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Maglam Lord Combines ARPGs And...Romance Novels?

Courtesy of PQube

Maglam Lord

Developer: Felistella
Publisher: PQube, D3 Publisher
Release Date: February 4, 2022
Available as: Digital and Physical

You Are The Last Demon Lord To Live After An Indefinite Slumber

Maglam Lord is an interesting title released during the beginning of 2022, a time frame ripe for several major IPs within the next few weeks. Of these, Maglam Lord was one that I hadn't heard of before today. It's a breath of fresh air to play a rather unknown title in a sea of major IPs, especially when the "unknown IP" is refreshingly good. While Maglam Lord is a new IP, the developers and publishers at play are familiar to many fans of video games.

Felistella is the developer responsible for the Hyperdimension Neptunia PS Vita remakes, which recently got a remake on the PS5, but they also developed a lesser-known series, Summon Night. The Summon Night series is a tactical RPG series with visual novel elements. Unfortunately, the game never saw its way stateside until the fifth game in the series, released on the PSP of all platforms in 2015. What makes this even more amusing is that the game was released a year before the last released title on the PSP.

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Maglam Lord - PlayStation 5 Direct Capture

Maglam Lord Is A Demon Lord In Love?

Fortunately, Maglam Lord takes a similar path in that it's parts RPG and visual novel, much like Summon Night. Players take control of the demon lord Killiserk, known for their special ability as the "Bladelord." As the "Bladelord," they are able to craft weapons known as "Maglams." Maglams are weapons with the power to slay gods and demons alike, which is a big no-no for two races in the middle of a peaceful agreement. The maglams are only meant to be used by humans, but because a demon has this forbidden power, Killiserk has a target on their back.

Succumbing to their wounds, they fall into several thousands of years of sleep, saved by two of their allies. Unfortunately, being so far in the future, Killiserk is the last demon lord of their kind, thus being labeled as "Endangered Species." While they come to terms with their new life, they come to the realization that they need to find a suitor to continue the bloodline, hence the "romance" aspect. With several potential "suitors," Killiserk must not only survive but also find love.

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Decisions Matter In Both Affection And Personal Appearance

Being that Maglam Lord is a part visual novel and half of the plot's intention is to "find love," dialogue plays a major role in deciding the tone of the plot. During the first impression gameplay, I hadn't got to a point where I made a decision that would raise affections, I was able to dip into another feature involving dialogue. Killiserk can define their personality in casual conversation as much as they could in romance. Occasionally, Killiserk can offer one of three tiers of replies, Demonic, Cool, and Funny.

The "Cool" replies are those that keep the demon lord's composure while the "Funny" replies are the whimsical aloof replies. The "Demonic" replies are the "no-nonsense sociopathic" replies, yet regardless of the reply, Killiserk has a personality that's rooted. Depending on the gender of Killiserk, their replies are different, making the incentive to play as both Killiserks a greater one. How's that for replayability?

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The Action May Need Some Lowered Expectations

Understandably, the visual novel aspect is Maglam Lord's major draw with a splash of Action RPG elements. There is some light crafting mechanics, building on Killiserk's reputation as a "Bladelord." The player has access to three types of weapons, swords, axes, and spears. Enemies are weak against either one of the weapons. The material used to craft the weapons is earned by defeating enemies. Unfortunately, this is where I feel it's Maglam Lord's weak point. While it's too early for me to state how I feel as I've only had one fight in the prologue, the fights are a tad bit archaic.

In the open field, the classic "attack enemies to get a preemptive strike in combat" rule is in place, with actual combat making things a turn for the weird. It's half platforming, in the sense that you can jump to extraordinary levels, but it's also very resembling of a Tales title. Generally, it's "mash square to win," but it reminds me of older Korean 2D online action RPGs, more specifically Elsword and Grand Chase. It's gameplay that has the potential to have a high skill ceiling after playing for a few hours, but from the first fight, it was jarring.


Maglam Lord Is A Refreshing Title In A Sea Of AAA Titles

With many titles including Sifu, Elden Ring, and many others on the horizon, Maglam Lord is a breath of fresh air. It's always a treat to explore games that are under the radar to end up amazing if not unique. While the visual novel elements aren't as in-depth as Cupid Parasite, a game that I am currently dissecting, it helps give the protagonist a personality. The protagonist has voiced lines and the side characters have their distinct personalities.

Ultimately I felt as if Maglam Lord was cut from the same cloth as Disgaea, featuring quirky demon characters in an exaggerated predicament with its humor carrying the plot. Later, we'll cover Maglam Lord in greater detail and come back to many of the details I've touched. Perhaps the mechanics I dislike are those I can appreciate in a deeper playthrough. Regardless, its first impressions are enough to pique my interest.

Maglam Lord is available on the PS4 and Switch.

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