There is nothing better than an action-adventure game that offers more than just side quests a basic skills tree and nothing much else, Mages of Mystralia offers everything you want but comes off a little lacking in areas.
After the Kingdom of Mystralia was destroyed by the last mage king, mages were thrust out and sentenced to death, kind of sucks to be a mage, and really sucks when Zia a young girl figures out that she has such powers by accidentally setting fire to her home. She sees no other option but to leave home and take refuge before she is found out and ends up on the chopping block. Maybe, after all, said and done and she saves the Kingdom of Mystralia there will be a royal destiny slot open for her at the throne of mages, for saving the day, but more likely she will just get thanks.
Mages of Mystralia offer up a campaign, a great spell system and tries to stand out as a good action, puzzle solving adventure game, but does it? With the game’s story written by Ed Greenwood, a Canadian-born fantasy writer and the original creator of the Forgotten Realms game world. We can only hope for an amazing adventure full or lore and a story the drags you into its world.
After leaving her home, she ends up in a secret village, a sanctuary for mages and learns the craft of being a mage. Not only that she will discover a grimoire (The compendium of spells ). The compendium speaker to Zia and guides her. There are four basic spells, Creo, Ego, Actus and Immedi, each one is linked by an element, fire, earth, ice, lightning. With the grimoire Zia is able to shape her mage skills to her will. With runes, Zia can create, say a fireball from flame or grow the size of a fireball with the rune magnitude. You will be collecting runes throughout the game and implementing them within your mage spells to create your own unique take on them.
Creating unique spells through elements and runes you would think would be very rewarding, but you never really need to play with them too much. You can go crazy and really create some wicked spells, but you never really need them to take down a certain enemy. Learning how to create and harness these skills will be something you will have to be adept at to progress through the game, how far your you go is down to you and your imagination.
The game offers up two types of enemies melee or ranged, but lacks in enemy variation, so once you seem one you seem them all. The enemies attacks will change as you progress through the game but it all felt too easy, and the enemies just felt like bullet sponges. Sometimes the game will tell you what spells are required to keep progressing, However, I felt that even with such a deep spell system in place there was no real need to experiment, it was more ” I wonder what that will do if I did that”. I spent the majority of my time just messing with runes and creating spells. If anything, if the developers were to create another game, they should really do this again, it is amazing.
The system is overwhelming but the enemies don’t require much to take them down and puzzles well they have no consequences for your actions. So unless you want to delve deep into the game spell system there is no need, sucks, but it is true.
The way you play your character is down to you, and you can truly personalised experience, but again, you can just grab a magic wand and use that to take down enemies and they ignore all the enemies defenses.
So in a world torn apart by war Zia is tasked with what seems to be a simple adventure, prevent a war between the trolls and her home Mystralia, along the way she will discover her heritage, and find a darker seed with their own agenda. Along the way, you get to defeat bosses which are based around there environment, very similar to the style of bosses found in the Zelda franchise. Bosses are a great way to test out new spells and think methodically on how to defeat them. When roaming about the world, and enjoying the game’s design you will find objects that your spells can interact with. I actually found exploring and the boss fight truly enjoyable.
Mages of Mystralia will push you to explore, collect runes to build up your spell base. Bosses will drop mana and life and green gems which can be spent in stores in specific places within the game. The game is around 10 to 15hrs of game time, but might be able to complete faster. The story was everything I expected, I even felt for the characters, so well done on that.
The gams art style is amazing and the story is compelling so are the game’s characters. The game runs smoothly enough to play 720p but does not hit that sweet note 1080p and 60fps. The only time the FPS dropped to a point where it was truly noticeable was when I literally pulling off too many spells, all other times the game played very well. The soundtrack was directed by Shota Nakama, performed by Boston based The Video Game Orchestra. The studio is well known for such games as Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Legend of Mana, and Metal Gear Solid etc. If you love this type of music then you will love this game soundtrack as well, I know I did.
Overall the game has something but lacks execution when it comes to bringing it all together which is a shame as there is so much scope here, great story, great spell system, great soundtrack, good voice acting good game design and art style, a real shame they did not see a way to add more variety in enemy types, and use spells for more than just enjoyment. I would have like to have seen more strategy involved, and the spell system really pushed to its max so I would really have to think what can kill this.