Review by proffrink
"A great title for action-RPG fans and classic RPG fans alike"
For me, RPG's are a way of life; all other titles are second runners-up. I am always in the market for a new RPG, but there are just so many Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest clones out there that it can be difficult to filter the wannabes from the true gems.
I will come out and say it, Magna Carta: Tears of Blood is not the best RPG I have ever played, nor is it the second, but of the recent entries into this field over the last eight to twelve months, it is a solid title. The factor that really helps this title is the story. It is deep, well thought out and drives you to discover more. The only unsettling aspect is the main male characters are so feminine in appearance that even if you hear them speak you cannot believe that they are male. The female characters are easy to spot because they have Playmate-sized chests, but the male characters will really throw you off for awhile. Once you get past that element, you can become enveloped into the story.
The combat engine in this game is somewhat unique, but classic RPG fans may not like it. The game does not have the fight, magic, item options like a lot of RPG's on other systems. These options are still there, but to activate the combat or magic and complete the task, you must enter a series of button commands. The button commands only use two buttons, circle and X. The buttons travel in a circle across the screen and you have to press them in order and at the set times. This aspect takes practice and will frustrate you for the first five to ten battles. Once you understand the pattern, it gets easier and it will not be long until you master the pattern.
There are two flaws with the game that prevent a higher score. The first is that there are a lot of load screens to this game. There is a load screen for each battle, and RPG's have a lot of them. My theory is that this game is pretty graphic intensive and it is pushing the PS2 hardware requiring more load times. The game looks really good for this aging system. The other flaw and I have heard worse, is the voice acting. It is pretty low acting skill and can take away from the emotion of the events than add. Part of the problem is poor dialog text. One of the main characters will bellow: 'Let's bust some skulls!" is not something that inspires you toward victory. Plus the line read on top of that is weak. I see this in games a lot, even ones with professional actors. This does not beak a game, but it does lower its appeal slightly.
Overall, this is a surprisingly good game. It is far too long for a rent, and you may even have a hard time getting a hold of a copy, but it is worth the search.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/04/06
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