Magician Lord


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9.5

Sound: 9.5

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

Every Neo Geo owners has at the very least heard of Magician Lord. Most probably own it. Not only is this early release welcome for the console due to it's lack of platforming games, but it's one of those undeniable classics for the system. Be prepared however, this game is absolutely brutal to even the most experienced gamers.

There's really nothing special about this game on it's surface. It's a fairly standard 2-D platformer with only an attack and jump button. Players have the ability to shoot their enemies with various items depending on their power level. Again, nothing extraordinary. The uniqueness comes from the ability to transform into one of 7 different forms, each with their own attributes. Transforming is only a matter of picking up a few power-ups. A samurai, ninja, and a lizard/dragon man thing are just a few of the forms you can assume.

Each of these characters look great in the classic Neo-Geo style. Exaggerated details are prevalent, but the outstanding use of color overshadows everything else. Just about ever color the Geo can produce is featured at some point in this game and everything blends flawlessly. Our hero is huge compared to other platformers, as are the enemies. The animation is first-rate on every level and shows why the Geo is the best platform for any 2-D game.

The soundtrack stands out in nearly every level and can't be ignored. Very few early Geo games sound THIS good and even some of the later ones can't touch this. The sound effects leave a little to be desired, but the music more than makes up for this issue. Even some CD based consoles don't stand a chance against Magician Lords music.

When you buy this game (if you haven't already), be absolutely sure you grab an extra controller, or two...This game is brutal. The challenge level is legendary industry wide and still ranks up there as one of the most difficult video games ever created. Not just hard in a good way either. This is one of those games so brutally hard, you can't help but take a point or two off of the final score because of it. 7 stages may not seem like an exasperate amount, but rest assured they'll take years to make it through all of them. I don't care how good you are, there's no way you'll beat this one in less than a month.

This is one of the most revered Geo games ever devised and it's easy to understand why. The insane amount of colors being thrown at the player has yet to be equaled an the soundtrack should be in Wal-Marts music department. It may not seem like this one is terribly original,  but it does provide enough changes to the now-standard formula that it will keep any and all platform fans engrossed. That is, IF they have the patience to take this one on. Good luck, and may the force be with you.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:27 PM