Lord of Magna is a strategy RPG with light dating simulation elements in an anime harem setup. For those not sure of what a harem setup is, it’s a scenario where the lead character, usually a man, finds himself wound up in a spider web of love interests with each female character falling for him at some point during the story. I’ve never been too fond of harems and going into this game I thought that aspect would be the biggest deterrent for me; unfortunately, that was the least of my worries.
The story revolves around Luchs, a humble owner of a local family inn. You’d expect an inn to be full of guests but it hasn’t seen life outside of the innkeeper and his two best friends in ages. To maintain the Inn’s upkeep, Luchs gathers crystals from nearby caves and sells them in town, but during one such excursion, Luchs finds a mysterious girl inside a crystal. She somehow awakens and saves him when he is ambushed by a group of monsters. He finds out that there is more of her kind and they set out to find the other girls and learn more about their origins.
You’ll have a chance to get closer to each of the girls and by doing so you’ll also unlock new abilities to use in battle. This dating simulation aspect, dubbed Heart Events, is sweet and cute and gives some insight into the background of these characters. Unfortunately, you cannot view all these events in one playthrough so the game encourages multiple playthroughs if you want to see everything. The game itself isn’t too long and because there are quite a few girls, it never feels like each of them is given enough screen time. Towards the end characters are hastily introduced and the story ends up feeling really rushed. It puts a bit of a damper on what is otherwise a surprisingly entertaining story.
Lord of Magna mixes up the familiar with the unknown when it comes to your typical strategy RPG battles. Firstly, characters have a limited amount of freedom to move each turn and each action is governed by the amount of Action Points you currently have. Each turn you’ll gain 1 AP which can be used to pull off certain actions that only require a single point or you can accumulate them to use a stronger ability in the next turn. It’s fairly standard from the onset but the game mixes things up by adding a bowling-like mechanic whereby you can knock enemies into each other.
Every map follows a similar enemy pattern. There are a few enemy leaders and each can summon quite a few disposable minions every turn if need be. The summoned minions hardly do any noticeable damage and can be killed with a single blow. When they’re attacked they get knocked back and could potentially fly into another enemy and cause a chain of enemies knocking into each other. Knock 10 enemies into each other in a single turn and you’ll be granted another move. It’s a neat little mechanic and it’s pretty fun to watch them drop one after the other, but this being the only real hook, battles becomes extremely predictable after a few hours.
For the most part, I found myself using the same tactic for almost every encounter and the whole knocking mechanic became less relevant in the face of enemies that were absolute damage sponges. Most maps have respawn points for enemy leaders and these points take forever to destroy, so it was always best to just ignore them and head straight to the target which usually has so much health that while you’re engaging it, you’ll most likely get swarmed by the newly spawned leaders and you’ll just have to keep doing some crowd control till your target eventually dies. It’s such a shame, really, as it is a fun battle system but it falls all too quickly into a routine and it never really finds its way out of it.
To make matters worse, there isn’t much variation outside of combat with customization options limited to crafting new skills for your characters, but the materials cost so much that you’ll have to do quite a bit of farming to afford just one piece of the requirements. Sometimes, it just feels like there really isn’t much to do or work towards besides pushing the main story forward.
Visually the game isn’t terrible to look at. Environments are interesting and the miniaturized character sprites are extremely cute and expressive. The music fares pretty well and ranges from relaxing melodies to sweet guitar riffs, making for a balanced if not somewhat predictable soundtrack.
Last Updated: July 10, 2015