By Beau Hindman from massively.joystiq.com
Fiesta Online is getting pretty long in the tooth. Heck, it's a game I have played and returned to several times over the years, and I've never quite stuck with it. Don't get me wrong -- the game is quite nice-looking for its style and always seems to have a ton of players on, but there are a lot of titles I would love to be spending time with. Unfortunately, I have to pick and choose, and a game like Fiesta Online will normally land on the list of games that I play very infrequently. I had a great time recently when I toured some high-level content with the developers and was more excited to hear about a browser version of the game coming out soon.
So how does Fiesta Online's browser version perform, and what is the point of having one in the first place?
In case you're not familiar with Fiesta Online, just imagine a relatively typical Anime-inspired MMO. Like most of those MMOs, the differences are subtle... but there are differences. I'd say the primary difference is that it boasts a very robust cash shop, a unique resting mechanic that is more fashion than necessity, an intense high-level game, and fun graphics. All right, so that sounds almost like I described every other Anime-inspired MMO out there, but you'd just have to jump in the game to find out. Fiesta Online feels nice and is normally quite easy to run and understand.
While I played the game and had a good amount of fun re-visiting the game, playing in the browser was no easy task. At all. There are really two reasons why you would want to port your video game to the browser. The first is that you lower the barrier to entry. If you allow players to just pop into your game without having to first go through the download and install process that might be a standard experience, then it is much harder for a player to ignore your game. She might very well find herself glued to the screen three hours later because all she had to do was visit your game's site and hit "play."
The second reason is that you lower the system requirements and again attract more players. The problem with Fiesta Online's current browser version is that it seems to actually require a lot more system power than the regular client, and it doesn't work most of the time. I streamed the game live per my usual daily stream, but I had to ditch the recorded video instead of using it in this article because it showed nothing but a broken version of the game. Load times are ridiculous, the game crashes the browser most of the time, and performance can be wonky. I am not sure there is any benefit at all to using the current browser version of Fiesta Online. Certainly it cannot be easier for players to access it, and new players who try it might come out thinking, "This game is a piece of junk."
If you have played Fiesta Online before, then you will probably still be excited to see the browser version. I am still enthusiastic despite the fact that I literally could not access the game half of the time. I was tempted to download the standard client so I could make my report that way, but I stuck to the original experiment and played in the browser. It's still a fun game, and all of the wonderful social opportunities and neat cash-shop items really make it a gem of a freebie, but stay with the client version for now.
You can read full review here.
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