6.15.2006

Does this game ever end?

I'm going to be honest. I haven't been playing Magna Carta: Tears of Blood. My husband has.

Every once in a while, I want to play a video game, but I'm busy working on a project, so he plays it for me while I watch. I know that sounds stupid, but I know I couldn't play Silent Hill and Resident Evil, even though I love both series. That aside, on to the review.

The battle system, though unique, is terribly, terribly slow. Characters are not assigned turns. Instead, the battle gauge fills to an arrow, you can choose a character to attack. You then choose an attack and complete a Shadow Hearts style judgement ring. If successful, you get to watch the long, drawn out, attack. None of this is easy. Changing characters will change the spacing of arrows on the battle gauge. The types and amounts of chi in the area effect whether or not you can even attack. If you aren't careful, you could trip the Trinity Drive, which is like a limit break and useful for boss fights, but easily lost if you miss the attack sequence. It takes a good hour to two hours to get a handle on the attacks and the tutorial sucks, so read the book thoroughly.

The only up shot to all of this is that you don't have to fight much and you go up in level pretty quickly.

Then again, how well you do in battle depends on how much the other characters like Calintz. The game gives you the option of talking to the other characters, small talk basically, to raise their trust in you. You also have the ability to give your friends gifts, similar to the dot.Hack series. But make a false move and suddenly, at a critical moment in battle, things go haywire with your battle gauge.

The graphics are beautiful and even the silly looking, cartoonish monsters have a sense of the real to them. The most outstanding part of the game is the music, which is fantastic! My only complaint is that the music they use for the game demonstration video was obviously americ

General complaints:

It took me 30 minutes (the entire intro) to figure out Calintz was a guy. Azel was worse. The kid doesn't even look male. The only apparent way to tell them from the girls is that they don't have large chests. Even still, you wonder for a long time. I mean, I love bishies, but this is ridiculous.

Speaking of large chests, for those of you who complained about Shania's gravity defying tits in Shadow Hearts: From the New World, I swear she's got nothing on Reith. That chest is practically in her neck! Other female characters don't have it that bad.

The game is not difficult. It's about as hard as Star Ocean 3, however, the battles are long and finding your way around is a pain in the butt. You will be playing this game for a month or more because they never tell you where anything is, and you have to walk and fight the whole way.

The Bottom Line:
The story is great, if you can sit through the first fifteen hours of it and not flinch. The battle system is clunky and ultimately, that kills the game. My husband and I picked it and put it down often out of frustation at the action being so slow. This game will go the way of the dodo.

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