Legend Sword Online Review
Under the poor translation and confusing user interface of “Swords of Legends Online”, there is a great game hidden, but it took me 20 hours of digging to find it. MMOs often hide too many of the best features during any upgrade, but this feels completely deceptive. For a few days, I ran from one task mark to another, stuck in an endless loop of boring acquisition tasks and cutscenes, which I could hardly understand. However, now that I have reached the highest level, SOLO feels like a completely different-and more flattering-MMO.
need to know
What is it? A fantasy Chinese MMO, emphasizing the story.
Estimated payment: $40 (no subscription)
Publisher: Game forging
Comment time: i7-7700, Nvidia RTX 2070, 16 GB RAM, 500 GB SSD
multiplayer game? Massively multiplayer online games.
The sudden appearance of 180 is entirely attributed to SOLO’s powerful endgame activities: running dungeons, PvP quarrels, searching the world for hidden treasures, and even using lanterns to switch to parallel dimensions to hunt down dangerous undead. I have been teaming up to kill world bosses, giving gifts to specific NPCs, and making a fuss in one of the most complicated housing systems I have seen in online games. I haven’t played such a ridiculous MMO game in a while. This is a strange and sometimes fascinating experience, dragged down by issues that prevent SOLO from competing with more popular games such as Final Fantasy 14 and World of Warcraft.
Lost in translation
SOLO’s endgame is so rich and expansive, because this MMO has actually been around for a long time. It is a derivative product of the Gujian RPG series, which also gave birth to a successful and award-winning Chinese TV show.
The core of Gujian and SOLO is its vivid interpretation of Xianxia, a genre steeped in Chinese mythology. Although North Americans may simply label it as “epic fantasy”, “Xian Xia” is not just a Chinese adaptation of classic genre conventions such as elves and dragons. This is a martial arts drama that spans the universe. It revolves around the process of “cultivation”-gaining strength and wisdom-through trials. Heroes and villains often become gods in cross-dimensional battles. Epic is an understatement.
What I find confusing is that GameForge decided to release an MMO with such a badly localized story.
This fantasy is not only expressed through SOLO’s breathtaking environment and terrifying enemies, but also through the way my character moves in the world. When running, I can jump into the air gracefully, just like I am watching a martial arts movie-only double jump and triple jump can jump higher. With enough speed, I can cross the entire building effortlessly, run along the roof, and even fly around on a mysterious sword like a skateboard.
I just wish I knew the direction in which I was jumping, running, and gliding. SOLO is a story-driven game that has painstakingly enriched its fantasy world and characters, but the translation and localization work of Western publisher GameForge is terrible, and almost everything becomes meaningless. It drags down almost all aspects of SOLO in some way.
The dubbing cutscenes were machine-translated and had such bad English, I quickly gave up trying to piece together what was happening. Towards the end of my upgrade, I spent almost as much time completing tasks as I smashed the “F” key so that I could skip cutscenes full of blunt, broken dialogue. In order to avoid bad English dubbing, I even changed my spoken language to Chinese. This is terrible. The world of SOLO is full of evil sea witches, demon blades and ancient gods. I just want to experience this story as the developer intended.
The SOLO translation is not the only big problem: although it is undeniably beautiful, it is difficult for me to get anything close to stable 60 fps at 1440p on my 2070. Open areas often hang around 50 fps, while dense cities (or group dungeons) reduce it to 30 or lower. Strangely, turning down each setting will only increase performance by about 15%. Therefore, if you are playing games on older machines, expect some very “meh” performance.
What I find confusing is that GameForge decided to release an MMO with such a badly localized story. Not only did it destroy what was clearly one of the biggest features of the game, but it also actively weaponized it to counter my enjoyment of it. This story is not a useful way to deepen my relationship with this fantasy world, but an obstacle that is now overcome by completing the upgrade process as quickly as possible.Even though I’m stuck in a more satisfying endgame, there is always this distance Between me and SOLO, because I have been trying to understand what it wants to say.
Garbage localization is not limited to story cutscenes and missions, and it poisons almost every interaction I have with the game. The ability tooltips can be mysterious, the tutorial steps can be difficult to follow, and it’s easy to not realize in a few hours that you can get some very useful rewards from one of SOLO’s various progression systems.
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SOLO’s messy user interface makes this worse. There are dozens of menus, each with its own important purpose, but they are too random, and trying to find what you need is really frustrating. Even if I just equip non-combat abilities on my hot bar or find my progress in a certain endgame faction, it may take me a few minutes to explore different menus before I find the right menu.
In my life, I have played a lot of non-English MMOs-I even use optical character recognition software to translate my screen at runtime-although “Legend Sword” is Technically translate into English.
The ending does not justify the means
SOLO is a completely inaccessible game, but those who persevere will end up in a wide variety of endgames. After completing the 24-hour mission, I finally reached the highest level and broke the activity that I wish I hadn’t been locked in behind this kind of training.
The dungeon, which seemed easy to numb at first, now has two difficulty modes to increase the challenge in interesting ways. Boss not only has more HP, but also has new attacks that create complex AoE patterns to evade. Completing them now requires a certain amount of effort and skill, but they are still far behind the wonders and challenges of group activities in World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy 14.
One thing I didn’t expect to like is SOLO’s intense 3v3 PvP arena. Usually PvP is not my thing, but the combat system here confirms the fantasy of becoming an agile martial arts hero. During the mission, it is difficult to appreciate the nuances of my spear saint ability, because most enemies just stand still and occasionally throw a special ability that I can easily avoid.
In PvP matches (and to a lesser extent, endgame dungeons and world bosses) I am now forced to make better use of my abilities. Before using another skill to rush back into melee range, I was evading deadly attacks with a graceful backflip. Some of my attacks can be combined into a fatal combo to temporarily upgrade other abilities. If I manage to exhaust the enemy’s stun gauge, I can hit them with a coup, triggering the amplification execution. The battle is gorgeous and explosive and requires good reflexes.
(Image source: GameForge)
It’s great to see SOLO break the negative stereotypes associated with many MMOs. I just hope it is more approachable.
I also like that the ending of SOLO doesn’t entirely revolve around killing for loot. The clues I found in the treasure map can lead me to find rare loot hidden around the world. I can spend hours making furniture and then painstakingly adjust it pixel by pixel to fit my new house perfectly, or hang out in the lively bomber-style PvP mode. I can hunt another dimension full of evil souls, or I can relax by the quiet river and catch some fish. All of these are integrated into different schedule systems that often overlap, and I have been rewarded generously.
To me, it is crazy to me how much time limit or pay-to-win nonsense that is so common in other MMOs can be done and how completely free it is. There are some restrictions, such as not being able to get dungeon loot multiple times a day, but when I can do many other things, it’s hard to feel grumpy about it. Although there are cash stores, SOLO only sells cosmetics. There is also no subscription fee (not even optional).
It’s great to see SOLO break the negative stereotypes associated with many MMOs. I just hope it is more approachable. If you can stick to its original flatness and have enough patience to deal with its poor positioning, then it has a lot to like. I only recommend SOLO to those who have bounced back from the big names of this genre such as Final Fantasy 14 and desperately need alternatives.
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