Reviews: Magicka

I love this game

Please note, I am talking about the game as it is Post-Patches. At launch it had very serious bugs and technical issues but now it seems the vast majority have been fixed.

Magicka is my favorite game, it's just so fun! It's a bit hard to explain really, but Magicka is a Magical Game that's not quite standard. There is no mana system or cooldowns, you can cast spells basically as fast as you can type, as most of the spells are a combination of letters (1-5 letters normally, certain spells take up to 10 letters due to needing to combine two elements).

When you get used to it, that means spells fly fast. I can spam my utlra-desuctive wall of death (tm) which is Arcane + Arcane + Lightning + Ice + Ice (7 Keystrokes in total) more then once a second. And I'm pretty bad at games in general, it's just once you get used to it (and admittingly there is a bit of a learning curve) the spells come out fast and furious. And you aren't really restricted. While there are special Spells called "Magickas" that you need to find the books for, you can do any element combination from basically the beginning of the game.

It sounds pretty simple, but it feels so...dynamic. The system allows for so much creativity and diversity in playstyle and mixes it up with lots of varied locales and monsters to fight. It's like if you combined Gauntlet, Avatar the Last Airbender, and Discworld. It is fantastic, and as you might guess from that comparison the humor is great too. One of my favorite jokes that works even without context is "Arrrrggghhhhh. Loss of blood, my one weakness!"

The only things I would say against it are there are some really cheap enemies (Dwarven Priests, Yetis, and in challenge mode for me in particular those Godforsaken Goblin Aristocrats) and it's got kinda limited replayability if you only play Single Players. You've got Campaign, Challenges and that's really it. You've got co-op multiplayer (up to 4 players) in which you play through the campaign (multiplayer campaign is without question the best way to play) and you have online multiplayer in fights or challenges. And that's it. There are some extra expansions that give a few extra short-campaigns (3 chapters as compared to original game's campaign's 12 chapters) but that's about it.

Still neither of those bothered me at all. I love Magicka and it's crazy fun world (though I am not so big a fan of the sequel).


Game Breaking Technical and Balance Issues, Not Just Me

I got this game after I saw a video of it. The first time it was enjoyable, although many people complained about the technical issues. I was just glad I didn't run into any of them until level 5 where the game crashed when I killed the boss. So I got stuck for really long until someone said that the boss had to be killed by fire or the game will crash. So I did that and completed the rest of the game without any serious issues. Some time later I noted a control inconsistencies when casting. My items were affecting what order the keys could be pressed to enchant a weapon, which lead to me wasting many spellcasts. Also in several of the challenge maps the enemies were just stuck inside their spawn which made it impossible to complete. I replayed the campaign but this time half the time the game would crash when I completed a level. I went to the forums and sure enough, tons of people were complaining about that problem. Also, there are balance issues with the dwarf priests that can kill you in one hit by launching a super fast boulder, and elementals and elemental skeletons are ridiculously resistant to almost everything. And the troll with the machine gun that takes off a third of your health in one hit and knocks you down. There are 12 of them in the final wave of one of the challenge maps. In summary: The game crashes half the time you complete a level, what weapons you use affect the required keystrokes to enchant a weapon(this was not intentional design and if it was it would be very annoying), enemies can one shot you with super fast projectiles and have machine guns that stun lock you and kill in 3 hits.