RPG Review #48: Magic Knight Rayearth

NuMetalManiak
Man, 2016 has been a year hasn't it? Election, terrorism, celebrity deaths. Here's the thing, we focus too much on the negatives in our society. Or at least the media focus is skewed mostly towards negativity, which is dumb. Now here's the awesome thing about me reviewing these RPGs. From the beginning of 2016, I was in the middle of Wild Arms: Alter Code F when the New Year went by. That ended up being review #29. Now, it's review #48. Yes that's right, I went through NINETEEN RPGs in a single year. I don't think I'll make that number even any time soon considering it's just two days before 2017 starts kicking into high gear. But anyways, Magic Knight Rayearth is an RPG based off of an anime series of the same name. Actually, there are several games based off of this anime, one for the Sega Saturn, another for the Game Gear. The game I played is on the SNES, and I got a fan translation as there was no official one outside Japan.

Gameplay: This is a game I beat in three days. Yes that's right, it's incredibly short. That's unusual considering it's a turn-based RPG, and those usually take some time. This might actually be my shortest RPG ever, and there were action RPGs longer than this.

Sadly, Magic Knight Rayearth does not really bring a whole lot of new stuff to the turn-based table. Almost everything is typical. The leveling up is typical (and easy to do), random battles are typical, and the irk. Save points in this game also restore power, making this game even easier. There are times where your mainly three-person party gains an additional guest member, who are generally not worthwhile unfortunately. Also, a status effect known as poison doesn't poison but instead lowers attack power. There aren't any equips in this game, weapons and armor are upgraded during the course of the game, and leveled up by using weapons or taking damage in battle. Most of the damage done is via magic though, just look at the game title again if you don't believe me. There are some battles that are supposed to be lost, but can be legitimately winnable, but sadly this leads to a game over which might not make sense sometimes. The only really new thing it offers are two types of critical hits, one that does 2x the damage, the other does 3x. Overall though, it's very typical, but it's length means that you won't be dragging considerably. There aren't even any sidequests or anything like that. Grade: C

Characters: The three main characters are the three magic knights, three Tokyo-native schoolgirls lost in another world.
Hikaru Shidou: The fiery redhead of the group. She is an easily excited character, with fire magic at her disposal. Great physical power too.
Umi Ryuuzaki: The blue-haired one, possibly the most easily triggered. She's more of a defensive character, with great water magic attack power.
Fuu Hououji: The blonde scholar-looking one, controlling wind magic. She's the weakest physically, but with great healing and group target spells and better magic power.

Those three are the mains of the game, gaining better magic power as the game goes, from the Mashins Rayearth, Celes, and Windam (dragon like creatures). The characters that can join as guests for certain plot points include warriors like Ferio and Lafarga, and some with magic abilities like Ascot and Caldina. Main princess of the game is Emeraude, held captive by Zagato (reminds me of Lunar's Ghaleon). There's a slim number of characters for this game. Grade: C

Plot: Emeraude calls out for Magic Knights, as she is held captive by Zagato. The three schoolgirls mentioned awaken in a strange world called Cephiro. They get the message from Clef, some sorcerer guy, and get some magic from him, while fending off Alcione, one of Zagato's henchmen. They then get weapons from some girl named Presea, and follow Ferio (a warrior) in a forest before fighting Alcione again. After some trials in a spring (a moment where you play as each of the individual girls), they are then tasked with seeking out the Mashins (dragons). Umi gets to hers first in a Water Temple, with one of Zagato's henchmen, Ascot, being in the way. He realizes his errors and joins the group for a bit, before leaving just before Fuu reaches her temple. There, Caldina arrives and fights them, putting everyone under a spell for a bit, before realizing her errors and joining too. Meanwhile, Lafarga, a knight who is supposedly an ally, ends up being mind-controlled by Zagato into defeating the Magic Knights, and before Hikaru gets her Mashin, he fights them. But he snaps out and joins them in order to defeat Zagato once and for all.

One of Zagato's henchmen, Inouva, swears to protect Zagato well before the knights reach his castle. Although he fails, Alcione comes back (she was apparently banished for failing earlier) at the entrance to Zagato's castle. Traversing through, we finally confront Zagato, who uses his own Mashin. Then, a plot twist, Emeraude wasn't necessarily a damsel in distress, but a damsel in love with Zagato, and the Magic Knights have to fight her. She did have two sides though, and stated that she couldn't kill herself, but the Magic Knights can. Kind of sorrowful, but at least she could die with Zagato. After all this, the three Magic Knights return back to Tokyo. That's it for this game's story. Told you it was short. Grade: C+

Music: Maybe it's me, but I couldn't barely hear anything without putting my ear to the speaker. I guess since this is based off of an anime, that the music came from it? I won't give this is a score though, since I barely heard anything.

Overall Grade: C

There is nothing about this game that will ooh and aah players, especially not traditional RPG players like myself. Considering its length, its graphic style, and its overall simplicity, Magic Knight Rayearth only shines in its own style, and nothing more. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll try to avoid all those idiots singing Auld Lang Syne and completely forgetting what they were gonna change for themselves in the next few months. Still will be game-playing as always, no need for a resolution.

Comments

Man, you're quite an expert when it comes to reviewing RPG games. Only two more after this and you'll have reached your 50th RPG Review. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

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