Pirate101 is a MMORPG by KingsIsle Studios. If the name of the game sounds familiar to you, it might be because KingsIsle Studios has also produced a game called Wizard101. They’ve kept many things from Wizard101 that were great, for example: the games have similar graphics style and when you see the game for the first time, you’ll probably think that it’s a kids game, that’s far from truth though. KingIsle Studios has created the game in such a way that it has something to offer for everybody.
The story of Pirate101 is a classic adventure story. Unlike in classic stories though, it’s set in a world full of pirates, wars and flying ships! The story takes place in the world of Spiral. The world was a peaceful place until a generation of explorers led by the great pirate Marco Pollo opened and mapped dozens of connections between various realms. This discovery allowed nations to quickly form colonies and trade routes all over spiral. The race for colonies led the world into a new age- the age of skyships. Soon, the great empire of Polaris led by Emperor Napoleguin, became so greedy and hungry for power that they decided to launch a great war against the nations of Marleybone, Valencia, and Monquista. The war expanded and soon every other realm in the spiral found themselves drawn in the conflict as allies, mercenaries or battlefields. After many battles, Valencia’s new clockwork Armada was able to bring Napoleguin to his knees and end the war once and for all. The war and its aftermath was a wild, lawless time in the Skyways. Pirates flourished in the outer reaches of the Spiral, where the colonial powers spread their forces thinner and thinner. But now the winds of change are blowing across the Spiral and Marleybone’s Royal Navy is regrouping, trying to tame the lawless Skyways.
The character creation can be really fun in this game. It can take up some time though if you want to get your character just right. This game lets you customize and create your own back-story. Probably the main reason creating a new character is fun, is because unlike in most games where you can just choose your stats and move on, the character is being created step by step- by telling us a colorful story about the characters past and helping us connect with the game. You creating your personal story, you can also create your own flag (so that your enemies would know who their messing with!). After all that you can customize your appearance. Customizing your appearance is kind of pointless, since style changes with new dropped items.
Like in many other MMORPG’s the quests in Pirate101 can get boring and repetitive. You can usually categorize the quests under 1 out of 4 styles it’s either defeat monster, gather, talk to or help someone. Quests usually have a yellow arrow guiding players to quest objectives, but since the Pirate101 doesn’t give players any instructions on where to go, players are forced to watch the arrow as the only means of direction. There are 2 type’s of combat in P101- turn-based land combat and the real-time skyship combat. At first glance, the land combat looks like a game board, with a small grid to help people move and carry out orders. When you pass players that are in a battle, you can see the combat progress in real time and join in whenever you want, just by walking in to the enemies. This feature can be viewed both good and bad. On one side, it helps boost communication with other players in game and perhaps even make the battle’s more fun, while on the other hand it can potentially kill you- if not in the game, then slowly from the inside. The problem is that whenever an “ally” joins the battle, also some more enemies will join and you’ll have to wait for everyone to make up their minds and finish their turn before anyone can move. If enough players join, easy battles can last for ridiculous amounts of time . The battle’s themselves can be quite fun though, however the battle can be quite tactical and thus might be too complicated for children.
The skyship battle is something completely different. While flying through the skies, you run into enemies from time to time. During the encounter, your ship will start firing off its cannons- although the firing is automated, you still have many things to do during the battle- for example you have to use skills to improve your odds of winning. When a ships health runs low and turns yellow- you will be able to board the ship, which brings us back to the familiar game-board style battle.
All-in-all playing Pirate101 has been a fun experience. The game has a great story and cute graphics. Although this game has a lot to offer to most people, I wouldn’t recommend it to the hardcore gamers among us. KingIsle Studios has taken many great things from Wizard101 and reused them in Pirate101, thus making another great game, for everyone to enjoy.