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Magnus 17: Off De Edge of Dis Pair (Of Edges) vs. Shadowiii
Magnus 17: Off De Edge of Dis Pair (Of Edges) Dont' be TOO sad. You still have a freakin cool weapon. Man, that weapon is so cool. :P
Uncommon
Download: 356 KB
V.S.
Shadowiii
Play Time: 2-3 hours and -- minutes
Review # 29 for Shadowiii Dont' be TOO sad. You still have a freakin cool weapon. Man, that weapon is so cool. :P
Them's Fightin' Words
    Ah, the Magnus Sequal Marathon games. None really managed to capture the true spirit of the original Magnus to its fullest. However, both this game and Pepsi's Prologue definatly did the best job. This game, the winner of the contest and the only one that really follows what Ryan called "Magnus" (In "Time" Ryan mentiones that the world is titled Magnus), as well as tell a completely original story that, in truth, has little or nothing to do with Magnus. The game also has quite a few alternet endings, ranging to realistic, to idealistic, and so on. The only major flaw is the gameplay, as well as the fact that the game doesn't really seem to have a point.
Graphics
    Graphics are OHR Average, nothing above. There are a few things that do set the overall feel above avergae, though. The opening cutscenes were really neat (I really wish there were more of them), and the two final boss' enemy graphics were way above the rest. The rest of the game is generally bland, except the fact that Uncommon nicely animated the NPCs and gave them various emotions. This really added to the feeling of the game, and certainly made me like the graphics better.

NPC's are super-deformed TO THE EXTREME. Basically, they fit Uncommon's art style, which was definaltly a good thing. The cutscenes match up with the NPCs, and the NPC's are good enough to live through the entire game. There is nothing exceptional about them, they are simply OHR average.

Tilemaps are probably the worst graphics in the game. They are very griddy, and all the towns use generally the same tileset, except some only have dirt, others only have grass, and yet other has dirt AND grass. The trees and such are decent, but overall still griddy and dull. Also, gradiant style art, though it does work at times, is absolutely ROTTEN on trees, let me tell you. That definatly has to go. The final mountain tilemap is very dull as well, only three or four colors. These need some tuning up.

Battle grahpics range from OHR Average to Great. Three of the heroes are great looking. The bugamon hero is amazingly ugly, but that is still ok I guess. It is neat that heros actually change weapons when equipped with new ones...few OHR games manage to do that. Not only that, the weapons seemed to actually match up with the hero grfx hand movements, which was a major plus. The enemies are gradiant-created things. Some are better then others. Pests and vipers are bad. Those winged bug guys are cool. The final bosses are REALLY well done (Especially teh girl...GAH what's her name?), and they look REALLY cool...just like the cutscenes (except the guy didn't have his scythe...why not? that was really cool :P). The battle backdrops fit the game, and aren't bad, but aren't wonderful either. They are basically generated from the tilemaps, so they dont' feel out of place, but they certinaly don't look good because the tilemaps don't look good in the first place.

Overall, Uncommon isn't a bad graphic artist, he just needs a little work on this game to make it above average. Graphics are fine as-is, and they do the job....lead the player in. The cutscenese are really cool, though. I wish there were more.
 
Storyline
    Well, it starts out interesting, gets more interesting, hits the crux of the plot, and then...burns down at the ending. The story "stars" Willy, a boy who has the mind of a 7-year-old due to an accident in his past. He is looked over by Michael, a friend of his. One day, while wandering in the desert, Willy gets "attacked" by two unknown enemies. Michael saves him by casting a flying spell, but Willy (unconcerned about the risks that had occured) is so thrilled he think he can fly. Well, thats fine and good, but Michael knows he just cast a spell on him. But Willy is determined to throw himself off the highest mountain in the world of Magnus, so Michael follows him there.

On the way they meet various freaks and such, both of which have little or nothing to do with the actual plot, they just join your party either because:
a) They are brain dead (bugamon)
b) They feel like it (Sean)
Hence, I have no connection to these characters at all. While the dialogue is certanily above average, and gives me a general idea about the personallities of these wandering vagabonds, I still don't care enough about their pasts to want them in my party. Heck, I'd take that person from the Villiage of Fools who kept asking if "HE KUD JOIN TEH POTTY/!?/!?!?"

Also, we never figure out the evil plot. At all. They want to kill Willy for some reason, and NO ONE KNOWS WHY OR WILL EVER KNOW. As the story progressed, I was expecting some enlightening thing about maybe how Willy really wasn't dumb, but was in fact the smartest person in his villiage and perhaps thought outside the box and thus had to be killed. Maybe those people were relatives to Willy who were trying to kill him to releave his pain of being "dumb." Who knows. The abuse Willy takes, as well as the overall concept of the story lead me to belive this would be the ending. Instead, the game ended in its predictable manor. And I have no idea what it was supossed to be about. The overall feeling of the story was that it was a pointless waste of time. Also, the character who "dies" and how he dies is an AWFUL part of the ending. Having (SPOILER)one main character kill another was just...ugh. I didn't like it.(END SPOILER)

Now, I'm not saying it doesn't ahve potential. Having a character with a mental disabilty certainly is something very few RPG games have (besides Arfenhouse, where EVERYONE has a mental disability. :P). Also, if the story were a bit more developed around the end, or around Willy's past, it could very well turn into a great epic. How it is, however, is just generally dull and pointless. Sure, I enjoyed DOING the game (dialogue was great!), but after I beat it I had no incentive to play it again, nor did I enjoy the ending story. And, yes, I did get all the endings.

Overall, decent. Not ripped from anywhere else, which is FANTASTIC. But it needs improvement if it is ever re-released. I really did enjoy the Magnus references, though, a LOT. Especially the Ryan statue and Wargo. Heh.
 
Gameplay
    Urg. Gameplay is also not so wonderful. It has quite a few critical flaws that really degrade from the game overall. First off, items are quite expensive. They take a while to get. Second thing is, the included mini-game (story time or whatever) is WAY too hard. 4 guys in 4 different orders is a lot of combinations, and I am not willing to try them all. Another thing is, there are a few bugs in the code. I found Willy freezing in place if I advanced a text box too soon. When you are supossed to go to Wargo instead of that town to the southeast, there is SUPOSSED to be NPC's blocking yoru way (invisible ones telling you to go back) but instead they are STEP ON not TOUCH, etc. So I jsut walked past and accidentaly advanced the plot too early. Oops.

Specific points are pointed too in the sub-subjects, but those are just general gameplay notes. It had a few bugs, which was acceptable. However, the overall feeling of gameplay was generally dull. I didn't enjoy the battles or the puzzles all that much (the "Find teh Leprechan!" puzzle was quite dumb), and the overall gameplay "feel" wasn't wonderful. Mind you, it wasn't BAD, but it wasn't good either.

But one thing I'd like to point out with much ferocity: TOO MANY RANDOM ENCOUNTERS. The rate was WAY too high, ESPECAILLY in taht Mountain, where I fought an enemy once ever three or four steps. PLEASE put it down. Trying to manuver a maze while fighing enemies WAY to frequently is a PAIN.

One thing I would like to note is the mixing of items and such was a rather neat touch. Definatly keep that in, as it added quite a bit to the gameplay.
 
  Battle
    Battles actually have a decent variety of spells. They are learned the "boring" way (IE you level up enough, you get new spells) but that is fine for a short contest game. You are provided with enough spells to generally enjoy battles. That is, you won't get dull too fast. Spells that are supossed to do more damage DO do more damage. Simple as that.  
  Map Design
    Maps are generally standard, run of the mill RPG maps, with a twist once in a while. There are a few mazes, also a few tricks, and a variety of side-quests. However, maps overall are pointless and dull. Though having that nice little forest path into the villiage was a good detail, having to walk down it fighting enemies every few steps was extremely irritating. The random encounter rate was set on "OMFG FREAKIN HIGH!?!" so I was fighting for at least 80% of the game. I really hated that, especially when I was trying to solve a puzzle and I kept having to fight stuff. Very annoying.  
  Balance
    Balance is decent. Enemies are hard, and that is good. Items are expensive, but not too expensive, and that is also good. Characters are equipped with a decent combination of spells, so no worries. Overall, fine. I won't say it is bad, but again, it wasn't wonderful either. I probably would have enjoyed the battles more if I wasn't fighting one every three seconds.  
Music
    Music is semi-original, with a few rips here and there. Generally, a good selection, and also it was PLACED WELL, which wins BIG SHADOW POINTS (which are rapidly becoming hot collector's items in Kenya!). My only complaint is they are ripped from Final Fantasies, and the Final Fantasies everyone rips from (6 and 7). But still, there are some original tunes, placed at correct times. If it were all original (even RPeG audio would suffice) I'd enjoy that, but...whatever.  
Enjoyment
    It was fun at first, it was ok in the middle, and the end was bad. Overall, I will say it was a moderate gaming experience. There was really nothing that would compel me to play it again, but there was enough to make me want to play it if it is ever updated. The battles are bad, but in truth they wouldn't be nearly as bad if that blasted random enounter rate wasn't so high. Music is nice and set the mood, which I enjoyed. The overall framework of the storyline was neat and original, which I REALLY like, but the ending was just not good. The fact that there was only cutscenes in the opening made me sad, but that is another story...  
Final Blows
    Should you get this game? Well, I'd certainly say you probably should try it out. It was among the best in the Magnus Sequal Marathon contest's entrees (...it DID win...), and certainly has quite a few humorous scenes if you have played Magnus (the "Willy meets Ryan" scene was rather funny), but overall the game isn't wonderful. Considering Uncommon says he is planning a Director's Cut, you should probably just wait for that to be released, instead of getting this version now. It is unpolished, but it certainly has potential to shine.
OMFG YEZ PLEZZ JOINZ TEH POTTY OK THNX!!!1!!??!!!111//!

OMFG YEZ PLEZZ JOINZ TEH POTTY OK THNX!!!1!!??!!!111//!
Final Scores
Graphics: 6/10.0
Slightly above OHR average. But only slightly. The Cutscenes were wonderful, though. I'd love to see more of them.
Storyline: 6.5/10.0
Its originality makes me inclined to give it higher then it deserves, because the story itself was pointless. However, the two main characters were well developed, and the dialogue was decent. Overall, good work, just give it a point (or make the point more obvious).
Gameplay: 4/10.0
The worst of the bunch, simply because of the amazingly dull maps and the 10,000 random battles. Other then that, it was about average in terms of battle balance and spell quality/quantity.
Music: 7/10.0
Ripped from Final Fantasy 6 and 7, which means you lose points. Original, which means you gain points. Placed well, which means you get OMFG SHADOWIII POINTS. All original music would be a very nice touch. I rather liked the bagpipe song in that one villiage especially...
Enjoyment: 5/10.0
What can I say? It was an average experience. No more, no less. It just...was. I played the game, I finsihed it, and...it consumed my time. Like Tetris. Nothing really fulfilling, though I did enjoy the cutscenes and the originality of the story.
Overall Grade: C+
Final Thoughts
    Decent. A Director's Cut will most likely make this game be much better. Get it to see an original story that certainly breaks the mold, even if it does end rather shabby.  


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