MAGLAM LORD Review

Nintendo Switch review code provided by PQube.

Ever since this game was announced in Japan I had an inexplicable interest in it. Then it was announced all characters could be romanced by both sexes I hoped it would get localized. Lo and behold PQube did just that. Question is whether it was worth playing beyond the Yuri and BL. Let us find out as we take a look at MAGLAM LORD. Developed by D3 Publisher and Felistella. Published by PQube (Consoles) and D3 Publisher (Steam).

MAGLAM LORD Cover

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC (Steam).

Genres: Action, Fantasy, Harem (Up to the player) JRPG, LGBT, Yaoi/BL, Yuri.

Length: 15-20+ hours

Difficulty: Easy-Medium

G-Rating: Okay

Plot Summary: Gods and demons are at war for ages until the God of Light branded the Demon Lord Killizerk as a Hazardes, threat to all beings. The Light God led an unholy alliance between both sides in an all-out attack on Killizerk. Suddenly a flash of light. Killizerk was awakened by their loyal butler (what remained of him) and his grandkid Satyus. Not knowing where to go they were all found by Mamie who served as Overseer of “The Administration”, protectors of the peace in the land of Alcadio. Killizerk had been dormant for years and awoke to a world where the gods and demons had all vanished. Mamie labeled the demons as endangered species under the protection of the Administration so long as they took on errands given by them and the citizens.

MAGLAM LORD male and female KillizerkMale and Female Killizerk. Fully voiced and while mostly addressed with “They” pronouns there are scenes acknowledging the chosen gender.

The story can gave some Disgaea vibes with the main protagonist being a demon lord that could be mean but was not truly evil and features a cast of heroes and misfits. That and it could easily be adapted into a 24-26 episode anime. Killizerk meets and befriends peeps, both the easy and hard way, as they fight to defend the peace, willingly or not, and learn more about Alcadio. Expect a story with laughs, serious moments and fun turns. While not complex it is an enjoyable tale worth experiencing. The story is one of the main draws of the game.

For a better idea of what to expect in case some players are familiar with the following quote:

Brought to you by D3PUBLISHER, developer FELISTELLA, and writer Kei Miyakozuki of ‘Summon Night’ fame, as well as stunning character design and illustration by lack who designed “Okada Izo” in the game ‘Fate Grand Order’!

MAGLAM LORD CutsceneKillizerk with butler Balga and guide Satyus.

The other draw is the presentation, specifically the Visual Novel style cutscenes and backgrounds. The character designs are great, Japanese voice acting quite nice and soundtrack solid with some good tunes. Do note that for most of the game dungeons have one theme with a few exceptions. Expect to hear the same background music exploring most dungeons. On the bright side each of Killizerk’s partners have their own battle themes. Kudos to the very good final boss theme, nice OP and ED.

MAGLAM LORD in-game graphicsThat was the first part of the presentation. Here is the other. Best way to describe in-game graphics, specifically dungeon exploration, is high definition PS1 or N64 graphics. Characters in dungeons remind me of cute Final Fantasy 7 semi-chibis except they are not “blocky”. I noticed some screen tearing but it was very rare and over quickly. As a late 80’s kid I was perfectly fine with it but it is worth mentioning for players who are keen on good graphics.

So if the story and presentation are good (half depending on who one asks) what about gameplay? That is where the issues come in. Not issues with bugs or glitches, I have not run into to many personally apart from the aforementioned brief screen tears, but rather the combat. Put simply playing through this game felt like playing Crystar. By this I mean story, characters and presentation are what kept me going over what was ultimately solid but repetitive gameplay. I will elaborate by explaining the combat then highlighting the main issue.

MAGLAM LORD GameplayHere is hot it works. Dungeon exploration have the chosen character and Killizerk (As the weapon. More on that in a bit) explore dungeons with enemies on screen, collecting items in chests or materials marked with a white star. There are also other “Endangered Species” hidden in dungeons. These are indicated by red stars. However, most of them are hidden behind corners and the camera cannot be turned around so most ES are found by looking everywhere and hope the action button appears. Finding ES unlocks new items to purchase in the Items/Shop menu along with some quests (More on these later). Contacting enemies initiate battles and attacking them from behind SOMETIMES leaves them open for attacks. I say sometimes because it felt inconsistent in my playthrough. After ending battles it usually does not take long for another enemy to appear in the area.

Battles are fought in 2D. Players can double jump, block, dash, use Skills/Magic and button mash combos against enemies and bosses. There are the JRPG staples such as buffs, debuffs, elemental strengths and weaknesses etc. However, the most important thing players should keep in mind is which of the three weapon types enemies and bosses are weak against: Sword, Axe or Spear. The experience may be different for other players but the majority of my time in battles was memorizing which enemy/boss was weak to which weapon and going to town, dodging, healing and buffs when necessary. In a few battles magic may help but for the most part memorizing enemy patterns and mashing away is good enough.

That sounds fine but here is the aforementioned main issue. The bestiary for this kind of game is small. WAAAAAAAYYYYYYY small. The number of enemy types can essentially be counted on both hands. Same goes for bosses. The last time I came across this many enemy and boss color swaps was Tales of Legendia. That game at least had more enemy types than 10 or 11. Players will have seen most of the bestiary by Chapter 3 of 9. Same goes for bosses. Other than some humanoid bosses, whose patterns are not that different from one other, and the final boss, most bosses in side-quest are color swaps of bosses or bigger versions of regular enemies. Even the “Special Challenge” boss quests are beefed up versions of bosses and big enemies.

Quests are split into 3 types:

Collect a number of items. Sometimes they are located in specific parts of dungeons but are usually dropped by specific enemies. Sometimes the enemy is made harder to find depending on the dungeon.

Defeat a number of specific enemies. Similar to the item quest the enemy is sometimes harder to find.

Defeat a boss. Usually located in the furthest area of dungeons.

Most side-ques are optional but there are some where Killizerk is required to team up with specific party members. They are cool because they help players learn more about the assigned partner, their personal arc and even the world.

MAGLAM LORD ForgeNext up is forging weapons. Killizerk are a Demon Lord but their true title is Bladelord, meaning they specialize is crafting weapons of all kinds with various effects and rarities. There is a science to forging them but that is more for players dedicated to collecting every weapon. My own approach was completing as many side-quests as possible which led to exploring dungeons repeatedly, combing every corner and slaying enemies for crafting items. The item rarity, from A to Legendary Grade, determines their power and how many accessories/Deco Items can be equipped from 1 to 4. On rare occasion a party member with a strong bond can appear to further enhance a forged weapon.

MAGLAM LORD Love Guru G.G.Killizerk’s romance counselor, Love Guru G.G.

Time for the main event. After the early parts of the game Killizerk are approached by the classic “buff old man” anime archetype who senses our hero/ine could use a soulmate in their life. Why? He just could. Killizerk become intrigued by this thing called “love” and gladly go on a quest to find the “one”.

-For “most of the party members” earning Heart Points is done by the following:

-Pick partner to go on Quests often.

-Feed partner their favorite meals/recovery items. these are earned through character specific side-quests and “Happiness Tax”. More on that in a bit.

-During dialogue choices in cut scenes pick ones that favor a specific partner. They are easy to spot via character icons with a small heart next to the choice.

MAGLAM LORD Charme DateCharme‘s Date CG. One of four yuri romance options.

This being a yuri blog we will focus on the female romance options. Admittedly the male options are fascinating. Players will understand when they see them.

Charme: Heroine gifted by the gods with great strength and a beautiful fit physique. She is the big sister of the team along with being a sister to her younger brother Darius. She loves him dearly but can be overprotective. There is a good reason for that.

Julette: Half genki idol journalist who is older than she looks, half bear-tanuki beast lass. Players who enjoy energetic, optimistic girls with a hidden loneliness will enjoy winning the heart of this lovable cutie.

Mamie: Yes. The Administration Overseer is a romance option. Winning her affections is as interesting as her character. A woman dedicated to her work to the point of annoying the our heroes. Dating her reveals behind her stern, pushy exterior is a woman who genuinely cares for the people she helps protect and even more. Because she is an NPC wooing her is different. Sometimes she has dialogue options but the key to her heart comes in the “Happiness Tax”. Put simply it is a donation box in the “Items/Shop” menu. Provide the required items and players are gifted with characters’ favorite foods, unique armor and accessories, CG and music for the “Gallery” etc.

Satyus: Killizerk’s devoted guide. They are non-binary, have a feminine voice and petite body. I was unable to max their hearts in my first run but it may be possible to do so. If not then perhaps in New Game+. Like Mamie their romance is unlocked differently but I leave that up to players to discover. I “cheated” (YT) and can say their romance is arguably the most precious in the game, rivaling that of Julette. All four are wonderful but these two compete for cuteness supremacy.

Romance progress for all characters can be seen in “The Love Dojo” in the Options. When it reaches a certain amount Killizerk can invite the character on dates. There are two full on dates. One rewards players with a cool CG like the one of Charme above. The other is an extra. These further increase the heart meter. Other dates are simple “pick a destination” and hope the character likes it. Dating locations are used by more than one character but the experiences are different. Once the heart meter reaches “max” for a character they can be chosen near the end of the game for one final date to determine who Killizerk ends up with. I mentioned Harem as a genre above because players can max out everyone’s heart meters if they so wish. Maxing out hearts also plays an additional role near the end before the final date. Be aware the romancing is cute and sweet similar to BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light but with much less dates. Do not expect Bioware levels of lovins’. There are 8 endings. One for each love interest and a “neutral” end.

Overall MAGLAM LORD is a game where the main draws are the fun story and characters, good (for the most part) presentation and enjoyable romancing. The gameplay is solid but the small bestiary and its repetitive nature may turn away players seeking good story and gameplay. Players who do not mind the latter can find enjoyment in this one.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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