MagnaCarta 2

MagnaCarta 2 boasts incredible art design, with beautifully conceived settings and eye-candy character designs by Korean artist Hyung-Tae Kim

Namco Bandai MagnaCarta 2
  • Namco Bandai MagnaCarta 2
  • Namco Bandai MagnaCarta 2
  • Namco Bandai MagnaCarta 2
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Great visual style, fun combat, game elements all work well together

Cons

  • Unskippable dialogue, cliched story, slow start

Bottom Line

Even though it largely follows what very well could be excerpts from "The Idiot's Guide to RPG Plot", MagnaCarta 2 is still a relatively fresh and well-done role playing experience.

Would you buy this?

As much as Japanese RPGs get flack for their regurgitation of similar themes and design elements, there's an underlying appeal to the genre that continues to draw ardent fans. MagnaCarta 2, despite its Korean origin, is very Japanese in style. And while it re-uses many of the genre's familiar tropes, they're all utilised well -- which makes all the difference.

The story follows Juto, a young lad with convenient plot amnesia who lives a simple life in an island village with his caretaker. An ancient artifact is dug up in a cave nearby, and soon forces of an inland civil war are fighting over the relic, bringing Juto into a struggle to end the war. Naturally, Juto's past will emerge, war atrocities will be uncovered, and the fate of the world comes into question. It's pretty typical stuff, but it's told in an inoffensive enough way that you won't really mind playing RPG cliche bingo as you go along -- though the inability to fast-forward dialogue is a glaring oversight.

Where MagnaCarta 2 really shines is its combat. Enemies are encountered while travelling and can be either avoided or engaged with a button press. Combat occurs seamlessly with no transitions to a "battle screen." Rather than picking options from a menu, characters execute actions with button presses, and can also move freely about the battlefield to pursue foes or dodge attacks. But you can't just mash A repeatedly and expect to win -- every blow expends a character's stamina, and while using up a great deal of stamina results in more powerful blows, it also leaves your controlled character stunned and vulnerable afterwards. Fortunately, the game makes it easy to switch control of your three active characters at any time, and while it can be confusing at times (since your CPU-controlled buddies might have locked on to a separate target), it keeps combat flowing at a fast pace -- particularly when risky, exhausting, but potentially highly rewarding "chain attacks" come into play.

There are other fun elements to play around with, too. MagnaCarta 2 offers a wealth of sidequests, special skill learning trees to invest points into, and the ability to augment weaponry with stat-boosting enhancements. None of these are really original, but they are nicely done. The game also makes sure that players are never without guidance: quest-givers and event locations are marked on your minimap, along with a pointer to indicate what general direction you'll need to head to move things along. Detailed quest info and tutorial refreshers are also available anytime they're needed.

MagnaCarta 2 boasts incredible art design, with beautifully conceived settings and eye-candy character designs by Korean artist Hyung-Tae Kim. Occasionally it's marred by some low-res textures and technical issues like pop-in, but for the most part the game is visually rich. Music, too, is solid, with some very nice tracks scattered throughout. You won't be enjoying these elements for long stretches of time, however. The game only runs about 35 hours -- which is either a good or bad thing depending on how much free time you have. Aside from a slow first hour or two, the game's story and combat move at a brisk, enjoyable pace.

When all's said and done, MagnaCarta 2 isn't terribly unique, and you won't remember much about it a few months after you're done with it. But what lies at the game's core is an appealing, well-crafted charm I found very fun. MagnaCarta 2's twisting road doesn't tread much new ground, but it's still an engaging ride regardless.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: games, XBox 360
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?