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We have collected 8 reviews of the Lord of Arcana. Experts rate Lord of Arcana 4.3/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Lord of Arcana and PSP games.
So, let me ask you, dear GR reader, a question: Do you like pointless grindfests? Can you appreciate exploring the same dungeon multiple times - by force, not by choice - to collect roses and fight multiple incarnations of the same monster over and over again? Usually early on in a review, I talk about the story or the characters, but both seem to be absent here. I suppose the whole point is that you are the chosen one and you are responsible for taking back control of the arcana, but there isn't anything more than that. Fight, defeat guardians, repeat... that's all there is to it. I could really be quoting from Nick's preview for the game, as everything was covered there thoroughly enough. But just to be more specific, the whole game is based around quests. Pick up a quest, take down the bounty, and beef up your equipment to take down the next quest. And every quest has a timer... typically a half-hour is given, but I have yet to find it necessary to take that long. I've only played a short amount of Monster Hunter, so I don't know how this compares in the long run, but as a quest-based "adventure" the game feels bland and too straightforward. There isn't much diversity in the missions, mostly just "collect this" and "kill that".
Taking on quests, killing monsters, and slowly advancing from a relative weakling into the greatest warrior the realm has ever seen. It's the stuff of legends passed down from generation to generation, and when it's done right, it's the stuff of thrilling video games, too. But alas, though a journey from zero to hero is at the heart of Lord of Arcana, the thrills are absent. Instead, the road to becoming a well-equipped, powerful fighting machine in Lord of Arcana is paved with frustration and tedium. After you create your character by selecting from a modest assortment of faces, hairstyles, and the like, Lord of Arcana begins by giving you a small taste of life as a powerful warrior. Fighting your way through a dungeon, you cut through goblins with relative ease and summon the devastating magic of the massive beast Bahamut to aid you. This trek culminates in a battle against a "Dragon of Murderous Rampage." But no sooner do you earn victory over this monster than you find yourself in a temple, stripped down to level one, without any of the powerful gear or magic you were just wielding. You have sacrificed all your strength and your memories to be transported here, to the seaside village of Porto Carillo, to test your fate and prove yourself to be the worthy successor to the ancient king of the land of Horodyn.
Lord of Arcana is Square Enix’s attempt at breaking into the multiplayer action-RPG genre dominated by Capcom’s Monster Hunter franchise. The title was developed by Access Games, whose previous games are mostly dominated by flight combat simulators. Take what you will from that. The immediate concern with a game that takes its inspiration from Monster Hunter and Phantasy Star is whether or not the core gameplay will be any fun. The aforementioned franchises have a tendency to be stale, with repetitive combat forced upon the player ad nauseum. Likewise, the player will slowly grudge through the same cookie-cutter dungeons and areas until their eyes bleed, killing countless copies of the same few enemies. Surely Square Enix was aware of these pitfalls, and put their decades of award-winning, genre-defining publisher and developer experience—as well as their deep, deep pockets—into ensuring that Lord of Arcana was everything that Monster Hunter and Phantasy Star are not, right? Of course, the answer is “no.” Lord of Arcana doesn’t so much take inspiration from these games as it does copy them outright.
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Although the action in this PSP exclusive occasionally excites with brief flashes of dynamic combat, everything else is so narrowly focused that only hardcore RPG fans will want to invest their time. Although it's not meant to be much more than a clone of a better game, Lord of Arcana is "Monster Hunter done wrong." By their nature, Japanese RPGs are slow-paced, requiring lots of level grinding, items hoarding, and frequent backtracking through familiar territory. Monster Hunter -- or at the very least, the portable Freedom releases -- does this right by continually giving the player new items to incorporate into their gear, as well as generous amounts of loot, easily scavenged monster parts, and a variety of useful weapons. Lord of Arcana has none of these, and with pacing that stretches an already thin experience into a series of uncomfortably long hit-and-run battles, the fun wears out fast. Lord of Arcana puts you in the shoes of an amnesiac warrior from the land of Horodyn, a world that is home to an ancient power known as "Arcana". After a brief demo session that shows you how fun the game is when you're fully powered, you start your quest stripped of everything but a basic weapon and your underwear.
With Lord of Arcana, Square Enix is attempting to loosen the iron grip Capcom has over the handheld role-playing market. The scaly, claw-tipped fingers of Monster Hunter are wrapped so tightly around the genre, however, that it seems improbable that any other game could ever stand a chance. Capcom's multi-million selling RPG allows players to team up and slay behemothic beasts for loot and fame, and Lord of Arcana is largely the same. You have a hub world – a seaside village, like in Monster Hunter Tri – peppered with NPCs, shops and guild services. You take on quests, earn experience and pilfer loot from the corpses of your slain opponents. You then use this loot to create more powerful weapons and armour, proceeding to take on more and more powerful enemies. For those who invest the time, it's an addictive cycle.It's not exactly the same, of course. Artistically speaking, Lord of Arcana is quite different - better, if I'm being totally subjective and biased about it. The character designs are distinctly Final Fantasy, with a range of attractive and incredibly cool looking characters available by mixing and matching parts in the customisation screens preceding the game.
For an explanation of the Lord of Arcana universe, and an overview of the characters and basic mechanics, check out our recent first look at the game here. While last time we saw the title we were given a brief hands-off demonstration of single-player content, this time around we were given the chance to pick up the handheld and swing the sword in Lord of Arcana's expansive multiplayer mode. Solo play sees you taking control of a single character, but in multiplayer your role becomes that of a cog in a larger four-person team machine. There's no online play supported in the title, and Square Enix reps at our play session said that this was because they want to foster an offline community where players meet and do battle, which removes the need for in-game voice chat. Since the game is so heavily bound in strategy and the ability to adapt as situations change, bosses are attempted, and loot rewarded is core to the experience. Your weapon of choice will play a marked role in the way you approach combat. One-handed swordsmen are able to wield a shield, while two-handed swords deal additional damage but rely on adept dodging rather than blocking with a board.
It's difficult not to compare Capcom's hit franchise Monster Hunter to Lord of Arcana, given that it is about hunting…monsters. The gameplay of harvesting monster parts and engaging in giant boss battles seems to have found a good home on the PlayStation Portable. Recently released in Japan, Lord of Arcana is described as a brutal action-based role-playing game. It is broken up into objective-based missions where you can play through the single-player campaign or team up with up to three of your friends ad hoc and slaughter mythical creatures. Square Enix came by to show us the tutorial level and gave us an idea of how the gameplay mechanics would work. The area we saw was meant to get us right into the action and used to the controls, so we have yet to see how the rest of it would play out. In the world of Horodyn, which was named after its first ruler, there are magical stones that hold the power to bring peace to the land. You play as an adventurer with amnesia that comes from the same land as the first king. Your goal is to find these stones with hopes of getting your memories back (and become king as a side bonus).
One of the secret rules of thumb for Tokyo Game Show 2010 is that if you publish PSP games, you'd better have yourself a Monster Hunter clone on display. Even Square Enix -- normally a trendsetter in the RPG space -- obeys this mandate with its upcoming Monster Hunter wannabe, Lord of Arcana. A brief hands-on play test of Arcana proved what seemed fairly evident from passive observation: This is a game that treads familiar territory. The TGS demo begins with a character customization screen, sets you up with your choice of weapon, and sends you into a dungeon for a brief whirlwind of exploration and combat. Like its inspiration, Arcana feels deliberately slow and leaden. Every weapon choice is a massive greatsword or powerful hammer, and the hero's animations have a lot of wind-up time before a blow is delivered. Still, Square couldn't resist adding a few embellishments to speed up the pace: Between fights, you can hold down the R-trigger to dash from place to place, and your character can deliver contextual finishing blows against an enemy to make things look more interesting. The biggest difference between Arcana and Capcom's monstrous hit series, however, is the fact that Square Enix drifts a little more into RPG territory. Defeating an enemy nets you experience for level-ups.
|Lord of Arcana||$16.37||See it|
|Lord of Arcana - PlayStation Portable||$17.99||See it|
|Lord of Arcana PSP||$24.97||See it|
|Lord of Arcana Slayer Edition (PSP) [UK IMPORT]||$52.98||See it|
|Lord of Arcana [Japan Import]||$69.99||See it|
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