MagnaCarta 2 ReviewMatt Andrews
Bandai Namco Games set out designing their latest Japanese Role Playing Game, Magna Carta 2, with the hopes to wow gamers with impressive visuals and an incredibly innovative combat system, and by all means the game does. Unfortunately, the game is lacking said innovation in just about all other facets.
The artwork, cut scenes, and game-play visuals are all very impressive in Magna Carta 2, and contribute to making the game feel epic and grandiose. Its settings, from city to cave, are all incredibly detailed, quite large, and make your character, Juto, and his party feel like four small people in a very large, very afflicted world. Not to mention, the music in the game is pleasant and varied throughout the game, further contributing to a positive game-play experience.
The most impressive part of Magna Carta 2 is the real-time combat system and seamless control system. In Magna Carta 2, Juto is accompanied by a small squad of characters who call themselves the counter-sentinel unit. Once these characters are introduced, the game allows you to choose three to fight with at any given time, and one for you to personally control. Newcomers to Japanese RPGs will undoubtedly be overwhelmed initially by the plethora of controls needed to fully take advantage of their partys combat abilities. The game does a great job of teaching the system though, and before the first boss battle youll be switching characters, chaining attacks, and strategically attacking your foes like a champ. For longtime players of the genre, this could very well be seen as a negative. Its not all that unlikely that the seemingly in depth combat system will feel too simple by the halfway point of the story. Most players though, will be thoroughly impressed by, comfortable with, and most of all enjoy the large combat scenes that Magna Carta 2 has to offer.
Sounds good so far right? Well, heres the bad news. Magna Carta 2 is built around what is possibly the most predictable and clich plotline ever created. Whether youve read it, seen it in a movie, or played it in another game, you have heard the storyline of Magna Carta 2 before: boy loses his memory, boy embarks on epic quest to save a loved one, boy slowly regains memories of the past. Thats really all there is too it. Also, the game feels as if you are playing through the story in the sense that it is very guided, only allowing you to explore and complete side quests in between chapters.
This brings us to our last point, the side quests. They are just about as bad as they could possibly be. Remember that incredible combat system that makes for some hugely entertaining epic battles? Well if youre a fan of side quests, prepare to use it killing an allotted number of shamefully weak enemies that lie just around the corner from the quests introduction. Occasionally youll be the unlucky hero who is asked to fetch some object that, you guessed it, lies just around the corner from the character who asked you to complete their side quest. Side quests can take roles of varies importance in RPGs, and in the eyes of RPG fans, which is why it is important to tell you that in Magna Carta 2 they are pitiful.
So, this game has some extreme circumstances: outstanding combat game-play and visuals, and a contrarily pitiful storyline and side quests. What is the verdict? Magna Carta 2 for the Xbox 360 is a sound, enjoyable Japanese RPG and a great buy for first, maybe second time owners of the genre. Experienced and especially picky RPG gamers might want to steer clear of Magna Carta 2 as the only aspect it has to compete with your old favorite is a new exciting take on RPG combat.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.