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Forums > Submission Feedback > zigfried's MagnaCarta 2 review

This thread is in response to a review for MagnaCarta 2 on the Xbox 360. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: randxian
Posted: November 10, 2009 (11:09 PM)
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Fantastic work as usual. I really like how you are up front and specific about the storyline and general mood of the game. That way, the reader can decide if this RPG would be appealing.

I tend to like the good guy vs bad guy thing, but this story does sound a bit intriguing.

And kuudos for poking fun at all the ridiculous spiky haired badass cliches.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: jerec
Posted: November 10, 2009 (11:25 PM)
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I admit, I only clicked on the review because of that picture. Then I read the first bit of the review, but got distracted in my search for more pictures.


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: November 10, 2009 (11:41 PM)
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I thought about including more art in the review somewhere, but then I realized that would be really misleading and thought better of it.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 11, 2009 (12:42 AM)
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I second Jerec's opinion, though I also read the big block of different text in the middle and I clicked on the PS2 link.

But that was about all the energy I have for tonight.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: radicaldreamer
Posted: November 11, 2009 (01:12 AM)
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The Magna Carta series seems kind of not good. Surprised there was a sequel.


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Author: bloomer
Posted: November 11, 2009 (02:58 AM)
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Hrm, actually I felt this was the least good Zigfried review for a while. This comment is potentially unfair in that I'm reading reviews only sporadically atm, and Zigfried has put out a ton I still haven't read. But I was reading it and had problems to the extent I was motivated to click and type this. I should also say this is a genre i never touch to play.

The start talk is about the moral dilemma and the heroes who decide they want to live. 'Those who are willing to set jaded prejudices to the side and play along with MagnaCarta 2's ambition...' says to me this part is basically serious in intent. Then 'Those who don't care...' directs us away from it, and it's left for good, but after the time spent writing and presenting this, I thought 'why?'. Also I didn't feel the chunk of gameplay quoting in indented paragraphs added anything. The point it was intended to illustrate didn't need that much illustration, so to me this was mostly filler. Okay, more kindly, perhaps it's just the interest in doing something different after you've written a zillion reviews.

The rest still covers the bases well, but this review raises points and draws attention to things (and takes a lot of space with it) that don't get pursued, or didn't seem important.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: November 11, 2009 (10:24 AM)
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It's not my personal favorite review either. I used a different approach for this one, in that it's written towards people who are already planning to buy the game (most of my reviews are written towards people who are interested in the game, but possibly still on the fence). First, consider the following review that I could have written:

***********************

At heart, MagnaCarta 2 is a moral study on the meaning of "sacrifice for the greater good" and the consequences that ensue when heroes who have been chosen to die, decide they actually want to live. Like a 250-page book with a 200-page prologue, the game takes a long time to make its point, instead deluging us with peculiar sword phobias, spiky-haired heroes, amnesiacs, and rebellious princesses. MagnaCarta 2 contains so many cliches that, by the time the game does make its point, most people are unlikely to realize it even had one.

What everyone will notice is the responsive and dynamic combat. The player constantly taps attack buttons, watches for visual cues, and swaps party members when one character expends all their energy. The game also emphasizes some really elaborate, unskippable cinematic attacks (that wise players will reserve for bosses, due to their length).

Unfortunately, players who actually liked the cover artwork (which has proven to be a turn-off to just as many) will be disappointed by the shabby graphics and frequent glitches. MagnaCarta 2 provokes some interesting thoughts, but only if given the chance by the most forgiving soul.

****************

The above is more concise and, I'd say, a better review in most regards. But people who really care about the game, people looking for reviews of newly-released Xbox 360 RPGs, expect to read more than that. Plus, while informative, the above doesn't accomplish my true goal.

You see, the review is a test. If someone can go into the review planning to buy MagnaCarta 2, read the review, and come out of it still planning to buy MagnaCarta 2... then that's the kind of person who might actually like the game. That's also why I end on a positive note: to reinforce that if you care about what the game does right, it's something different and worth experiencing.

The fact that some people here got bored by the intro and wanted to see more artwork, shows that the game's appeal is limited. Unfortunately, I can't discuss the moral message too much or try to make it sound cooler because (1) spoilers, and (2) the game takes so long to get to the point. This would be an easy game to misrepresent. A lot of people don't even care about moral messages in the first place, so I put that part upfront, knowing it would bore some people. If people are bored by the ultimate message, then playing the game would waste their time. If the message does sound interesting, then the rest of the review is basically a big "but it's not quite as good as that may sound" disclaimer.

The indented part's purpose was to be big and unavoidable. In the game, the special attacks are long and cannot be skipped. I probably could have just said that, but I decided to be a smart-ass instead. By indenting the section and making it look important, people will read it (expecting to find something of value at the end). The intent was to make that section "unskippable" to reinforce just how ridiculous those cinematic attacks can get. Most modern RPGs insert some form of interaction into their ultimate attacks, but in MagnaCarta 2 you just watch them over and over again and again. Or start reserving them for bosses.

So I agree, not my best, but the above is what I was going for.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: bloomer
Posted: November 11, 2009 (05:59 PM)
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Okay. It is a difficult proposition. Not being in the target audience for your pitch, all I can do is go on the response of slack-jawed yokels like Jerec here :)


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: November 11, 2009 (06:51 PM)
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Your comments were actually pretty interesting. Especially the one about my review mentioning a lot of things, but not pursuing them, and many items not seeming important -- it made me ponder what would be worthwhile to discuss in other, more distinctly noteworthy, RPG reviews.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: darketernal
Posted: November 11, 2009 (07:35 PM)
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I refuse to believe this game is average, let alone leaning towards good, and this has nothing to do with the reviewer whose work is commonly extremely well written, but it's the fact that it's Magna Carta that makes me disbelieve any credibility towards it's possible awesomeness.


Idemo do dna....tugo ti i ja.


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Author: randxian
Posted: November 11, 2009 (08:06 PM)
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Also I didn't feel the chunk of gameplay quoting in indented paragraphs added anything. The point it was intended to illustrate didn't need that much illustration, so to me this was mostly filler

My problem with this portion of the review is I don't feel like it addresses people who have not played this game. I read through that section twice, but I'm still not sure I understand how the game play mechanics work.

However, that's overshadowed by the excellent opening that elaborates on the story and themes prevalant in the game. Story and mood are just as, if not more so, important than the game play itself, so knowing about this aspect up front is a plus in my book. Not knowing about the game play itself didn't bother me so much since I already knew what kind of game this is from the first couple of paragraphs.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: November 11, 2009 (08:23 PM)
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That section isn't actually saying anything about the gameplay -- it's describing a long, unskippable cinematic attack. I'll tweak it to make that clearer. The cinematic attacks are pretty ridiculous, especially in a game that otherwise fails to make any kind of positive graphical impact.

EDIT: tweaked'd

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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