Looking for a fast-paced free-to-play brawler that allows you to choose a hero, mix-and-match gear, and jump right into the fray? Look no further than Lost Saga from WeMade USA. It has everything that anyone who wants to play a PC Smash Brothers-like game with such a huge selection of heroes and potential that it puts almost everything else to shame.
And, as I’ll mention, there’s fishing!
Published by WeMade USA in North America the game is developed by Korean studio I.O. Entertainment and Indonesian studio KREON it contains a lot of traits from Korean culture. I’m not familiar yet with much of the work done by these publishers and studios but if Lost Saga is any indication, they’ve done an excellent job of producing a worthwhile game for the brawler officanado.
LS spends a lot of time being a “brawler-plus” type game with a multitude of heroes, a virtual item shop, the ability to mix-and-match gear, lots of maps and game modes, even a PvE set—add on the random bit of fishing and it’s a really interesting eclectic mixture of combo-brawler and free-to-play MMO. As a result, there’s a lot to go over and a vast experience for players who enjoy this sort of game.
Better yet, the game content is ever-evolving and in the “May Update” WeMade USA revealed “Block A” an item that allows players to build almost anything in the game Minecraft style. Involved in the reveal of Block A (amid other items) has given to a contest to see what the players might create in game.
Meanwhile, I’ve played a few hours and it’s time to give everyone a look at what Lost Saga is about.
Graphics and Sound: PEW PEW! You shot me down…
Lost Saga is a 3D brawling game with small-ish characters who fight on multi-tiered 3D environments—in fact the environment itself is as much an enemy as other players (falling off the edge inflicts damage.) As a result, many of the maps are designed with multiple levels, platforms, and edges all over the play. There’s also a notable variety of environments to fight in from things that look technological, space age, pirate-esque, and even one that looked like an arena in a Gothic castle.
The characters themselves, being a little on the small side, happen to be cartoonish and look like characters from animated TV shows. However, there is more than enough detail and FX to tell what’s going on and to an extent to aim attacks—but it takes some getting used to a hero to understand what FX means what.
The skill animations for each of the characters are very nice and well thought out. In fact, they’re thematically pure to everything from fireballs falling out of the sky for the mage to a purple blaster-bolt for the Stormtrooper-esque character (right along with PEW! when it fires.) The animations make sense, they look nice, and they’re also quite unique to each of the different characters. Certainly some of them may be reskinned; it still feels as if they belong to the person using them.
As with the animations, the characters have sounds that associate nicely with gameplay including the hurt noises and attacks having their own distinct sounds. As a result the battlefield can be sensed to be an orchestra of death and mayhem as combos go off and power are flung. Often enough you can identify enemy heroes by the sound that they make as well.
The fidelity when it comes to the brawler “noises” is pretty high and that makes it fun to play, aside from the highly vivid style and fast-pace.
The music in this game is generic-across-the-board, if you’ve heard music from one Asian import game you’ve heart this music. Although it contains a slightly more synthetic quality than the usual slightly orchestral tone—it’s common to listen to the same swelling chords repeated within a span of three minutes. The music played here is the elevator music of MMOs, a clashing battle cry heard across most PvP gaming experiences. While the music is not-quite-epic, it’s also not very obnoxious or problematic, but expect to replace it with your iTunes or Spotify playlist in short order.
Lost Saga is at its core a brawler and runs a lot like a game of Smash Bros—which means an arena-space with a bunch of other characters with varying abilities that enable melee, ranged, and special attacks. The objective most of the time is to beat down another character until they’ve run out of life and Knocked Out (or KO.) There are both PvE and PvP modes available, but the game is a battle-arena type game and PvP dominates the modes.
Oh yes, there’s also fishing, I’ll get to that later.
The game is about playing “heroes” which feel more or less like outfits: in this case, the clothes do make the woman—abilities and capabilities are fixed directly to a hero’s outfit. And the game works via a combo system as well as special attacks combined with keyboard keys. The mouse is not used in this game and can be almost entirely eschewed.
‘A’ jumps, ‘S’ defends, and ‘D’ attacks; whereas the up-down-left-right keys on the keyboard are used for movement around the arena. Combinations of ‘A’, ‘S’, and ‘D’ perform special attacks and each combination has a special attack: ‘AS, ‘AD’, ‘SD’, and ‘ASD.’ Generally the ‘ASD’ special is some sort of dramatic or epic strike. Depending on the hero outfit being used at the time, these attacks work differently and even build up differently (for most of the time they’re unavailable but they can charge up.) The basic ‘D’ attack can be fired after ‘A’ for a jumping strike; and ‘D’ and double-tap dashing as well as the arrows during attack can vary the strikes. In this fashion there’s lots of ways to batter someone in melee range.
As players brawl and play, they receive experience for themselves and on particular hero outfits. As a result, there’s a lot of things to do to rank up in this game. This is where the climbing grind exists in Lost Saga and provides goals for players to reach for.
This is essentially twitch-styled brawling combat. You will need to pay attention to the position of opponents and what powers they’re using and respond with your own combos and capabilities to win. The health levels of characters are quite high and it’s difficult to cut people down—but it’s possible to get people into never-ending lockups during attack sequences. Knowing a hero well would lead to a particular level of capability and skill is a massive component of play. For the most part, winning and combos is all about timing and choosing the proper skill to keep it going.
There is a kind-of PvE mode available where players go together to fight through waves of bosses on an arena map. In this case, each boss happened to be the undead version of one of the heroes and, when I ran the gauntlet with another player, I had to pummel them down one after another—including a miniboss every so many levels. It was a kill-or-be-killed match that ended after about 20 floors when both of us were downed.
Since matches are PvP with huge group-vs-group in some cases, it’s possible to run into players who are less-than-great. As a result, it’s possible to kick players from the team readily with a kick-request, more than once I found people on the team getting kicked with “Vote to remove – Toxic Player.” The only time I’ve seen this used was after a player in chat noted, “You’re in the way!” and shortly the kick vote appeared. It’s hard to tell if this is being abused or not, I’ve only played four hours of this game and as a result.
Freemium: Cash shop with time decay items (essentially rentals) for premium currency
The pricing model of Lost Saga follows the standard PvP brawler setup: the cash shop is designed to allow players to buy and “rent” heroes as well as equipment. Some of the heroes and equipment can be rented for 2 hours or 10 hours with the in game currency; but to get 30 hours or permanent that takes the freemium currency WP.
Specific attributes for player characters can also be bought—that is outside of outfits and heroes—such as hair, sunglasses, and even gender. Oddly, it seems that all characters are boys by default and if they want to be a girl they have to buy that gender for 485 WP. Sorry girls!
Everything else from different quality-of-life and aesthetic costume-only items are also bought with WP. Mostly the “rental” style items from mercenaries, full heroes, and bits of gear can be bought for 30 hours or permanently (i.e. no decay.) It seems that the permanent version is often three times as costly as the 30 hour purchase a difference between 425 WP and 1,175 WP.
Conclusion: A brawler that has a lot of different angles going for it
Pick a match where you take prisoners, go deathmatch with a team, go solo and fight for glory, get into a gauntlet with a friend…or go fishing.
Lost Saga feels like a brawler that wants to stand out—and it must stand out because brawlers are a dime-a-dozen in the free-to-play market—and there’s nothing quite like LS in the market right now. In a recent update music and sounds were added as well as an interesting Minecraft-like addition that allows players to build and construct. Not much else out there that allows for the same thing as “Block A.”
No doubt, LS will continue to produce even more content (and the current amount of content is staggering) as time goes on to keep players engaged and give them a reason to keep playing. Looking at keeping playing, of course, means a brief look at the community.
The community of this game looks like it’s fairly strong. I cannot go for even a minute without a random invite into some sort of match (and they differ hugely in content, map, and style.) The players are talkative—and although a little itchy on the trigger finger—can and do engage with conversation between matches. This tells me there’s a thriving culture to engage with and with the fast-paced combat it makes sense that there quick-fingered people on the other end.
For the acolyte and veteran alike, there’s lots of tutorials and YouTube videos giving tips, showing off heroes, and examining strategy.
So there’s a lot of things for the brawler-enthusiast to get into.
Of course, as I mentioned, to help avoid burn-out there’s fishing.