NextGen Player Review: Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent

Guest Post - Shondra Kayd

Cute, cute and more cute! Atlus, the makers of Neo Steam, are well known for cute games, and this is no different. Just fresh out of the beta box last week, I got the happy news that my Lyell (the cat people race) was not deleted! Enough about my kitty and on to the review.

To start with a biggie, this game is free to play! You have the option to pay for quicker leveling, less death penalties and other interesting things, as well as many vanity options like costumes etc, but if you have no cash, well you don't suffer at all, it is still fun and free.

You start by picking a side, I myself chose Elerd for their whimsical magic and kitty people, but you can always chose Rogwel too. You then continue to choose a race and pick from a fair number of adorable characters which you customize. Then pick one of 4 classes, which branches into more options later at level 10. This is a basic layout for many MMORPGs. Really this whole game is a basic MMORPG. So if you're like me, that’s a great thing. If you want something truly innovative, this is not your game. The one new thing this game brings to the table is that it is “Steampunk”. Set in a world where electricity was never invented, you must rely on this steam powered technology to power your skills, your gear and your crafting. The mounts and vehicles this technology provides can be pretty cool too. Who doesn't love hot air balloon rides?

The tutorials are very simple to follow; the controls are basic and easy to understand. This game is simple to start and has a lot of potential to delve in deep and get creative with your options. Examples of this are how pets are a big deal in this game. How you raise and which type of pet you choose can change your style of gameplay, from healing, stealing and dps types. Skills are also very important, especially in the pvp areas, as not only does your class choice affect your skills, but the technology you choose can change skills, and can make your character play completely different from those in the same classes as you. The options are pretty endless for what you can do with a character in pvp, and you never know what to expect from an opponent. This keeps things very fresh and interesting.

Once you're out of the starter zone there is a massive world to explore. Thankfully the community seems very kind and helpful, as well are the NPCs who are willing to point you in the right directions. The map and mini maps are easy to follow with large markers to make everything clear as crystal. So follow the quest arrows and start the grind. And grind it is! The quest rewards aren’t always the best, so I hope you enjoy killing adorable big eyed critters. As you level up the real fun lies in the PVP. PVP can happen anytime and anywhere and once you get the hang of the game it can be a great source of fun. With all the options for players in gear and skills and pets, you never know what you're going to get and you can customize your character a great deal.

As you're grinding you'll easily notice the beautiful terrain. Unfortunately the graphics of the characters aren’t equally amazing. Also, everything seems a bit too glowy to me on the higher settings, and too pixelated without the glow. Make sure you're patient while waiting for the visuals however, as load times can be a bit long. You'll get your chance to stare a lot at yourself while doing any click quest, as items seem to have a “use” time, sometimes over 30 seconds, which for me was unacceptable. While waiting I usually have to turn on some music, as the game music is too elevator and laid back for my tastes.

So what does all this jabbering boil down to? It is a fun, simple, MMORPG that’s free. What more can you ask for in a time killer!? My vote is to try it out. It can't hurt to since there’s no cost. If you don't like it you've lost nothing, and if you like it, there are 110 levels and a massive world to explore.

-the game is FREE
-lots of PVP options
-huge world to explore
-easy to learn and play
-lots of costumes and vanity features to play with

-load times are too long
-load times on quest items pointless and annoying
-graphics not the best
-can be a bit of a grind
-elevator music

NextGen Player gives Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent a...