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Score: 7.5 / 10
Just looking at the back of Magna Carta
2's box had me quietly loathe the prospect of reviewing, what I
thought, would be a Final Fantasy clone of bizarre outfits,
overwrought and/or poorly localized dialogue, and hours of pointless
grinding. That's just not my thing. But it turned out to be more of
a Legend of Zelda clone, though in this case Zelda (or "Zephie" in
this case) has a bust size that affects tides.
Magna Carta 2 sticks to some tried and
true gaming narrative conventions. The protagonist, Juto, has
amnesia and for some reason just can't touch a real sword and is
instead equipped with a wooden stick to defend himself and his
hometown as war rages between the
Northern Army and the Southern Army. The war starts to slide in
favor of the Northern Army when they start using giant "Sentinels"
against the Southern Army. Juto lands on the side of the South and
with the first skirmish finds himself wielding some kind of powerful
force that may or may not be tied to events that occurred thousands
of years ago. I think.
While some of Magna Carta 2 is played
"by the numbers" the ease of combat and being able tailor fighting/behavior
of the characters in your party were just challenging and
interesting enough to keep me playing.
Combat is all real-time, with an interesting way to prevent just
stabbing the attack button. At the bottom of the screen there's a
stamina gauge that bumps up every time an attack is performed. Max
out the gauge and you "overheat" leaving your character staggered
and unable to attack. While this definitely creates some strategy, I
found myself watching the gauge more than the fight, especially when
chaining attacks with party members during some of the higher-level
Anytime someone complains about character dialogue and the way it's
presented, I will direct them to Magna Carta 2. Interactions are
mainly handled with a static screen, a picture of two characters on
either side of the screen, and text appearing below. The voice
acting is just fine, but when the presentation is served up with a
big snore, it all becomes forgettable along with most of the story,
which I button mashed through as fast as possible. (The quest log
comes in handy when you don't bother paying attention to anything
else.) For a 40-hour role-playing game, this could be considered a
It is a problem, but for a detailed look at some of the bizarre
characters there's at least some payoff.
Role-playing hardliners will probably find more faults with Magna
Carta 2, but from a casual perspective the experience was a good
one. There are some cool visuals, a combat system I like, plenty of
save points, and just the right amount of Korean-cum-Japanese
craziness and campy ellipses to be enjoyable.