Magicka

The first option on the main menu is the Store, which is a pretty damning start.

Magicka’s from that brief era, a precursor to the free-to-play lootbox model that is rife today; a moderate buy-in cost which gets you a standard length campaign, and stacks upon stacks of DLC options, mostly cosmetic, which give you small buffs or unlock extra levels. Similar to games like Dungeon Defenders or even Borderlands, it’s technically single-player but you’re really supposed to play it drop-in-drop-out multiplayer with strangers.

Well, I don’t like playing with strangers, nor do I let myself get stuck in the cosmetics quicksand that is microtransactions, so Basic Robes and Standard Campaign are what I was given.

The gameplay is pretty cool, but I don’t want to talk about that. What I do want to talk about is the Navi The Fairy parody they inelegantly added. I understand people find Navi annoying, and if handled well there can be some fun to be had by lampooning her inclusion. Having a fairy appear and constantly speak and interrupt the game with useless hints, through the entire game, is not handling it well. Being annoying has a very very short shelf-life in terms of humour. Once you go past that, you’re actually just being annoying.

Fin or Bin:

It’s probably more fun with friends, but I felt like I got everything I was going to get out of Magicka in my first hour. Choosing spells is finicky enough that, with support, it’s probably hilarious, but accidentally inputting a Heal spell in the thick of a battle is frustrating. To the Bin, and take microtransactions with you!

(Steam)

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