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A New Casual MMORPGc
With Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean Online and King's Isle Entertainment's Wizard 101 marketing mmorpgs to their viewers, it is not a surprise that Cartoon Network would want to join the fray. Their new game Fusion Fall has been critically acclaimed, although some of the reviewers seemed to have missed the point of mmorpgs entirely or not paid much attention to the other games their mentioning in their review.
My first experience running Fusion Fall was a not entirely pleasant. The client would not download the necessary files unto my computer, which by the way, is more than capable of running Eve Online and World of Warcraft. This, however, was not the fault of the developers, but a piece of malware that was infecting my computer.
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Fusion Fall's Deceptively Simple Storyline
MMORPGs do not need much of story line. There simply has to be a reason for the player to go out and fight whatever threat that the world or worlds faces. Fusion Fall's storyline is deceptively simple at first, but it gets more complex as you dig deeper into the game. It starts out as a simple aliens take over the world plot.
Familiar love and not-so-loved characters from the years Cartoon Network has been on the air are woven throughout the game, although I was a little disappointed at first that one of my favorites, the giant robot Megas, had not been included. A more diligent search proved my initial assumptions about the absence of giant robots that chicks dig. (Don't we all dig giant robots?)
One thing that the game has been criticized for by members of its target demographic is that the game designers tried to make the cartoon characters, including Dexter and the Power Puff girls, resemble actual people rather than being their cartoons. While this does take some time to get used to if you are a fan of the original cartoons, attempting to make the characters look more human improves the graphical quality of the game.
Fusion Fall is set against the backdrop of an alien invasion. The epic Lord Fuse aims to take over the world. Lord Fuse has created evil clones of many of the cartoon network heroes and Bloo, from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, to help him with this insidious plot. It is up to you and the cast of non-cloned Cartoon Network characters to stop him.
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Fusion Fall's Game Play
Fusion fall has much in common with the standard mmoropgs, but it deviates from the typical game play in one important variation. Certain moves require a little more input from the user than just a keystroke that causes the player's avatar to perform an action. It contributes to the feel of the action cartoons that the game is going for, but it also creates a serious hindrance for gamers who are less than coordinated. This may detract from new players to the game, but Cartoon Network was not targeting hard core gamers as this game's demographic.
To call this casual mmorpg Warcraft Lite or Warhammer Online lite is a misleading description of Fusion Fall. Cartoon Network's mmorpg takes place in a anime style world of science fiction, while the former games take place in world whose level of technology is roughly equivalent to that of the Renaissance in the real world.
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So, should I try Fusion Fall
There are few bad things to say about Fusion Fall. In fact, the only criticism possible is that the game play does not distinguish it from many of its competitors. It will not make a replacement for the heavy gamer who spends hours in one of the hardcore mmorpgs, but it is a good start for its intended target. Parents should not supervise their children's time spent on the Internet whether the children play these mmos or not, but Fusion Fall, like many of its competitors allows parental control over what a child can and cannot do and the staff monitors the game for any potential problems with the players.
There is however, one flaw in the game play that should not have been introduced. The game requires a little more coordination on the part of its players, many of whom do not play mmorpgs to have their dexterity tested. Perhaps fans of action-adventure style games would tout this as a plus, but it reduces new potential customers who may not want to learn even simple keystroke or mouse combinations that are required by this game. Had the designers not included this element, the rating would have been 5 out of 5, but instead the game rates a solid 4. (The real rating is 4.5 out 5 stars, but Bright Hub's rating script does not allow for half-circles.)
The action-adventure element seems to be a c ommon theme in MMOs designed for younger audiences. Even Champions Online makes positioning of a character important occasionally in encounters.
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Screenshots - Fusion Fall