Gather a team of monsters to join you on this unfinished RPG adventure!
Decades ago it was a common sight to see questionable games advertised in ad banners. These advertisements often featured beautiful women clad in bikini armor inviting the viewer to play their game. Of course, when one finally plays the game, one discovers that it’s a disappointment. Guardians of Cloudia feels like one of those games. Granted, the artwork on the storefront and official website emphasize the monster companions more than the sexualized female character designs (of which there are plenty.) The extent of how bad this MMORPG with League of Legends-style combat and monster helpers is quite the sight to behold.
Guardians of Cloudia was developed by NEOCRAFT, a company out of Shanghai, China that claims to be headed by the founder of Blizzard China on its website. NEOCRAFT also claims to have employees who used to work for companies such as Riot, Activision-Blizzard and Ubisoft. Of course, that doesn’t actually inspire much confidence. After all, the former Naughty Dog employees at Big Red Button developed the infamous Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for the Wii U. One would think that their supposed pedigree would mean that the game is amazing—and then the disappointment sets in. One of the first text boxes misspells “further” as “furthur,” setting the tone for what to expect. Awkward silence from sound files not playing, typos, character models sliding across the ground without animations and code being momentarily visible in the text boxes are a few quirks the game has to offer. Moreover, the voice acting is atrocious. At least the character models and designs are decent, albeit a bit generic.
Hope You Like Grinding!
The game features one of the worst mechanics in RPGs: level gating. Things like level minimums on quests and items are clearly just game padding. It’s especially jarring when one can clear the game’s main campaign in just a few hours. Fittingly enough, the game actually requests the player to write a review upon completing said campaign. There isn’t even that much opportunity to explore the game as it nags the player to activate the feature that automatically moves the player to the next destination. The game effectively plays itself. The “dungeons” aren’t any better. They’re nothing more than corridors with flashing arrows that say “go here, moron!” The player will also have to contend with wonky hitboxes and bosses occasionally breaking, thus forcing a reset.
Acquiring new monsters is not too complicated, as the game uses the ubiquitous gacha system. The game also features cosmetic customization and minor crafting; unfortunately, the easiest way to acquire crafting materials and cosmetic items is by buying the packs for the former and the super-premium currency (which looks identical to the normal-premium currency) to buy gacha pulls for the latter. The game gives only one free pull for cosmetics every 24 hours, which means one needs to be careful not to spend too much. Not that one should even spend a dime on this game, anyway.
Is It Hardcore?
The game is an unfinished mess that somehow manages to be playable. In some ways, it shows promise; however, it’s brought down by poor design that makes the game feel brain-dead. Much like those skeevy games advertised in banner ads, one is better off playing anything else.