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MAGICALxSPIRAL Review

MAGICALxSPIRAL Review

MAGICALxSPIRAL is a very short and easy to play platform adventure title with mild role playing game elements. The game was developed by small indie game developer Broken Desk and it is the first of their small number of titles to be published to Steam. The game was confirmed for developement with its own page and later posted to Steam Greenlight late August 2016 to be approved by gamers for a Steam release. The game was finally published to Steam late December 2016 by Sekai Project only a few days after they published the demo. The game includes twenty eight Steam achievements and a set of Steam trading cards that feature some of the adorable character art.

You begin the game as a young and energetic student named Medianne who dreams of one day reaching the magical land of Celestria. While Celestria is a mere fairy tale to many of those who reside is the lower world Medianne finds out that Celestria is real. You begin the game outside of the Phantasm Tower which is believed to be the link between Medianne’s world and Celestria. Medianne is quickly greeted by a small magical creature upon entering the tower and is told that the tower does in fact lead up to Celestria but the tower is not easy to climb without magic. The small creature known as Salamander can grant her magical powers so she can climb the tower more easily and they begin their journey up the tower. To climb up the tower you must spend much of your time jumping from platform to platform on the exterior of the tower and there will be crumbling platforms and enemies to make the task more difficult. Later in the game you will have more of the magical creatures join you and their magic will make it easier to climb up the more difficult upper levels of the Phantasm Tower. The game is fairly short but you will later have a chance to play as a different character giving the game a bit more length and gameplay value. Since so much of the game’s focus is simply on making it up the tower the story often falls short and feels insignificant and the world seemed interesting but is often unspoken of in the game.  

MAGICALxSPIRAL Review

The gameplay mechanics are quite simple since most of the game focuses on jumping from one platform to another and casting spells to fend off enemies. The menu and stats are set up like they would be in some of the most basic of role playing games with its own unique look in regard to the graphics and text. You can change the quality of the graphics from the options menu and set the game to display the frame rate in the corner of the screen. Like most role playing games there is an items menu where all of your healing items are stored, a spells menu where you can check the spells you have learned, an options menu where you can change the sound and display setting, and a stat display where you can check your HP and MP. Battles are done out in the open rather than in an arena or turn based style and fighting any of the non-boss enemies is optional, there is even an achievement for not attacking any of the non-boss enemies. The game is split into stages and at the end of each stage is a boss which you must defeat to enter into the next one. Between each of the game’s stages is an intermission area where you can save your data, buy spells and items, or increase your character’s stats. Stat boosts and spells can be bought with coins you get for completing a stage just as you would buy items. At the end of each stage a result screen will appear displaying your stage completion time, how many enemies you have defeated, your score for each section of the stage, your total score, and how many coins you get for completing the stage. The gameplay mechanics are straight forward and while they are not very unique they do what they are intended to. 

MAGICALxSPIRAL Review

The graphics within the game are cute and colorful as you would expect from just about any video game that contains anime graphics. Unfortunately, while the graphics are cute the character designs don’t feel very original and there are very few enemy designs making the game a bit dull after only half an hour of play time. The tower itself is a tall three dimensional cylinder which can often be very dizzying to climb and with the enemies being designed the way they are it sometimes seems like the enemies just show up out of nowhere as they come around the tower. The first stage is very boring and gets tiring to climb as much of it is just plain platforms that circle around the tower in an upward spiral,. You might eventually find yourself continuously pressing the jump button over and over hoping that you will finally make it to the boss, that is if you don’t get slowed down by the occasional lagging as you are running and jumping. There is not a lot of animation in the game and the small amount that is present often falls flat when it comes to the quality, one such example would be the occasional lag that occurs while the character is running or jumping across the platforms. The graphics and animations in the game are not quite terrible enough that they would have a huge impact on the quality but with the mediocre quality they are nothing more than a neutral point of the game. 

While the story presented at the beginning of the game is very interesting and the world sounds vast and full of wonder we hardly get to see or hear any of it once the character begins their journey up the tower. The game has a lot of potential but certain elements of the game needed to be expanded upon to bring out that potential. I recommend this game to those who are beginners to the platformer genre since much of the game plays out like a platformer game while also being much lower in difficulty. I also recommend the game to those who are looking for a more casual gameplay experience since the game is very straight forward and easy to play. Regardless of its flaws and lack of story telling through much of the game it is still a great title to play during your free time particularly if you are looking for a game that is more laid back and easy to get started on. 

MAGICALxSPIRAL Review

PROS: Interesting World, Cute Character Designs, Great Soundtrack

CONS: Neglected Story, Repetitive Graphics, Too Simple

MAGICALxSPIRAL Review

SCORE-7.5/10

This review is based on a digital copy of MAGICALxSPIRAL on Steam provided by Sekai Project.