The second best things in life are free.

Posted: March 11, 2011 by ryanlecocq in Features

 

Sorry for the row of opinion and humor articles, that usually means I haven’t been playing games recently.  In order to provide something for you fine folks to read besides my opinion, I’m dipping into the back archives.  So for the newest feature article: Free online games that are worth your time.  I won’t even describe games like LOTRO or Dungeons and Dragons Online as you can’t go 3 pages on the internet without seeing an ad for those.

 

Uncharted Waters Online

What you need to know is that this is basically Pirate’s Gold online.  Much like the Apple classic and Xbox remake, you sail about the seven seas during the age of discovery and manage resources like crew rations and fight status effects like Scurvy (arrrrr).  An astounding percentage of the world is available for exploration (the Americas and Southeast Asia were recently added) and the character and ship upgrades are both realistic and extensive.  You even have to disguise yourself to enter Muslim cities.  One of the best things about this game besides that it’s free is that it will run on anything.  The system requirements claim you can run it on a Pentium III with a 32mb graphics card.  So pretty safe to say your computer will run it.

 

Phantasy Star Online

I’ve mentioned before that the rights to this game have gone belly up and Sega does not fight private servers in any way (hell they probably play on them).  There are now several private PSO servers offering different levels of XP gain and item drops.  Phantasy Star is best likened to Diablo.  It’s a loot grind-a-thon just like many others, but unique in that it appeals to the sci-fi anime crowd.  The visuals and music of this game were made for anyone who loves them some Ghost in the Shell, Outlaw Star or Xenosaga.  Although on the surface many aspects of this game seem cheesy, like World of Warcraft it sucks you into it’s world.  Phantasy Star will have you humming it’s music and actually paying attention to obscure NPC plotlines, no matter how poorly translated.  You can easily get this one running on any old system too and be loot-grinding with 3 of your buddies in less than an hour with it’s 350mb download size.

 

Ragnarok Online

This is an oldie but a goody.  Ragnarok looks like one of the old 2d sprite-3d background RPGs of the 90s (Final Fantasy Tactics, Xenogears, Breath of Fire 3 etc.) and plays not unlike Final Fantasy XI.  It has every RPG cliche from rat quests to blob monsters, but always comes across as nostalgic, not pedantic.  Once again it will run on any system, so have at it.  You have to play on the normal rate server to play free (oh darn), but it’s a good way to waste a weekend.

 

Mythos

Although Mythos is still in hiatus right now as it goes through beta (again), it’s finally almost here (again).  Mythos is the brainchild of a splinter group of ex-Blizzard employees who previously released Hellgate:London.  When Flagship Studios went under, the rights went to a number of different publishers in different countries.  Surprisingly it looks like the largely Korean second development staff has actually gone above and beyond and made improvements all around.  Mythos is now nearing release worldwide with more classes, more spells and way more variety in graphics and sound effects.  Since Torchlight can’t seem to handle multiplayer, I’m thinking Mythos will be the next big hack-n-slasher in 2011.

 

 

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