Review by Galactus21
"The measure of man"
In an isolated land filled with humans and a closely resembled race called the Yason, tensions rise and hatred boils over. This eventually leads to war, as is the case here. The war started when the humans migrated to their land seeking refuge. The Yason didn't take kindly to that. A war soon engulfed the land. The story revolves around a group of individuals called the Tears of Blood. Each of them lost a loved one in the war and looking to help their race out. Calintz is our protagonist in the story. It's a story that mixes some political aspects, as well as interpersonal aspects. What I mean by that is that the groups of characters that are in the game have a lot of character and life. Thus giving the game a very solid story to base around and bring the story to a full circle as the characters brought the world to life.
The battle between cultures
The story is the strongest part about Magna Carta Tears of Blood. The characters did a lot to add the story. The characters were likeable and delivered on the intended emotions that the developers intended to. The characters meshed well together and made me feel like they had a cohesive unit. The story was also nicely laid out and developed. It allows you to follow the story with ease and enjoy it. The story throws a few curves at you to keep you guessing. There's also a nice romance between two characters. Call me overly sensitive, but I do enjoy romance stories. For this game, the romance was fairly well thought out, but could have been more if it was developed further.
The biggest problem with the game isn't the story; it's the actual game play mechanics. The combat system that is present in this game felt slow. It revolves around a system that allows you to press a series of buttons to perform an attack. This is called the trinity circle. It circles around with buttons and each time one revolves to the top area you have to press that button. All buttons must be pressed to make the attack work. What I didn't like was the easiness of this. It made it feel unnecessary. Furthermore, you control one character at a time, so it doesn't force you to use all your characters. You can literally just use one character to attack against some of the enemies.
Another deterrent to the combat system is the wait times. Depending on the trust between your group members, your turn will come up faster or slower. This makes things feel forceful, because it forces you to go through unnecessary dialogue just so your team can attack quicker. Not to mention that if you fail to hit one of the buttons you don't attack at all. If you hit all the buttons in a certain way, you can charge your trinity drive, which acts as a boost for your attack to make it more powerful. Based on your leadership and how you gain trust from your underlings is important in battle. The battle system may seem interesting at first, but after a while it becomes quite repetitive. The idea was nice, but it ultimately lacked a solid foundation.
The environment that has been presented is a nice way to showcase the land that these 2 races are fighting over. The graphics are luscious and look good for a PS2 title. The cut scenes are definitely up there in a technical sense as well. The character design on the other hand is a bit questionable. When I first saw the game, the main character looked like a girl. This design felt awkward. I think the developer wanted to go with something different, but ended up making it feel flat out weird. Aside from that, the game ran exceptionally well, which is always a big plus.
The musical soundtrack for the most part was decent. The soundtrack didn't do a very good job at immersing the player. The worst part is the voice acting. The voiceovers were extremely stiff and lacked any emotion. Although this didn't affect the overall feel of the storyline to a major extent, the poorly delivered dialogue at times made it difficult to enjoy the story. The voice acting for all the characters weren't very good. The sound effects for the most part did a good job at immersing the player, which is somewhat of a shame that the other parts of the sound area weren't any better.
A decent try
The overall adventure is a good, solid length. It takes more than forty hours to complete, but in the end I didn't feel entirely satisfied. The game had its moments and had a lot of potential, but ultimately didn't quite do it for me. The story was good and the length was a good, solid 40 hours. The pacing of the game was also nicely fleshed out. The problem is the combat system and how it tries to do something unique, but fails to execute on a high level. Magna Carta Tears of Blood is a decent Japanese rpg. There are plenty of better ones on the PS2. If you're a mild fan of the genre, you have better choices to choose from. But if you're a big fan of the genre like me, Magna Carta is worth a play through.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 07/20/07
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