Ha ha thisaway, ha ha thataway, ha ha thisaway, my oh f*cking my!
Tonight, on the recommendation of pretty much the gaming public in general, I finally stumped out the £7.99 for Magicka, the element-combing isometric wizarding game that’s got everyone wetting themselves with glee.
And it’s pretty darn enjoyable for the most part. Your right hand controls the mouse and where your character moves. This is not unusual for this kind of game. It is what your left hand is doing that is most important, however, for your left hand controls the elements of life and death themselves. There are what, 8 elements in the game to play with? Water, Life, Shield, Ice, Lightning, Arcane, Earth and Fire, and each is bound to a key so that you can mix and match them to create spells. Each spell has a type, be it beam, spray or whatever, and certain elements obviously cannot be combined — you can’t mix fire and water, lightning and earth, etc etc.
So the game boils down (as far as I’ve played) to you running around blasting things to bits in a wide variety of ways. Which is great fun. It’s tight, it’s inventive, but…
Yeah, there’s a but. I really get the impression that Magicka is designed very much with cooperative play in mind. I’ve got to a place that, try as I might, I simply couldn’t defeat the waves of enemies chasing me. Some of them leap high and pounce down on me, and I can’t hit them, while others of their mates charge and punt me halfway across the screen and leave me either flying off a cliff or, in one instance, falling down a well.
There are just so many of them, and they bounce you all over the place, that I really don’t know what I am supposed to do to stay ahead of them. I have the Haste spell to run faster, but I dunno… there must be something I’m missing. I’m pretty sure I was getting towards the end of the Chapter, so I kept on trying and trying this one bit, but eventually I had to just say f*ck it and quit otherwise I was going to smash my keyboard or something.
I’ve spoken before about Super Meat Boy and its frustration, and how — despite said frustration — it never actually feels unfair. Magicka isn’t like that. The bit I’m talking about just feels plain unfair — possibly because there’s something obfuscated that I am overlooking, some combination of elements that can give me better breathing room and stop the constant knockdowns which interrupt spellcasting, or whatever.
I’m not regretting the purchase, but I very much think I need a friend to complete this level with, and I have no idea if drop-in/out cooperative play is enabled.
I very much doubt the game will restart me at the checkpoint the next time I log in so I suspect its all the way back to the start of the chapter for me… /sigh