Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Magic Pengel and the Quest for Color for the PS2




Okay, everyone. I’ve got a mathematical equation for you all to solve with this next review. What is Pokemon plus the drawing ability from Okami plus rock paper scissors equal? If you said Graffiti Kingdom, then you would be somewhat right, but mostly wrong! I am actually talking about a very little known game from the PS2 library of games known as Magic Pengel: the Quest for Color for the PS2. Granted, Graffiti Kingdom is the sequel to this game, but I have actually seen that game, and while I don’t remember much, I heard a lot of people didn’t like it. However, I wanted to talk about this game first, since I just recently found out about it and wanted to give it a quick look. While it isn’t really a masterpiece of a game, and doesn’t really go in the underrated section of games, Magic Pengel is a worthwhile game to check out even with its small faults, though I can’t say what they are since you guys need to read the rest of this review to see for yourself. So, let’s dive into the colorful world of Magic Pengel. 

The story starts off with a history lesson about how man and doodles used to live together in harmony, and how humans could create doodles. However, an evil king goes corrupt, something happens with the doodles, and now only pure-hearted people can create doodles. Skip to the future where a girl name Zoe lives with a young boy named Taro, who lives in a small town ruled by an evil king. It is up to you to bring freedom to the kingdom by creating doodles, and fighting other doodles through a tournament ala Pokemon Stadium. The story is well, very bland, and I never got pulled into it, but I will explain why later.
The gameplay featured in Magic Pengel is a mix between the Pokemon Stadium-style fighting, drawing from Mario Paint, mixed with a bit of RPG elements like leveling up and magic points. All you basically do is fight people who have doodles to fight against. Then, when you want to progress through the story, you go to the where the tournaments are being held, and fight people there. The gimmick here is instead of having fun little monsters that you have to capture, you have to draw them. There are three kinds of doodles that you can design. The first is basically the fighter, where he will have a stronger attack power than magic or blocking power. The second kind is of course blocking, which has different block moves. Of course, the final type is the magic type, where it has better magic attacks. Making monsters and what kind they are depend on the shape and colors used when you draw them. When you get into battles, the fighting system works like rock paper scissors system,-like fighting is stronger than shield, shield is stronger than magic, and magic is stronger than fighting. There is a fourth move called charge, which regains some of your health, but also makes your next attack stronger. After beating an opponent, you get different color gems to add to your color inventory. You can also go into town and trade the colors for money. Each time you win a tournament fight, you either get to create more on your doodle, or get another encyclopedia page for your book.
If you look at Magic Pengel by its presentation, then you know it doesn’t look that good. Everyone is really blocky and looks like an early Dreamcast game. However, if you look at its other elements, then it somewhat makes up for its bad presentation. Colors are bright and detailed, the music is calming, and all the doodles look unique, even if they look like something from a 5-year-old. It’s a nice innocent package that kids can easily get into.
Sadly, it’s time to draw, and then erase the bad parts of the game. The game is just flat out BORING! I say this since you’re stuck in one town, and you don’t go anywhere besides two different arenas for battles. It also gets repetitious, since all you do is just draw and fight, which gets boring. The story itself is so bland and boring, that I didn’t even want to finish the game. I played pretty far, but I just couldn’t stand it. The story also has a lot of plot holes, which is odd since it seems like EVERYONE in town, even the villains have doodles for battles, but it has been said that bad people with bad hearts can’t have the power to doodle. This game just had a shoestring-sized budget with the voice work since everyone doesn’t have a charming voice, and some people even sound older than they should. There are also a few issues with timing the voice work with the moving mouths. Sometimes, they speak two seconds BEFORE the sound kicks in and it’s just annoying. The final thing I have against this game is the battle system. Battles can become even more tedious and unevenly difficult because of the rock paper scissor-style fighting. This can lead to even the easiest opponents killing all of your doodles. That doesn’t feel right. Pokemon Stadium basically got it down, and owns the battle monster stadium ordeal, and this game doesn’t do justice to that classic.
However, even with its aggravating faults like a broken fighting system, horrible story, bad graphics, and just a boring experience, it’s a game at least worth your time for a few days. Granted, this might work for little kids, but I can see why not a lot of people remember or even know about this game. Still, check it out and see for yourself. You might like it, so by all means, do not just take my word for it. Thanks for reading and see you next week.
6 out of 10

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