Publisher VNGGames launched 剑侠情缘R in Singapore and Malaysia just a few days ago, and we are here to give our first impression of this martial arts mobile MMORPG! Developed by Chinese studio Seasun (西山居), 剑侠情缘R is the latest game in the “剑侠” series which started all the way back in 1997. Garnering millions of downloads in many regions including Viet Nam (since April 2021), China (since Oct 2021) and Taiwan (since Dec 2021), 剑侠情缘R has proved its appeal and quality at some of the most demanding community of players.
If you did not know, the original PC MMORPG for 剑侠情缘 (JX1) was one of the most successful pioneers of the PC MMORPG genre in Southeast Asia, especially in Singapore and Malaysia, back in the early 2000s. Ok, without further a due, here is our first impression of 剑侠情缘R!
Cool Retro Graphics
There are reasons why games such as Lineage 1 and Legend of Mir is still thriving in Asia, with retro graphics being one of the main foundations. While these games were developed decades ago, 剑侠情缘R was actually made just a few years ago with the retro graphics being intentional. For one, it is a faithful replica of the first “剑侠” PC game which launch on PC back in 1997. Personally, we are seeing way too many high fidelity 3D Unreal mobile games on the market, and they are all starting to look the same in some ways.
We do admit that the graphics of 剑侠情缘R are not for everyone, but if you are curious what PC RPG titles look like in the early days, this mobile MMORPG is one to check out. And yes, it is only available in Simplified Chinese language.
Massive 10 Classes
These days, it is a rarity to see any MMORPG titles having over 5 classes to choose from, and we can only think of less than 5 having so in recent years. 剑侠情缘R launched Day One with 10 playable classes, each based on the unqiue wuxia clans found in iconic Chinese novels. They are not just cookie cutter classes though, with each of them having unique roles and abilities. We asked VNGGames the tough question about class balancing since 剑侠情缘R has many PVP modes as well, and you can find the answer in our interview article.
Starting out as a Shaolin character focused on palm/fist skills, he is a more single-target focused character. The main reason we chose Shaolin is due to our familiarity with the clan, a highlight in many wuxia movies and TV series. It seems that some of the more obscure classes are AOE focused, which might give new players an easier time starting out. No matter the choice, all classes in 剑侠情缘R have a role to play in the larger world as the game progresses.
Major PVE Boss Fights
We were less than an hour into 剑侠情缘R before our first 2 key boss fights begin. The first was the World Boss, where players are teleported to an instance to battle it out with 完颜宏烈, a key antagonist from the Jin empire and also found in the classic wuxia novel, The Legend of the Condor Heroes, written by the legendary 金庸 (Louis Cha). Being a low level character, deaths were imminent and players will have to wait for a short while after each death to get back into the fight.
The next boss battle is the Open World boss, where PVP and PVE happens at the same time. Yes, early into the game, we are already experiencing the first PVPVE mode found in 剑侠情缘R! 2 spawned at the same time at different maps, with players having to scour them to locate the random spawn point. It was a fun battle while it lasted, trying to position our character away from the point of enemy fire. We would guess ranged classes might have a better advantage here.
Major PVP Fight – Jin-Song Battlefield
Once again, 剑侠情缘R took us by surprise at how fast they introduced several core features within the first hours of gameplay. This is not a bad thing, as the guides and transitions were smooth and well introduced. Jin-Song Battlefield is a timed PVP mode, and it is perhaps the biggest PVP features in 剑侠情缘R as it pits the Song dynasty against the invading Jin empire. Here, not only do players from different camps have to kill each other, they will have to capture flags and invade the base too.
To simply put it, you can think of the Jin-Song Battlefield as a MOBA map, just with hundreds of players instead of just 10. Having retro graphics certainly helped with the usual lag caused by having too many 3D models and animations on a single screen!
First Impressions Overview
As mentioned, 剑侠情缘R was developed just in recent years to deliberately pay homage to the original game’s graphics, while at the same time putting in some modern twists to the core gameplay. While not a looker compared to the shiny 3D games out there, we felt that visually, it is a refreshing take from the competitive gaming market. The series has a history in Singapore and Malaysia, and gamers who are around 35 should have fond memories of the 剑侠(JX) games.
The most impressive feature for us was the diversified 10 classes, and it was nolstagic to recall all the different clans we saw over the years. There are still some features which we will get into, such as the Wuxing Five Elements (五行) system, so stay tuned for more on that in the coming week! In the meantime, do read up on our interview with publisher VNGGames if you are curious about 剑侠情缘R.
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