Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven small review

Image: http://nintendoeverything.com/wp-content/uploads/lord-of-magna-boxart.jpg

“Do you have the power? Are you the one?”

Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven is a RPG for the 3DS. The game was developed and published by Marvelous, with XSEED games assisting in the publication. The release dates:

  • Japan: October 2nd 2014
  • NA / EU: June 2nd / 4th 2015, respectively.

The game consists of simulation elements found in games like Persona, Fire Emblem Awakening and Luminous Arc, in which chatting with the party members outside battle creates friendship levels. By doing this, they can learn new skills and the player can witness their events and mini-stories. The game also has a battle system similar to Valkyria Chronicles.

The story
starts out with Luchs who runs a family inn.  It doesn’t get any business so he excavates crystals from nearby caves to make a living. One day while excavating, he finds a strange girl stuck inside a crystal. Her name turns out to be Charlotte, who has no memories except remembering her name. Her awakening is what begins the game’s story.
We find out that she and her sisters are powerful maidens who are powered by an energy source called Magna. Luchs wears a magical bracelet which controls this energy source. As such the maidens decide to stay at the inn and help out, while looking out for their lost sisters and dealing with the problems and events that occur throughout the game.
Image: http://www.explosion.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Lord-of-Magna-Maiden-Heaven-600×315.jpg

The majority of the game’s dialogue is told in the visual novel format with in-game cutscenes to support it. Pictures and animated scenes do come in every now and then as well. The pace of these scenes are rather abysmal so it can take a while to go through them but thankfully you can optionally fast forward if you feel that it drags on too long.

The game’s battle system plays like a tactical game with familiar turn-based RPG elements:

  • Each character can move in a limited area per turn (which can be further limited by the surrounding environment) and the type of actions available is dependent on the amount of AP they have. You can be strategic as to whether to spend AP or save it up so they can have more options in their next turn.
  • Elements such as turn order, elemental weaknesses, and status effects come into play as well.
  • Each mission will consist of several groups of enemies. Each group has a leader type who can often use abilities, and can summon minions at the cost of their own health.
  • A unique element in this system is what reviewers call it “bowling”. Whenever a character strikes smaller minions, they are sent flying. If they come in contact with other smaller minions, they will be toppled over like bowling pins, killing them instantly. This doesn’t work on bigger / leader type enemies, they will receive a small amount of damage instead.
  • Because of the respawning / summoning system that these enemies use, it can take ages to defeat every single one of them, which is why it is often more appropriate to just focus on completing the objective of the mission, unless it involves defeating all enemies.
  • Outside of battles the inn acts as a hub, allowing you to shop, craft items and skills, and change settings. You can also trade items and converse with both the party members and NPCs.

The graphics are pretty nice for a 3DS game… the effects aren’t too flashy but it’s enough to recognize what spell is being used. The characters show off their spells all on the battlefield so the game doesn’t load up a preset cutscene for each spell for example. I enjoy the 3D chibi models that comes with a little set animation for each one, like a gif basically (it can get a bit annoying after a while though) but it’s all nicely detailed. There’s a good variety of environments and atmosphere so some battles / missions will require you to survey the map and decide how to play it out; some of these should remind you of Rune Factory imo.

Image: http://throwingdigitalsheep.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/lord-of-magna-maiden-heaven-gameplay-screenshots-3ds-hordes.jpg

The music isn’t too bad… there’s a few pieces that sounds a bit retro or old-school style which is nice, but then there’s also pieces which are… over-exaggerated if I can say that? Like, there’s a piece that regularly plays when something “sad or tragic” happens but it gives off too much for such scenes, even if it’s not really that sad or tragic.
There’s no dual voices so you can only listen in English. During dialogue you will often hear small lines or grunts from the characters but there are a few lines here and there where the characters do actually speak it out.

Overall the game isn’t too bad! It reminds me of Luminous Arc in various ways such as the females all being unique, witch-like and controlling specific elements… the male protagonist increasing their powers (and his) by bonding with them. The fact that it is a harem setup also reminds me of LA (more so since the newest game is going to be a harem setup).
Putting the comparisons aside, the game does take a familiar battle system and put a more simpler approach to it which is great for both newbies and experienced players. It’s easy to play through, the characters are pretty interesting in their own way and the game doesn’t go all the way with the harem setup which is a nice change of pace.
However that’s all there is to it. You can only hang around the hub area before going off to a mission. Despite the game showing off various areas and towns, unfortunately we don’t get to explore them much so some of the imagination, storytelling and lore behind the game gets washed away. Otherwise… if you’re looking for a new 3DS anime game to go through, definitely give this a try.


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