Review by Thanos6
It's a cliche, but...pure magic.
ARABIAN MAGIC is one beautiful beat-em-game from Taito, and I'm not surprised it has become a minor classic. The characters are nicely different from another, but none is definitely superior or game-breaking. The enemies are very detailed, and like all good enemies of this genre, are easy singly but overwhelmingly tough when they come in groups.
The bosses steal the show anytime they're on, being huge and very well done (though King Kraken could have used a touch-up on his tentacles). Best of all, some will join you after you beat them as summons. Two of them are nearly useless, but the "Doppleganger" summon completely wrecks any enemy it faces. The final boss, by the way, is incredibly hard and is the only time this game comes close to being "cheap"; but hey, he IS the final boss.
Ah, summons. That genie is definitely the best character in this game, summonable whenever you find a magic lamp. He has a very catchy, jovial laugh, which he uses even as he's pummelling your foes into oblivion. Always be sure to have at least one magic lamp going into boss fights.
The graphics are nothing short of spectacular. They resemble the first couple of Monkey Island or Quest for Glory games, and that right there is praise to elevate it to the heavens. The music isn't as well done, but there are some good tunes, such as the ones you hear onboard the ship in the next-to-last level.
The plot is serviceable; the king has been turned into a monkey (and an adorable one, too, still wearing a turban) by an evil wizard. You have to defeat the wizard and his horde to gain back the seven jewels that will break the spell. You'll have to fight your way through many classic Arabian-themed locations, such as the palace, the desert, the tomb, and even inside a magic pot (the backgrounds on the magic pot level are the best in the game, for what it's worth).
There's not many flaws at all in this game. The only one that really springs to mind is how the game will somehow take control of your hero after you've cleared all the enemies on a screen, thus preventing you from picking up any items that are left. Also, the sword power-ups only stay with your weapon for about two heartbeats; and the coins serve no purpose except as points, there's no shopping in the bazaar for upgrades between levels.
Those minor hiccups aside, this is still a gem of a game. Heck, it's seven.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Arabian Magic (US, 12/31/92)
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