MagnaCarta II, the latest installment of the Korean MagnaCarta series, does not follow the stories of the previous two MagnaCarta games. It is set in a different world: a kingdom called Lanzheim immersed in war between the rightful heir to the throne Princess Rzelphillda and the former Prime Minister Schuenzeit. This costly war between both parties are then focused on an island where the main protagonist, Juto, is recovering and living.
I have mixed feelings about this game as it has both good and bad qualities. (Spoiler alert if you read more.)
First of all, I am a fan of Hyung-Tae Kim, the character designer of the MagnaCarta series. His artwork is gorgeous. The only drawback is the excessive detailing of certain female parts. Thank god the game renditions of the female characters tone those qualities down a bit. You can try to compare between the picture above and below. See what I mean? And you hormone-driven boys out there, these aren’t normal, especially from the previous MagnaCarta. Those were of epic monster proportions.
The game looks beautiful as well. One flaw I encountered in the game that just screamed “Slacker!” was the character design of the townspeople in the main capital city of Belfort. The game just reused the same man or woman, the same clothes, and the same face. I kid you not! The only difference among the cityfolk is the color of the clothes.
The battle system has a small learning curve. To efficiently use it, you need to time certain combos together, exchanging control from one character to another. My favorite character to use is Rue, the personal bodyguard of the Princess, who doesn’t show up until about half way through the game. She is excellent at random battles because she has a chance skill to instantly kill your opponents, no matter the enemy HP. Of course it doesn’t work on boss battles but her evasion is quite high. Overall the game felt a little like Final Fantasy XII.
The puzzles in the game aren’t too challenging except for one of the last in game. You’ll know when you get to it as it is a network of rooms that are connected by bridges which appear and disappear based on the combination of lanterns that you access along the way. I’m not stupid at these game puzzles, but it was mighty frustrating when the game would give you an incomplete overhead shot of what bridges were affected. Didn’t do much good when all the rooms looked exactly the same and you’re wondering where on the map those bridges are.
The music wasn’t that impressive. Nothing stuck in my mind as catchy or memorable, even the opening sequence of the game.
The voice acting wasn’t bad. I thought overall it was decent. I just thought the dialogue was a little too revealing and overshadowed into the plot too much; it was rather detrimental to any plot twists. The story and storytelling wasn’t that great either; I could guess almost all the events in the story even before it occurred.
Have you read my article about RPGs and overused plot themes? If not, read that first and see if you can’t find some laughs when I describe some of the more “creative” aspects of this game’s story.
Now that you’ve read that other article, here it is.
1. The main protagonist, Juto, starts off as a kid who had washed up on shore of an island. Taking pity, the islanders brought him into their community while he is recuperating from his memory loss.
2. The island is attacked by enemy forces leaving a heavy need for vengeance in the protagonist.
3. The protagonist has some secret power.
4. He also takes up arms in the form of swords.
5. The princess is a healer. The second female to join is also a healer and uses bow and arrows.
6. The last boss is never fought once. Come on! There’s always another form he/she takes up, then you have to fight again.
One more thing, this game seems to take notes from the previous game, in the happenings and fate of amnesiac characters. Won’t go too much into it, since I don’t want to spoil this game too much.
Overall, it’s ok to play if you have nothing else and want a relaxing game. The game just didn’t draw in enough drama or action to reel me in. Rarely was I in danger of dying, and if I did, it was because I stupidly overlooked something.