Cody “Micajah” Bye, Managing Editor
The word “cute” is a subjective term, often used to
describe something with big eyes, soft-looking fur, or bright colors.
The realm of “cute” is a domain typically occupied
dolls, baby animals, and the occasional Ten Ton Hamster named Phil.
Being deemed a creation of cuteness is often measured by a gender
specific response; men may groan and roll their eyes while women may
shriek with glee and rub their hands together with joy when they see
the subject of a “cute” remark (although sometimes
opposite reaction may issue forth from men or women). Even with the
subjective nature of cuteness, there are some objects that are just too
damn adorable to call anything but cute.
In Mabinogi, you can
choose to be a 10 year old child.
That is how I felt when I first laid
my eyes upon Nexon’s recent
to the MMORPG scene, a game officially titled Mabinogi –
. With its cell-shaded, bright colored
relatively light atmosphere, Mabinogi
is a game that almost radiates
Typically only referred to by the first part of its name, Mabinogi
– Fantasy Life
is the fourth game to be released
American from the Korean-based Nexon Corporation, and all of the games
have been rife with a persistent adorable factor. The cuteness has not
frightened off potential customers, however, and Nexon has had an
almost overwhelming amount of success marketing their games. In
particular, Nexon’s MapleStory
pulled in nearly 3 million
registered users in North America alone, which is a huge number for any
At first, I was a bit hesitant to dive into the game, simply due to the
level of genuine cuteness that I had seen from my preview at GDC
from the screenshots visible on the Mabinogi
site. But due to
the previous success of MapleStory
my curiosity won the better of me
and I jumped into Mabinogi
with enthusiasm full-fledged enthusiasm.
Even though the game was drizzled with a frosted coat of delightful
art, it would have been improper to ignore a game simply on its
From the outset of the game, my experiences within Mabinogi
incredibly smooth and easy. Like most free to play massively
multiplayer games, installing and playing Mabinogi
going to the game’s official website, downloading the game
client, and installing the files located within. For those of you with
a slower internet connection, you should be thanking your lucky stars.
only 859 MB, which is a paltry number compared to the
multi-gigabyte downloads that often occur with the top tier North
American titles. All in all, I was playing Mabinogi
of starting the download.
Along with hunting,
players can also choose to do other jobs like milking a cow.
Starting your Mabinogi
experience is much like what you’d expect
from any standard MMORPG; you register for a free account, log-in, and
proceed to create your in-game avatar. Upon entering the character
creation screen, I experience one of my strangest moments in all of
gaming. Unlike Mabinogi
imported MMORPG brethren, there are
vast assortments of options to pick from while creating your character.
However, the strangest option – and one I’ve never
any MMOG to date – is the “Age” selector.
When you start off in Mabinogi
you get to determine your starting age,
which ranges from 10 to 17 years old. There’s no restriction
who can play as a 10 year old, it’s simply one of the
options included within Mabinogi
(and really can allow for a character
to excel). Although the age range is purely optional, Mabinogi
“cute” game and should be very appealing to the
generations. To me (and others on the Ten Ton Hammer staff), the age
range seems like an odd detail to slip into a game that is easily
played by adults. Perhaps I’m being paranoid, but
concerned parents already have enough to worry about without allowing
their sons and daughters to play as in-game versions of children and
attracting vile elements to them?
Thankfully, the age range choice isn’t a permanent selection.
Through your experiences in the Mabinogi
world, you’ll grow older
and your character’s physical appearance will alter in
significant ways. Not only will eating lots of food make you fat, but
every Saturday, your character will also age a year, and once
you’ve grown to the ripe old age of 25, you can choose to be "reborn" as a younger version of yourself. You
lose any of your abilities that you’ve learned, so you can
continue to be the strong, stout warrior even when you do eventually experience a rebirth.