Developed by Taiwan studio X-Legend Entertainment (Aura Kingdom, Eden Eternal), Astral Legend is its latest anime-style online game to enter the Closed Beta phase in Taiwan. From first look, Astral Realm seems very similar to Aura Kingdom, be it the character design, environment, or colors. Is it really that similar? Having played every of X-Legend’s games, I started the game with of doubts.
There isn’t anything to shout out for the character creation system in Astral Realm. Most of the in-game cosmetics and how players differentiate themselves are still tied to costumes. Nothing in-depth here, but I wonder if there will be more options at launch.
Astral Realm is both story-heavy and cut scenes-heavy, with the current first build already filled with Chinese voice-overs for most of the NPC characters. Since X-Legendvis doing really well in Japan with its previous games, Astral Realm will no doubt find a legion of fans once the voice-over cast (or seiyuu) is announced. Players start off as the vessel for one of the two goddess, who was defeated.
After hundreds of years, it is now time to go against the evil sister goddess, though having first cross the land and gain strength and partners. I will touch on class changing and Astral Guardians a little bit further below. Astral Realm is no doubt colorful, but I can’t help but to think about how much of the game assets are just edited from X-Legend’s previous games, since they all look so familiar.
Class change system
At the start, players can choose between Swordsman, Wizard, and Ranger. More classes will be added as they progress through the main story campaign. I am not sure if all players follow the same route, but my following classes were the Priest and Paladin. I really would prefer the Priest class to be one of the starting classes. Each class has its own experience bar, separated from the main character’s.
Players can change into any class when out of combat, and each class has an individual talent tree, where all the passives are added. Pretty basic stuff so far. And oh, if there are weapons in quest rewards, you will not be given a weapon of all classes you have. Just to note, there were six classes in the first client version. Upon unlocking new classes, some new skills can be used by all other classes.
Nothing here which requires special attention, though I am still glad to be able to move and cast spells, just like in Aura Kingdom. Each class has a special ultimate skill, which I have yet to try, along with the “ultimate moves”. I feel that these are just gimmicks, since players can’t possible grapple a giant boss. There is no mana system as well, with cool-down the only barrier from skill spamming.
Most of the good stuff and experience points are from dungeons, and there are both solo and party modes for each, once again similar to Aura Kingdom. I have only tried one dungeon, the very first one, and I must say melee classes are really at an disadvantage compared to the ranged classes which can kite efficiently. There are also open world bosses which spawn at fixed timings.
Also known as Eidolons in Aura Kingdom, these are Star Clan warriors which were released and sent down to the ground by the good goddess before she was defeated. Players can collect and upgrade them, as they will fight side by side and casting some neat spells to aid players. However, only one can be actively summoned at any time, which I thought will be awesome if there are two instead.
Similar to Aura Kingdom, costumes will define how a player character look. Costumes can me made in the mobile player house (more below), or from monster drops. Categorized according to gender, there are various bonuses as well, including bonus EXP.
Mobile player house
Before I talk about what is inside, I must first talk about the map of Astral Realm. You see, regions are connected to each other via an open world map, in which players can farm for materials and meet random mirage quests. Here, player characters are of the same height as the mobile player house (house on a turtle creature), which will follow him or her around. There is no combat in this map.
So, mobile player housing, is not really mobile since it will disappear once players enter a certain region. There are three levels in the house, each having special capabilities. The main lobby is for putting furniture and whatnot, a level is for cooking consumable food items and alchemy, and a level for growing plants and sewing costumes. All these levels will help players out one way or another.
I am sure there are various content which I missed out, including the gem system and more. But from a short 2 hours of play, and looking deep into the features I was offered, Astral Realm is simply the child of both Aura Kingdom and Eden Eternal, with a little upgrade. I was expecting more from X-Legend as a gamer, but from a business point of view, don’t fix it if it ain’t broken.