Eastern RPG’s, as they are often called, are plagued with some stigmas; they tend to be repetitive, have odd design choices and are generally fairly linear. Magnacarta 2 is a new RPG from developer SoftMax and it falls prey to every generalization you have heard of or experienced.
The story of Magnacarta 2 centers around a young man named Juto who has amnesia and is thrust into a large scale conflict he doesn’t understand. A much-overused premise that is also compounded by the fact that Juto has a hidden power that he cannot control. Early in the game Juto meets Princess Rzephillda or Zelphie as her friends call her and he joins her and the squad she commands to battle the obligatory evil forces.
Basically, Princess Rzephillda’s kingdom was overrun and she went to an ally for assistance. He has his own plans, one of which is marrying the princess to solidify his power, and of course he is not what he seems. Juto develops feelings for the princess and has complex interactions with the other party members. He has a love/hate relationship with the volatile Crocell, camaraderie with the towering Argo and bemusement with the 12 year old Rue (who has an adult’s body).
Over the course of the game the customary twists occur and story is presented in three ways. At rare occasions a CG cutscene is displayed, most times dialogue is presented with semi static close-ups of the characters and voiceovers. After pivotal moments there is a washed out scene and Juto narrates his feelings. The issue is nothing here draws your emotions enough to truly care about what is happening. Juto is on this mission because of a lost friend and home but I had an issue even caring about it.
The story, as mentioned, is fairly cliché and does not bring anything new to the genre. It is not horrible, just bland and average and didn’t make me feel compelled to continue just to see what would happen. I really wish some of these eastern games would take a risk and try a new angle when developing. I know there is a saying that there are no original stories, but we have seen/played this type of story dozens of times already.
The look of Magnacarta 2 is a very mixed bag, I absolutely hate Juto’s design, while the small head and long anime body look works somewhat for the females, it looks ridiculous on him. Argo and Crocell look very nice and the females have the exaggerated hips and breasts that seem to be an anime trademark. The rest of the game looks nice but not groundbreaking. This is not a mature Xbox 360 game graphics wise; instead it seems like an early title with little in the way of standout visuals.