iOS’ definitive action RPG franchise by Gamevil returns with the third installment of the Zenonia series. Zenonia 3: The Midgard Story (out now, $4.99) offers much of the same action as the first two games while cramming in more content and improved gameplay.
The Zenonia series was one of the first action RPGs on the App Store way back when and it certainly set the standard for what a good action RPG should be. Since then, many more action RPGs have graced iOS but the Zenonia series has stayed as the title. The third release features the same action and the same grinding, yet still manages to be as enjoyable as ever.
The gameplay in Zenonia 3 is your typical hack and slash style, and there is a fair amount of button mashing along the way. Most of the game is simply mashing buttons over and over as you slash through your enemies. Grinding is the name of the game and somehow Gamevil managed to make it feel okay. The bright and crisp graphics make this game a joy to watch and the sword slashing animation and retro pixel feel of the game just make it that much more fun to play.
There are boss battles along the way that serve to break up the monotony of grinding the same enemies. The questing in Zenonia 3 is present and usually tasks you with killing a certain number of monsters in a given area. There are four classes to the game, two melee and two ranged. First is the Sword Knight who uses his massive sword to deal a good deal of damage. Then the Shadow Hunter who is quick and agile. The first ranger class is the Mechanic Launcher who uses mechanical weapons to deal heavy damage from afar. The Nature Shaman is the final class and deals magic based attacks from a distance. Whatever class you choose the game plays out about the same. There is plenty of armor and weapons to customize and upgrade your hero with and the hunger and weight aspects of the game are gone.
The tried and true formula of Korean RPGs is ever present in Zenonia 3. This involves entering a map, killing monsters, then moving on. The boss battles can be fairly difficult if your not properly equipped or leveled. Leveling comes with simply grinding and killing everything in sight over and over again. Fans of action RPGs and more specifically Korean RPGs will feel right at home with this formula. However, if you are not a long time fan of this series or action RPGs, this may seem a bit tedious and repetitive.
By purchasing Zenonia 3 you receive 5000 ‘Zen’ points and once they’re gone you can either purchase more via IAPs or earn more in the PVP aspects of the game. If you choose neither of these options, you can simply accept the penalties for death such as less money, equipment durability or experience. The PVP mode simply involve you taking on another characters stats, not in real time. You can also engage in the “Execution Rooms” where you take on hordes of enemies and gain great amounts of experience. You can even go online and take on the execution rooms with a friend and gain loads of experience without having to worry about the penalties for death. This is a great way to breeze through the levels.
Overall, Zenonia 3 The Midgard Story is a grinding driven Korean action RPG that tells a somewhat cliche RPG story in a world that looks great. The improvements over the first two titles can be found in the lack of weight and hunger systems as well as UI and skill tree improvements as well as a longer game experience. All are very welcome improvements and serve to make an enjoyable series even more fun to play through. The game has plenty of depth to keep you intrigued all the way through and with so much gear it feels as though your always excited to get that new piece of equipment.
iFanzine Verdict: Zenonia 3 The Midgard Story is certainly a title worth picking up if you’re into action RPGs and a welcome addition to a great series.