Zenonia 2 Review: A slight breakdown

RPGs on the App Store was all started by one game and one game only: Zenonia.  Yes, some can argue that Chronicles of Inotia was the first, fully-featured RPG; but in reality, it was a pretty sad excuse for such a game.  Zenonia was the first true RPG that I’ve played on the iPhone, and because of such a demand, Zenonia was wildly successful.

But now, that demand has been, for the most part, quenched with releases such as Inotia: A Wanderer of Luone, Final Fantasy I and II, Ravensword, Dungeon Hunter and more.  Zenonia came in without any competition whatsoever; Zenonia 2 strides in with its neck deep into competition.

So can Zenonia 2 withstand all this competition and come out of the muck as great?  Well, you’re about to find out.

Likes

Menu redesign: Gamevil’s menu redesigning was not for naught; I was actually quite pleased with the entire menu system.  It isn’t the best, and it sure could use some slight improvements, but overall it was much better than the one in Zenonia.  It was easy to navigate through, and while there were some annoying parts in the UI, it was acceptable.

Character appearance: This is one part of the game that I thought was pretty neat.  And while this is an expected feature that is almost always overlooked, it should be noted as the first one didn’t seem to have it.  And that would be your character changing appearance once he or she wears an article of clothing.  This allows for hundreds of combinations, and for those interested in fashion, I think you’ll be impressed.

Content: I’m nowhere near to finishing the game, and just like the first, it’ll take you more than just a few hours to complete the game.

PvP: The PvP mode that’s included in the game is very impressive; one of the most interesting modes I’ve seen in an RPG.  This may have just been the redeeming point of the game, and it works very well.

For those wondering how it works, there is an Arena Official NPC within the game.  You can talk to him, play a quick match, and you’ll be connected to the server.  Once it connects, you will be pitted against someone that is close to your level and strength.  The PvP mode records your win-death ratio, and you can even put some nasty opponents on a “Death Note”, or in other words, a rival list.  Through my experiences with this mode, it worked very smoothly and very quickly; my magician couldn’t hold against the other classes.

Dislikes

Graphics and animations: There’s no improvement from the first.  This is the part that really gets me, and while I understand them trying to “stay true to classic gaming”, it would have been nice to upgrade the visuals and improve some of the animations.  The pixelated graphics and whatnot could look a bit clearer, and again, I was disappointed when I saw that none of the visuals were improved.  The iPhone is basically a handheld gaming system, not some normal cellphone that can only handle 8-bit graphics.

Nothing really new: For those who didn’t like Zenonia, you won’t like Zenonia 2.  Zenonia 2 doesn’t add much to the whole Zenonia world in terms of features, and all it really is is an expansion pack.  New enemies and new areas to explore along with new weapons and characters, but the features themselves are few and far.  Yes, the PvP mode is impressive, but other than that, there’s nothing really new.  Prove me wrong if you find some cool things, but to me, it just seemed like there was nothing new.

Controls could be improved: I honestly don’t know how they can be improved, but they need to be.  It’s for sure that the d-pad control scheme is the only way this type of game is going to work; how the implement it is the tricky part.  It’s not the d-pad size or shape that’s bothering me though… it’s the camera angle and placement.  The top-down view on everything makes it hard to maneuver on the bottom left-hand side of the screen, and moving down was almost impossible.  Unknown enemies could be waiting right underneath your thumb and you wouldn’t even know it, making for some frustrating moments.  I honestly think that Gamevil has done all in its ability to make the controls work, but still, there are some gaping problems with them.

Kill this, kill that: There’s a lot of grinding to be done in Zenonia 2.  And I’m not talking about the dance move, I’m talking about endless hours of just leveling up to survive the next task.  This part of the game is quite monotonous, and some may find it too boring to keep going on.  I, for one, hate just killing monsters to try and complete a quest, and Zenonia contains some of the most grinding I’ve ever encountered.

Despite all these shortcomings, I’m still enjoying Zenonia 2.  It’s not like it’s absolutely horrible and I never want to see it again; I just think that there should have been some graphical updates along with some changes to the actual gameplay.  For people who loved the first one, they will love the second one; it’s as plain and simple as that.  But for those on the other side of the spectrum, you’re out of luck; the sequel is almost the exact same thing as the original.  The PvP mode is a nice addition to the game though, and I must say that it is one of the most interesting features I’ve seen in an RPG.

Zenonia 2 was developed by Gamevil, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPhone 3GS.  The price is $4.99, and you should download the lite version for Zenonia before buying Zenonia 2.


About Daniel

I have been an iPhone game addict ever since the NES emulator came out on the 1.1.4 iPhone 2G. After 2.0 and the App Store came out, my iPhone homescreen has never been the same. Other than writing reviews for App Store games, I play soccer/football, American football, volleyball, and golf. I love going to the beach and fishing on the pier. Some games not available on iPhone/iPod Touch that I truly love are the Call of Duty series, Guitar Hero III, Madden NFL 09, and PGR: Gotham Racing.

14 thoughts on “Zenonia 2 Review: A slight breakdown

  1. Nice review – I thoroughly enjoyed the first and this sequel. Being version 1.0 there are a few bugs though that are annoying the hell out of me that i think i should mention e.g.
    1.) Some items bought or farmed will not appear in your inventory (feather of oblivion for example, when bought does not appear in inventory – tried it twice);
    2.) Deleting combinations (in either weapon, armour, ingredient or other scrolls) will not reduce weight (even tough it says it will!). Cannot delete certain items i.e. combination ingredients like mithril frame as they don’t appear in ingredients list of inventory;
    3.) Can set placement of d-pad, attack button, skills and item hotkeys but for some reason when you try to allocate an item into the boxes, the arrangment of your hotkeys (the boxes) change all of a sudden and you might have two boxes overlapping one another. Frustrating that i have to go back into the menu and reset my desired preference and move the boxes all over again
    4.) Framerate issues
    5.) Menu crashes (only happTned a few times)

    There are other bugs in the game but only minor ones (such as the black crystal ball in the north end of the room you defeat the boss in the gold temple – when you press the action button next to it, instead of your character saying something you get lu saying it – im playing daza)

    Even with these bugs the game is still enjoyable and i agree wholeheartedly with what you have written in this review apart from maybe the content as the game does seem a little shorter SPOILER!!! as i have defeated zavkiel and about to go the the sky gate to go the the place of the angels – this has taken me 12hrs 39 mins. It seems to me that im about 70% completed (just guessing) and iv completed every side quest, even Dr Z’s 7 annoying ones for the plague and roids.

    Again, NICE REVIEW
    (Hope the devs fix the bugs(

  2. Me again

    Can you possibly explain why some characters in pvp mode are level 72 when the max is 63 (until update arrives) – noticed that magicians in pvp mode are so overpowered its unbelievable – one character i faced had an attack in excess of 8000 and he hit me once and i died lol – got some sweet gear from pvp though (purple providence orb that gives +27 accuracy)

  3. I honestly do not know. I’m guessing they are either beta testers for the next update, or they exploited some bug in the PvP server. I’m guessing the latter, as almost all multiplayer games are prone to cheats, but yeah…

    My magician is way too weak to fight in the PvP arena though, I’ve been trounced every single time. Never received any good items so far…

  4. I tried every single class in the pvp. The magician is lvl 26 right now. His maxed ice skill (dont know the name at this point) damages the opponent for lets say roundabout 3k. My Warrior lvl 10 had been killed by a lvl 12 magician using the same ice skill for over 6k damage. There must be some kind of bug-using. Can’t explain that so far…

    i played about 150 Games with all chars and i won 10 times. And again, there must be something really really buggy…

  5. Dude I have noticed those exact bugs and thought I was the only one hope gamevil steps up their game and releases a update fixing these “minor” (seem more then that to me) glitches. For example I would upgrade a power and when I pushed upgrade it didn’t show it. This just uber sucks I’m dissapointed with that part so far. Game overall seems alright for a 8-bit looking game with “superior” graphics as stated by gamevil.

  6. i called my friend and told him to get online with zenonia 2 right, when he searched my name he got into a battle with me but i wasnt even playing is this supposed to happen?

  7. The reasons there are people with really high stats is not because of a bug but because of a patch that is available in cydia.

  8. I agree with you guys. I think those characters with uber high attack+def+life is because of a bug or cheat. we have the same character(Warrior) & level, with not so high difference in attack but when we fight, he used normal attack and damaged my character arround 7k.

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