Video games, we pretty much all love them in one form or another. Those high-tech graphics, live action, special effects etc just can’t be beat. There was a time when there was none of that, side scrolling games were the big thing where you just went and hacked your way through enemy after enemy just to do it all over again on the next level. We used to do this for hours and hours at a time, at least I used to, but I’m old. Games didn’t have all the fancy special effect or the need of a $1000 graphics card to play on high settings and resolutions and we didn’t care about frame rates, yeah there was a time…. Anyway, today for review I have something that brought back a lot of fond memories for me and I’m sure it will for a lot of you out there, it is called Rage of Magic II. It is like a combination of many of the great things of games of the past like Phantasy Star combined with Golden Axe or even Contra. You want a ‘blast from the past’, well read on my friends…
Rage of Magic II
Reviewed by: Kristofer Brozio AkA Dracos
Official Site: Rage of Magic II
Tech Specs,Features or the Basic Info:
Rage of Magic II is the continuation of Majinwar, an epic fantasy fighting adventure featuring devastating combos, huge super attacks and exciting new power-ups! It’s available for Windows NT/2K/XP, Mac OS X and Linux
Azrael Drow Fighter
Wren Human Paladin
Lucette Halfling Fighter
100 two player arena levels full of bosses.
35 arcade mode levels with intriguing story line.
Compete with the world with online hiscores.
Full and half screen super attacks!
Bonus pickup rage, protection, refractor, ressurection and more.
Hire your own allies and bonuses for the arena.
Auto blocking and block advancing.
Counter attacks and super counter attacks.
Resistant attacks, combo attacks and super combo attacks.
Extra modes and features like fight shows and the gallery.
Two player joystick support (Windows only).
Full screen action-packed adventure!
Big and mean boss characters, with one final boss!
All bonuses can "pile-on" each other to enhance their effect. For example, having rage will cause your actions to be faster and make you resistent to small attacks. It will make your magic red. If you add refraction it will refract your red magic. With fairies they will also expel red magic and refract when they touch your enemies.
When you hit enemies within one second, without yourself being hit, it will count in the combo counter. The more hits you make in one second without being hit yourself the greater the points you get. You also get a bonus. Some combo hits are very large and can only be achieved by using a super attack or having a refractor bonus or both with many enemies on the screen.
Players and certain enemies have a "last-ditch" bonus. This is an automatic bonus granted when their health is at 10%. When this bonus is granted they are immune to attacks until they get back up. For example, Azrael will get one super point and rage when he is near death.
Super and Magic Color Bonus:
On the player’s status bar there are three purple points. Each one is a super that rises when either the player gets hit, or the player attacks an enemy. Supers are performed by pressed button 4 or pressing buttons 1, 2 and 3 together. Each point of super gives the player more ability to damage, move (walk & run) faster and change the color of their magic. If you have fairies they will also do more damage and their orbit will increase. Sometimes it’s useful to NOT use the supers until there are more enemies because the character is already powerful!
Installation, Testing and Gameplay:
Installation is easy just download and run the installer, very easy.
One thing to note is that you can play this game online without actually having it on your computer, if you just wish to try it out on Game Brew or on the Rage of Magic site.You can download it as well and try the demo which is of course limited to 60 minutes of play.
If you decided that you like the demo and wish to purchase the full game you can just get a code and enter it to have the full version unlocked.
After entering your code or trying the demo, you are greeted with a sort of cinematic about the game.
Then of course the title screen pops up.
The game uses no mouse, and it tells you so!
Finally we come to the actual menu, here we can pick from various games modes and access other options.
Accessing the configuration screen th first sub menu is where you can choose music on/off, sounds on/off, full screen on/off and full screen mode.
I was very curious when I saw the ‘expert Options’ so I had to hit that first. That led me to another sub menu for more graphics options, button mapping, joystick detection and a place to enter a secret code to unlock secrets of the game. I would highly suggest using a joystick, specifically gamepad for playing Rage of Magic II, it makes life much easier.
Clicking on ‘Graphic Detail’, we find quite a few options to choose from, like blood on/off and others as well, click the pick to see the menu.
Jumping back to the main menu and clicking the Extra modes button opens up a sub menu with game choices, there is a tutorial, practice mode and player versus. You can also see fight shows, the image gallery and view the credits of the game.
Let’s get into the game here, clicking Arcade Mode from the main menu of course opens yet another sub menu which allows you to start the game, and see high scores.
Starting the game we get to read a bit, quite a bit actually about the premise of Rage of Magic II.
And the game starts with the characters in an argument in the castle, the graphics are very old school, reminds me a my Sega Genesis days, or even the original Playstation.
I had to take a screen shot of this, the Princess telling him she’s going to punch him in the head…
After quite a bit of chatter we move on to another section and we have more chatter between the characters. You meet your first player character Wren here.
Finishing a level you are greeted with a scoring screen where you can learn how you did.
The next level you get to meet your next character, Azrael, there is a cinematic with lots of dialog between each level.
This is a side scrolling game, with enemies that come out of both sides of the screen. You can use different types of magic for each character and there are combo moves as well. Blocking is done by basically doing nothing, the character automatically blocks.
There is of course your life bar and magic bar at the top of the screen.
When you are fighting an enemy there life bar also appears on the left side of the screen to let you know how much more you have to beat them, and there is a little life bar above the characters heads as well.
There are many stages to Rage of Magic II, and I have to say it is a hard game, it seems you die very quickly and easily. You can restart the level after you die.
Game play is reminiscent of the side scrolliing games of Sega, Nintendo and the others. It can get very frustrating at time though as you can be getting hit from different side and not be able to do anything about it, you just get beat down until you fall down, then you can get back into the fight. You can only block for so long before you get hit. To really enjoy Rage of Magic II I highly recommend a gamepad, it makes life a lot easier.
One thing to note is that the game is made to be played in a resolution of 512×384, you can choose the scale to fit option, but doing so makes it very pixelated and it really looks like something on the NES.
You won’t find any live action cut scenes here with voice overs and such, just bubble texts to read about what is going on. It can be played on almost any computer system configuration, no need for a high end GFX card here…
Oh and make sure you visit the Rage of Magic II website, there is lots more information there and you can play the online Java version there as well.
Rage of Magic II brought back fond memories of various games like Phantasy Star, Star Ocean, Golden Axe and even Contra or Ninja Gaiden. If you are looking for a ‘blast from the past’ to pass the time while waiting for that next big FPS or MMORPG game then you might want to give Rage of Magic II a try.
It is fun actually, but it can be tedious just like the older games, but we still played them didn’t we? There was a time when these games were all the rage, if you’re new to these types of games then you might want to pick it up to see what it was like playing ‘old school’ style when NES and Sega were the top systems. Rage of Magic II is something to play when you want to get away from those hi-tech games and re-live a simpler time, and that’s what makes it special and worth getting.
DragonSteelMods gives Rage of Magic II a 4 out of 5 score.
-Brings back memories
-Playable on almost any system configuration
-Low max resolution
-Can be tedious and a bit hard at times
-Lots of reading