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Magnus 9: Golem vs. J.A.R.S.
Magnus 9: Golem An example of the luxurious landscape found in the world of Golem.
Grandtrain
Download: 302 KB
V.S.
J.A.R.S.
Play Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Review # 1 for J.A.R.S. An example of the luxurious landscape found in the world of Golem.
Them's Fightin' Words
    Initial entry in 2002's Magnus sequel marathon, Grandtrain's 9th sequel to the lot.
Graphics
    There are fierce graphics all through the game though the tiles clearly exceed the characters. There is a single walkaround hero which stirs confusion in the menus when it comes to giving a character something (which is normally solved by the apparition of the hero's name). Most of the battle sprites are interesting (though Moogle1 may not be so resembling to a moogle at all). There is a wide array of heroes to choose from (inherent to the gameplay choices) that constitute a rather good overall package.
The confinement of the game allows focus on very few NPCs and large levels of repeated landscapes which contributes to overall graphical quality.
 
Storyline
    The plot has a couple interesting twists, and is enjoyable though it will not get one hooked to their seat wanting to know always more. It is decent and shines with logic (which avoids disappointments).  
Gameplay
    The levels are well balanced though the concept fails to cope with the simple fact that one should end up escaping from most battles. The systems are pretty linear (walk to point, fight boss...) and could've done with more mini-games or puzzles, but is short enough to avoid boring the player out. Also, there is a nice tweak ala A Link To The Past which gives a certain addition to optional discoveries.  
  Battle
    Battles are usually tough (mostly because the balance revolves around static level 1 characters). The knowledge of every creature's weakness trully comes at hand (which forcibly nullifies players who press the action key repeatedly to simply attack).  
  Map Design
    Maps are simple yet natural. The forests' curves are good, the beach's obstacles are interesting, and the cave is beautiful (and uses a simple puzzle system)
The "two" villages are small yet courteous.
 
  Balance
    Arguably too hard and yet too easy, it looks like a perfect match to me. Most bosses will get you down to your very last HPs and most monsters will be tough battles which you don't trully fear to lose (had you started with full HPs).
The lack of healing spells/potions can be a pain (the only one who'll get you back walking right into town) and the small variety of spells will probably trigger certain battle frustrations such as "how the hell do I kill this kind of guy?" But most of the time, the game does a good job at keeping you on your toes, alert for the fight. Of course, the easiest way out is escape and battle only monsters (wasting as little potions as possible). That sort of spoils the gameplay a little though, and there should've been a drawback to escaping from battles.
 
Music
    None. No music whatsoever. Empty. Very Very SAD.  
Enjoyment
    It's the kind of game that you don't feel the urge to beat but can come in quite handy when boredoomness is around. It is short to play which doesn't require a lot of involvement timewise and therefore, can be beaten by anyone who has a couple spare hours.  
Final Blows
    This game packs some solid graphics for such a short (and old) contest, as well as a very interesting approach on gameplay. Though the story may not be so engaging and the music is completly missing, it is somewhat excused by Grandtrain's care for details.
Grandtrain's consistency brings alive monsters and heroes of rivaling intensity...

Grandtrain's consistency brings alive monsters and heroes of rivaling intensity...
Final Scores
Graphics: 9/10.0
Pleasant, clear, sharp and good colors.
Storyline: 8/10.0
Interesting, few flaws, but rather simple and somewhat uninvolving. (*Bonus because you're not actually trying to save the world! GOOD JOB!)
Gameplay: 8.5/10.0
Fun. Definatly. Sadly very linear though.
Music: 1.5/10.0
Shamely none. I could even hear some in my head at times though :P
Enjoyment: 9/10.0
Elegant and simple game: makes you want to get more from the maker (Which sadly isn't around anymore...)
Overall Grade: A-
Final Thoughts
    Definatly a must. The very game that I remembered from OHR before I came back. I'd call it a classic ;)  


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