-Rebirth system removes any sense of "grinding".
-Massive amount of clothes, coupled with the dye system, allows for a massive amount of customization.
-Immense amount of skills.
-Plenty of things to do (mainstream quests, lifeskills, shadow missions, dungeons, theater missions, etc.)
-Plenty of storage available.
-Can get very cash dependent, if you want to keep up with other players.
-Rebirth system makes leveling feel very repetitive (you rebirth and then likely run the same thing to level up again).
-Many things require the in-game service (the extra storage, ability to run a guild, etc.)
-Very easy to exploit/mod (in a lot of cases, not modding will leave you with serious latency issues).
Mabinogi is a game with its own faults, just like any other. At the same time, it is an excellent game, if you are either: A. Patient, or B. Willing to cash out. I have met many players who play for free (by using the free 3 week rebirths) and they play better than many people who rebirth weekly. But this is all information that is relative. Mabinogi itself is a great game with a lot of interesting features including (but not limited to): a wide variety of lifeskills, a massive amount of dungeons and missions, a guild system of excellent quality (when I say this I mean there are actual values to having a guild, beyond just making connections; things such as guild battles, castles, guild halls, etc.), spirit weapons, an amazing (newly implemented) upgrade system, an extensive fashion collection, and much more.
This is what it looks like when I feed my spirit weapon.
The mainstream quests in Mabinogi offer a lot of enjoyment to many players. The extensive storyline is definitely a plus, and is well accomplished (in most of the generations anyway). I remember the first time I ever ran the Generation 1 final dungeon, and how ridiculously hard it seemed at the time. Even so, it was really well put together and I enjoyed it a lot. Ever since then, I've completed every generation quest available and the majority of them were definitely worthwhile, and enjoyable.
He saw me rollin', he proceeded the hatin', but then I caught him ridin' dirty.
The character customization in this game is ridiculously expansive. From physical appearance, to clothing, to skillsets, the enormous variety they offer the players in terms of making each character their own is really outstanding. You could have one player with fox eyes, brown skin, who wears a red trinity wear, and specializes in magic; you could have another with sassy eyes, orange-yellow skin, who wears a lorica segmenta, and specializes in combat; even further still, you could have someone entirely different who specializes in nothing particular at all! The huge customization is definitely a positive in my eyes, although I must warn that some players might get lost with so many options, not knowing what to do next.
Here we have the eye options that are available to elves.
So all in all, I find Mabinogi to be a very fun game. Not necessarily a must-play or anything like that, but certainly something fun to pick up if you're in the mood for it. My final score for this game is 7 out of 10.
This review is written on February 13, 2011, and as such, all opinions are subject to change over time.