Since I was done with “Magic & Mayhem”, what with being reunited with a genuine,pleasant experience from the past, I decided to actually move on to the second game in the series: “Magic & Mayhem: The Art of Magic”, and potentially be done with the brand as a whole.Stating in some of my recent twitter posts, I’ve expressed quite a dislike towards the second game, followed by a [fantastic] video respond as well.I wouldn’t call the actual factor for my negative response being that I grew up mainly with the first game.I played the sequel years ago as well, but I didn’t made any actual progress back then.
The second game was made by a different company.It was also made three years after the first game.It also gives you the same graphical feeling that you get in “Empire Earth” and “Age of Mythology”. Back then graphics like that were the stuff I guess. Still, I do not like them all that much.They feel pretty rough and plain.Same can be said about the animations.Units and wizards feel overall boring and lifeless.At least the music in the game is pretty nice.As for the gameplay, the classic formula from the first game is still intact: Control your Wizard, summon creatures,cast spells and try to defeat the enemy wizard/s.Capture and guard places of power to regain mana, collect items, eat a pie and drink some wine to restore life.You still have the magical portmanteau where you can put ingredients into talismans for various combinations of spells.Of course, there are new ingredients and spells in the second game, but some from the first one remained.The campaign has lots of levels, but sadly, it’s not all that challenging, even if you set it on the highest difficulty.Lots of characters in the game, lots of plot as well.The dialogue in the game is VOICED and the actors are just TERRIBLE! “Yes, we hire just the best people from the local comedy-drama club.” You need to look at it with this mindset, otherwise you’ll be in for more than over 30 levels of pure, acting horror.
Here’s some more pointers about this “wonderful” game:
<> Some maps are HUGE, making certain matches drag on for way too long.I got bored to death. <>
<> The spell “Bury” is now a low-class spell, which makes it pretty spamable.This renders pretty much every undead unit useless.<>
<> Totems now have actual HP bars and can be attacked by creatures and wizards.Given that, they don’t feel as cost efficient as they were in the first game.[And as a whole!] [Except for “Totem of Guarding”.] <>
<> Aurax, the main character in the game, is a huge, obnoxious asshole. <>
<> Lots of lewd bits in the game, mostly with the revealing outfits on some of the female wizards.Also, TOTEM OF LIFE! And sentient, lady trees with knockers. <>
<> The spell “Judgement” got the “Bury” treatment as well, which renders every summoned creature in the game useless. <>
<> The spell “Gorgon Stare” now acts mostly as a snare and it doesn’t grant full protection from sources that inflict damage.Gotta love casting this on any player and just spam “Meteor Shower” on them until they die.You can also summon “Storm Giants” around the enemy wizard for the same effect. <>
<> [Third level in the campaign.] Nadia, Aurax’s sister, will keep casting fireballs at the skeletons, killing both them and the villagers who fight them.Have fun trying to earn those extra XP points by keeping the villagers alive.GREAT ALLY! <>
<> More questionable actions from both the allied and enemy A.I.<>
<> Some spells are A MUST if you wish to complete certain levels.They really are, I’m not going over the board with this statement! [Exmp:The “Heal” spell in the sewer level and the “Heal” spell as a whole.] <>
<> Collecting and hoarding items through the early to mid levels in the campaign will let you just breeze through the last ones. Screw PoP capturing, I just wanna find the enemy wizard and use my 5 “Storm Giant” statues,along with my 10 “Centaur” ones. <>
<> In that “one” level,my overpowered army keeps killing the Necromagus during the cutscene that triggers after he is low on HP. Since he becomes your ally that you must keep alive, the game just sends you to the “You fucked up!” screen. <>
There are few things that I enjoyed in this game. One of them being is that you get to unlock additional characters for “Battle”/Skirmish/Multiplayer/ mode. Each character has their own stats when it comes to speed, durability,size and whatnot, which is kinda neat. You unlock a secret “Stickman” character by speedrunning the “Greenhenge” level.I had fun with the whole unlocking process only, the reward itself is not all that satisfying.I’m not really into stickmen as a whole. I like that units receive visual upgrades when they level up.I also like that the upgrades they receive fit with their needs.The slow become fast, the vulnerable become tougher… there’s something for everyone!That is, until a wizard shows up and cast the “Judgement” spell.I think it’s time for me to cast my “Judgement” spell upon this game as well…
So then, I hereby give it a 4.5 out of 10.
If I could improve this game, I would definitely tune the mana cost on various spell, the efficiency of the “Bury” and “Judgement” spells and the size of some maps.///I would also remove the plot and voice acting from the campaign.///