By Steve Baltimore / June 12th, 2015
|Title||Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven|
|Release Date||June 2, 2015|
|Age Rating||ESRB – Teen|
When I first saw Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven, I didn’t really know what to make of it. It looked like a cutesy strategy game with an interesting combat mechanic. When XSEED Games announced they would be localizing this title, I was pretty excited to see what all it had to offer, so when the chance to review the game came along I jumped at it. So let’s see if this one turned out be something special or another bland strategy game.
The story takes place on a small island, where a man named Luchs runs an inn. This inn has never had a single visitor, but he stays there clinging to the promise he made his father as he passed, “When our cherished guests finally arrive, think of them as nothing less than family.” Since there were no guests coming to the inn, the young man has to gather crystals, which were used like currency, to keep the inn running. One day while out gathering, he runs across a girl encased in a large crystal, and she awakens and saves him from a band of monsters. He takes the girl back to the inn and allows her to stay. She has few memories of her past, and Luchs agrees to help her regain her memories. This will lead him on an adventure that will change him forever.
While this story may seen a little basic, it’s really not. As you encounter each of the other girls, a bit more of the story of their pasts will be revealed, and it really keeps you interested in finding out exactly what happened to these girls. Another thing I really enjoyed was the character interactions. You can interact with each girl in “Heart Events,” and not only do these events flesh out all of the girls character really well, but some of them are also quite humorous, as well. Some will think the game moves too slowly because of all the story content, but I think it just made it all the more interesting.
Graphically speaking, this is some of the best sprite work I’ve seen in a long time. If I were to describe them in one word it would be “adorable.” The chibi characters are all so cute you might have a cuteness meltdown at any moment. In addition to characters, the field work is equally as impressive. Each has a lot of detail and plenty of great coloring. This is one of the best-looking games on the 3DS that I have played. 3D is supported, but I think it makes things look horrible, but, if you’re hellbent on using it, it is there.
The music in the game is absolutely amazing. This is one of the best soundtracks in any game on the 3DS console hands down. It has some of the best battle themes I’ve heard in a long time, and the more somber tones just get you right into each of the emotional scenes. If you snag this game physically, XSEED has included the full soundtrack in the package, which is great by itself. The game is partially voiced in English. The voice actors are all pretty good and fit the characters well. There isn’t a lot of voice dialogue, but the Japanese version was the same way, so the localization team did a fine job.
The gameplay department holds up pretty well on this title. The game progresses in chapters, each consisting of one to three battles. There is A LOT of dialogue scenes. This does slow down the pace of this game quite a bit. Though, personally, I enjoyed most of it because it was very well written, and I love games where I get to know the characters better. If I care about the characters, I tend to enjoy the story more often than not.
I enjoyed the combat a lot. However, it’s a bit different than what I’m used to in a game like this. First off, the battlefield is top down. The battle is divided into turns like any other strategy game. You can move on the battlefield, but the area is limited based on the character’s move stat. Enemies will move in groups, with one boss type monster and several peon type monsters. This is where the combat is interesting. As you attack the peon type monsters they will fly in whichever direction you attacked them from. As they fly through the air, they may hit other small monsters. This will kill the monster that was knocked back and set off a chain of kills. If you can chain 10 kills together with an attack, you get an extra turn. Most battles will not require you to clear the entire field of monsters. This takes time to do since boss type monsters can respawn the smaller monster at the cost of some HP. There are also maps with monster generators that will pump out more monsters after so many rounds. You can destroy these, but they can take quite a pounding.
What would a strategy game be without skills? Well, there are plenty of those here, as well. These do the usual things such as buff / de-buff your enemies, and, of course, there are plenty of attack magics to choose from. These will consume AP when you use them. You will gain 1 AP point per round unless a buff gives you more. So, you may have to sit tight a round or so to unleash hell on your foes. Each girl also has a set of special moves. These are unlocked by completing the previously mentioned “Heart Events.” You will only need 1 AP to use these moves. However, you must build up tension in order to use them, as well. This is exactly what you’re thinking; killing things builds tension and unleashes bigger attacks.
Skill are not learned as your characters level up. Instead, you will need to equip Skill Chips to give them different abilities and buffs. Some Chips can be purchased in the store, while others will have to crafted. This takes a couple of items you have obtained from combat and combines them together. The more rare the item you use, the better the result usually. You can craft healing items and other items in addition to the Skill Chips, as well.
I had a blast playing this game. I really enjoyed the story and characters, even if some sections of the game moved slower than they should have. The combat is fun and can be quite challenging at times. It took me around 17 hours to complete the story one time, but you will want to complete it multiple times to see a slightly different scene with each girl at the end. Thankfully, you can carry a few things over to next round via New Game +, and you can also fast forward a lot of the cutscenes. If you love a game with a good story or want a fresh take on a strategy game, for the $39.99 price tag, I think you will be more than satisfied.
Game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven is available on Amazon:
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