ZENONIA™ 2 in Review – egads! Hurray for classy sequel monster-grinding!

When Zenonia appeared on the AppStore almost a year ago it was a breath of fresh air for all Action/RPG fans and has held the title of best RPG for quite some time, even despite its many MANY flaws. Thank goodness the world has moved on since then and we’ve been literally swarmed by many RPG releases the past 6 months or so, each striving to set a new benchmark for others to come. And now, the long awaited and anticipated sequel – ZENONIA™ 2 has finally been released. Can it take the crown back? Feel free to discuss this review of ZENONIA™ 2 in our forums.

As a true heir to the Zenonia title, the sequel is a classic Zelda-inspired Action/RPG game. The story is a set a few decades after the original. After a brief time of peace and harmony, human nature prevailed and lust, greed and envy spread like wildfire. The gods, outraged at this have sent a cleansing rain that wiped the memories of everyone, allowing people to literally start anew and atone for their sins. In the aftermath the evil, imprisoned by Regret is striving to get out and take back control of the world. And for all of you storyline following fans – gather your patience in advance cause the cutscenes are long, and I mean really long.

Talking about the basic gameplay of Zenonia 2 it comes as of little surprise that it hasn’t strayed far from the first game. You travel from city to city, complete quests involving lots and lots of monster grinding which advance the storyline as you go along. Additionally carried over is the monster strength progression issue – unless you do ALL of the subquests in each individual town and some MORE additional monster grinding you’ll quickly fall behind. On the upside however, there is great gaming variety.

To start off – you can choose any of the four classes with distinct styles of combat – the long range shooter, the middle-range magician and the melee paladin and warrior. Each class has its own skill tree, broken down into active and passive ones. In addition you will shortly acquire a fairy (hello, Dungeon Hunter!) who will additionally offer a couple of passive and one active chargeable skills, those these are common across the board. The stats don’t offer any revelations though are a bit puzzling sometimes – i.e. for some reason the attack rating for the magician and shooter classes is also dependent on the strength attribute, as for the melee ones.

The item list is enough to satisfy any munchkin’s instincts. Each class shares common equipment like armour and accessories along with individual primary and secondary weapons. Items are separated into tiers with a nice crafting system in place to get the really powerful stuff. My only real gripe with the crafting/combining is the interface and the fact that you can do it only in town – while it may be ok for major stuff like armour and weapons, going back just to mix a stamina elixir is kinda stupid.

One of the more interesting promises of Zenonia 2 has been the multiplayer option. Unfortunately it’s not TRUE multiplayer. Instead a copy of the opponent character is downloaded and you fight it controlled by the AI. What a bummer.

Graphically, you won’t see much difference between the two parts – Zenonia 2 obviously uses the same graphics engine, though updated for some nice lighting effects. You’ll even run into quite a number of familiar monsters, though named differently here. The obvious progress is in performance – where I had issues with Zenonia on my older 3G, Zenonia 2 offers for flawless framerate. The second obvious difference is the fact that characters’ outfits change depending on the equipment they wear.

Another place Zenonia 2 has advanced leaps and bounds over its original is the interface. The menu system is simply outstanding without the hallmark tiny text and awful buttons. And the in-game interface is completely customizable – you can move the D-pad, attack button and the skill and item quickslots as you see fit. Alas, the D-pad is still present and there are a few frustrating bugs, dealing with resetting the quickslot positions and the inventory displaying of newly-picked-up items. On the upside the excellent auto-targeting takes a lot of hassle out of the extermination process.

ZENONIA™ 2 is a massive improvement over the original game with the expansive storyline worth tens of hours of gameplay, 4 classes for added replayability, vast amount of items and true retro-style graphics. Unfortunately the industry has advanced quite a bit and what Zenonia 2 has to offer has been done before. We’ve seen similar classes in SEED 1 – RISE OF DARKNESS; fairies in Dungeon Hunter; similar interface in Inotia 2: A Wanderer of Luone, etc., making Zenonia into a solid, but in no means revolutionary or even outstanding Action/RPG. Still it’s a safe bet for any fan of the genre who’s not yet tired of the endless monster grinding and persistent D-Pad.

With this I declare ZENONIA™ 2 officially touched!

App Summary
Title: ZENONIA™ 2Developer: GAMEVIL Inc.
Reviewed Ver:1.0Min OS Req:2.2.1
Price:$4.99App Size:31.2 MB
  • 4 character classes with distinct skill trees
  • Massive storyline with tens of hours of gameplay
  • Excellent menu interface
  • Lots of monster grinding with extra-quick respawn and poor difficulty progression which quickly gets old
  • Very long cutscenes
  • D-Pad-only interface
  • Frustrating interface/menu related bugs
  • Tedious and limiting crafting system
  • Multiplayer is NOT truly multi-player

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