a Story Quest along with several Side-Quests, you will be able to do so and you’ll be able to keep on fighting and going with gathering the requirements for all of them.  This is advised for some areas, as you can easily take down monsters for side-quests while on the way to completing a Story Quest, saving yourself a lot of time.  Completing these quests can net you Experience and Money, used to Level Up and buy new items and equipment.

zenonia gameplay

When you’re in the middle of an area with enemies, you will be able to attack them with your weapon or skills.  This is done when you are directly in front of them.  Think of it like having to run up to an enemy in Legend of Zelda and attacking them to damage them.  Unlike Zelda, though, this is an Action-RPG, so each enemy cannot be taken down with a simple sword swipe.  Once you engage and enemy, their health will appear on the top of the screen and you will need to keep attacking them until it is depleted and they are no more.

Fighting enemies is important.  Not only do enemies give you experience upon defeat to level up and be able to equip higher-level equipment and learn higher-level skills, but they drop items.  Unlike most RPGs, enemies in Zenonia have a chance to drop very good equipment.  When I was in the first “dungeon” of the game, I had enemies that dropped equipment far greater than the equipment available at the nearby Weapon Shop.

Collecting items is important, but it’s also limited.  Each item has weight to it and carry items adds up your Capacity Percentage.  Go over that percentage and you’ll be overweight and can no longer run, but you go to a very slow walk.  It’s important to always keep yourself under that 100% mark if you want to be mobile.  Because of that, it’s advised you never keep equipment that’s weaker than what you currently have equipped, so you have room for other items.

Zenonia is an RPG and, as such, has a fair bit of length to it.  From start to finish, if you don’t do Side-Quests, the game should last you a good 15-18 hours, and twice that if you want to play both the Good and Evil story paths.  It’s got a lot more length than most of the Minis on the market, that’s for sure.

Controls

Controls for Zenonia are a little bit limited for the PlayStation Mini.  No doubt because of what kind of game it is, you won’t be using all of the buttons available on the PS Vita system, though you can set buttons to the touch screen or Right Analog Stick.  Even then, though, your options for controlling the game are pretty limited.

Moving around the map is done with the D-Pad, and the Left Analog Stick is not used for anything.  Maybe because it’s a 2D game, but the developers didn’t allow for the Left Analog Stick to be used.  All of the face buttons will be used, though.  The X button will allow you to perform a physical attack, and combining L with any of the face buttons allows you to activate an equipped skill.  Pressing Triangle will open the menu for you.  X is also used to confirm an option in the menus and Circle is used to cancel an option.

The Start button can be used to bring up the Map, and the L and R buttons can be used to cycle through options when you’re in the menu.  The control scheme is pretty limited and easy to get used to, if you can handle the D-Pad being used for movement, rather than the Left Analog.

Presentation

zenonia pres

Presentation is where the game falls the most.  The game is a 2D game, by nature, and has a very hand-drawn art style.  By looking at it, visually, the game looks pretty decent   The graphics don’t look blurred or grainy from being stretched onto the PlayStation Vita’s screen.  In this regard, the presentation isn’t too bad.

How the game plays, however, makes the game fall short.  When you’re progressing through the game, you may see the screens be a little jumpy.  When this game first released on the PSP, it had a very noticeable amount of lag and slowdown during general gameplay.  It was enough that it almost felt like a completely different game from its Mobile version.  The PS Vita’s PSP Emulator has helped this greatly.  The frames still fidget a little, but it’s worlds better than it was on the PSP.

However, the big downer is crashing.  Every time you move from area to area, the game will load the next area.  While these load times are all very short, it has a tendency to crash the game, forcing you to completely start over from your last save point.  This doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens enough.  In the 15 hours I spent with the game, it probably crashed every 2-3 hours, which is much more than it should.  Be prepared to save very often to avoid losing progress.

Overall

Zenonia is one of the PlayStation Minis packed with more content than many of the others.  While the game is a fun little RPG to play through and plays much better than it did on the PSP and PS3, frequent crashing issues, fidgeting frames, and a $7 price tag (as opposed to $1 on Mobile) hold this way back from being a recommended purchase.

The PlayStation Vita Review Network Rates Zenonia a 5/10

Related Posts