The gunblade! The gunblade lives in Closers! I’m having crazy flashbacks of Final Fantasy VIII right now.
For this week’s MMO experiment, I took a dip in Closers Online, or as its western version is simply named, Closers. It’s an eastern import being run by the “action combat” kings, En Masse. I thought the cel shaded anime style looked pretty attractive and liked the idea of something that wasn’t outright fantasy. So why not? Free-to-play and all.
The (subtitled) story here is that aliens from another dimension are wreaking havoc all over the world, and a team of teenage “Closers” are brought in to put an end to it with their psychic powers. Why just teenagers? Because we have a demographic to appeal to, fool! I went with the pink haired, dual knives-using Sylvia as a shout-out to my friend Syl. Also, she had the least heaving bosom out of all of the female characters.
While “MMO” may be slapped somewhere on this product, Closers is really just a lobby game that has the option to both solo and join up with groups for very linear stages. There’s no exploration, no real variety here, just a whole lot of beat-em-up action with combos, light shows, and flashy numbers popping out every which way.
Although Closers is pretty to witness, especially in action, it’s not the most user friendly of games. For starters, the control scheme is fully keyboard and fully awkward. You use the arrow keys (not WASD) to move and a handful of keys at the bottom left to activate jump (which isn’t the spacebar), attacks, and specials. I had such a hard time trying to reprogram my finger memory to it that I ended up simply mashing things to make the bad guys die. When I could manage it, I did some pretty impressive chain attacks in the air, but that wasn’t often.
The other issue I had right off the bat was the method of tutorial delivery, which took place in the form of endless windows and on-screen diagrams that couldn’t be removed. When you’re in the middle of frantic combat, you don’t want pop ups distracting you. I think there was a story buried in the middle of this, but the game went overboard frontloading information and equipment and do this and learn this and master this and… pfft. I just started clicking through things until I got to a new stage to actually play the game.
I did get a costume and a pet, so there are a few elements in this game that have some appeal to me. Also, one of my skills allowed me to literally drop a bus on my enemies. The transit authority did not appreciate that, but that’s a small price to pay for one of the coolest moves ever.
OPPAN GANGNAM STYLE
Also, did this city just plaster a giant picture of my team on a skyscraper? That’s a nice gesture, but I’m just level 10 and haven’t really saved anyone outside of the tutorial. Nice thought, though.
I dutifully ran through a few more stages, but to be honest, there isn’t much going on here. It’s all flash and style but little substance, with attractive stages that go from Left to Right until you reach the boss and defeat it. I kind of got my fill with that back in my Mega Man and Super Mario Bros. days, so I feel like I’ve graduated past this sort of fluff.