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on February 15, 2012
I was completely out of the loop when Magicka was originally released about a year ago. I guess that was a good thing at the time because it was released in a somewhat buggy state. As of now (February 2012), I am having more fun in this game than I thought I ever would. Magicka is a top-down (3/4 perspective) action RPG game. Unlike most RPG games, there is very little in the way of character creation other than selecting what robe your character wears. Their choice of wardrobe determines what staff/weapon they carry and that can have a bearing on what elements they are vulnerable or resistant to.

The game has tons of pop-culture references and the dialogue spoken by the NPC's is a mixture of Swedish and Gibberish that sounds pretty funny if you ask me.

Movement consists of left-clicking where you want your character to move to while you use the q-w-e-r and a-s-d-f keys to cast your spells. Spells can be cast in four different ways: 1. Cast on your sword/weapon to enchant it with the selected spell. 2. Cast on yourself 3. Cast as an Area-of-Effect (AOE) spell towards your front only 4. Cast as an AOE spell surrounding you.

The elements (water, life, shield, cold, lightning, arcane, earth, fire) can be mixed and matched. There are also two hidden elements (ice - mix cold and water, and steam - mix water and fire). Stacking elements causes spells to become bigger/more powerful, and also causes your character to move slower when you have multiple elements queued up.

There also exist special spells called Magicks. These spells are found in spell books and once learned require the space bar to cast. They include Haste (makes you run fast), Teleport (duh), and Lightning Bolt (a devastating spell that kills nearly anything in game in one or two hits). There are nearly 30 of these special Magicks in the game.

Modes in the game include Adventure, PVP, and Challenge. Any of these modes (besides PVP) can be played in single-player and multi-player. That is where the real fun comes in. Playing a multi-player game is absolutely mind-blowingly fun. Your spells will hurt/damage/destroy the enemy as well as you, your team-mates, and any NPC's in the game. Casting the wrong spell at the wrong time WILL result in a laughter-inducing death to you or your team-mates.

Just watch the myriad of Youtube videos out there and you'll see how many people have a blast playing the game.

One word on multi-player: Match-making can be a bit of a pain sometimes. The best way to do a multi-player game is to Host one and then invite friends from Steam (Steam activation is required) to play with you.

BTW add me (RTR)MSgt. USMC3531 if you want to play sometime. I usually play from 10 - 12 pm Eastern.
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on January 2, 2013
DO NOT BUY THIS PACKAGE! Do buy the game however! The Magicka Collection through Amazon has not had new DLC included since after September 2011. In the meantime the developer has practically doubled the total DLC for the game, and seems to be continuing (that's a good thing overall). If you are interested in this game, you are much better off finding the best value package for it. Purchase through this package and you will practically double your total cost over purchasing other, more complete packages. As you will need to activate through Steam, check there for pricing as well.

As for the game itself, which is the only source of my star score, it can be great fun but has a fair share of flaws. If you're interested in trying out novel game mechanics, the combat system can provide fairly constant novelty throughout the game. Try not to let yourself get stuck using just a single tactic or two. Be creative and the combat can end up feeling surprisingly fast and fluid. Teaming up with a partner can definitely increase the potential combat shenanigans. Steam does have a demo for the title, so you can try it for yourself a bit, but I think the demo doesn't quite live up to the full game.

Others can review this game more fully than myself, and have. I suggest you check their reviews out.
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on January 15, 2012
Magicka not only downloaded quickly and runs great, I actually have enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. Its a real game of casting skill! Each spell has to be entered on the keyboard as a series of keystrokes and then triggered by in one of five ways: Cast out in front, cast around, cast on self, cast on weapon, or triggered with the space bar for special casts (named spells with distinct effects). Be warned, it takes practice and experimenting to find powerful combinations and get good at them but its soooo much fun as you get the hang of it. I've never played a game like it before. =]
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on February 14, 2012
Magicka is a short but sweet action RPG where you control a wizard from a top-down perspective. The campaign will take you around 6-8 hours to finish, and then there are arenas where you can fight against enemy waves or duel with other players. The matchmaking system is poor at best -- it's very difficult to get into a random public group. My advice would be to convince a buddy to pick up a copy and play online together, or enjoy the campaign solo.

Lacking an experience/leveling mechanic, skill points, inventory, or currency, this game focuses on its unique combat system comprised of combining 8 elements: water, life, shield, cold, lightning, arcane, earth, and fire. After conjuring a mix of 1 to 5 elements, you release the spell in 1 of 4 ways: a projectile/beam/wall, a cast-on-self, an area of effect, or cast on your melee weapon (think enchanting). Want to make a rock wall that freezes enemies? Combine cold + earth + shield. Want to make a far reaching, electrocuting steam beam? Combine water + fire (steam) + arcane + lightning. Also, as you progress in the campaign you unlock special spells like summons, teleportation, blizzard, lightning storms, etc. Some of these really become necessary to survive in the later levels, where the enemies move quickly and pack a punch.

The tricky part is that friendly fire is always on, which makes for some hilarious and frustrating experiences. All in all, this is a fun and short adventure for the relatively low price. Just make sure you grab 1-3 online friends for the best experience.

Pros:
+ Complex and fun combat system
+ Hilarious references to geek culture
+ Relatively good challenge / difficulty curve
+ Nice art direction, appealing graphics

Cons:
- Multiplayer matchmaking system is awful; play with friend(s) instead
- Low replay value due to lack of a leveling mechanic, skill/experience system, inventory/currency
- Slightly stingy checkpoint system
- Cheap deaths from getting knocked off the terrain or being one-shotted can be frustrating
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on February 18, 2013
This game is a great multiplayer game. I recommend buying a couple of wired XBOX 360 controllers with it to bring back the fun of playing with friends in the same place. The accidental discovery of new spells is great, and the action is engaging.

It requires a Steam account. I'm not a fan of Steam, but I'm in the minority.

The reason it didn't get 5 starts is it's a resource hog. My laptop with an i5 2410M, GeForce GT 540M, and 8 GB of RAM has trouble handling it. It became playable when I dropped the resolution to 800x600, but it still has slowdowns during battles. For reference, this laptop handles Starcraft 2 on default settings and Minecraft on the highest settings without any problems.

Most cut scenes do not display and I get a black screen instead.
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on December 10, 2012
I have to respond to all the one star ratings just for Steam. That's a joke, the quality of the game is not determined by the copyright protection. This is a great game and there are not two ways around it. Paradox has a long history of great games and I expect nothing less.

ALL the one star ratings are due to the use of Steam or user error in installing the game and not having the wherewithal to fix it and expecting Steam to come to their rescue. Which they will do, but from my experience are not prompt in responding and their first response is usually a series of links to the forums where hundreds if not thousands of users experienced the same problem and the solution is all worked out for you, you just have to read it (and do your own search instead of waiting for Steam to do it for you)

I have over 150 games on Steam and without it, I would NEVER be able to keep them straight. The amount of registry and file corruption from adding and removing them when starting or done with one. I have no issues with the Steam app and have been using it since 1995.

I find the organization of the app to be optimal and to have more preference and settings than I have ever even touched, but are there for those who want to customize every aspect of how each game launches and where the game and save files are stored.

I see no way that the 150+ games I have on that and the other 100+ on similar apps and 300+ in boxes here could possibly be managed any better. My biggest problems are with the games that are not associated with any of the old or emerging apps. They are all the oldest first, but even with that, I have no clue exactly what I have. In many cases I have doled out the $5 or $10 just to get a copy on Steam and be able to manage them.

Times are changing and if you are not using hacked games, which most of the Steam detractors are, then you will not have any issues with Steam either. Nearly ALL games released to date are associated with a Steam or a similar app and there is not way around it, the presence of hacked copies of games is mind blowing and if I had put 2 or 3 years of work into a consumer product I would do my best to protect that investment from being stolen. Those that have problems with that are, again, hackers and/or people who have absolutely no clue what it's like to work on a long term project and to have to fight to keep others from just stealing it from you boldly and openly as it is now. Eventually this will get resolved and all of you will have to buy most of your games and you may only be able to get a new game as a fluke which will only work for a short while until it is discovered and patched. So, you might as well start to pony up for these games and support the hard work of INDIVIDUALS who happen to work for a large corporation because it will be a rude awakening when you get up to check for the newest hacks and they are all gone or linked to sites that just take your info and use it in every way possible against you until you are so fed up with the calls, mail, email, chat messages, etc... because when you open your self up to these downloads, you waive all the rights that those of us who actually pay for games are able to retain quite easy and effortlessly.
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on June 20, 2012
I purchased Magicka along with other Paradox products in a bundle through Amazon. After a long download and install process, I've found Magicka to be the gem of the bunch.

Magicka has no inventory, no money, no character classes, and no leveling up. You start and end with the same eight basic elements (and two combo elements) you start with. From the start you can combine them all at full power. The learning curve consists of figuring out how the elements combine into powerful attacks, or in just how to approach a fight. Not all of it is obvious, and there is satisfaction in figuring out a new method of fighting either the hordes of goblins or powerful bosses. In addition, there are the titular MAGICKAS; spells that use a specific sequence of elements to do everything from create a thunderbolt to teleport. Finding the spellbooks is your reward for fully exploring areas. Some Magickas are more useful than others, though I probably haven't figured out some combos yet.

The game approaches it's own genre with humor, going meta many times. Pop culture references abound, from the pithy episode titles (the first six all are mocks of Star Wars films) to Monty Python routines. The game breaks the fourth wall at times, even mocking it's own limitations (early on a woman promises you coins if you solve her rat problem. After you do, she tells you the game doesn't have an inventory system). Powerups consists of a weapon and a staff. Each time you find a new one you need to decide if it is better than the one you have. With each new checkpoint, there is no going back for your old items.

Are there problems? Yes. One thing the game lacks is a proper save system. At times, objects and even the player gets "lost". This frustrated me when I lost a staff I was particularly fond of in Episode 4. A few times during the tutorial would not work correctly. One boss went into the not-fun zone (though in the end my solution, though tedious, fit the weakness of the boss). Some enemies are too dumb to live, taking heavy damage from my steam beam without moving.

Most of all, Magicka is FUN. You can start playing right away and experiment with your elements. I started with an obvious one; using water spray, then lighting to fry many opponents at once. As I progressed I went from a one trick pony to having several combos I use depending on the opponent. A few bosses forced me to learn new ones.

Problems and all, I recommend Magicka.
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on October 28, 2012
I read many good reviews of Magicka online and took advantage when this game as in a good deal to give it a go.

- What it does right.

It removes most of the equipment problem many action rpg have that you have to keep constantly upgrading your gear. it is much more simplified and focuses on the fun. The magic system starts a bit hard to learn but once you get the hang of it you dominate your enemies and can get some new weapons as you advance in the game.

In multiplayer the game is really fun and everyone can enjoy the adventure, from novice to experienced players, the game appeals to everyone.

- What it does wrong

While the developers removed many stuff that slows the pace compared to other games, they also removed the sense of exploration. You travel in linear paths with very little variations so you're stuck in completing the level. The more you play the more this feels evident and in single-player you get tired easily.

While many people say that you can play the style you want, it is not entirely correct. The moment you find the weapons and spells you like, you're pretty much stuck with them because they are efficient 98% of the time. Once you reach this point, enemies become mere obstacles that take away the adventure while you go see the stage boss that is actually interesting.
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on March 1, 2013
lots of bugs and difficulties when you try to enter online games ,fun to play though ,different style of gameplay.
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on December 4, 2012
Magicka is a blast! it is almost like diablo meets fable. however if you are running on a laptop with an integrated gpu like myself, Alienware m17x r4, I have an nvidia gtx 660m and the integrated dell gpu... you MUST MUST MUST go into your gpu settings and select the NON integrated gpu. for example the game defaults with my dell integrated gpu, it was not starting and crashing, when I changed the default gpu to my nvidia it worked like a charm. this is an Indie game, they probably only had a few programmers working on it and they either did not have the time or resources to program integrated graphics cards into the game. Also yes you do need steam to play the game, but however, buying it here is way cheaper than buying on steam!
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