La Tale is a 2D side-scrolling fantasy MMORPG developed by Korea-based Actoz and published in four language versions including Korean, Chinese, Japanese and English. Firstly launched in SK in 2006, La Tale was localized and brought to North America by OGPlanet two years later. Since then, it entertains many side-scrolling fans with its adorable, action-packed, dynamic gameplay.
La Tale is acclaimed for quite a few of its features. It has anime-style characters that can be customized fairly in looks and in costume, and a stylish world which, though 2D, is depicted in soft color, detailed artwork and rich scenery with different themes. It features great background music, upbeat or blue to go with gameplay, which pleases your ears and hearts the moment you embark on adventure and grows into you as you bathe in the melody for a while.
In-game quest line is not as favorably accepted, mainly due to the diehard grinding. Although it brings a certain degree of freshness via the variety of scenery, it can’t take the tedium of repetitive hack-and-slash in generic quests. And climbing the quest line is the most effective path to unlock more playable contents, yet it seems a daunting task – say, you can switch your character class into the second, advanced specification only when you reach Lv. 80.
You can select one of five starting classes which include Warrior (offensive melee fighter), Knight (defensive melee combatant), Wizards (spell caster), Explorer (archer) and Engineer (toolbox user). Each class has its own arsenal of weapons, attributes and skill trees. With overall six skill categories, you can freely distribute skills points, one per level up, and develop your avatar into one classic archetype with occasional borrowed abilities or a hybrid one never seen before. The in-depth skill system, if nothing else, distinguishes La Tale from Maplestory, a popular side-scroller that hit the market earlier and established a certain formula for following side-scrolling titles.
As you sail through levels, you can encounter dungeons, approximately every ten levels, and wipe out all monsters there for better loot. PvP is also available, for players of any level. You can directly challenge another player you pick up to compete, or enter the PvP arena to fight a random opponent paired by NPCs. Without level requirement, PvP battleground is hardly a level ground for all, due to the discrepancy in levels. To narrow the gap, La Tale purposefully gives low level players a boost in stats, which is a nice try but an ineffective one.
La Tale also provides other playable elements, such as pets, guilds, marriage system, auction house and personal shop, etc.. The game is free-to-play, which means you can buy equipment and other items with Ely, in-game currency earned by playing, and purchase fashion-shop items with premium currency. What’s unusual here is that you can also get premium items with Ely from other players, in their personal shops or in auction house.
La Tale is a great side-scroller, flawed a bit and enjoyable a lot.