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Game Profile
Game Boy
Interactive Imagination
Interactive Imagination
March 30, 2001
 Written by Kevin Stapf  on May 31, 2001

Review: A little known GBC game, that gives a big impression.

The RPG genre on the Game Boy, while it had a very large cult following, never really caught on and hit it big in the mainstream of the video game industry until a small game came out by the name of Pokemon. This game, while not as revolutionary as people think, broke all boundaries and sales records. It helped the portable RPG genre gain great respect in the industry and, just as all great games do, inspired many companies to develop their own Pokemon rip-offs. Most of these games have been pushed aside as weak imitations and now Interactive Imagination brings us their version of what has become the Pokemon genre in the form of a game called Magi Nation.

Magi Nation, inspired by the new card game of the same name, combines ideas from Pokemon and Zelda together in the same game and somehow is able to make this odd combination work very well. While it sounds like a clone from both games, it brings many new elements into play including a very unique fighting system. You control all of your animals and their attacks through a limited amount of energy you have. Each attack takes away energy and even if one of your creatures ?dies? you are able to bring them back if you have enough energy. Throughout your journey you are forced to solve many various puzzles and mazes, as well as fight the many expected battles along the way.

The graphics in this game are quite good. Every character and creature is very well detailed and the game splashes with vibrant color. Each character is brilliantly animated (well, at least as brilliant as a GBC game can be) and the action is shown from the standard top down perspective. The game moves from such locales as caves, towns, and even volcanoes. The 6 main realms for your character, Tony Jones, to travel also provide great variety in the areas for you to explore.

This game is one of the rare Game Boy games that actually contains its own original music score for the theme song and this alone is worthy of awarding the sound category with high marks, yet the rest of the game continue with the great music. The music is refreshingly new compared to the usual things you hear in games and the effects are very clear and distinct. The sound in this game was very well done and it seems the developers took great time in designing the music for this game, whereas in other games the music is nothing more than an afterthought.

Magi Nation comes equipped with a very complex story that will have you thinking about every decision you are forced to make, which is a good thing seeing as how each decision drastically affects the fate of your character. With close to 80 creatures waiting to be captured, 46 items for you to find, 26 relics to enhance your abilities, as well as the many various endings this is the type of game that will make you reach for your Game Boy a little more than usual. It shows great signs of hard work from a little known American developer and shows that us Americans are able to produce a few good RPGs ourselves.

Bottom Line
Now, as for all you people that claim that every new RPG that comes out is just a copy of Pokemon, Pokemon was nothing more than a rip-off of the popular Dragon Warrior franchise, but maybe that conversation is better suited for a topic on the forums. Regardless of that fact, Magi Nation makes an excellent RPG for those role-playing enthusiasts still going out to buy Game Boy Color games.

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