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Magicians & Looters – When Metroidvania Goes Wrong

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Slightly unresponsive controls meshed with old-school-style cheap boss fights keep Magicians & Looters from reaching its true potential.

Magicians & Looters is Morgopolis Studios’ take on the classic Metroidvania model.¬†Let me preface the details of this review by saying that the original Metroid is my favorite game of all time. That should give you a decent idea of how excited I was to jump into this game.

As with most Metroidvania derivatives, you have platforming, exploration, a form of leveling and the incentive to search out secret areas to find the best armor, weapons and accessories. To distinguish this game from its predecessors, Morgopolis also gives you a funny, satirical story and a cast of three playable characters all with unique abilities you’ll need to explore the world and complete the game. On top of that, this game hosts what I consider to be an excellent soundtrack.

On the surface, it would seem that Magicians & Looters is an easy choice if you are a fan of this style of game. Unfortunately, the controls and platforming are floaty and slightly less responsive than they should be. This wouldn’t be too bad if the game didn’t devolve into requiring expert pattern memorization and timing to overcome the increasingly cheap boss fights.

If you are ok with that old school, throw everything and the kitchen sink at you during bossfights approach, then you shouldn’t be too disappointed. But I have a family and a gang of other responsibilities, so I don’t really want to spend Saturday having to replay a boss battle 20 times just to win it. In the game’s slight defense, my skills have definitely waned as I’ve gotten older. Also it’s very liberal with save points. It’s not like the original Ninja Gaiden on NES that would push you back 3 levels for getting a game over during the final battle.

Whether you should invest the dollar it costs to play Magicians & Looters really depends on how difficult (or cheap) you want your Metroidvanias to be. It was an excellent concept that falls short due to it’s technical limitations. But for a buck, you can’t be too hard on it.


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