Magic Knight Rayearth impressions

Intro / History

for those who don't know, Magic Knight Rayearth is an action rpg based off the popular anime series by Clamp. early in the year 1998, the saturn unleased its last batch of games: Panzer Dragoon Saga, Burning Rangers, Shining Force III, and House of the Dead.. i was working at Toys R us at the time, we got only 4 copies of each game, and after that we never got anymore saturn games at all. The saturn had died..

but towards the end of the year, after Xenosaga and Metal Gear Solid came out for the playstation, speciality gaming store like Electronic Boutique and Funcoland (at the time) received very few copies of Magic Knight Rayearth as a new release, after the saturn's death. i think i remember a few people talking about some game that came out for the saturn at EB, but Toys R us never got a copy for me to take a look at.

skip ahead 6 years to last christmas break. i found a pretty good deal on ebay for Magic Knight Rayearth, so i picked it up. Then I learned that my saturn was missing it's a/v cable, and i also lost all my saturn controllers as well.. so over the course of the previous semester i had been putting it back together, so to speak. i got a saturn controller from eau claire during no brand con, and then a found a saturn a/v cable online when surfing around.

with my saturn complete, i arrived home last week, and started to play.

Impressions...

like most Working Designs game, it's chalk full of voice acting, and anime cutscenes. It took about an hour into the game, until i was actually able to walk around and do some fighting. overall, the game is quite dissapointing.. i suppose that's why i never really heard anything about it after it first came out.

The game plays just like the old 16-bit Zelda. You have your overhead view of your characters, and then you slash at enemies to kill them. You have 3 characters that you can switch back and forth to and from at will.

There's Hikaru whose magic element is fire. even though she's kind of the leader, i think she's the weakest one of them all. her slash is generally the same as Link's slash. very close range, i usually get hit by whomever i'm trying to kill before i land an attack.

Next, there's Umi whose magic element its water/ice. She's the smart one of the group, and her attacks are more useful than hikarus. She also has a sword, but she's a fencer so she attacks forward with more range, plus she takes off more damage than hikaru.

Finally, there's Fuu. She's the calm collective bitch of the group. Her element is Wind and Healing. Her weapon is a bow and arrow, so she's best with range attacks, although they are quite weak. Her powered up shot, sends 3 homing arrows off to kill enemies. She's the most useful of the group.

After playing this game a little more and a little more, i realize just how bad it is.. I think A Link to the Past had better, more realistic sounding sound-effects than this game. Plus, when there are more than 15 or 16 sprites on the screen at once, the saturn lags. thats terrible. especially when there's a version of this game on the super nintendo that probably runs seemless.

plus i get so bored, running around doing meanille tasks, that i just can't play it for hours on end. i usually switch to tv, or go outside for a little while before coming back to it.

Overall

So.. Overall, Magic Knight Rayearth isn't all that great. I have no idea why it is so rare, but i'm glad i didn't pay the $120 most people ask for it online. if you are a die hand Magic Knight or CLAMP fan that most see everything there is, then i suggest you rent it.. (and by rent it, i mean check out the snes rom)

Next...

i may have my saturn working, but it still doesn't save games. once i fix the memory problem, i'll start playing Panzer Dragoon Saga again, unless i get suckered into buying/playing Eternal Mana or Stella Dues.




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