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Lost Magic (DS)

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5 Reviews

Genre: Role-Playing / Published by: Ubi Soft Entertainment

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    5 Reviews
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      10.09.2012 11:12
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      An enjoyable light fantasy strategy game for the DS

      LostMagic is a strategy game for the Nintendo DS, where an apprentice mage has to control troops from goblins to dragons, learn spells and build an army to save the world. Set in a fantasy world you are Isaac, a trainee mage being raised by the Forest Witch. When a stranger visits his master, it reveals a threat to the world, and sets Isaac on a quest to defeat the evil that has corrupted the four archmages, and discover what happened to his parents, learning new spells and recruiting monsters for his army along the way. The plot is fairly standard but moves along nicely, and is only really there as an excuse for a series of battles and a good fantasy game. LostMagic suffers because it was mis-marketed as an RPG. It is actually closer to a pure real-time strategy game, where you control the mage but also all his troops on the map. The game is played as a series of linked missions with story cut-scenes between them, and the tutorials are integrated with the game play, making it very easy to pick up as you play. In each battle you start with only your mage on screen, and have to summon troops, prepare spells and give orders. While your mage is powerful, and can cast spels with great damage potential than any amy unit, he is also weaker in hand to hand combat and if he dies you lose. Also every spell you cast uses mana, and if you ruin out you can't cast any more spells. This means strategy (and resource management) is essential to winning - especially since there are also time limits. The AI for the enemies is actually quite good, and the battles all have unique features with their own specific aims to further the story. Fighting another mage in the boss battles is an interesting challenge as they will be summoning re-inforcements and cast high level spells in the same way you can - only they are normally tougher. You can also recruit monsters you defeat into your army, although there is a limit on how many creatures you can control at once, so you need to pick your units carefully. You control troops and give orders by using the stylus. One of the game's most unique features is that you actually cast the spells by drawing symbols on the touch pad, on a screen accessed by one of the shoulder buttons. If you really need to you can even check your spell book during a battle to confirm one. The game doesn't slow down to let you do it however, and if you can't remember the right spell you can get into trouble quickly. The gameplay graphics are very basic, traditional RPG style, almost at 8-bit level, and the game is played top down so you get a good overview of the map. Despite this the sprites are nicely designed, recogniseable as their cut scene equivalents, and most importantly easily identified on the battlefield. The sound is unremarkable and limited, but to be honest I played much of the game with it turned off because it distracted me. The cut scenes are fairly simple, with anime-style character graphics sliding on from the side to show who is speaking and text subtitles displayed below. The only real problem I had with this was drawing the spells, where the stylus detection could be erratic and mis-cast spells. This was particularly true later in the game where multiple symbols had been learned, some of which were very similar to others. There is a game plus, where you replay it with everything you learned the first time through. The script doesn't change, and there's a fair degree of humour in people congratulate you on being a prodigy, especially since this time you are living up to it. However this quickly bores and it doesn;t really have much replay value. You can multi-play across Wi-Fi using your story mode character but I didn't really use this feature because of lag the first few times I tried it - and the difficult of finding other players. The limited replay value, multi-player issues, and poor stylus detection lower it to an average 3 stars, but if you can buy it on budget you should get 10-20 hours of good play out of this. It's also suitable for players of any ages, although younger gamers may get frustrated by the number of symbols to remember and cast. Overall I enjoyed it. It's not an outstanding game, and the spellcasting is the only really unique feature, but as a strategy game, giving orders and planning tactics, it holds together well. If you can find it cheaply, it's well worth a look.

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      21.12.2009 20:49
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      Role Playing Battle Game

      I started playing this game recently and already have many mixed thoughts about it. This is a role playing game, whereby you control your allies using the stylus and battle enemies and using your newly learnt magic to defeat them. In this game, the storyline is that you are learning about magic and your grandma, teaches you how to do certain things with your wand. Throughout the game she asks you to do certain things and you must go off and do these little jobs for her. Along the way there is always trouble and you must fight the enemies in order to proceed. In this game you can choose certain dialogues when talking to people, but I think I have worked out that whatever you choose to say, you still get the same outcome. The graphics of this game is abit outdated and could have been much better to say the least. In this game you can save when you are on the ´map´page. What can be annoying about this game is that if you are saved at a certain point and you ´die´ and must start again, you have to go through the whole speech again. This is something I found out when I was stuck on a level, not only was I frustrated that I couldnt complete the level but I also had to click a good amount of times before I could try the level again. I think having a storyline to a game is good, but maybe the characters say too much and make it an effort, getting from one level to another. I like that you learn new magic spells in due time instead of learning it all at once, as it makes it more manageable. The music and sound effects in this game are OK also and could be abit more of higher quality. Overall I do like playing this game and can see the hype with it. However the graphics are a little outdated and the storyline can sometimes get in the way of being able to actually play the game.

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      06.05.2009 17:30
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      An average game, but good use of the Nintendo DS's hardware

      Lost Magic is a battle role playing game for the Nintendo DS. This is a game which has really been written specifically for the DS and the stylus feature. The aim of the game is to write spells using the stylus, and the more accurate that they are, the more powerful that they become. You start with just a small number of spells but learn more throughout the game as you progress through the adventure. As you progress through the game you are able not just to control your own character, but you can also control mini armies of other creatures, who help you get through the game. In the more difficult levels, trying to control all of these creatures when they are further apart can be quite a challenge. It is important to continue to fight enemies however so that your experience level continues to increase, which in turn makes it easier to progress further through the game. After you progress from your limited range of spells initially, you can create over four hundred different combinations by matching different spells together. Mastering all of these different combinations and spells is though quite a challenge, and takes some considerable amount of game play before it all becomes right. I found the actual game play to be relatively simple to get into it, such is the thought that the programmers have put into the controls. There are some flaws, and one is based on the technique of fighting battles more than once by running away to try and recover before returning. However, this isn't possible sometimes as the computer opponent is much faster at running, so the slow movements of the character you control can become really frustrating and it becomes hard to run away. The biggest problem with this game from a personal point of view is that I prefer exploring through maps, and exploring new towns and areas, which is the sort of RPG that I really enjoy. This game is however very heavily based on the fighting sequences, which is what I found to be a bit samey. However for others who prefer this type of gaming, the game is likely to be much more ideally suited. The sound on the game is much better than many other DS games that I've played, which frequently have very limited sound effects and music. This game has numerous background tracks, which all add to the atmosphere of the game. I am not a very good game player, so games which appears to be too easy for others are often just about right for me. I rarely complete games, and this was no exception, the whole game became a bit too repetitive and difficult so my interest in the game just ran out. There is also an element of needing to stick with the game, as it is quite complex and fiddly to pick up at the start. The game is currently available for just over ten pounds on Amazon, for around six to seven pounds currently second-hand on sites such as eBay and Amazon Marketplace. The game is rated 7+ so is suitable for all but the youngest of children. In conclusion, this is a game which you have to persevere with to get the most out of it, as it is quite a deep game. It does use the DS's capabilities to their limits in many ways in terms of the stylus, but it does all become a little bit repetitive after a while. However, if you can obtain the game cheaply, it's definitely fun for a good few hours, especially if you're a fan of games in this genre.

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        08.11.2008 15:31
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        An interesting take on the action RPG / strategy genre

        I've always been a fan of games that take a different approach, games that try to do things in a different way, even when they aren't great in every way. Even if the game isn't perfectly executed, I'll always interested to play it if it is unique in some way. Lost Magic is one of those games. Yeah, it's nowhere near perfect at all. But on the other hand, it's got a few great touches, and original ideas that make it a really memorable take on the RPG / Strategy genre. In Lost Magic, you play as a young mage named Issac. The storyline is a fairly generic good vs evil scenario, but that's not where the action is at here. This is an RPG game that isn't even about exploring, or solving puzzles - this is about fighting, in real time. The first great feature in Lost Magic is the spell casting. Issac's spells are his main weapon - including variations, there are 400 different spells. Battles in Lost Magic generally work tactically on the rock paper scissors concept - you have to cast the right spell for the job. Now the question is, how do you select the right spell to cast in the heat of battle? Lost Magic takes advantage of the DS touch screen, as the way you cast spells is by drawing magic symbols on the screen. Anyone who remembers Black and White on the PC might think of the pitfalls of this system, for example in that game the symbols you draw are, more often than not, not recognised by the computer. Using the stylus and the touch screen, drawing symbols in Lost Magic is fluid and works fairly well - not perfectly, but still, better than I expected. I found that this is not only immersive, yes, it is frustrating sometimes when the symbol isn't picked up, but is also a great solution for offering a lot of options in real time combat without having to break up the action by navigating through lots of cumbersome menus. Another great feature in Lost Magic is the ability to capture and command a small army of monsters. It's a bit like Pokemon really - except in real time. Because Issac's only real weapon is his magic, and your spell points can run out pretty quickly, the little band of creatures following him are a great blessing in combat. You can control what they do, too - by selecting them and telling them where to go with the stylus. This real-time-strategy element really is great fun, and combined with the spell casting, makes combat that little bit different from hack n slash. I found the multiplayer to be a lot of fun too. Like Pokemon, you can bring your mage and your group of monsters to fight other players of the game. Anyone who played Pokemon on the Gameboy ought to feel a wave of sentimentality about this feature. Like I said at the start, this game isn't perfectly executed. For a start, the lack of storyline is a little bit offputting, Although the combat is great, there is little else really to do in the game, which can be a little bit frustrating. Also, this game can be really difficult at points. There's lots and lots going on and to succeed you have to be pretty quick when it comes to speedy symbol-scribbling and commanding your monsters. OK, so it's not great... overall, however, Lost Magic is an original and fun take on the RPG genre. If you like spell-slinging types, and real time strategy games too, like myself, it's definitely worth taking a look at it!

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          22.07.2008 16:18
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          Worth a look, but not a winner.

          This looked to be one of a range of new promising fantasy role playing games for the nintendo DS, but personally I was a little disappointed- I think the trendy style of gameplay (that is, you have to draw runes on the touch screen to cast spells) wears thin quickly and distracts from the rest of the game. It's a sort of real-time strategy type affair, like an adventure game where you're casting spells and regaining mana, and casting spells all at once, it gets a bit stressful actually! I think it work better if it was turn-based, there'd be more opportunity for strategical thinking. If it could be like a one-character FF Tactics, it would be awesome. It's certainly nice to look at, with pretty cartoony graphics, and cute music/sound effects, but I can't say I kept engaged much longer after the first time I got stuck- it's just not a captivating game!

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      • Product Details

        A top-down roleplaying adventure where players can summon monsters and cast one of six magic spells using the touch screen. Peace in the world is challenged by a new evil force. The only hope lies with the wizard Isaac and the seven magic wands left behind by the creator. Monsters wield unimaginable power in this realm, and as Issac, the player will use the stylus to unleash magic spells and command numerous monster squads in magical battles. During battle, you cast magic by inputting characters called runes using the touch pen. The game has a strong magic system, with six elemental forms and over 300 double rune spells that are formed by mixing runes together.