I admit it, I love cuteness. I love those games with cute graphics and I often check out asian MMOs because of their high level of cuteness factor. Alas for me, asian MMOs are 99% of the time hardcore grinders with not much to do than kill the same mobs again and again to level up, which brings back to me nightmares, the ones I had when I had to do it in Saga of Ryzom, and also when I had to do it for slayer deeds in The Lord of the Rings Online.
I’ve noticed Free Realms last year but it was hard to tell what to think of the game, all I could see were a very few small bad quality videos of a cute world. Since the year has started, more screenshots have come out and more videos, it looks really interesting. The game is focused on kids and teenagers but the adults can play it too if they want. The beta has recently started and the open beta should be there in a month or so, I definitively intend to try the game out and see by myself how it is. It seems the game is more focused on exploration and socialisation, we get to have a house and a pet and we also get access to many classes that we can switch anytime, one aspect I love very much, flexibility, which is something I deeply miss from Guild Wars.
Sony claims it will be free-to-play but actually there will be a small monthly fee of 5-6$USD for those who want to have access to the whole content and areas and there will be micro-transactions as well. It’s unfortunate because when I first saw the game, the game was supposed to be wholly free but with a small monthly fee for parents who wanted more security for their kids, understandably. Considering the game is marketing kids, I think that now with monthly fee for everyone and micro-transactions, that it might make kids somewhat addicted and make them litteraly beg their parents for virtual items. They are already begging their parents for real items, now it will be virtual stuff, I doubt it will be healthy
In the meantime, here are some links:
Free Realms on SOE website (screenshots and videos there)
Latest videos on Free Realms, really cool stuff
This is a past blog entry from my gaming blog on Multiply.