This Trip Could Have Hurt a Whole Lot Less
Despite the slick look and potential replay value, drawing inspiration from Hellgate London and Diablo, "Magi: The Fallen World" has several irritating quirks that prevent it from being a memorable, enjoyable role-play experience:
Straight off the bat: if you want to play as the Archer character class, you must visit the "primary" hosting site, ageofgames.net, and play it there. Really? Why release it on other sites? Generate traffic for said hosting site? This frown-worthy marketing ploy has no function in the game itself, and a role-play junkie like me gets irate when I see an arbalest crossbow that I can never use unless I'm at another site. I happen to like it here at Newgrounds, okay?
Second, the randomization for equipment is too random. Some items that are branded with a level 4 requirement with willpower as a core attribute necessary to wield are outmoded by a level 1 piece with half the statistics necessary to use as well as double the efficiency in combat. Not an inkling of sense went into this feature's implementation. This erodes game balance.
Between the two characters I played, Warrior and Mage, I found the Mage almost feasible. Just get high mobility and run around the battlefield. Warriors need the high stamina because it will ultimately devolve into a close-up brawl. I had to equip daggers to remedy the mediocre striking speed, and suddenly the character wasn't so far-fetched. But... daggers?
This is also the first game where I have died... routinely so... for no reason than being too weak to handle "Elite" enemies. It depressed me rather than incensed me, because it meant that I had to grind weaklings and, if none were available, exit and re-enter so that a few mobs respawn. Having used MMO terminology, I got to tell you: the handling of "Champion" and "Elite" and "Legendary" creatures in this game, while possibly a challenge to some, will appear unrealistic and annoying to others. Grinding and Power-Leveling appeals only to twinkle-toed munchkins.
In RPGs, the first few moments of play are the most crucial. They're meant to hook a player for the rest of the journey. Unfortunately, the voice-overs, set to ring once every ten attacks, quickly tax this player's nerves. If you're gonna be stuck through countless dungeons fighting bad guys and looting endless warrens, you might as well hear someone worth listening to.
Creature AI fails to satisfy my desire for a strategic approach to combat. While this looks like the good SKELETON of a fighting game-based role-playing engine, it is far from a complete engine. The creatures just amble or shuffle or, in the case of giant elites, SCRAMBLE after you in a straight line, they don't bother to back off from warriors' range or have their underlings try to harry or surround a mage. All you do is line up a mob and hit fireball or use rapid-fire with a dagger, simple as that. Most of these games neglect to feature hidden hit-detection programming that prevents creatures from getting too close to one another or the character, so nobody is on top of each other.
And if stagnation of strategy cannot get worse, the limited array of special skills appear promising, but some are either superfluous or just hazardous. There is a fixed cap on how much health is wasted on Bloodlust, for instance, while it only offers a percentile increase in damage, which doesn't increase as fast as the Health cost per skill level up. Unless you're wielding a slow-speed heavy-bruiser weapon, Bloodlust is useless... especially with a dagger that deals paltry damage. You'd hurt yourself more than the cretin you're fighting!
Don't get me wrong. Deploying the "dump-on" should not discourage the authors from using a lavish musical score or 32-bit quality fighting game graphics. Production values and artistic merits are, on the surface, incredible, and the game can keep players busy. It's a shame that such energy wasn't directed towards improving game play, but having been made in under three months, "Magi: The Fallen World" is, still, a professional accomplishment.