A beautiful fantasy
Want to be transported into a realm of magic and adventure? Danger and deadly escapades abound in LORD of ARCANA on PSP, where you must guide a mysterious warrior's destiny through many quests. The only way to do this is by joining an honoured band of warriors called Slayers and battling against powerful creatures to obtain the power of Arcana.
Square Enix brings the magical world of Horodyn to life with some impressive visuals that shine on the PSP system's sharp screen. Characters are detailed and well animated in all their activities, whether they're fighting, chatting or exploring. The surroundings are equally striking as you venture through beautiful waterfalls, rocky caverns, grand halls and more.
It's the little details which steal the show, adding subtle yet memorable visual elements to enhance your gameplay experience. Blood splatters on the screen as battle blows connect, lending a powerful sense of danger to each conflict, while the in-game camera dramatically changes angle when an enemy is close to defeat. Similarly, your hero or heroine will look tired and weary if they've taken too many hits, alerting you to their condition.
Complete with a creatively artistic in-game monster encyclopaedia, LORD of ARCANA is a lively and entertaining package that ushers you into its fantasy world with an eye-catching flourish.
When taking a trip into the dangerous world of Horodyn, there are many things to consider - and role-playing game LORD of ARCANA wants you to explore them all. You start by creating your own character from a selection of options such as gender, voice and weapon. While the aesthetic details won't affect your gameplay, your choice of weapon does. Do you choose the swift and equally balanced one-handed sword or the heavier and more destructive mace, for example? Each of the five weapons has its own special attack to consider as well.
Once you've made your selection and played through a brief introduction to learn the basics of battle, you step into the shoes of your creation. A small village full of citizens offering helpful advice and information eases you into the gameplay. It's from this village you can buy equipment, enhance your weapons and armour, and begin quests.
Combat is action based, transporting you to a separate and enclosed arena when you come across a roaming enemy. There you can actively approach and circle your foes, blasting them with brutal combos, spectacular magic spells and special Battle Art attacks. Not that they'll stand still to take all this punishment, as they fight back, surround and otherwise attempt to defeat you.
It takes a steady and tactical approach to succeed in LORD of ARCANA. Blocking and evading is the key to succeeding the lengthy and frantic battles, with your movement in the arena as equally important as your assaults. Building your character's level and abilities is rewarding as you gain more special skills and items - essential as you come up against massive, screen-filling monsters which can only be weakened after strikes on various parts of their body. The battle is on - can you survive the monstrous hordes?
The quest to defeat an underworld of vast and powerful creatures is a dangerous one. Thankfully, LORD of ARCANA gives you the option to get a little help from your friends. Using Ad Hoc Mode you can team up wirelessly with three other players and head out to battle monsters with someone watching your back.
Going on a journey with others, each of you sporting a unique character, adds a new dimension to the action-packed gameplay. Fighting alongside someone through a perilous mission is rewarding as you use teamwork and strategy to survive. While you can separate from your fellow adventurers, be warned - should one of you die, everyone fails the mission. So it pays to stick together and work as a unit, truly triumphing as a group when attacked by enemies.
With weapons, magic and friends at your side, how can you fail in your quest to obtain the power of Arcana?