Ah finally we have come back to the horrible Asian MMO market! This time I force myself to play ASDA Story; a cartoony game that emerged from the bowels of Korea. ASDA Story had one feature that other vanilla Korean MMOs lacked: soul mates! That's right! Not only can you mindlessly grind your pathetic life away killing mutated animals but now you can do so with the companionship of someone equally depressing!

Uncle McDuck wants to show you his van.I almost did not review ASDA Story since I couldn't get it to realize my video card could actually handle the extreme graphics engine. Do "game developers" hate the 8800GTS or did Nvidia just give up half way through writing the newest drivers? The blame has to go somewhere and since my video card can handle Crysis, Unreal Tournament 3, and just about any other game thrown at it, I have to blame poorly designed MMOs.

After uninstalling, re-patching, reinstalling, sacrificing a cat, and reinstalling the game once more, ASDA finally had enough pity on me to run. I don't think I have ever tried to play a game this badly that I didn't give a shit about in my life. In fact, the only reason I went through all this trouble had to do with the soul mate feature and a section on the game's website fully devoted to people who found it necessary to take pictures of themselves and beg for someone to be their friends. So basically I could have saved myself a lot of time and trouble by just writing a review of MySpace.

Character customization is as diverse as a KKK meeting but they do allow you to mix and match five different costumes. It doesn't really matter what you pick as every single costume makes your character look like he just finished marching in the gay pride parade. Talking about clothes, ASDA Story employs the extremely annoying "feature" of making armor gender dependent. I can't tell you how many times I found some boots, gloves, or pointy-tit bras that I could not use because I made the fatal mistake of creating a character with a penis. I am not sure why the developers felt it necessary to divide armor by gender since it would be just as easy to have a different graphic for the same piece of armor kind of like any other game that exists.

Quests consist of two varieties in ASDA Story and both varieties piss me off.

  1. Quests that make you walk across town to talk to someone then walk back - This kind of quest pisses me off the most as ASDA Story uses the "click to walk" form of travel. This wouldn't be so bad if, you know, someone had actually programmed some AI. Characters become stuck on anything and everything possible which caused me to click three feet in front of my idiot character each time.
  2. Quests that tell you to kill X amount of creature - Listen ASDA, I played the original Everquest and I fully know damn well how to grind. I don't need your lazy half-assed quests telling me that I need to kill creatures (which weren't even bothering me in the first place) just to level up. This primarily pisses me off because it is the laziest quest someone can create. "Hey Bob (I don't know why a Korean is named Bob but suspend disbelief) could you make a few more quests?" "Oh why sure!" said Bob, "I will just have players kill some creatures and come back just to be instructed to kill more of the same creature! This way I can spend my free time playing an equally stupid and addictive game like Starcraft!"

Uhh... I wonder where that cave goes...

Somehow I completely neglected to take advantage of the game's driving feature, soul mates. In fact, I only made it to level six before finding a cave which resembled a vagina which seemed somewhat fitting seeing that this is the closest most of the player base will get to one. Though I never had a soul mate (or tried to get one) I can only speculate that the feature sucks. All too many times I have grabbed a friend and said "Hey friend of mine, lets level up characters together in a video game!" only to hear in response, "I am calling the police." Though I did not directly experience the joy of having an internet soul mate, the feature still proved to contribute to this article.

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About This Column

"Free" MMORPGs have grown in popularity to the point of supersaturation. How on Earth can one person possibly play them all and determine the best platform for painfully long level grinding, illiterate online communities, and fatal bugs? MMO Roulette examines a different online "free" role playing game every other week, providing you the lowdown on each. Every chamber is loaded when you play MMO Roulette.

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