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Magnacarta 2 Hands On Preview

Threatened by the prospect of usurpation, Princess Zeiphie attempts to gain support of members of the surrounding communities to protect the throne of the Kingdom of Lanzheim.

For those of you who have played previous MagnaCarta installments, you may or may not be excited to know that MagnaCarta 2 is an entirely separate entity. Although some of the areas and worlds may be the same, it is a completely different story line with a completely new game play style. In this game, players will be assisting Princess Zeiphie regain her rightful place at the throne of the Kingdom of Lanzheim.

Reminiscent of an MMO, MagnaCarta 2 takes elements of a traditional turn-based RPG and combines it with a faster-paced, active RPG, creating what Namco calls an “active turn-based RPG.” Confused? So was I.

Like MMO’s, the game is in real-time. Switching between free range mode and battles is seamless. Simply press the left trigger and you’re immediately immersed in a battle with surrounding enemies. Initially, the number of enemies is few, but as you progress throughout the game, you’ll be fending off up to an unheard of fifteen enemies in one single battle. This is where the mechanics of the active-turn based RPG system become strategically important.

With six playable characters, your party will consist of one leader and two other characters all of which can be rotated and switched out with the other characters at any point during the game. Players will be able to control the leader, but will be able to toggle between the two other members of your party during battle.

The active-turn based system allows you to attack enemies continuously with whichever character you currently possess, but in order to give it a feel of a turn-based RPG, the developers implemented a system which “tires out” the character you are using. Each time you attack, you use stamina. Once your stamina bar is filled, you become overheated and are unable to block or attack but can complete one last move called a chain move, which, essentially ends your “turn.”

While that character is resting, you must toggle between the two other characters in your party, using the d-pad, and repeat the process all over again, adding to the “chain”. If you are able to pull off the chain moves on all three characters before one of the characters recovers from overheating, you’ll have the option of an all out attack on the enemy of your choice. From first impressions, switching between characters was difficult and confusing, but it seems that these difficulties can be overcome with a little experience.

The fighting style is fairly simple and done mostly in real time, except for the use of items which is done through a menu. Like most RPGs, attacks can be either physical or “magic.” Physical attacks are simple and combos come fairly easily. Simply tapping the A button repeatedly will perform combos. Weapons are fully customizable and slowly become stronger as you progress throughout the game. Magical attacks are done by using what the developers have called Kan. Kan comes in four types, fire, water, wind, and physical. Kan is built by using melee attacks. Each character has their own special Kan attacks specific to the type of Kan they embody.

Overall the game hopes to provide players with 40 hours of gameplay, which can easily be extended to 50 or 60 hours if the additional side quests are completed.

MagnaCarta 2 will be released on October 13 for the Xbox 360.



Our Take

Neal Ronaghan Staff Alumnus

10/09/2009 at 11:47 AM

While RPGs are no longer as much of my thing as they used to, this game looked pretty awesome.

Although I'm still a little confused by the chain attacks even though I managed to pull off a few at the event Phil and I went to.

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