Review Platform:Sony game stations 2Genre:Traditional RPGDeveloper(s)Garukuta StagePublisher(s) Agetec Taito N/A

Generally speaking, calling something a ‘one-trick pony’ is derogatory at best. The term describes something that does one thing pretty well — normally to the exclusion of every else.

Gaming has had actually its re-publishing of one-trick ponies end the years, and also most of those games have been consigned come the good clearance rack of fail games. However, a few have to be so good at the one thing they do to do them unique that they’ve sculpted out their very own special niche in gaming history. Magic Pengel: The search for shade is among those games.

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Everything about this lite RPG is pedestrian in ~ best. The story (which is minimal) doesn’t have any major impact, the battle system is little an ext than a glorified version of ‘rock, paper, scissors’, and also the graphics look at like early PS2. Every little thing here points to mediocrity — other than for the game’s one offering point: the capability to attract your very own creatures (which are referred to as doodles) and also fight through them in battles.

Imagine Pokémon, only rather than recording them every you do them, and you wind up through a fair idea the what Magic Pengel is all about. This illustration component is what to adjust the video game apart native pretty much every various other monster ranching game and also RPG the end there — and despite a few kinks in the design, there’s yes, really no denying the the system is amazing.

The game’s story, however, is not. Magic Pengel features two unique missions for the player — recognize the absent father of two of the children who befriend friend on the island, and also saving the island chin from a corruption ruler. It’s pretty basic stuff, although it does keep some sense of importance since doing the main quests is a necessity in order to get an ext powerful doodling techniques and also things of that nature. If you miss out on this segments, your doodles will certainly be woefully underpowered for the rest of the game.

The story itself is told through a mixture of talked dialogue and readable text. The message is relatively an excellent — there space some typos and a couple of clunker sentences littered transparent the translation, yet nothing that should detract from the as whole experience.

Much favor the story, the gameplay is pretty simplistic. Much of the player’s time will be spent drawing brand-new doodles to take into fight at the arenas transparent the land. This is actually the fun component of the game though. Using your Pengel (which is prefer a tiny fairy with a repaint brush sticking the end of that butt), football player can attract any number of doodles — limited only through imagination and artistic ability. Granted, in the at an early stage stages friend won’t have access to a full variety of human body parts, a wide selection of colors (or a good deal of any color to use), or brushes, however your very first ugly little doodles will certainly soon prosper into something unique as you advancement through the game.

In another interesting twist, the colour you usage to create a doodle impact its character. For example, using lots of red will certainly make a stronger assault doodle, while green will be much more magic-oriented. Because of this, there’s yet an additional element come the entire doodling facet of the game.

Once you’ve drawn and named your doodles, you have the right to take them to the arena come fight the out and also grow stronger. Over there are various tournaments girlfriend can go into that are generally tied right into the main plot — these are the things you want to do to keep proceeding the main part of the game. In your downtime, girlfriend can challenge the locals come battles as well. This is the best way to both make her doodles stronger and acquire an ext gems and color for future doodles.

Battling is frighteningly simplistic. The entire battle engine operation on a sports of the rock, paper, scissors game that we all played as kids. Strike is more powerful than blocking, impede negates magic, and also magic is stronger than attack. A 4th move, called charging, is weak versus all of the previously mentioned attacks — however, use it enables your doodle to regenerate some hit points and also strike back with a much an ext powerful assault in the next turn.

For such a basic system, there’s a same amount that depth to the fights. Unfortunately, in part instances, it seems that the outcome is determined solely by luck (as any kind of fight involving mostly guesswork is bound come be). Since of this, each battle is a distinct experience — you simply never know how it’s every going come play out. It’s no really all based on luck — but there is a same amount the memorization connected in trying to remember what move beat other moves.

On the an unfavorable side that the ledger is a camera that frequently doesn’t work and it should (this seems choose the one good recurring refrain of game reviews) and also a single town to explore throughout the entire adventure. Couple this v the fact that you can beat the main quest in well under 15 hrs if you work-related at it, and you find a game that often appears to come up short despite the brilliance of the doodling system.

And, even that isn’t without a few problems. For those that aren’t specifically artistic (yours truly included), the doodling elements can be downright frustrating. Using the controller to attract isn’t as intuitive as using a pencil or a paintbrush…or even a mouse — which is why a many my very own doodles looked like crap. Oh, sure, there’s a details amount of charm in sending out your triangle with teeth into battle, however when I witnessed the cool things I was going up against, mine triangle looked also lamer than I initially thought.

If the doodling is too much for you, friend can constantly splurge and buy doodles indigenous the locals. This is cool, but to me it feels like cheating. I want my own doodles to enter the fights — not ones that ns bought from someone that was obviously an ext talented 보다 me.

To minimize this problem, and make the game more accessible to those of united state who aren’t artists, i wish the developer had included some pre-drawn shapes that can be used in the doodles. I mean, when you can’t even draw a great circle, it’s hard to do anything cool for her future battles. The ability to choose some pre-drawn shapes and also manipulate them through the controller would have actually been great — and also I’d have actually not felt favor such a loser because I can’t draw.

The manage in Magic Pengel is rather good. Granted, illustration with the analog pole isn’t rather as intuitive as utilizing a stylus pen or also a mouse, however it works. My very own shortcomings together an artist to be to blame for all of my retarded-looking creations, no the game’s controls.

Finally, a few words about the game’s score, sound effects, and also voice acting.

Musically speaking, the game is satisfying. The lighthearted and airy tunes fit nicely through the game’s intuitive aesthetics. There’s nothing below that’s going to make you desire to operation out and also buy a soundtrack, however the music never ever overwhelms the gameplay itself, either.

The voice exhilaration is a little an ext over-the-top, but additionally seems to fit through the mood. The English language dub sound a lot favor a called anime, but it never ever bothered me overtly. Yes, the voice acting could be much better (as it could be in almost all games), yet it never offered me the cringe-inducing shudder that something prefer the Sea Mother’s story in shadow Hearts (schloop schloop anyone?)

Sound effects are quite primitive through today’s standards. They’re no anything too many flashy or jaw-dropping, yet again, castle fit with the game. It’s a cartoonish title, and also the sound work-related fits — come the allude where you never ever really notification it due to the fact that it all just blends in with the video game experience as a whole.

Ultimately, Magic Pengel isn’t because that everyone. This is a niche game even by RPG standards, therefore it’s almost assuredly a rent-before-you-buy title. However, those the you the end there with artistic inclinations will indeed take an excellent joy in seeing your creations pertained to life in the game. Even I, with my pathetic doodles, was constantly amazing to watch my 2D character establish in 3D graphics.

While the main story mode is short, there’s no border to the replay worth as girlfriend can continue to make brand-new doodles and also fight with the locals lengthy after the main story has actually ended. Add in the two-player function (wherein her doodles have the right to go head-to-head v your friends’ creations), the replay value just increases.

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However, if you want this one, you’d far better act fast. Gift a niche game, Magic Pengel probably had a tiny print operation — and also future pressings can be unlikely. Seize this one while friend can…or be all set to salary collector’s price on Ebay later.