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Developer: Gamevil
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4G

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

What happens when you take the action-RPG genre, and give it a 12-pack of Red Bull? You get Zenonia 3. The third game in Gamevil’s franchise, this puts you in control of Chael, a young warrior under the tutelage of his father and former protagonist Regret. One day, Chael suddenly finds himself transported to the realm of Midgard, where the Divine and Devil Tribes are at war. He must help the Divine Tribe defeat the Devil Tribe, all while finding a way home. This is all just window dressing for the gameplay, which has you hack and slashing your way through hordes of enemies, along with collecting gold and mining for materials to craft new items along the way.

Zenonia 3 is a very deep game. You will be sinking a lot of time into the game to try and complete it, and there are plenty of side quests to go along with the main quest. You will get your money’s worth out of this game, for sure, and if you want to replay it, there are Hard and Hell modes awaiting you, the latter mode allowing you to play through the game without worrying about quests, according to the in-game tips. Good luck getting to that any time soon, though. If you do replay the game, you have one of four character classes you can play as. The game is very vibrant and colorful, and the game’s rapid pace never chugs on newer device. While there’s a lot of complexity with the equipment and items, the game’s actually relatively simple to play, as most of everything is done with just the d-pad and one action button, which you will rapidly tap on as you slay enemies. There’s also a 12-slot quick bar that allows you easy access to potions and skills at the bottom of the screen.

Seriously, though, Zenonia 3 needs to take a chill pill. There is no pacing, the game gravitates toward the extremes – there’s the fast-paced action gameplay that moves a bit too quickly, and the story sections, which are problematic as you’re so used to the fast-paced gameplay, that when the game decides to slow things down with dialog or important story sections, your immediate reaction may be like mine, which was a mixture of impatience, and frustration at being unable to will myself to skip the story sections, lest I find myself even more confused by what’s going on. The game throws a lot of info at you, and often without explaining what is going on – there are tons of menus and items that you have to learn the purpose of, and often, the best way is to learn through trial and error, as the game sure won’t tell you. Now, I’ve said that the game is very fast; while you can decrease the game speed from the options menu, this really only reduces the frame rate, making the game just feel clunky and slow compared to its default speed. My suggestion is to just turn the speed up to 11 and learn to live with it.

Zenonia 3 is a curious contradiction. With overly fast gameplay laced with story sections that feel too slow by comparison, and simple controls fused with menus that are often incomprehensible, this is a game that sometimes suffers from its dedication to the extremes. With some balancing in its pace and complexity, this could have been something truly special. However, as it is, it’s a deep and lengthy, albeit flawed, action-RPG for people who like the action part of RPGs, in multiple senses of the word.

Want to play Zenonia 3? Comment on the review below by May 4th to enter to win a free promo code for the game!

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