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Inotia 4 Plus – Assassin of Berkel Review

Inotia 4 Vs 0 Inertia

You know you’re playing a mediocre Japanese RPG when your disturbingly feminine-looking male protagonist wonders into a forest clearing faced with hostile soldiers, unsheathes his rechargeable dagger and utters (direct quote) ‘Nothing more is need to be said. Die’.

Except really, this isn’t a Japanese RPG, it’s a Korean one. Apologies to any Koreans reading this, I’m not an ignorant racist. Honest.

And yeah, this game features a recharging dagger. More on that later.

Actually no, more on that right now. Forget that I’ve begun this review in atypical fashion, I must bring to your attention to your default weapon in this game – a simple non-magical dagger which when you’ve hacked and slashed to a certain point, runs out of power, and has to recharge before you can use it again.

I know this is a fantasy RPG, and you could make the case that anything goes, but a recharging dagger? It just seems like a cheap way of making the game more difficult. I’m glad my cutlery doesn’t give up the ghost halfway through my Sunday lunch. How on earth would I eat my chicken?

So the dagger thing doesn’t really make sense to me. Unfortunately, neither does anything else. Don’t expect me to tell you what the plot is; something about a faraway land in the midst of a brutal civil war between humans, orcs and giant turtles. Sound familiar? That’s probably because it could be the storyline to any RPG in videogame existence. I also completely made it up.

Man I’m cranky today. I think I’ve just been waiting for the next sub-standard game to land on my desk so I can really let rip. Inotia 4 Plus is it. Apologies.

So you navigate through typical RPG lands as your guy-who’s on-the-verge-of-looking-like-a-girl, battling creatures such as ‘Starving Boss Wolves’, and bats that drop coins when you kill them. I wish that happened in real life, I’d camp out in the park waiting for badgers. What’s really funny is that if you don’t attack these creatures, they just sit there and leave you alone. So not only are you a gender confused teen, you’re also a cold-blooded animal killer. Sounds remarkably like the majority of young people in London today.

Choose one of six initial classes, then work your way through the game’s plethora of tasks and side quests levelling up your equipment and character as you go. You can have a maximum of six people in a travelling party, with two active at any one time. There’s a good amount of freedom for you to assemble your party the way you choose to with each member having detailed skill sets that allow you to mix and match in order to aid with exploration and battle. Your crew’s appearance changes with acquired equipment too, which is cool.

But boy is it a lot of work. As with most of today’s games, you can choose either to grind your way through the adventure, collecting coins and gems at a pathetically slow rate in order to level up, or you can fling real doubloons at the situation and get the decent stuff fast. And naturally the game continually whispers this information in your ear in the hope it’ll hypnotise you into parting with your cash. Don’t be surprised if you find an iTunes receipt for £79.99 worth of IAP in your email without realising what the heck you spent it on.

Some people out there enjoy farming games such as this for every available trinket and item however. If this is you, welcome to Utopia. There are maps aplenty with loads of interesting items for collection as rewards for side quests and winning battles. Gear is one thing this game has going for it, and various pieces of equipment can be combined to create some awesomely powerful hybrids. If you can hunker down and get on with it, you’ll definitely come away satisfied, albeit three years older and in need of an almighty haircut.

It’s a certainly a mixed graphical bag though. Some of what’s on offer seems retina-worthy, while the majority is unattractive and blocky like Mr McBlock from Block B, Block Road, Blockland.

Apparently in-game music isn’t necessary either. Your wonderings are accompanied by nothing more than the soothing tones of chirping crickets with the odd accent of hacking and slashing. Music is used sparingly and doesn’t even make an appearance during the obviously overdramatic cut scenes. As a result, there’s a serious lack of atmosphere. Although I now truly appreciate the role of a soundtrack in a game, so I have gained something after all. Addition by subtraction.

Adding to that all, the controls are awkward. The screen is swamped with intimidating buttons, but to be fair this is an RPG – I may have mentioned that before – so one button for potions, another for spells and a further sixteen for everything else is to be expected.

The real problem is the D-Pad. It’s a mixture of unresponsive, stiff, and well, crap. Movement is horribly rigid and traversing your way round ‘Forest 29′ while trying to rob bats of their pocket money feels less than intuitive. Many are the times I found myself hacking at thin air because I wasn’t aligned properly to the enemy due to the strictly four-way, old school pad.

So you’ve seen this all before. There isn’t really anything here that’s new or original, which I have absolutely no problem with if the game is of a high quality. Gameloft knows a thing or two about pulling off that trick. The problem here is that Inotia 4 Plus is both derivative and utterly forgettable, with gameplay that seems more like clocking in for a day at the office than playing an exciting videogame. Without doubt it’s an unfortunate combination. Unless you’re a hardcore KRPG fan, avoid this one. As our he/she main character might say: ‘Nothing more is need to be said.’

passable

Inotia 4 Plus is out now for $2.99, there is also a free version here. Get it on the Inotia 4 PLUS - Com2uS Inc.

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  • neetyneety

    A completely accurate and quite entertaining review. Another great series ruined by iAP.

  • Old-hand

    I stopped reading the moment you said “rechargeable” dagger. :/

  • Walter JB

    Totally agree! IMO this game is nothing more than an attempt at using tedius frustration to edge players into paying real cash so as to make gameplay somewhat enjoyable. Only problem is that once you reach the impotent-of-life-and-creativity ending, you realize that the only thing worse than wasting your time would have been getting duped into spending real money on this time parasite.

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