Friday, May 28, 2010

Retro Game of the Day! Magic Sword

Retro Game of the Day! Magic Sword

Magic Sword by Capcom, arcade release in 1990 (and later ported to the SNES, rather unceremoniously).

Here's a game I should have been pretty ga-ga about, back when it was released. Seems it didn't permeate too many arcades, though we had one at ours. I guess it must have showed up during quite a busy time because I never gave it much of a look, and probably for a reason.

A very pretty game, as Capcom was usually quite capable of delivering, Magic Sword is another straightforward "walk to the right and hack guys into bits" game of a style which was already disappearing upon its release. Perhaps that's why it failed to impress, though the game did have its' fans. Still, any game with a brutal theme and medieval fantasy that lets you chop away with a buddy isn't all bad, even if it is sort of flat. Magic Sword may sound rather bland, but that doesn't mean it's not still fun!

Perhaps this arrived too late into the post-Final Fight world (and for that, Capcom can only really blame themselves), though the style and theme certainly harkened back to more loved Capcom classics like the lesser-known Black Tiger, and maybe a little less directly to the Ghosts 'n Goblins series.

As for the SNES port, not bad, but removing player 2 is never a good thing in a game like this (especially when the play is so flat). I wouldn't say it wasn't still worthwhile, as it's a wonderfully presented package, but you really got spoiled when they had a 2-Player source and then strip out P2 in a 16-Bit conversion. Come on guys! I'll put up with a little flicker and slowdown if I can slice and dice with my buddy by my side! This could have been such an amazing medieval Contra, think about it.

At the end of the day, Magic Sword is an interesting footnote in Capcom's history for several reasons. Now I am all riled by what I wrote just above (medieval Contra could be so awesome) but I guess we can only wait for someone else to pick up that one. Hey, who knows! Maybe Magic Sword is going into my Secret Book of Secret Plans...

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