The paradox of seriousness is a simple concept that every MMO player comes to grips with. I haven’t quite put it to a real formula just yet, but here goes. The more serious you are in storytelling and motivating the individual, the more plotholes appear. More seriousness ultimately leads to less immersion. Suspending disbelief is difficult in a world that doesn’t give-a-crap about your endeavors against the great phantom lord thing. You’re the chosen one? Yeah, you and everyone else on the server. That sort of deal.
Aika Online, on the other hand, doesn’t take itself seriously at all, which makes it good, fun and engaging. Granted, ‘you’ are played by some clown in armor that probably expected a journey, but finds yourself in a whimsical world filled with menial tasks and strange humor. I didn’t think I would bond with my Pran, who is a little girl with a huge gob, but I have, and I want her to grow so she can amuse me in the future.
Basically, Aika is one of those games that, for once, understands who it is in the big-bad-world of other games. It’s a bit like Dungeon Runners, actually. Part of me expected it, because shipped-overseas games generally have a lot of weird filler that usually sucks. Aika’s isn’t deep, but it is funny at times. Again, I came into this game expecting the worst, and so far, it’s been decidedly mediocre in all regions except a lack of looting tedium and the NPC dialogue.