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Dec 26, 2008

Below is a review I plan on posting on several MMO sites about Wizard101, feel free to comment but please don't flame.

Wizard101: Gaming In the Wizarding World.

As a gamer of many years I always enjoy trying out new games that have new, fun and interesting themes. KingsIsle Entertainment has succeeded in releasing one such game. Wizard101 will take you on a fun, interesting ride through "Wizard City" and it's surrounding areas. The plot lines are interesting and the quests are fun to do as you wait to see what is going to happen next. You get to meet some interesting characters along the way as well, from the quirky, funny Headmaster Merle Ambrose to Dorothy Gale, Toto and the Tin Man, you will never be wanting for fun NPCs to quest for.

The programming staff at Wizard101 has apparently taken several pages from the Disney book of game design as many of the features of the client itself are the same as those found in ToonTown Online. This is not, mind you, a bad thing at all. These features were developed to keep children safe online and do so here as well as on ToonTown. From the real friends codes you can get to give to real life friends so you can chat together to the way your characters are named to the speed chat which here is called "Menu Chat" parents never need fear for their children while they are playing Wizard101. Another feature found in both Wizard101 and ToonTown is that while you are in monster populated areas you are safe from attack as long as you stay on the sidewalks, which can be very helpful when having to walk through areas to get farther into the game.

This is where Wizard101 Breaks apart from ToonTown though. The story, premise and overall game play is quite different. The spells, characters,, monsters and world are rich and diverse. There are so many things you can do in this game that to list them all would take several pages. Overall, I would suggest that any parents who have tweens who want to get online to play games check this one out. The child safety features alone make this one worth looking into but when your children see the mix of ToonTown, Harry Potter, Wizard of Oz and the gamut of other stories that have been put into this world they will be hooked...and so will you!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Gamer,

Dec 20, 2008
The review was really good until you started comparing it to Toon Town.

Wizard 101 is both adult and child friendly. Toon Town is not.

Wizard 101 has very fun story/quest lines. Toon Town does not.

I could go on and on, but hopefully you get the point. This is the first game I can play with my son and actually enjoy it. Being from the flock of original gamers, it has been a very long time since I have read every NPC/quest giver information (not just the click, click, go, go).

Also, being my son is very young, we learn a lot of vocabulary through this game. For example, fighting a cyclops we use the word Hammer and do a swinging motion. He loves it.

If you post your "review" on other MMO sites, please do not make a Toon Town comparison. You might also want to go more in depth and play the game a bit longer before writing a short review because it is a whole new game after the trial.

If you have to compare it to other games, you should compare it to the turn based battle style of the Final Fantasy series.

Dec 18, 2008
Blax is completely correct. When writing a review of a game, if you are not past a trial period you should say so. The greater part of the game does not have sidewalks, so your information is very flawed. Reviews should not contain comparisons to other game, as that can produce bias.

Game comparisons take apart the value of reviews because although they can provide a much easier way to convey what you think of the game, in truth it can ruin a review for people who have not played the compared games.

Dec 02, 2008
If your review were all I knew of the game, I'd think, well that sounds like a dumb game. What's the point? To be something cheesy and stupid, but safe for kids to, well, not play, because they figure out quickly that it's pointless?

Where's the talk about the unique grouping system, where the number of mobs you fight depends on how many players are on your side, even in open world combat? Where's the discussion of the very short quests that keep you moving around, so that you don't grind one particular type of mob excessively, as in so many other games? How about the ubiquitous unique bosses, where a considerable fraction of fighting is against a boss, even if you never farm them? The peculiar payment scheme, where you can choose to pay either a monthly fee or microtransactions for access to specific content? And how can you write an entire review without even a passing mention of the probabilistic combat system that is the core of the gameplay?

I guess how bad the review is would depend on where you post it. I really hope you don't post that on sites that people who play games themselves would read. If it's sites targetted at parents of young children, it might be all right, though I've learned to be wary of games marketed mainly to parents (buy this for your kids!) who don't play games and can't tell the difference between a great game and an awful one.