Product Type: Ubisoft Nintendo DS games
Newest Review: ... start with only your mage on screen, and have to summon troops, prepare spells and give orders. While your mage is powerful, and can cast... more
Where's the magic gone?? It's in the touch screen!
Lost Magic (DS)
Member Name: mchitty
Lost Magic (DS)
Advantages: Innovative spell casting system, fun and original combat system,versus multiplayer
Disadvantages: Lack of storyline, sometimes combat is a bit cumbersome, can be difficult
I've always been a fan of games that take a different approach, games that try to do things in a different way, even when they aren't great in every way. Even if the game isn't perfectly executed, I'll always interested to play it if it is unique in some way.
Lost Magic is one of those games. Yeah, it's nowhere near perfect at all. But on the other hand, it's got a few great touches, and original ideas that make it a really memorable take on the RPG / Strategy genre.
In Lost Magic, you play as a young mage named Issac. The storyline is a fairly generic good vs evil scenario, but that's not where the action is at here. This is an RPG game that isn't even about exploring, or solving puzzles - this is about fighting, in real time.
The first great feature in Lost Magic is the spell casting. Issac's spells are his main weapon - including variations, there are 400 different spells. Battles in Lost Magic generally work tactically on the rock paper scissors concept - you have to cast the right spell for the job. Now the question is, how do you select the right spell to cast in the heat of battle?
Lost Magic takes advantage of the DS touch screen, as the way you cast spells is by drawing magic symbols on the screen. Anyone who remembers Black and White on the PC might think of the pitfalls of this system, for example in that game the symbols you draw are, more often than not, not recognised by the computer. Using the stylus and the touch screen, drawing symbols in Lost Magic is fluid and works fairly well - not perfectly, but still, better than I expected.
I found that this is not only immersive, yes, it is frustrating sometimes when the symbol isn't picked up, but is also a great solution for offering a lot of options in real time combat without having to break up the action by navigating through lots of cumbersome menus.
Another great feature in Lost Magic is the ability to capture and command a small army of monsters. It's a bit like Pokemon really - except in real time. Because Issac's only real weapon is his magic, and your spell points can run out pretty quickly, the little band of creatures following him are a great blessing in combat. You can control what they do, too - by selecting them and telling them where to go with the stylus. This real-time-strategy element really is great fun, and combined with the spell casting, makes combat that little bit different from hack n slash.
I found the multiplayer to be a lot of fun too. Like Pokemon, you can bring your mage and your group of monsters to fight other players of the game. Anyone who played Pokemon on the Gameboy ought to feel a wave of sentimentality about this feature.
Like I said at the start, this game isn't perfectly executed. For a start, the lack of storyline is a little bit offputting, Although the combat is great, there is little else really to do in the game, which can be a little bit frustrating. Also, this game can be really difficult at points. There's lots and lots going on
and to succeed you have to be pretty quick when it comes to speedy symbol-scribbling and commanding your monsters.
OK, so it's not great... overall, however, Lost Magic is an original and fun take on the RPG genre. If you like spell-slinging types, and real time strategy games too, like myself, it's definitely worth taking a look at it!
Summary: An interesting take on the action RPG / strategy genre