Pretty, Pretty FusionFall

FusionFall is gorgeous.

Wait, that’s not how to start a review. Let me try again.

FusionFall, the new MMO from Cartoon Network, takes place a few years in the future. Players must help the Cartoon Network crowd, including older versions of Dexter and Deedee and the Powerpuff girls (as well as some other faces I’m too out-of-touch to recognize) must try to save Earth from the evil overlord Fuse of the evil green Planet Fusion. Combat was blood-free, zapping clearly-defined bad guys, as is appropriate for a kid’s game.

And this game is gorgeous. Did I mention how pretty?

I loved the anime, teenage versions of the PowerPuff girls. Player characters are also anime-influenced. Character creation offers a lot of options, not quite City Of Heroes level, but much more customizable than the average MUD. By doing this, FusionFall avoids the common MMORPG problem of having dozens of identical avatars running around, an annoyance I remember in EverQuest2 and sometimes in low-level WoW characters.

Later on, characters can collect nanos, superdeformed minis of Cartoon Network characters, that act as power-ups or have special attacks, and are also really cute and addictively collectible in a Pokemon sort of way.

I’ve been playing in the “closed” beta for a while (quotation marks because everyone I know who signed up, got in), and I just wasn’t crazy about the actual gameplay. It was the usual MMO mechanics of completing a mission for a reward, simplified further by adding a little red dot on the map for your destination.The controls were a bit clunky, the problem with clicking on everything to activate is that sometimes you might not want to do the default action.

I really didn’t like the amount of time spent in arcade-style jumping. I don’t really enjoy arcade-style games, and while I like the evil-green-goo from a story perspective, this just isn’t the type of challenge I like.

But back to the pretty. SO PRETTY. I played a while after I lost interest in the gameplay because the futuristic world, with tech toys, evil green slime and teenager Powerpuff Girls, was just so gorgeous.

Overall, I felt about FusionFall like I did about City of Heroes. It was amazingly attractive — I really loved seeing the CN kids as teens — but after I’m done looking at all the gorgeousness, and making a dozen pretty avatars, I think I’m going to play WarCraft.

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