Review by UnholyTancred
"Very cliche and very generic..."
Ah... another RPG for the Playstation 2. I've heard nothing about this game when it came out and I heard little to nothing to this day. Well folks... was it a sleeper hit? Or was it the usual generic RPG affair? Unfortunately, it was the latter. Combine the usual and predictable RPG cliche's with good graphics, bad voice acting, an innovative battle system that ultimately fails, and this is what you get. A generic RPG that some people may enjoy and others will be tearing out their eyeballs being sick of doing the samething you've been doing in all the other RPG's.
Graphics - 8/10
Very nice visuals for the most part. Unfortunately, your main character looks like a woman and I thought he was a woman for the first half hour of the game until a cut scene occurred and I noticed he had a male voice actor. I don't know why Japanese developers put in feminine male characters. I guess it's the fad nowadays. Other than that, all the characters are well done. The only fault with them is the facial animations when speaking which is a minor complaint that doesn't lower the score. The game really looks quite a bit like Final Fantasy X when you're in towns. It also borrows the radar as well as the awkward camera angles that change every 5 steps which is a tolerable annoyance.
Sound - 4/10
The voice acting is bad. Pretty bad. At times it's decent and tolerable but for the most part it's just bad. To make matters worse the dialogue is usually just as bad. The music on the other hand is pretty nice but the voice acting really kills the game because it's very frequent in enemy encounters. Your characters are always screaming when attacking, getting attacked, killing an enemy, and winning the battle. And they only have about 2 things to say per each action and it doesn't help that both those things are said horrendously. I find it extremely annoying hearing Haren say "Hmph... is that the best you got?" or "Let's give 'em hell" at every single encounter.
Story - 4/10
Cliche as hell! Wow, simply unbelievable. You are Calintz and you are part of a group of mercenaries that are helping the human alliance fight a war against the evil Yason. The people are about to do this uber powerful attack on the Yason hoping to eliminate them once and for all. Obviously since this is about 10 minutes into the game, it fails. On the returning voyage, Calintz gets split up from the team and runs into an amnesiac girl named Reith that strangely has the powers of healing. The group believes for her to be a priestess but no one from the temple knows who she is. To make things even more cliche, Magna Carta borrows a lot from the newer Final Fantasy games that I hate. Such things are a love relationship that is rushed, unnecessary, out of place, and makes no sense. Upon immediately return to your group with Reith, your comrades are already asking you if you like her and if you say no, they'll answer back with "ah you're just shy." This rushed "romance" reminds me of the Squall + Rinoa one in Final Fantasy 8 where all the characters push these 2 opposite people who don't fit together, belong together, nor do they like each other into love. You must find out who this Reith is and what she's capable of. This is where the generic RPG affair comes in. "Oh we gotta go to this town and visit this doctor. Oh no the ship crashed in the middle of a desert which is considered to be endless. Oh we finally got out of this desert thanks to finding this special item in the desert that led us out. Oh to get to town we must build an airship but to do that we must collect 10 bird feathers." Seriously what the hell. 10 bird feathers that will mysteriously make your airship, supreme! And to do that you must find those birds and go into random encounters but instead of plucking the bird like crazy and getting 100 feathers, you only collect 1 per encounter. Gah... the cliche is killing me. "Oh we're in a library but all the books are haunted. If you open a book, you go into an enemy encounter and you must beat the enemy before you can read the book." Who the hell makes this nonsense up? I'm halfway through this game but I can already predict what will happen. I could say it here but obviously it'll ruin the game for you so I won't but trust me, 5 hours into the game and you'll already know what happens because it's that generic and cliche'd.
Gameplay - 5/10
The one thing it doesn't borrow from the Final Fantasy games is the gameplay. It sports a unique and original battle system made up of elements. Each different area has its strong and weak elements and each character has different fighting styles based on those elements. The elements get drained, but recharge, every time a move is initiated. The battles are with 3 of your characters against the enemy. You all share a leadership meter and when your leadership meter fills up, you choose one of your characters to do something. This is where it fails... for 3/4's of the game I've been using Haren because he's the strongest. Just one character and I've been having no problems. The other 2 stand as meat shields protecting Haren, and when the leadership meter is full, I unleash fury with Haren. Each fighting style has a different amount of combos you can do. You have to attack a bunch of times before you learn all the moves and when fighting you have to do the moves in order. For example, I can't do the 4th move in Haren's fighting style unless I attack the enemy with the 3 previous moves. So why should I attack with the 2 other characters, when I can keep attacking with Haren, getting him up to his 4th and strongest move and doing the most damage? It's heavily flawed the fact that in a 3 team battle, I've been successfully using just one character.
Overall - 5.5/10
A 5.5 doesn't mean it's a bad game. 5 is between 1 and 10 meaning it's average. It's nothing special, but it's not a terrible game either. It had the chance to be something more than a standard cliche'd RPG, but it failed. It's extremely generic and it's unbelievable. I love RPG's and they are my favorite genre but this one is very, VERY, VERY generic. All your RPG cliche's are in here ruining this game from becoming something good...
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 08/09/06
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