Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review: Magna Carta 'Tears of Blood' (Crimson Stigmata) - PlayStation 2


Title: Magna Carta: Crimson Stigmata (Tears of Blood)

Released: 2004

System: PlayStation 2
Genre: Action/RPG/Adventure

Creator: Hyung-tae Kim

Publisher: Softmax, South Korea

Age: 13+

Rating:


Sets in Efferia, the Yason tribe has to deal with the spreading illness called Rheuma, which turns the Yason people into stones. Meanwhile, the war between the Yasons and the Humans is continuing. The stereotypes both species have about each other grow the hatred deeper. The Leader of Yason tribe, Queen Amila has two major things in her agenda---to get her people cured from Rheuma and to win the war she has started. The only choice Amila has to do is using the unconquerable power which gaining all the Chi elements in the world---Magna Carta.

The story starts when a boy named Mano is chased by some monsters in a burnt village called Fuget. An old man appeared when the monsters are about to kill Mano. The old man later teaches Mano how to use swords and a little thing about Magna Carta power.

Calintz 
10 years passed, Mano has changed his name into Calintz and is the leader of a group of mercenary called Tears of Blood (American version) or Crimson Stigmata (Korean/Japanese, the original name). The group consists of Haren (Boxing artist), Eonis Milan (An educated mage), Chris Arcway (An inventor of weapons and planes), Maya (A healer), and the most loyal to Calintz, Azel (A young swordsman). All of them are victims of the Yasons’ cruelty. Felicia, Haren’s fiancée, was killed in her duty in healing wounded people in Mirna. She was found only her lower arm with her engagement ring on the finger. Azel, Eonis and Maya lost their parents, killed by Yasons. Plus for Maya, as she later suffers from Aphasiac by witnessing her parents murder. All of their works are managed by Lehas, their director who cannot fight.

For Calintz, he, in some random flashbacks, was known that his hatred to Yason was caused to a tragedy that starts his village’s attack. Mano, young Calintz, met a half-blooded Yason with a vindi (a tattoo which every Yason got from birth. It’s the media for Chi to gain and lose) formed like a butterfly on his left arm. That half-blooded Yason was acting sick in front of Calintz, asking for help. The naïve little Calintz ran back to his village where only the Fuget habitants know the way in, causing the other Yasons able to get their ways into Fuget and attack. In that incident, Calintz found all of the people of Fuget and his beloved teacher killed by the half-blooded Yason and also separated by his best friend (and rival), Hugo, in their escape before Calintz decided to go back.

Calintz and his gang’s journey starts when they were summoned by General Agreian, the Leader of Alliance Soldier (The Army of Humans tribe), to protect the mages in generating Forbidden Magic to beat Yason. Tears of Blood has to beat Orha Duren (the Leader of Blast Worms, an elite soldiers of the Yason) though the fight then is interrupted. The mages fail as the Queen of Yason generates Magna Carta to reflect the Forbidden Magic.

Calintz recalls his gang to re-plan their strategy in Lester. In their way back, another Blast Worms soldier, Roxy Midka, shows up and summons her Stealheart. The fight ends as the bridge they are fighting on cannot hold Stealheart’s weight. Though Calintz tells his friends to get aside from the bridge, he doesn’t leave until the bridge broken.

Calintz is almost died after falling from the broken bridge and is helped by an amnesiac young woman who happens to have healing ability, Reith. Her name is the only thing she remembers. Calintz thinks Reith is from Amabat by recognising her ability to heal. As his gratitude for her, he promises to get her back to Amabat.

During their way to re-join with Calintz’s mates, Reith shows that she has a deep sympathy for every human kind, both Yasons and Humans. She almost helps a wounded Yason.

Though Calintz wants to take Reith back to Amabat, his job in dealing with fighting Yasons orders keep up. Calintz takes an order from General Agreian to fight in Mirna, and asks General Agreian to have some soldiers to escort Reith back to Amabat. It is known that General Agreian is a son of Mistress Ladrinne, the leader of Amabat, the spirituality center of Efferia.

For unclear reasons, the Yason tries a few times to kidnap Reith. Calintz and the gang have to save her and take her to some doctor to find out what happens with Reith’s past, about why the Yasons are after her though they don’t want to hurt her even a little. Amabat, then sends a special escort, Justina, to be with Reith everywhere she goes and helps her to regain her memory. Mistress Ladrinne even wants to put Reith in her list to be her successor of the future of Amabat leader.

In the middle of Reith’s way, she has to separate with Calintz and the others. Only with Justina, she meets a married woman, Rianna, who is looking for her husband. She tells that her husband, Astal, left for studying Chi and Carta.

On the other hand, Calintz is summoned by General Agreian to get all the elements that are hidden in different 7 places in order to use Magna Carta and Light of Salvation to end the war. During their journey, Lehas dies killed by the Yasons who are trying to get Reith, who actually isn’t available in the headquarters. Calintz and the gang realize that Reith is actually the key of the whole mystery.

Somehow, Reith’s sacrifices are Calintz’ and his gang’s initial lesson to stop their revenge…

Magna Carta: Tears of Blood (or Crimson Stigmata) is a Korean-Japanese game, developed by Softmax Korea and Banpresto Japan. In US, it’s published by Altus. The characters are designed by Hyung-Tae Kim, Korean artist who created OXIDE art book. Released in 2004.

[Capital+of+Efferia.jpg]
Efferia

My review: Nice story and plot. FABOLOUS! The complicated story line won’t stop you from playing till the final battle. It’s very intriguing one. The story surely consumes you in curiosity as the random flashbacks will appear in some cases. I can say it’s very beautiful and unique story and scripts… make it as an RPG you’ll never forget. Very touching friendship and tragic love story. You will never guess what’s the ending is going to be like.

It’s not like other story, where a successful revenge would be the happy ending. The story turns that the characters are awaken by the truth, and starts to make peace. Another story for building peace…

The characters are very deep and strong. Mixed in the story, where you can see what the points of friendship, love and the revenge in your real life are. It’s truly a game that would make you learn something, not only just playing the game. 

You’re going to love the designs. There are many beautiful views of places and buildings. The concepts are mixture of Japanese-Korean with the Westerns. It is seemed that the details are also well-considered to create. The mixtures of different cultures are most seen in the characters costumes through the model of the skirt, collar and traditional motives.

The opening songs are great, especially the Korean version. ‘Rain’ by Ji-Young Eom is heard to have deeper feelings and shaking you into the core rather than ‘Tears of Blood’ by Gabriella Moreno for the American version. I didn’t say it’s not a good song, maybe ‘Tears of Blood’ song isn’t just fit with the game and the opening credit. The instrumental songs during the game and battle are fantastic too, but not more agreeable compared to other games, like FF VIII or FF X. 

For the battle systems, it isn’t difficult as it’s seen. There’s a parameter in the above-right screen which shows your turns when the red lines reach the points and as well as the enemy’s. One of your fighters dies in the party battle, it would count a losing points, which makes your turns in the parameter go slower for you to get your turn to attack. To attack, you need to complete 3-button-hit in Trinity Circle. The button you have to hit is according to the style of the fight and the elements you use. Those 3 buttons will appear in the standard mode. But it won’t appear in Combo mode or Crazy mode. There’s also a Counter attack to counter the enemy’s style of battle.

The story would surely stay in your mind for years…

First published on my review blog at http://reith-jerevinan.blogspot.com



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