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Old 07-05-2003, 07:58 AM   #178
Icarus4578
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Magic Sword - Arcade/SNES - Rating 5
This little action/side-scrolling gem is one of the most overlooked games for Capcom's CPS2 arcade board. In it you must take a warrior and fight your way up the 50 floors of Drokmar Keep, fighting against a tremendous amount of enemies. To say that Magic Sword focuses solely on action would be an understatement. From start to finish, I must've killed about one-thousand enemies. I'm pleased with the end result, if a little dismayed at its rather repetitive, one-dimensional gameplay.
You know the drill ~ make it far and you must put in more tokens every minute or two because the enemies are EVERYWHERE and baby, you're taking damage. There are some funky twists to the gameplay which make it more a rewarding experience. You gather keys which you collect from treasure chests (of which there are plenty). There are three different types of standard keys and there are locked doors which you can use them on. Most doors contain people that need to be freed, and every one of them helps you out in some way, from giving you items to aiding you in defeating enemies. You can gain the assistance of thieves, lizardmen, warlocks, and plenty of others. Some doors, however, contain more baddies, booby traps (such as swords which come flying out and aim for you), and other unpleasantries. Also, certain doors lead you up the tower and some lead to hidden areas. Treasure chests also contain power bracelets, money (used for points), and plenty of other goodies.
Your character can attack, jump, high-jump, duck, use magic (which takes a bar out of your life), and you can store up power in your sword by waiting for it to fill and then use an attack mixed with a magic attack. As you progress and defeat bosses you collect newer, more powerful weaponry, and with each comes different magic attacks as well. Enemies range from skeletons and wizards, to dragons and mummies. The bosses, while decent enough, are a bit few and far between. Nevertheless, if you love action games this is your ticket. Don't come into this looking for strategy.
The graphics are dated by now and look like they were done on SNES (which it was released for later). One thing I noticed is that, like Magician Lord on Neo Geo, you get a wide variety of backgrounds. The enemy count on-screen at once can reach up to around 10-12 at once. That might not seem like a whole lot but you'll notice it when it's happening to you. The bosses aren't as good as those in other games like Ghouls N' Ghosts, and I was a tad disappointed by the last boss. Life goes on...
The music is good/average with some nice stuff here and there. With 50 floors you can bet there will be a ton of recycling going on. The sound effects are done well for an earlier CPS2 game, and the voices, while limited, are done well enough. Save somebody and you get a "Thank you.", that sort of thing.
The strategy combined with action in games such as Legendary Axe, Castlevania, and others like those is pretty much nonexistent in Magic Sword. But the action in MS (what mattered most in the arcades at the time) is all here. This is a great action game, but it's too one-dimensional for me to ever consider it on the level of being outstanding. Indeed, this is one of those games you can look at and think of a ton of things Capcom could've added to better the experience. Magic Sword was released in 1989/1990.
BTW, nice cover art on the SNES box (NOT! )

Here are some screenshots from the arcade version ~ http://www.gamefaqs.com/coinop/arcade/data/3892.html
Here's that SNES boxcover HAHAHAHA!!! ~ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/g/Magi...ers.php?page=1

Last edited by Icarus4578; 03-22-2004 at 11:38 AM.
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