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What is Pangya?
Once upon a time, darkness was cast over Pangya Island from a small vortex. There, a hole had been ripped in the fabric of reality. A hero from the worlds of Ree All Itee came and shot a comet into the hole, restoring light back to Pangya Island.
So goes the myth behind Pangya, a free to play golf MMO from Ntreev. Players choose their characters, equip themselves with special clothes and items, and head out on the green to compete with other players for skill, money, and more.
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Pangya begins all players with a series of mini tutorials that train the player on the basics of gameplay. The controls for Pangya are simple, and typically have both a keyboard and a mouse input option, making it easy for players to choose whatever controls are more comfortable. For those who have played golf games before, the controls are intuitive: change your club, take aim by lining your character up with where you want the ball to go, and use your gauge with three hits to take swing: one to start the meter, one to determine the distance (power), and one for accuracy.
Pangya doesn't stop there, however. In addition to reading the slope, lie, and wind, players may also use special curve, spin, and power shots to get around on the course. Items are also available to temporarily boost a player's abilities such as the strength of their shot, or their accuracy, throwing in a little extra surprise when it comes to live games against other players. Unfortunately, until you get the hang of the courses, both special shots and special items can be tricky to know when - and how - to use them correctly.
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Once all the tutorials are complete, there's only one option left: get your feet wet in the real game. There are four game modes that you can play across fifteen courses. Versus Mode pits you against up to four players, taking turns, on either 3, 6, 9, or 18 holes, and the usual “lowest score wins” golf rules apply here. A Family Mode allows the same, but with players sharing your computer who don't need their own Pangya account; however, no rewards are given in this mode. Tournament mode can throw you up against up to thirty players, all competing at the same time and held by a time limit on the course; awards are determined by how everyone plays. Battle Mode puts a player's skills to the test with either a gamble on personal skill with the players' own Pang (the in game currency), or in a match to see who can get closest to the cup without the ball rolling in.
With all of these modes available, players have plenty of chance to mix and match various game modes to their tastes and skill level. There's also no non-golf surprises: Pangya is a golf-game, and sticks to what it does best.
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The graphics of Pangya are cute and whimsical. Be warned: everything is in anime-style, so expect plenty of cutesy faces with big eyes and wide smiles, and caddies and mascots that seem too fantastical to be real. The courses are bright, colorful, and fun to look at and explore on every hole. Designed for use with computers with lower specifications than many gaming computers, the graphics are soft with just enough texture detail to make an attractive game. Unless your computer is ancient, don't expect any graphical issues.
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Pangya is a lobby-based game, meaning that if you want to improve your skill and earn items and coin, you must join in an instanced game with a number of other players (or create your own game). There is no solo-play option, so you'll always be forced to play against other live people.
That isn't a bad thing, though. For starters, a server is set aside just for rookies to play on, to practice their skills without worrying about being up against a pro that outgears and outskills them. The server selection screen also indicates how full a server is, which helps you find a server that has plenty of people on for match-ups. Because of its casual nature, Pangya also makes a great game to be able to play with a friend occasionally. While you can compete to be top of each season, there's no end-game to race toward, and no quests to complete, so you can play at your own pace. And while it does have a lower population than other games, there's always an open game somewhere on Pangya – even at the oddest hours of day or night.
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Relaxed enough for the most casual gamer, with enough options for experienced gamers to keep them entertained, Pangya does a great job at balancing the interests of its players. Since Pangya is free-to-play, with optional microtransactions, it makes a great risk-free gaming option for players new to online games, and is also kid-friendly. Pangya is also time friendly – at a slow pace, a full course only takes about an hour between two players. Although a golf game done without ultra realism like console golf games have may not appeal to some, people looking for a family, whimsical sporting adventure should try it. If you're looking for a light-hearted, social game to play online, Pangya just might be your ticket to “green” pastures.
by: Jaime Skelton ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment