Product Type: Konami Nintendo 64 games
Elements Missing In Action
Holy Magic Century (N64)
Member Name: scream4bruce
Holy Magic Century (N64)
Date: 18/06/07, updated on 16/07/07 (501 review reads)
Advantages: Neat controls and battle system
Disadvantages: Too much travelling, strictly linear, dodgy camera, no cut scenes
Ever since the Eletale book had been stolen, terrible happenings began to occur on the once peaceful island of Celtland. As Ayron - an apprentice spirit tamer, you set off on a quest to find your missing father and the book he had been searching for.
They're not the only things missing; you'll find that there are no cut scenes for what is, an RPG - of all genres! Even when you must travel by ship, the event occurs in a quick snap of the fingers - like magic! Ayron never speaks as well, only listening to what others have to say. Also, in the towns there are one too many rooms without purpose.
As an apprentice spirit tamer the magic spells that become available for casting depend on the combination of four elements you pick: earth, fire, wind and water. Each of these are assigned to a C-button, putting them into good use though there is only one type of spell that can be utilised outside of battle. Emerging victorious in battles is one way of increasing the elements.
You can also pick up elements outside of battle - you'll need all you can find - though the game has a habit of placing them where the walk can be a bit of a stretch - as if there wasn't an awful lot of travelling by foot already. The off-read excursions especially, are long. Seriously long. Perhaps too long for a map. In sticking with the real world the game chooses to do with long linear lacking passageways which go on forever. So lacking they are that, though there is an on-screen compass, I managed to unintentionally find myself heading back from where I came from a couple of times. Should you be overwhelmed in battle you are transported to the last place you saved, but these tend to be in the towns, which is inconvenient.
The game is devoid of puzzles which, in light of the above is perhaps a relief. However, Holy Magic Century goes as far as to putting the controversy into those controversial random battles, with an alarming encounter rate at times - noting it is the battles which had me lose my direction. Perhaps Ayron could do with the experience since the game is a bit tight, but then his staff strike success rate had me frustrated. I specify staff here because there are no weapons, or armour, currency in this game but luckily, there are sources for items but also a potentially sticky situation to go with it as well. The items could have been managed better for they accumulate individually in a list.
Holy Magic Century's turn-based battle system is one of potential where you can - within a restricted ring - line-up, as well as actively dodge, some attacks. Unfortunately it's not helped by the - already not too flexible - camera proceeding to get stuck behind an object. Then you've got to get your head around how for each of your moves, only one enemy is granted a move - even if it is a group of monsters you are up against. The game does offer slight character shaping, but it's not much of a diversion from the game's linearity.
Graphically the game looks nice despite the chunky design and it is colourful in places but bland in others. As for the music, I found the battle theme to be uncannily like that of Final Fantasy VII, and though Holy Magic Century has a nice score, it too is somewhat undermined by use of weak soundfonts.
Holy Magic Century is suitable for everyone but is perhaps intended for those not too familiar with the genre. While I did have one or two tricky moments it took me about 10 hours to complete - which is short as far as RPGs are concerned despite the game's long-winded nature. The game bears no side quests which, along with the other elements missing in action make for a lacking game all round. A shame, because Holy Magic Century had such a promising battle system.
Summary: Holy Magic Century for N64