Months ago I decided to give Maguna no Kinki a try, the game made by creative minds behind Rune Factory. The game, a sort of a swan song for Neverland as the studio went bankrupt, was released for Japan only. If it hadn’t been for Marvelous insisting the game would be finished, and hiring the main developers to do exactly that, we never would have had this game. I couldn’t resist to play. As I wrote in the review here, I loved the battles, but there seemed to be an extraordinary amount of text. Too much to translate, so I had no idea what was going on in between the battles. Now finally, the game has been released in the US and in Europe, so it was time to go and see what they had been jabbering on about.
Luchs Edward, or whatever first name you give your character, is the owner of an old Inn that’s been in his family for generations. Each owner has promised their father to “receive very special guests who are sure to arrive someday, and to treat them as our own family”. Although the Inn has never seen many guests, they never leave their small nation located on an island. Luchs is very happy with his simple life that he enjoys with the help of two childhood friends (Bart and Amelia) that help him run the inn. One day Luchs comes across a strange altar with a sphere of light floating above it and a giant crystal with a young girl trapped inside. By getting closer to the crystal, three monsters suddenly attack him, but after hearing a voice inside his head, the sphere of light flies towards his arm and becomes a bracelet. With the power of the bracelet he wakes the chrystalized girl, and that’s the first of seven sisters that will join Luchs at his inn. She works for him as a maid, but Luchs insists that she is family now. As we often see in these kind of games, the girls have no memorie, they just remember little bits, and the fact that they are sisters. Soon enough though we get a little more background: we meet Gewalt, who seems to be an enemy of the girls, that are actually called Artemisia. We see a brief scene with Sarina and Kaiser, who seem to be up to no good.
I’ll let you discover the rest of the story for yourself but I wanted to tell you my thoughts now that I understand the story and the gameplay a bit more. I still love the battles, bowling over enemies and in that way being able to take out more then one. Knowing who to target first, so I can meet the requirements of the quests is nice. What I’m surprised at though is that, though the story is a good one, the rest doesn’t seem to have any function.
There’s a bulletin board at the inn that just begs to put up requests, but there aren’t any. There seems to be an entire town that’s been developed, but I cannot go there aside from going there to fight. You do see it in some cut scenes though, You can talk with the guests in the inn, but you aren’t free to roam freely without the walls of the inn. Streetpassing does make it possible to harvest special crops to make special items, but that’s about it. Somehow the game feels as if it’s missing something, maybe the scope of the game was adjusted after the bankruptcy?
Be as it may, I still enjoy the game very much. The visuals are nice if you like the anime style. Don’t expect a varied gameplay as with the Rune Factory games, there’s no harvesting, catching and taming monsters and not a lot of crafting in this game. But the battle system is very entertaining and the storyline is good!