30 hours with Tower Of Fantasy: How much fantasy is too much fantasy? – CNET

Is more always better? That’s the question I asked myself while solving Tower of Fantasy’s overworld puzzles, jumping through ruins, analyzing the gacha attraction system, reading character upgrade pieces, watching weapon upgrade chips, playing a mole agility course, trying to survive a timed combat challenge, opening the first type of treasure chest, the second type, the third type and–Oh my God, is it a fourth type? ok i will open it-much more.

I can sum up my 30+ hours with Tower of Fantasy with one succinct thought: there’s a lot going on. Tower of Fantasy is a sci-fi gacha MMORPG with Honkai Impact 3rd-inspired combat, Genshin Impact-inspired design – and so, by default, Breath of the Wild-inspired everything from puzzles to dungeons to tools from the outside world.

I know some gamers will say that because Tower of Fantasy is an MMORPG, all of these different features aren’t meant to be experienced in a compressed time frame, which is fair. But even as you spread out solving ruins, opening chests, and embarking on a myriad of side quests, there’s still one problem: I don’t know if the game is greater than the sum of its parts.


Phantasia, a time freeze that allows players to deal bonus damage to enemies

Tower of Fantasy is ambitious – clearly a lot of work has gone into it – and it’s a real feat of human effort to pull together all the elements present in a single game. Many kudos should go to the developers for creating Tower of Fantasy, but let’s take combat as a case study. Combat is very similar in design to Honkai Impact 3rd. Each weapon has a basic attack, a special attack (which can only be used after a cooldown), and then an ultimate attack with special casting conditions. There is also a meter system between different elements, and each weapon has a Frost, Flame, Volt, or Physical attribute.

If you dodge at the right time, the enemy is frozen for a few seconds in a state called Phantasia, and you can take advantage of this to inflict additional damage. This is very similar to Honkai Impact 3rd’s Time Fracture skill. When you switch between weapons at the right time (weapon full charge or Phantasia triggered), a special ability will be triggered – something along the lines of Honkai Impact’s tag-in and QTE formula 3rd where swapping between characters will trigger a unique ability, depending on the conditions.

Taking inspiration from another game is not a problem. Honkai Impact 3rd’s combat itself is heavily inspired by Bayonetta – one of Honkai Impact 3rd’s earliest Valkyrie encounters, White Comet Kiana, has a neko-charm ultimate attack that closely resembles the ball arts moves of Bayonetta as the heel.

But while Honkai Impact 3rd was able to turn the Bayonetta formula into something unique – a streamlined version that still packs the punch of a sleek console hack-and-slash game – I’m not sure Tower of Fantasy do the same. The combat is solid and I see a lot of potential for interesting weapon combos among the three different classes of defender, DPS and supporter, but something seems to be missing. There’s nothing memorable – at least in the few SSR and SR weapons I’ve pulled from Banners (King, Echo, Tsubasa, Bai Ling, and Hilda) – like Honkai Kiana’s cute kitty kicks, or QTEs that offer different strategies depending on whether your enemies are airborne or stunned. Tower of Fantasy combat has no particular recognizable identity that sets it apart from its competitors.

I can say the same for other elements of the game: the ruins are inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, with puzzle-solving and rune-unlocking abilities, uh, I mean, relics. Are the ruins and relics better than Breath of the Wild? Honestly, no. There are more relics in Tower of Fantasy than runic abilities available in Breath of the Wild, but like I said, more isn’t necessarily better. I had a lot more fun with Polaris in Breath of the Wild than with ToF’s Seven Relics.

The open world of Tower of Fantasy
The open world of Tower of Fantasy

If I had to rate every mechanism and every feature, I’d be Scheherazade and that would be the Tower’s rendition of One Thousand and One Nights Fantasy. So I’m going to talk about two additional features: the technical quality and, of course, the main scenario that drives everything.

Technical quality

Tower of Fantasy had a rocky launch, but playing the game’s pre-release I was impressed with the general lack of glaring issues. However, there are a few issues that I should mention. I had major problems with the kitchen. It worked fine for a few days, but after a while pressing the little food processor didn’t do anything – which is a problem, as cooking is necessary in the game. Health is found by eating.

I had to quit the game several times to fix bugs. After failing a mission, my WASD buttons wouldn’t move the character, and in another instance, entering the world chat somehow interfered with the game so I couldn’t get a top left wall of text from my screen. But honestly, two of those glitches in about 30 hours of gameplay isn’t too bad for a newly released game of this stature.

The teleport animations and some of the cutscene animations are also a bit distracting. Each teleport takes a few seconds, which makes sense, but the waiting animation just shows your character standing, so you’re not always sure if the teleport worked or not.

The main scenario

Shirli, one of the residents of Astra Shelter and an important character
Shirli, one of the residents of Astra Shelter and an important character

I’m someone who survived A Realm Reborn, so I’m a veteran of not-so-great MMO scenarios. Tower of Fantasy’s main storyline has the opposite problem though: it’s too fast, not too slow.

Cutscenes move at a breakneck pace, and I felt like a sheep being chased by a sheepdog between storyline objectives. Your character doesn’t get the chance to develop a relationship with NPCs, which has the unfortunate result of not really caring about them. Shirli and Zeke are two of the very first characters you meet, and both are strong drivers for pushing the story forward. Most of the time you follow Zeke around for a good chunk of the time, but Zeke hangs out with his new pals – the heirs of Aida, a mysterious entity with mysterious goals.

I understand that perhaps the story of Aida’s heirs and the characters involved in the organization are being saved for later updates, but even Zeke’s characterization is pretty minimal. I don’t know anything about him except that he’s gruff and loves his sister. Shirli’s situation is slightly better, as we know more about her desires and personality, but that’s just not enough to bring the whole story of Astra to Banges and beyond.

I played until level 30, and the main story was jerky and didn’t engage me emotionally. You might say Tower of Fantasy is more focused on introducing the vast world of Astra, Banges and other locations in the early story chapters, rather than being a character-driven narrative, but Around level 30, a major aspect of Tower from the fantasy world is revealed in a five-minute info dump. It’s very disappointing.

While writing the main storyline just didn’t do it for me, I will praise the surprising amount of gameplay variety sprinkled throughout. From an arcade shooter storyline in one scene, to a stealth mission (I’m using that term very liberally here) in another, I’ve found the mix really works in adding engaging parts to an otherwise tale. dull.

The English voice of some characters was very shocking and some lines weren’t voiced at all in the cutscenes. The voice of the main male character is aggressive all the time. I get it – looking for quests and being commanded by Hykros is boring, but I wanted him to relax. Archon Elric, one of the great bosses of Hykros, is the opposite of the main character: he speaks in a totally neutral and ineffectual tone, which leads to unintended hilarity since he talks about serious subjects. and sometimes tragic with a minimum of emotion.

Shirley extends her hand to Shirley.
Shirley extends her hand to Shirley.

Tower of Fantasy is not a badly made game, nor devoid of positive qualities. I even think most players can probably find something there that they like to do, be it PvP, cooking or building weapons. But holistically, Tower of Fantasy feels like a lot of different games, mechanics, and features glued together in a package that’s no better than its inspirations. From Shirli’s post-op Evangelion-inspired design to the surprisingly One Piece look of a minor villain later in the story, the game’s references come from many places. But none of this serves a recognizable single central identity as Tower of Fantasy. Much like how the main character searches for who they are, Tower of Fantasy needs a similar journey.

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30 hours with Tower Of Fantasy: How much fantasy is too much fantasy? – CNET

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