An Outlawed Mage – Mages of Mystralia

A young mage born in a land where magic is banned, what do you do? Well, you didn’t know you were a mage until one night while weeping you burn down your cottage and now the whole world knows. Cast aside and thrown into the woods, you start your quest. Ashamed of what you are, you set out with the hope that you’ll be able to master your abilities and prove that you aren’t as terrible as everyone believes. You’re approached by a man who calls himself “mentor”, and he claims to be your mentor. He makes some remarks about either “be a mage or die,” and then lets you rest up at his home. After a quick rest, he sets you on a path to find a hidden mage village to learn your trade. At this point, you realize your mentor is a lazy sack of potatoes and he isn’t going to help you at all. No big deal, you’re an adventurer.

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Now, by this point, you’ve probably read mountains of text and endured credits during gameplay. The game is very beautifully put together, and the artwork style is fantastic. However, it seems that the introduction transition over to gameplay phase is extremely drawn out. Don’t fret, the storyline is well worth it, young mage. As long as you don’t step in the Enchanter’s flower bed, all will be well. Actually, maybe you should step in his flowerbed so that you can learn more about the side quest of finding flowers for his garden. This will teach all those kids to get off my lawn! No, but seriously. You should talk to everyone, and explore all avenues in this game or you may miss another unique characteristic of gameplay. So fall into a river.

After leaving your “mentors” home, you soon fall through a bridge and float down a river. An untrained mage lost in the woods, with no help… What could go wrong? Luckily for you, you stumble upon an ancient and wise spellbook. It speaks to you telepathically, “this one will do”. Unsuspectingly, this mage book is more of a mentor then the one who calls himself of that name. He trains you how to use the four basic spells, and instead of a tutorial helps ease you into the game. It keeps the learning curve low as new elements are introduced, and who doesn’t love a talking spellbook? After a small journey, you reach your destination. There he is. Your mentor again.

Well where have you been?! Mentor should have had another name like lack-of-skill, too bad they don’t name characters in this game like Argonians in Skyrim. At this point, he pretty much tells you that you skipped all the tutorial stuff and are ready to be out on your own. That mages learn by doing. Well, I guess we’re expert mages now! At this point, you’re on your own to explore the land and restore magic back to Mystralia. Where better to start then to clear the forest of corruption? Nowhere, except from saving a young lady from goblins and grabbing her husband to clean up the mess.

Now I won’t go too much further when it comes to the storyline and gameplay. But I will talk about how this adventure-puzzler is like no other. Crafting unique spells to puzzles, saving Mystralia, and adventuring like there is no tomorrow. What makes this game so unique is that the same puzzle can be solved several ways depending on how you craft your spell, same with how a boss can be defeated several different ways depending on your spells and play style. Mages of Mystralia is a game like no other when it comes to spell-crafting. If Zelda was about spell crafting, this would be one of its many iterations. I look forward to game updates and sequels. I really hope they come out with multiplayer.  For now, I’ll enjoy the game a few more times until I’ve worn out the replayability.

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