In an age where our United States Congress cares more about controlling the content of video games produced by American developers, rather than exhibiting them to the world at large; the other side of the world doesn’t just seem a world away, it truly is.
In May 2009, South Korea founded the Korea Creative Content Agency, an agency dedicated to promoting Korean media content the world over with an aim of brandishing South Korea as a top tiered content provider within the global market. Combining a number of agencies under one roof, KOCCA has their hands full endorsing the full spectrum of Korean content. From broadcasting, to animation, music and games; KOCCA provides not only a lobby internationally for Korean content, they also front many services for the creators of that content.
On Dec. 3, KOCCA invited RoboAwesome.com to a lunch at The Hudson in West Hollywood for the gameNgame.com Online Bloggers Luncheon. At the event representatives of KOCCA and Korean game producer MGame presented five games that have either released in Asia and will launch in the United States shortly, or are currently in development but are ready to play through KOCCA’s gameNgame.com service.
From a first-person shooter, to a quarter-view MMORPG, a rhythm-race game, a MMORPG that blends a real-time (rather than turn-based) trading card game into the mix, and a team-verse-team battle game; KOCCA had quite a spread to show off.
Operation 7 is a FPS developed by MGame, which in context is similar to Nexon’s Combat Arms; but differs completely from most titles within the genre. Rather than having a specific damage code with a variable applied to each weapon, Operation 7 calculates damage based on distance rather than caliber. Though that may seem to diminish the reality of the game, it actually does quite the opposite. With the system most FPS titles use today, damage taken is universal regardless of the range and quickly shrugged off within seconds. In reality, taking two shots to the dome point-blank is not mended by knifing the assailant and waiting 10 seconds, it usually results in death. This is the kind of reality Operation 7 takes into account. Within a minute of joining a game, one unlucky player turned a wrong corner right in front of my waiting scope, with two clicks of the mouse, both rounds tearing through their target; the player dropped to the turf for a much needed dirt nap. Within 30 seconds of that incident, I turned a wrong corner and learned how their respawn script worked. Apparently a sniper from somewhere caught me within his crosshairs, one shot one kill, one confused guy on the business end of that rifle.
Operation 7 also focuses more attention on your senses outside of sight. Though you can’t smell the game, and you’ll only feel your monitor if you try and touch it; a full spectrum of sounds await your ears. With over 700 unique sounds from foot steps, to weapon discharges, explosives, or even your character’s breath; MGame has sparred no expense in garnishing this game with more realistic sounds than most FPS titles.
Add into account that Operation 7 features some of the most detailed and elaborate customization features through weapons mods, equipment, and clothing; Operation 7 is hot combat and damn fun.
We also learned that a “Ninja Mode” is currently in development. In this mode one team will spawn as Ninjas outfitted with swords and shurikens, while the other team will spawn in as soldiers.
Another intriguing title, though currently in an early stage of development (not even alpha testing), is Ghostwatch. This MMORPG trading card game has incredible potential if MGame…plays their cards right. Instead of instituting a turn-based system to their card game, Ghostwatch plays out in real-time once a card encounter has begun. Though it may seem odd to trading card game enthusiasts, the real-time system works better visually but also forces the players hand to operate tactically rather than strategically. Although Ghostwatch features a trading system (including an iPhone app) most of your cards will be obtained through PVE. However, those dreary of a PVE experience need not worry, along with a group party feature, Ghostwatch will also have plenty of PVP. With over a hundred cards already created; from weapons, to creatures or spells, Ghostwatch may become one of very few games to challenge whatever Magic: The Gathering throws on PC.
Talesweaver, a storyline driven MMORPG from Nexon also made a splash for us at the event. Though the game has been live in Korea and Japan since 2003, a global server is expected to drop by the end of the year. With a quarter-view camera similar to Diablo, the gameplay of Talesweaver blends click-click hack-slash with a tweaked style of Final Fantasy’s older user interfaces. Loaded with menus allowing for untold customization, interweaving dynamic storyline with strong narration, and painted in a nostalgic Secret of Mana appearance; Talesweaver brings the past into the present with stunning presentation. With a constantly evolving story, based on the Korean novel, Children of the Runes, Talesweaver has the potential to be the game for anyone despite it’s cute Saturday-morning graphics. Not to mention, it’s about as demanding on your machine as SNES, this cracked me up so I’ll share.
Minimum Requirements: Pentium III 450 MHz, 256 MB Ram, 8 MB VGA, DirectX 7, 56k, Windows 98. (Funny huh?)
Recommended Specs: Pentium IV 2.0 GHz, 512 MB Ram, 16MB VGA, DirectX 9, High-speed cable or DSL, Windows XP.
Though we didn’t see much of Block Master or R2Beat, they are intriguing titles none-the-less.
Block Master is a birds-eye-view battle game reminiscent of games like Bomber Man; however Block Master has a much more verbose system of combat. From attack powers up to complete character transformations, this team-verse-team battle royal is an action-packed adorable joy ride. My recommendations if you choose to play this title is to get in gear right off the start, whoever fills up their Hyper Mode meter first essentially gets to go Super Saiyan.
R2Beat reminds me of Jet Grind Radio mixed with the old Sonic bonus stages, if anything. Though you don’t get to tag up the game as with JGR, this game mixes the rhythm genre with the racing genre splendidly.
KOCCA’s Game Company directory can be found here.