Xbox 360 Review: Magnacarta 2

Another generic RPG?

Magna Carta, also called Magna Carta Libertatum (the Great Charter of Freedoms), is an English legal charter, originally issued in the year 1215. It was written in Latin and is known by its Latin name. The usual English translation of Magna Carta is Great Charter. How odd that this has absolutely NOTHING to do with Magnacarta 2. I personally don’t know why the game is called Magnacarta 2 when it has no reference to the Magna Carta.
That aside, Magnacarta 2 is yet another exclusive RPG to the Xbox 360. But exclusives can be a double-edged sword, especially if it doesn’t live upto any expectations and sadly that is the case with Magnacarta 2. It has a solid story full of love, hate, politics, betrayal and the ultimate question of choosing one’s own fate. The only problem is that a great chunk of the dialogue is done incredibly poorly with a huge chunk of static conversations like that of older RPG’s like the Baiten Kaitos series. It’s 2009 and storytelling needs to be done in real-time or through cutscenes, the way it is done is incredibly dated to say the least.

In terms of being an RPG, Magnacarta 2 meets all the criteria. There’s plenty of level grinding to be done with quests and 35-40 hours of content, but it feels a bit dull in the end. Combat is in real-time but it is hard to get used to at first since you start button-mashing against an opponent only to find you have run out of stamina and then need to switch to another character to carry on the fight while your other character recharges. The problem is that combat doesn’t rely on any one character, but instead you just swapping around between them.
Some characters will grow on you, but others are incredibly forgettable. There are also a number of bugs in the game like characters floating in the air, getting stuck and camera angles obscuring your view which can be frustrating if you are in battle. It lacks that bit of extra polish to make it truly shine. Environments look decent but the backgrounds for them are horrible to look at due to a blur filter, while character models look fine.

Magnacarta 2 is full of dialogue and unfortunately the voice-work is pretty awful, there are also battle cries which repeat way too often…luckily, you can turn them off! The score does a decent job but it’s not something you’ll remember like with a decent soundtrack to an RPG such as a Final Fantasy game.

The Verdict

Yes, it’s better than the first Magnacarta game…but that was always going to be easy.

Overall there are too many problems with Magnacarta 2 to compete with the best RPGs on the market, and let’s face it…there are plenty of better ones on the 360. The story is good but poorly delivered and while the combat is unique, it is flawed and the formula is incredibly dated.