Your Review Sucks: 1UP Magna Carta 2
You know, I was just thinking about grabbing a new copy of Magna Carta 2 as I can’t find my second disc, something got spilled on the case (and I definately want that case in good condition!), and I want to beat the game. So, reminiscing about the Eastern RPGs of this generation I decided to look up Magna Carta 2 and discovered…it disn’t get nearly as good of reviews as I had thought!
Really quite shocking if you ask me! The game is rock solid and I consider it one of the best RPGs on console this generation! The fact that it’s one of the few I’ve nearly beaten is testament alone to that. Scrolling through the reviews though, 1Up’s stuck out like a sore thumb:
“Sometimes, stereotypes exist for very good reasons. Korean role-playing games have a reputation as low-rent incarnations of their more polished Japanese counterparts, and Magna Carta 2 does nothing to combat that perception — instead, it embraces it wholeheartedly. “
Wow. That’s pretty harsh. Shoot, it borders on racist! Exactly how many Korean RPGs have we played that aren’t MMOs? No, seriously, I’m curious as I have not seen enough Korean console games to make any sort of judgement like that! So I decided to dive right in.
“One of the biggest fallacies about “gaming journalists” is that we’re supposed to, somehow, approach games from an “unbiased” perspective. Well, we’ve all got our biases, “
Okay, honestly? This is true. No one can be completely unbiased. It’s just not possible. I applaud the reviewer’s honesty and agree with this statement…however the general tone of this review quickly turns this from an honest footnote to an admission that this guy should not be reviewing this game.
“and so I’ll admit it: Magna Carta 2 raised several red flags in my eyes. For one, the original game was probably the worst pile of dreck that the otherwise reliable Atlus has published in the last five years. And a Korean-developed action-RPG? I’ll trust Koreans when it comes to real-time strategy, but after the wretched Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom and other assorted failures, there’s not too much rely on when it comes to emulating Japanese RPGs. “
Hooboy. While yes, many did not like the original Magna Carta, Circle of Doom is a whole other beast entirely. In fact, to this day it’s one of the better multiplayer dungeon crawls on 360. But what I find interesting is that this is all he can list in terms of “bad Korean games”. Honestly it’s all I could list too! Phantom Crash might be Korean, but it’s a cult classic. There have not been that many Korean games. Not enough to make such a harsh judgement based on them!
“Here’s the good news, though: In spite of its walking cliché of a protagonist, Magna Carta 2 isn’t terrible. But the bad news: That’s only because Softmax rips off every successful formula from seemingly every conceivable Japanese RPG and stuffs it into the most generic, derivative package possible”
This is true, Magna Carta 2 takes inspiration from other games. Indeed it is that inspiration that lets it be so good. However, all games take inspiration from other games. That’s just a fact. Claiming a game is bad purely because you’ve seen mechanics elsewhere is just sad. If that were the case, Skullgirls would be a pile of shit because the entire system is a mish-mash of Marvel vs Capcom, Darkstalkers, and Guilty Gear. Xenoblade would suck just as much as it takes an equal amount of inspiration from the same sources as Magna Carta 2! Let’s not even get into the FPS genre.
But no, where this review goes from being hate filled and overly biased to just downright sad is when he lists where the inspiration comes from.
” Final Fantasy VII‘s Materia system”
You mean a socketing system? Like Diablo and many other RPGs? Yeah I guess Kamonds are like Materia in that way. We can go with that.
” Final Fantasy X‘s skill tree”
Umm…no. This game has no Sphere Grid. It just has a skill tree. Like, you know, every RPG with a skill tree. They’re a pretty common thing.
” Final Fantasy XII‘s real-time combat”
Yeah it did remind me a bit of FFXII…except that it’s an action battle system rather than a psuedo-turn based one. Alternately one could say that it’s very MMO-like.
So…they’re inspirations are…generic things many other RPGs have done? How is this bad? As I said earlier, if this is your only complaint then you could make the same argument with Xenoblade or really quite a few other RPGs. Heck, Xenoblade does include a socketing system, a skill tree, and even more FFXII-esque combat than this game! The only reason it seems so bad in Magna Carta 2 is because it’s Korean and you want to believe that the only things Koreans are capable of is ripping off Japan. This is literally your entire argument.
“And while it’s clear that Softmax wanted to emulate the expansive vistas of Dragon Quest VIII“
Because that’s the only game with expansive vistas. It couldn’t possibly because they’ve built the world like an MMO!
“they forgot the reason that those work in Square Enix’s PS2 masterpiece — they’re actually fun to explore! Magna Carta 2’s environments are a confusing mess of dead ends and poorly laid-out paths, so frustrating to navigate that I actually had to look at the minimap in the upper-right corner to see where I was going, and not the actual in-game visuals right in front of me! “
Heaven forbid you actually use a map to navigate!
“From the moment I turned on Magna Carta 2, I got the sense I’d played it all before — and that’s because I practically had, in this case. I suppose the game might be a decent way to kill time, though…if you’ve somehow already played every single other RPG on the 360. I will continue to recommend the stellar Tales of Vesperia till I’m blue in the face, and you’d be foolhardy to choose Magna Carta 2 over that — or just about any other Eastern RPG on the console, for that matter. “
This is the kind of elitist thinking that has practically doomed Eastern RPGs. Since Magna Carta 2 isn’t the best freaking entry in the whole genre ever, it is looked down upon because there are “better” games. This isn’t even getting into how few Eastern RPGs there have actually been this generation! If you’re not playing your DS, then it has been slim pickings! It’s perfectly plausible that someone has played all the other Eastern RPGs this generation! Especially when Magna Carta 2 hit!
While it’s impossible to review a game completely without bias, a game should be judged on it’s own merits. Who cares what it purportedly “borrows” if it puts the pieces together in a good and interesting way!
What’s more, this is practically then entire review! It’s a very sparse throw-away piece with little to no information on the actual game. At no point do they go in-depth about what makes the action battle system unique. Heck, they don’t even mention that it is an action battle system! They barely discuss the plot, don’t touch at-all on the graphics, and make no mention of the side questing!
This review is just a sparse, hate filled rant that borders on racist. Even as a racist review it sucks as it makes no mention of how MMO-esque the Magna Carta 2 experience is!
Generally when I read a bad review, I don’t think the actual person behind it is bad. Just that they did a bad job in this one case. This review, however, is an exception as every single word in it delivers only one message:
Andrew Fitch is a hateful, elitist, asshole who needs a swift punch in the face. Go fuck yourself.