Ran Online is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) with a scholarly twist, apocalyptic atmospheres, and hell-yeah combats. This dark yet fresh diversion from the bubbly-happy-bright MMORPGs of fantasy flight and bouncing Porings emphasizes the small shred of hope left for mankind in an era of death and doom.
An immensely destructive phenomenon called The Omen descended and plagued the Asian nations 18 years ago, spreading mayhem and causing disaster to spread like wildfire through a terrible solar eclipse that shrouded the skies in death and darkness. Cruel meteors showered mercilessly onto the earth, and as chaos and paranoia engulfed mankind, the world isolated Asia, a poor quarantined land leading itself to damnation.
Two years after this apocalypse, the mysterious institution calling itself the Sacred Financial Group founded four schools in what seemed to be hopes of rebuilding the torn land by honing the brightest and most talented students in the nation. However, beneath Sacred Gate's serene epitome of Eastern calm, Mystic Peak's picturesque classrooms and lush green fields of blooming flowers, Phoenix Campus' expansive libraries and scientific facilities, and Leonair's mystical atmosphere, lies a secret no one dares to delve deep into. The students are being trained at their hardest, taught the most dangerous combat skills, and raised to become killers and survivors in this cold and harsh world. It is apparent that these students are somehow being trained to prepare for something...an ominous doom that is merely lurking in the dark corners of the land...awaiting its time to unleash a terror far greater and more horrific than before. Extraordinary force fields built around the schools cannot protect them forever; already the Leonair Campus has fallen mysteriously in a blink of an eye, all its students and faculty devoured by this imminent evil overnight. Many have ventured to this graveyard, but none have returned. It is only a matter of time now before the rest of the schools fall one after the next...unless you do something about it.
In this game of teamwork and survival, you choose among four major courses. For the females, there is Archery, the expertise of which lies in pinpoint accuracy and perfect dexterity. Shamanism requires mastery of the ancient art of merging the physical and the psychic, harnessing the true power of the human Qi to master Zen and destructive magic at the same time. Men, on the other hand, have two other courses to choose to enroll into. Swordsmanship reinstates the basics of skill, strength, and agility to battle out the darkness beyond. Brawling releases the untapped powers of students, awakening the beast within their physical core through the use of martial arts. Through these courses, a student can choose his or her school and bravely be one of the final defenses mankind has against the descent of doom.
Filled with quests and tasks given by the school faculty, personnel, staff, and other civilians, Ran Online promises to be an exciting play as opposed to the usual hack-and-slash games that have nothing but levelling-up to do. Ran also proves to be one of the more difficult games to play, as mere power levelling will not get a player very far in terms of experience, strength, and money. Gold is a rare resource in the game and weapons, equipments, and skills are acquired when certain levels and status points are achieved, making this game something not that appropriate for novice gamers. The fact that gameplay is COMPLETELY FREE, however, makes it extremely addicting, especially since the Game Masters (GMs) make it a point to give 2x experience points every midnight. High-end graphics, full map rotation, and kick-ass rock music pump gameplay up even more, and emoticons are portrayed by sprites exactly as they are as oppsed to thought balloons or other symbols. Controls ala-Diablo make combat readily available, especially in club wars (think fraternities) and school fights. The game also has a Player Kill system, which, when activated, allows all students to fight and battle it out beyond campuses, giving each student the opportunity to defend his/her school against the other students. Way to show school spirit, huh?
The only drawback to this otherwise completely awesome game is that in order to become stronger and affluent, one needs to purchase items and change of costumes from the Ran online item shop at www.ranonline.com.ph through e-points, which can be bought at any network gaming store. And since, like I said, the game is highly addicting and is free to play, an average gamer actually spends more money buying e-points for enhancements rather than buying load for a regular paid-for MMORPG without even realizing it. Smart move for E-Games, don't you think?
Overall, Ran Online is another game you definitely won't want to miss out on. It is a breath of fresh air from all the usual MMORPGs, and the tasks themselves can keep you occupied without mind-numbingly hacking and slashing away all the time. So pick up your course syllabi and get ready to defend your school in this game of epic choices and battles. After all, when your parents ask you what you are up to, you can always say it's for "schoolwork"^.~
your humble co-mod,
FuJinGrL (Love and Peace!)