By Spencer . June 15, 2009 . 10:06am
Leadership meters? Trinity Rings? Forget all about those! Magnacarta 2‘s battle system isn’t anything like Magna Carta: Tears of Blood.
I started Magnacarta 2 in an open field. Right away, I noticed Juto was running slowly. That’s because there are two movement modes. In battle ready mode everyone’s weapons are drawn, but the party crawls across the screen. In run mode you move faster, but have to stop and unsheathe your weapons when ambushed by wolves.
All enemies in Magnacarta 2 are visible. Monsters do their own thing until they spot and chase you. There aren’t any battle transitions when a fight begins either. Everything takes place in the current environment, a grassy plain in the demo. Players can pull wolves by getting in their line of sight or striking first.
Every hit consumes a bit of stamina. When the stamina meter is full the attacking character goes into overdrive mode and is momentarily frozen. I switched to another character with the D-pad when Juto was drained. After a horizontal screen wipe I was in control of Zephie while Juto was dazed. Each character has their own stamina meter so you can rotate characters and keep attacking. Actually, you’re encouraged to do so.
Magnacarta 2 introduces the chain attack system. When one character is in overdrive and you switch characters, a chain starts and the second attacker gets a 50% attack boost. The damage bonus carries until the second character goes into overdrive and needs to take a break.
Now, lets add special attacks to the mix. Before Juto (character number one) runs out of juice he can launch a special attack and take advantage of the 50% damage boost. While he’s recovering you can switch to Zephie, wail on monsters until she’s close to overdrive status, and finish with a special attack that does double damage. (50% damage boost x 2) Complete this and you get another bonus, a chain break that refills both characters stamina meters immediately. Chain breaks are key during long fights since you can attack relentlessly. However, if an enemy dies early or you miss a special move you end up with two frozen characters.
High risk, high reward. That’s how combat in Magnacarta 2 rolls.