Rin Plays: Magicka

Somehow I managed to do it. I managed to avoid being drawn in by the amazing deals as I experienced my first Steam sale. I may have bent under Skyrim’s pressure, and Remember Me is still leaving a bitter taste in my mouth, but I now understand fully why people hide their wallets during these summer sales. In lieu of shiny big-name games at low prices, I was asked to instead fill my plate with an indie game that’s half teamwork, half memorization, and all chaos. This game? Why, none other than Magicka.

magickaWhen I first heard about this game, I was a little undecided on it. Sure, mixing magic together to make differing spells sounds really fun, but no one hides the fact that the fun is not in doing it correctly, but in fucking it up. As a perfectionist, this completely goes against my life’s motto. However, when asked to take part in a collaborative venture between three of my other friends and myself, well, how could I rightly refuse?

Just because a dude's name is Vlad and… he drinks blood… doesn't mean he's a vampire?!

Just because a dude’s name is Vlad and… he drinks blood… doesn’t mean he’s a vampire?!

Magicka takes place in the pseudo-Norse land of Midgård where the capital city has fallen under siege by an unruly band of orcs and golbins and maybe even vampires (what I am talking about, there are no vampires in this game). So taking your robe—but no wizard hat—and your trusty staff, your wizard heads off to the capital city to protect… no, who am I kidding. These wizards aren’t protecting anything. Your wizard heads off to the capital city leaving a wake of destruction behind them in search of a little respect.

It’s a really simple concept, but that by no means makes it a simple game. The controls by themselves are a little rough to get the hang of. Maybe it’s just me, but having move and attack both be on the mouse, just on different mouse buttons—move is left click, attack with magic is right click—is a little hard to get the hang of. I’m still shoving people off stages with my push spell (the spell that’s automatically queued up when no other magic is selected) because I’m too used to other games where right click and hold is changing camera positions. This is made even more embarrassing by Magicka not having any other camera angle than the 3/4ths overhead angle. I don’t know why I keep trying to change it!

Outside of that, the spells created from combining are rarely ever intuitive and impossible to know unless you’re 1) the one who picks up the scant spellbooks lying around or 2) have a guide open. I usually just stick with using revive (heal + lightning) or fire 5 because I don’t know what else to use and my spell prompt always tells me to use ‘crash to desktop’ which randomly kills one thing on screen, friendly or not. Let me tell you, I was really popular with my friends after using that a couple times. Who knew that people didn’t like dying randomly?

The only real problem I have with this game is that there are no real instances of females anywhere. I think in our time playing we’ve only run into one female NPC, who ended up dying so she was ultimately unimportant anyways. Given the setting and the presumed time period, I can understand that there are no females leading the armies and such, but it’s still a little disappointing. However, to the game makers’ credit, the playable wizard aren’t gendered, so feel free to let your mind wander and make a little backstory for them.

If you do end up picking up this game, I would wholeheartedly recommend going through the tutorial first. Rather, I would suggest playing it by yourself before asking anyone else to play with you. That way you’ll be able to get a handle on the controls rather than being forced to move on without knowing what the hell you’re doing. But, I do recommend playing this game. It’s fun and its humor keeps the game interesting.

Also friendly fire is definitely… a thing…

Also friendly fire is definitely… a thing…

If you want to see some gameplay, I’ve embedded a video of my friends and I playing below. If you think this article was an excuse to promo my LPer friend, you’re right. I’ve tricked you all, ha ha ha!

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About Tsunderin

Greetings and salutations! Feel free to just call me Rin—we’re all friends here, or nemeses who just haven’t gotten to know each other well enough. I’m a video game lover from the womb to the tomb, and Bioware enthusiast until the day they stop making games with amazing characters that I cry over. And while I don’t partake as often as I used to, don’t be surprised to find me poking around an anime or manga every once in a while either. A personal interest for me is characterization in media and how women in particular have been portrayed, are being portrayed, and will be portrayed in the future. I’m not going to mince words about my opinion either.