Welcome to the world of Inotia. Which side will you choose when the two epic forces of good and evil rise again?
Once you begin and create a new game you’ll get to choose from the six different classes Inotia has for you to begin with; Black Knight, Assassin, Warlock, Priest, Ranger and Warrior. Each has their own strengths and weakness and preferred weapon type and magic type and each has a different pixelated design to run around in. Changing class doesn’t mean you’ll get a different story line or missions, it is just your class and what skill base you’d like to have throughout the game as you solely play as Kiyan. Once you’ve picked your character your journey will begin and you can start to put together Inotas’ traditional story of an evil empire trying to dominate, kidnap and deceive while your protagonist is trying to make his way through it.
You can start to get to grips with the controls when you hit the Smokey Village where you’ll set off on your adventure trying to guard Channel from the Fray Shin and unravelling the mysteries of this world as you proceed. To get around the maps and areas you use the virtual d-pad control on the left hand side of the screen, this is a slightly fiddly feature and controls your little pixelated friend around the different areas well enough, give or take the odd pause or slip. There’s also a set of circular slots along the bottom of your screen which hold your hotkeys, these are for super useful items, ability’s and attacks so you can quickly have access to them in the heat of battle.
Fighting in Inotia is quick, easy. To begin fighting you simply walk up to a monster that’ll be wandering around the map and tap your action button which is bigger than the rest so it’s easy to spot on your screen. You can then use your hotkeys, switch between characters or heal up with a potion or two. There’s a damage counter to help you keep tabs on how much of a hammering your characters take, this is very useful as it can be hard to check out how much health and MP you have left with the small circular icons at the top right. There’s also your passive abilities to take into account, these can be checked in the menu along with your characters other statistics. You can level up pretty quick in Intotia so you end up with points to upgrade your character with quicker but the enemy’s levels do change as soon as you move further into the game so expecting to grind against tougher foes more often than not.
The enemy’s themselves look really cute due to the detailed 2D sprite work, they all have good animations when they move round the maps and there’s a ton of different baddies to find at fight. Even your character is dinky and when the fighting begins it’s seriously addictive and will have you more often than not, fighting away for loot. Your characters appearance also changes with the armour you throw on, helmets come in different designs and this reflects right onto your character which holds your attention for longer and gives you a fun sense of customisation.
There’s also icons in the top right of the screen which holds information on your characters current health, magic status though they can be really hard to see at times. You can switch between your characters by tapping these circular icons, you can then use their different hotkeys to overpower enemies. This is a brilliant little feature as you can manually heal your party if you haven’t got a Priest available, you can also summon monsters to fight for you using Warlocks or start using the other classes different strengths to proceed further.
At this point you might already be a tiny bit hooked as the game is built for heaps of grinding, even when you explore and re-train over certain areas stock piling items becomes really helpful so you’ll end up doing more. The game’s currency doesn’t come too quick either, leaving you to count every penny so you can buy bigger Backpacks or a few extra bits of armour for your party.
Loot mostly drops from monsters, crates, pots and chests and the items found can vary from gold pieces to potions to unique combination items. Loot is easy enough picked up too by walking over it and in the beginning of the game you’ll start with an empty bag but ten minutes in you’ll be sorting through it for more inventory space. When fighting monsters there’s a chance you could pick up armour or weaponry that has been blessed with extra benefits such as +Strength or +Dexterity. These are the items you’ll end up hunting high and low for in Inotia 4 and some more of the better items come from the Fusion Machine where you combine materials to create items you find the blueprints for too. There’s plenty of ways to grab equipment and plenty ways of making it but sadly you do pick up a lot of basic equipment before you get to anything good, the basics sell for next to nothing as well so expect to run back and forth or destroy your gear before retreaving inventory space.
The first city you’ll visit is the Berkel capital. Here’s where you can find your usual buildings; An Inn to rest up in and various shops to sell your old equipment and take on some new. There’s the villagers and more important NPC’s to chat to as well, never forget this golden rule for RPG’s as you could end up leaving side quests or special weapons behind. You can find Soul Healers too, these guys fully restore any fallen party members and you can also find the Fusion Machine and start creating potions, jewel enhancements, jewel sockets, chaos items and unique items. Creating items from the loot you accumulate will save you currency and as it’s quite hard to stay rich in Inotia for long this becomes a great way of saving up for higher classed items in stores.
Further into Inotia you’ll get the chance to find a Mercenary Emblems, these hold a tiny little fighting friend for you to use. They come in a few different classes like Warlock, Warrior, Priest and Ranger and all come with their own set of skills to utilize in battle. These guys also level up along with you but you don’t place any skill points on those characters just your main, however you can still level up their abilities the way you see fit.
Inotia 4 doesn’t have the best dialogue I’ve ever read for a game that really needs dialogue to story tell, some of it comes across as accidently humorous and some words are just simply misplaced for this type of game. This makes the story telling comes across as flaky and dull at best so it won’t hold many gamers in for long if you’re not a die hard fan. It also takes a lot from what you have already saw from many RPG’s and creates smaller and shorter versions of those features, it’s not completely stereotypical but you will find these vibes creeping in often when grinding. If you can forgive Inotia for these misgivings you can start to get to the better features like swapping between the different characters you can take with you. The health bar is also really hard to spot when the going gets rough which can lead to premature deaths and this never goes down well either and can leave you feeling a bit let down by a detail so small. Inotia 4 has it’s problems but if you’re an obsessive gamer or a big fan of the series and you like your party building and messing around with details like equipment then Inotia will suck you right into it’s teensy ways for hours.
Score: 2.5 / 5
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