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Pirate Storm

Pirate Storm
  • Release Date: Feb 14th, 2012
  • Publisher: Bigpoint
  • Developer: Bigpoint
  • Genre: Casual
  • Official Site

Voyage out to the far side of the sea, as a pirate. Hoist the sail, stuff the cannon and harpoon launcher, hit down the marine monsters, sea rats and opponents’, and upgrade ships with better equipment for looted gold – These are what you will do in Pirate Storm, a new browser-based casual online game from Bigpoint.

Pirate Storm

If you expect the treasure-hunting in islands on the sea, you simply have none of it, for the game is currently all about sailing across different zones at sea and fighting quest-required monsters, NPC ships or other players. There is Carados, the wharf which is made of four places including Governor, Tavern, Guild and Auction House. You will be introduced to the port in the beginning and familiarize yourself with their functions in buying updates, getting quests, joining/creating guild and trading, respectively. But once moving on, you almost never need to get grounded with all those shortcut icons displayed on the left side and bottom of the screen.

The world map consists of seven zones, each of which is made of four regions. You need to finish one and then move on to another, as you finish quests earning loots and xp. Grinding seems the only way, and the quest line short of variety even makes it more so. Most times, you just sail around, chasing after NPC ships and sea creatures, killing them after several attack, and picking up the dropped loot. Although there is a little variation – NPC ships will fight back based on turns and attempt to escape in fire when dying, while marine mobs only attack nearby and thusly need to be kept in distance – such variation is far from enough to make the quest engaging.

Another aspect in the quest that turns red flag is that it’s unclear sometimes due to the lack of quest description. It’s concise and brief with usually the x amount of certain targets to take down displayed. That’s good, but at times it just cuts off too much info to make one quest unnecessarily difficult to understand. What does it mean to simply “sink” twice for glory? Since there is no place to find out more explanation, I tried to sink surrounding NPC ships but didn’t see the tracking start; and I even get my own ship sink on purpose but didn’t get anything either. And it’s certainly not the only quest that baffles you. There are times when you think you know what it wants you to do only to find you are wrong. You pilot your ship “To Tillena (an in-game zone)” as described, but you don’t see the quest finish when you arrive at that area, for instance.

You can choose to battle enemies alone at the open sea or party together with other players temporarily. To group with others is hardly for survival in Pirate Storm, since the combat starts basic and remains basic for a long time. Neither is group more effective, because though it takes less time if two players shoot one enemy ship, these two teammates will also split the drop in half and half. The more, the merrier; and that’s seem the only reason players may want to play together, at least in the beginning. Compared with the temporary team-up, the guild is more like a tuck-on. And the duel between players is not more interesting than the hunting down NPCs.

The game offers both shop and auction house for players to purchase ships (of five types), classed cannons and harpoon (to shoot sea creatures), sized sails, decks and the miscellaneous like explosive gunpowder and thunder rockets. Some costs gold coins earned in the game, and some requires the Diamond, the premium currency, shop and auction house alike. Needless to say, better ships are advantageous, which is obvious in the game – they can take down an enemy by one single fire instead of four or five times, and sail through quickly to pick up the loots, theirs or supposedly belonging to others. If your ship is slow, the loots dropped from the ship that you sunk will be stolen by those with a faster ship sometimes. But it takes long before you can create a powerful ship with multiple sails by sheer playing, which also means the interesting part of gameplay takes long to warm up.

Pirate Storm takes on an interesting pirate theme, but just leaves much to be desired to live up to the expectation. It really needs to be expanded in contents and enriched in available activities. Even as a casual browser title, it has quite a lot of more enjoyable contenders.

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