Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Maglam Lord is an interesting title brought to us by our friends at Felistella, D3Publisher, and PQube. An interesting take on the action RPG genre by adding a sort of quasi dating sim component to it. Maglam Lord is an interesting title that combines a number of interesting aspects with fun character designs and unique characters, although it does get bogged down a little in some design choices and repetitive combat. Let’s take a closer look at what Maglam Lord has to offer.
Maglam Lord puts you in the shoes of the Bladelord Killizerk, a Demonlord who has the ability to create and wield Maglams, a sort of weapon normally restricted to mortals. In a world where Gods and Demonlords are all but immortal, save for these Maglams, the Bladelord Killizerk posed a threat to the world. The Gods and Demons struck an alliance to eliminate Killizerk. After being beaten, Killizerk wakes up in a house and by their retainers grandkid, only to be told that Gods and Demons no longer exist in the world, and that they are the last of their kind. Labelled as an “endangered species”, they then need to find a way to recover their mana in order to regain their original power.
Essentially the Bladelord, whose gender you can select when starting a new game, uses too much energy to fight themselves, so they turn to their authority over blades to turn themself into a weapon, which is then wielded by a partner. When the partner defeats a monster, the Bladelord can then absorb the mana to replenish their strength. These partners are your possible romancing interests, and for your information no, it isn’t gender restricted. You can check out how much your partners like you at the “Love Dojo”, where you’ll also be going on your dates, once your affection reaches a certain benchmark and you’ve progressed far enough in the story.
The dates are pretty basic in nature, where you just select a location and the date proceeds on its own. That selection is then removed from the list of dating spots and you move on to the next. It is possible to max everybody’s affection and view their dating scenes, so no worries there. Although there is one character who is missable, so be aware of that. No seriously, I would’ve had the platinum on my first run if it weren’t for literally only this fact. Super frustrating.
When you decide to head out into the field, you’ll be sent to an area where your goal is either to collect a set number of items, kill a specific enemy, or kill a set number of a certain enemy type. The fields are separated into smaller zones, where you can spot the enemies roaming around, as well as shiny points on the ground which you can pick up for crafting materials and the occasional consumable item. Sometimes when you walk into an area, the exits will be locked until you beat a certain enemy wandering the field, but these are just standard battles, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble with them.
At certain locations in the field there are these sort of dimensional doors that will act as sort of “camps”. At these camps, you will get a full heal, as well as access to the shop and the ability to swap characters, as well as your weapon forging ability. Once you’re all set, you can head out into the field again. While in the field you can still change equipment, so don’t worry if you forgot to equip your weapons!
Weapon forging is pretty basic: collect enough of three different materials, craft weapon, and you’re done. After crafting you can put decorations on your weapons, such as decals or actual attachments, or even full cosmetic changes. These decorations aren’t just for show though, as they can increase your stats or confer skills to your weapons, such as increased damage from swords. Weapons are available in rarities from A, S, SS, LGD, and each increase in rarity reflects an increase in base stats on the weapon. You can also upgrade the rarity on a weapon with a lower base, but it will require better materials. The hardest part of making weapons is finding the right decoration when you amass a huge roster of them, although considering how bad the drop rates can be sometimes, fetching the materials can be quite a pain.
There are a few things to note about weapons though. Since all enemies have their own weapon type weaknesses, you are encouraged to bring one of each type of weapon with you. Now, the first thing you may notice is that actually equipping weapons is dumb. Basically, you have to unequip a weapon first, and then use the unequip button again on the new weapon to equip it. Kind of dumb, right? The second thing you may notice is that the element symbol and text don’t match up. Use the weapon name to determine actual element, because a thunder axe isn’t actually going to do ice damage like the flavour text states. On the note of text typos, the game can’t spell naïve, so there’s that too.
So now that you’re all prepped it’s time to go into combat. When encountering an enemy in the field, you enter a side scrolling type battle mode, where you can move left and right on a plane, jump, attack, use skills and items, and block. By landing uninterrupted hits against an enemy (blocking saves your counter), you can increase a chain combo that will multiply your money and exp after battle. Enemies have different weakness and patterns, and bosses can have some more unique moves, so it’s always a good idea to learn when to guard, especially against any pesky ranged attacks. Once you’ve won, you can earn materials for crafting, equipment, decorations, or gallery items, depending on the enemy. Don’t worry if you lose though, as you can simply just retry the fight.
Unfortunately, despite how I enjoyed the combat and exploration at the start, as the game wears on, so does your patience. If you bother to do all the optional quests, you will quickly find you keep returning to the same areas over and over again, fighting the same enemies, just as palette swaps with increased stats. Considering how bad the drop rates seem to be for select items (although that may just be me), you may find yourself spending a lot of time entering and leaving areas over and over to get the enemies to respawn so you can harvest what you need. When you add in that the quest selection screen will show you what enemies appear, and whether or not you’ve seen all their drops, spending the time to farm the equipment and decoration drops will see you extremely overpowered by the end of the game. Seriously, I think I was almost ten levels above the suggestion. Since the battles become rather trivial, Maglam Lord loses a lot of its driving interest at that point unfortunately.
With a game that has a widely likable cast of unique characters, plenty of dialogue options to choose from, ranging from humorous to cruel, Maglam Lord has a lot more in terms of character presentation, story, and dialogue. Throughout my entire first playthrough it was always interesting to see what the characters would do or how they would react to my choices. Throw in some comedic points to keep the story from getting too serious and you’ve got a really good recipe while it’s going on. During my second playthrough I chose the opposite gender, and while the responses you can choose are largely the same, there are some subtle differences between the genders, which is interesting, although probably not worth warranting another playthrough unless you’re also going for the platinum because you missed the one character.
A few miscellaneous aspects I’d like to bring to light are the music design choices, item exchange, and how the new game plus feature is handled. For the music design, while the background music is largely good, although not particularly outstanding, each character has their own battle theme when you’re using them, instead of there being a generic battle theme, which I found a nice touch. Item exchange allows you to give up some materials you’ve collected in exchange for items you usually can’t get anywhere else, or are rather rare, although there is a limit to the number of times you can make exchanges. On the subject of new game plus, I was rather disappointed in the fact that nothing carries over, and instead you just get some “bonuses” that I found absolutely no use in. It’s a little disappointing after beating the last boss and starting a “new game plus” that it’s basically the same as a normal playthrough.
Overall, Maglam Lord had a lot of potential that it just didn’t fully capitalize on. While characters and dialogue are done really well, the combat that becomes tedious contrasting against some arbitrarily powerful or annoying bosses can be frustrating. Most enemies are simply palette swaps, including bosses that are just large normal enemies, and an annoying grind for materials at times really serve to slow the game down. Maglam Lord certainly isn’t bad, but it isn’t all it could be, either.Score: 7 / 10