One of the most popular Chinese online games of 2010 is Ming Dynasty 明朝时代. Bringing back memories of the past era of games, its a 2D browser based RPG/strategy/adventure game.
Looks pretty colourful, and confusing…
It seems the player takes on the role of a giant woman who rampages about.
Giant woman looks like she needs a ship to sail away on, maybe this is the Chinese version of Gulliver’s Travels.
A pretty standard equipment screen. I love how he has all those EPIC equipments then a Poor Blue?? Yet the poor blue is green…. and the epics are blue.
Some of the game’s features include : –
- PVP – Fight other guys.
- Clan Wars – Get your guys to fight some other guys.
- Siege – Stand about outside some guy’s house.
- Arena – More fighting of guys to be had here.
- A Slave System – Woah, you can enslave people.
- A Maze Mini-game – Endless fun.
- A Treasure Hunt Mini-game – Doesn’t look like much hunting goes on in it.
- Boss Fights – Fight a load of guys then a big guy.
Well it seems to be a free game to play, you just go to the website and sign up, don’t even need to give a real address, it logs you in straight away taking you to a main Forgame site, then you can go back and choose a server from the Ming Dynasty site. I chose Hidden Dragon server because I like dragons. The game runs in flash on your browser, you’re greeted with some nice Chinese music and asked to choose a character and name it. I choose the guy in blue because he had a sword and looked more spiffy than the rest.
You get landed in the city associated with the country you chose, I got into Beijing. It seems my giant character likes to run on the spot, trampling the curs below his feet.
I’m told to go talk to Beauty Chen in the Novice Camp. I saw Beauty Chen at the loading screen, I don’t think she was that beautiful to warrant having the first name Beauty. Upon talking to her, she comes straight out with if you want to dominate this place, you gotta get a hero. Well at least we’re straight to business, although I also notice the game uses the ICQ knock sfx which is strange.
After going through the setup of your army, Beauty Chen keeps remarking that you are a genius after some menial tasks. This Chinese traditional music is starting to get on my nerves in its constant repeat, thank god you can turn it off at the top of the screen. My next task seems to be to go kill some bandits.
It brings up this screen where my guy automatically gets close to some other guy, and they both meet and my guy stabs the other in the chest, and I get a perfect victory. Wow, didn’t have to lift a finger and I’m already getting perfect victories.
As well as the RPG element there seems to be a RTS element of upgrading your buildings and gathering resources.
The fighting system still eludes me to exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, you just wander over to an area of the map, go in, automatically move, and then kill the guy and get a perfect victory. No wonder these NPC’s keep saying I’m so talented. Strangely in this game you start at lvl 7, I guess levels 1-6 are really unimportant and can be skipped, It reminds me of FF7 where you start off as lvl6, I guess it’s to show your character isn’t a complete novice.
I’m told to go to Jinan next to get some monks, apparently there are no monks available in the whole of Beijing so I’ve got to travel 200 miles to get some. I’ve actually been there IRL, so hopefully it will be a better experience in game.
You arrive in a dainty little settlement, I guess times were different back in Ming Dynasty’s era, just a few monks here instead of millions of people in a throng of business.
The monks here don’t care much about grammar, and this guy has been waiting for me for years to give a gift to the emperor.
The tracking menu on the right of the screen makes navigation almost pointless as you are directed exactly where to go and automatically go there upon clicking it.
Back at the palace the Emperor delivers this interesting line “I’m interested in the monk that delivers sermons. Now, please collect wolf teeth from the Qi Great Wall, Jinan.” Ok wolf teeth and monks, that makes complete sense to me, roger that.
Making even more sense the battle seems to be against wolves cavalry, as some guy on a horse creeps towards my guy and I dispatch him again without doing anything. So was wolves their bandit name? Or are they shape-shifting wolves, did I collect human teeth then? And what does all this have to do with the monk. The mystery continues.
If you go back to the monk and talk to him, he tells you outright he’s a conspirator and laughs at you. I hope there’s an option to report him and get some kind of reward, then watch him get executed.
So you go back to give the wolf teeth to the emperor and he decides that me killing wolf cavalry guys was enough evidence to accept the monk to be his advisor. Wha? Did I miss something here.
The emperor later goes on to request you to gain advice from the monk about whether he should go to war or not. I’m pretty sure this emperor is frothing mouth insane. The game continues on from here with inane tasks to be done for the emperor and his lackeys.
Basically Ming Dynasty has a really easy learning curve, it’s to get you comfortable with the game, but they’ve almost made it pointless to play, as it seems your only job is to rake in resources and upgrade your buildings and items without actually lifting a finger. You basically take on the role of imperial messenger and bystander for battles. Most of the game play is actual management of your forces and resources setting up your formation which acts like a game of rock paper scissors based on what type of soldiers you’ve chosen, which is straightforward enough. The clicking to and from the different quests gets quite boring as the translation isn’t perfect and none of the quests make any sense anyway. The emperor is one minute wanting to recruit people for his war effort, and then instead decides he wants them to write a book about the grand history of his regime.
The games community in the English version seems quite sparse, there’s 1569 members for the forum, I guess it’s not caught on much in the West, but it is still in infancy. There does seem to be a bit more to the game as you level up, but nothing major that warrants much interest. The developers revenue seems to rely on the fact that you will want to buy gold to speed things up in the game and get more items, etc. The look of the game is quite nice and you can see why some people would like to immerse themselves in past Chinese civilization. Whilst it’s free to play, there are a lot more fun games out there that are free to play. Still it’s an interesting insight into the kind of games that are popular in China.
Links for both the Chinese and English versions
English Version : http://md.forgame.com/news/
Baidu Chinese Version : http://youxi.baidu.com/mcsd/index/