ZENONIA 3 is an action RPG game for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad developed by GAMEVIL. It is a sequel to ZENONIA 2 obviously (check out Craving Tech’s ZENONIA 2 review) but do not be worry because you do not have to play ZENONIA 2 to fully enjoy this game. There are a few character references to ZENONIA 2 characters but you will not lose anything much if you haven’t played it yet.
You are playing as Chael, a small brat who kept on getting bullied (and actually had to be rescued by a girl – loser!) and then wanted to become stronger. Stronger he then becomes, after being trained by his dad and accompanied by his little talkative fairy. Of course, like most RPG games, it is an ultimately a battle between good and evil storyline but I don’t really want to spoil it here.
You start a new character in ZENONIA 3 by picking one of the four classes: Sword Knight, Shadow Hunter, Mechanic Launcher, and Nature Shaman (or in simple terms: Warrior, Rogue, Hunter/Shooter, and Mage).
Each class has its own skill tree and distinct abilities. When you level up, you have to distribute your attribute points and also these skill points to your chosen abilities.
I’ve only tried the other 3 classes for 5-10 minutes so I couldn’t really explore all the available skills but suffice to say, this gives a good replayability with a different class to play. Since I picked a magician in ZENONIA 2, I decided to go for the Shadow Hunter this time. I find it fun to play as there are countless battles while you play ZENONIA 3 and it’s important to pick a class that you like. You control your character with a D-Pad and a few on-screen buttons (for the basic attack and quick slots/abilities).
The graphic looks great – kind of a mix between cute and cool:
I do find that the interface overall is a bit small on the inventory/status/skill menu, especially compared to ZENONIA 2. It feels as if the team who designs the interface is totally different from ZENONIA 2’s. A new interface feel is great, but it doesn’t really mean for the better. The inventory, as a result, is a little bit tedious to manage.
Grinding and progressing through the game are quite fun though as ZENONIA 3 uses real-time action battles compared to turn-based RPG games. As you cut through the enemies by pressing that attack button frantically, you’ll have a great stress reliever game on-the-go. There is always someone to meet, main characters to talk to, and a few sub-quests to do as the story progresses. The sub-quests are quite balanced and they are not being thrown at you frantically. The quest log reminds you what to do and also gives a map location so you don’t need to memorize them as you play. Even though most sub-quests involve killing X amount of Y monsters, the combat is fun enough even though it’s kind of repetitive.
Enemies spawn pretty quickly so you’ll find that at some stage, it’s best to just ignore them once a while and dash through the screens. There are boss battles occasionally, so you might want to hold back that dash and level up once a while.
Syncing with your fairy, refining items, and combining items with recipes add more into the fun but casual gamers might just want to focus on the bashing, killing, and leveling (which is fine too although you’ll make the developers sad for not utilizing these features they’ve worked hard to develop). There is also an online PvP (Player vs Player) mode with other ZENONIA 3 players and a few other mini challenges (3 single and 2 network modes in total) if you just want to take a break from the single player chore.
Overall, I enjoy playing ZENONIA 3 (based on playing for 143 hours and 41 minutes – ugh..didn’t even realize how many hours I’ve wasted for this game!) and would recommend it for RPG lovers out there. It’s not the best RPG as the constant grinding and predictable storyline might not be for the hardcore, but it surely is a great action RPG game to play and worth the bucks for wasting hours, days, and weeks of fun.
Now, back to playing ZENONIA 3 with my Level 23’s Shadow Hunter….
Note: License provided for the review
ZENONIA 3 Pros
+ Great graphics, effects, and animation
+ Four distinctive classes to play with
+ Replayability (because of the different classes’ playing style)
+ Deep skill tree system for each class
+ Different monsters and places to explore
+ More fun than ZENONIA 2 experience overall
+ One of the best RPG games on the iPhone I’ve played
ZENONIA 3 Cons
– Repetitive combat/gameplay
– Small interface on the status/skills/abilities menu