Developer: devCAT Studio
Mabinogi is one of the most unique looking Anime MMORPGs available. It offers players almost unrivaled freedom to play however they wish and is generally accepted as being the “Ultimate Social MMORPG” by the creators and players alike.
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Is Mabinogi Worth Playing in 2018?
Anime is something I watch in my past time with my wife, Adrienne. We’re both fans of it, we both play Anime games, and we’re both interested in Anime merchandise.
We go into nerd stores and look at all the awesome Anime goodies whenever we go out to the mall.
So being as big a fan as I am, you’d think there would be an Anime MMORPG that occupies my time outside Overwatch.
I’ve played pretty much every Anime MMORPG there is to play over the years and out of that large selection – only a few of them left a lasting impression on me.
Mabinogi is one of those games.
Allow me to go over why that is.
There are three different races you can choose to play as when you begin creating your character.
Human, Elf and Giant.
Humans are fairly basic. Elves are essentially Humans with pointy Elf ears, and Giants are merely really large Humans. Your base statistics are also dependant on what race you choose – as each race has different sets of stats.
You have the option to play as either gender for all three races, meaning there are no gender locked races. Then – and this is one of the most unique features in the game.. you have the opportunity to choose your age.
Age affects not only your appearance, but also your stat gain. For example, if you choose to start off as a 17 year old, you will have the highest base stats but negligible stat gains over the leveling process.
The younger you are, the larger the stat gains per level – but then you also have to deal with being weaker at a lower level.
Although in the end, it really doesn’t matter what you choose since you end up Rebirthing back down to level 1 – your first playthrough, at least of the lower levels is vastly different depending on what you set your age as.
Finally, the character creation itself isn’t much to write home about.
Although a lot of options are locked to free users.. and I mean naturally, it is a Nexon game after all, you have a fairly decent selection of faces to choose between, hairstyles, eyes, and lip choices along with colors.
Additionally, there is a fairly significant amount of in-game customization of your character that takes place as well – the costumes are absolutely amazing to collect.
The amount of variance between characters once you get higher and further into the game is astonishing.
Unfortunately, this is where Mabinogi begins to show its age.
Mabinogi has a very, very unique combat system, see. The combat is tab-target, although Mabinogi tackles it very differently than traditional tab-target combat MMOs.
In Mabinogi, instead of just randomly clicking your skills – combat is instead about predicting what skill the enemy is going to use, and making use of your own combat skills to counter them appropriately.
The game employs a very tactical combat style – something you don’t normally see in MMORPGs, let alone games in general, which adds on to how unique the overall game is, requiring careful analysis and timing of what skills you ultimately use.
Now Mabinogi, unlike most MMORPGs that have a holy trinity of tank, healer, DPS, has none.
Instead of beginning the game as, for example, a tank, you instead take the time to level various “talents” – this games version of a class system, and become, more or less – a polymath. Similarly to Final Fantasy XIV.
It’s a very unique style of leveling, combat, and a class system I haven’t really seen before in an MMO.
As I stated above, the combat is tab-target.
It is very slow and feels incredibly dated. The combat, although one of the more interesting parts of the game, is also one of the major problems I have with it.
Yes, you have access to a wide variety of different talents. Yes, this gives you the ability to tackle various encounters. But it does not in any way detract from the fact that the combat is tedious to experience first hand.
Again though, this game is old and the combat is very dated – unless they overhaul it there’s nothing you can really do about it. Which is fine – Mabinogi isn’t known for its combat.
And it doesn’t take away from the other aspects of the game.
Again, there is no class system in Mabinogi.
Instead, the game utilizes a “Talent” system. They function similarly to classes and professions in traditional MMORPGs and are broken into two distinct areas: Combat Talents and Life Talents.
Combat Talents consist of: Close Combat, Magic, Archery, Battle Alchemy, Martial Arts, Music, Puppetry, Lance Combat, Transmutation, Gunslinger, Ninja, and finally Chain Slash.
Life Talents consist of: Adventure, Mercantile, Holy Arts, Cooking, Smithing, Tailoring, Medicine and Carpentry.
It’s honsetly a lot of fun playing around with everything and learning what you like and dislike about each Talent.
Mabinogi has quite the story.
And even with such a large story, the vast majority of people skip it.
Although admittedly I haven’t partaken in much of the overall story, I do understand that it has a strong emphasis on the Gods that exist in the world. And from what I’ve played through, I’ve enjoyed.
Which is an honest shame that people skip through so much. Especially if you play Vindictus – which has a connected world to Mabinogi.
Graphically, sure, Mabinogi can’t hold a candle to games like Black Desert, Blade and Soul or Final Fantasy XIV. There is no chance whatsoever.
Anyone that says the game is beautiful, comparatively, is either blinded by nostalgia or just biased.
Now don’t get me wrong – the game, for its time, and for its style, is very unique and pleasant to look at. Especially when you start engaging in and obtaining costumes.
Mabinogi has a completely unique graphical style that has never been used by any other MMORPG. It features hand-painted textures stylized with edge detection outlining. Truly, it looks quite impressive.
I can only imagine how it’d look if it were used again in 2018.
Mabinogi’s population is fairly limited. It’s been around for so long people have all but forgotten it.
It used to be a thriving game with a healthy population.
Nowadays, when there are better games, faster games, prettier games.. why would anyone want to come back to this? You know?
Even so, the game remains populated enough to retain multiple servers for people to play on and players in every single town I’ve entered.
Which is a testament, truly, to how good the game is. That people just cannot let it go.
That’s about how I’d sum up Mabinogi’s world: Wow.
If you take a look at the world map you’ll see just how large and connected the game world is. The fact that it has been around for so many years and is still actively being developed should tell you how large the world is, and likely will continue to get.
I’ve never seen an Anime MMORPG come remotely close to how large this one is.
Since Mabinogi essentially offers players the freedom to do what they want – to live how they like – to play how they please, there is both an immense amount of PvE content, and simultaneously a very limited amount of PvE content.
You can spend all your time doing professions, fishing, exploring.
Or you can spend your time running dungeons, fighting monsters, and questing. Like you would in most games.
Honestly, being able to do whatever you want really is one of the main selling points of the game and always has been.
There are two forms of PvP in this game: Duels and Arenas. Duels function as 1v1 encounters between two separate players where Arenas function as larger battles.
Both are entertaining but PvP is almost frowned upon in the community. I never really understood why either when Wiggy and I have so much fun vsing each other.
Overall - Is Mabinogi Worth Playing?
It depends on what you’re looking for out of the game.
If you’re looking for a cute Anime MMORPG with a lot of freedom to do what you want – without having to spend day after day grinding, questing, trying to progress.. then yes, definitely.
If you’re instead after something fast and flashy, then no not in the least. That isn’t the kind of game Mabinogi is and again, that may very well be why it’s so underpopulated in comparison to larger titles these days.
Regardless, I enjoy it and I would still recommend it to anyone interested.
Mabinogi Minimum System Requirements
Operating System: 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Dual Core 2.5 GHz or AMD equivalent
Video Card: GeForce 7600 GS / Radeon X1300
RAM: 4 GB
Hard Disk Space: 8 GB
Mabinogi Recommended System Requirements
Operating System: 7 / 8
CPU: Intel i5 2400 or better
Video Card: GeForce 560 TI or better
RAM: 4 GB or more
Hard Disk Space: 10 GB