cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Mage's Tale: Review (Spoilers)

Zenbane
Level 15

I'm a bit late to the game with Mage's Tale. I beat it this week and enjoyed the experience enough to warrant a Review.

First off, I love the fact that this game so casually transitions from cute things like fairies and dancing Trow's...


98ncj2ze5c12.jpg


To straight up Lord Satan's house of pain...

bxny20vuqawa.jpg


In some areas you can hear beautiful operatic singing, in others you hear howls of torture. Fantastic!

Storyline, combat, and controls are all very well done. Even though the game was made with Teleportation in mind, it supports full locomotion. However, there are specific types of interactions that simply work better with Teleportation. Not many, but few enough to where I would have liked to have seen a better implementation.

For example, walking through traps is very easy using the Teleport joystick. So instead of memorizing a pattern of swinging Hammers, you can just teleport through them and take minimal damage. That needs some work (but there's less than 5 of these encounters the entire game).

I love the Spells, but I was sad that the number of crafting combinations were so limiting. There is a Rack that carries great spellcraft abilities, such as being able to suspend enemies in the air helplessly. However, if you use that craft... then that is the only modification you can make to a Spell. I often faced choices like:
  • Do I want my Lightening spell to do extra damage and have more Arcs, or
  • Do I want my Lightening to turn enemies in to sheep.

There's a lot of missed opportunities for what I feel would be some great spell combinations. I presume that the reason is because it would make battles a bit easier, but that could be remedied by increasing the health, damage, and speed of the enemies.

That being said, there were some really epic battles in the game. I personally enjoyed coming face-to-face with a giant Ogre:


e2u4ei57b4j8.jpg



Another memorable battle takes place in a secret area where you perform an incantation on a corpse (you even get to wear a demon mask), and end up fighting an army of 99 enemies. At least that's what they were called; I didn't actually count them - but I felt like a damn Spartan from 300 by the end of the fight.

The puzzles and secrets are very well done, and easily my favorite part of the game (although I am biased towards puzzlers). They did seem to get easier more towards the end-game, as did the battles. My favorite room - as in most games that offer this type of thing - is the Space Room:


nwkm0751x55e.jpg
(click on the image to get the full view)

There are quite a few areas that are a unique and splendid visual treat. In fact there's one room that is just so badass that I didn't even bother taking a screenshot. Because a flat image doesn't do it justice. It's a room beyond that Space Room, and the Player is trying to save an ally from a cage while you appear to be inside a burning Star... as a giant demonic mouth is flying towards you both. I don't think I was breathing throughout that entire sequence.

This Space Room reminded me a lot of the main Space area in the game, Obduction. In fact, so did the "coffin" room. It isn't that visually appealing, but there's a  large room in Mage's Tale full of corpses that are all laid out similar to a corpse room in Obduction.

z7z531w0gdi6.jpg

mvh7vr6yh4lb.jpg


Overall, I would give Mage's Tale a 4 out of 5 rating, and highly recommended as a great VR-RPG-Combat-Puzzler. There's just so many great elements and nothing is overly easy. Normally when a game tries to be too many things at once (RPG and Combat and Puzzle Solving), there ends up being a sacrifice somewhere. But with Mage's Tale, I often lost certain battles repeatedly, and some puzzlers had me pulling my hair out. Role Playing the type of magician you want to be is also pretty badass. At one point I went full on "crowd control" with all my spells:

  • Ice Lance with enhanced blast area to freeze groups of enemies.
  • Fireballs that turn people in to Sheep.
  • A Drunken (unpredictable direction) Air Blast spell that knocks enemies down.
  • Lightning that suspends enemies in the air (anti-gravity).

That was a mighty good time!
28 REPLIES 28

ploog
Level 4

Zenbane said:


Backtracking in the game is really fun and easy as well. In fact, you will need to backtrack to the early stages once you get the Wind spell; since it is a requirement to get through those "cracked rock walls" that tend to hide valuable secrets.



That one's a truly optional backtrack, since that's the lone room with two different entry paths...
The partially opened gate is impassable as-is, but I found an underhanded way to get in, and others have apparently used a spell enhancement available very early on to get around the impediment.

cybernettr
Level 9

ploog said:

As for a big room with 4 pedestals...
... there's this room: 

1cbfelmmb03o.jpg

... but:
... there's no door to unlock, and this room is a side quest ... so failing to solve it wouldn't impede continuing on



 Yeah, that’s the room I’m talking about! I have Lightning bolt Red and fireball, but in the video I watched, YouTuber had a third one (Lightning bolt blue?) that he triggered that lighted all  four orbs at the top of the pedestals, which opened up the door so that he could proceed out of the room. (He didn’t know why he had one more lightning bolt color than I did.) The only other room was the one with the statues holding torches and the water pipe leaking on one, preventing you from lighting it, so that room was a dead end too. 

Zenbane
Level 15

Yeah, that’s the room I’m talking about! I have Lightning bolt Red and fireball, but in the video I watched, YouTuber had a third one (Lightning bolt blue?) that he triggered that lighted all  four orbs at the top of the pedestals, which opened up the door so that he could proceed out of the room. (He didn’t know why he had one more lightning bolt color than I did.) The only other room was the one with the statues holding torches and the water pipe leaking on one, preventing you from lighting it, so that room was a dead end too. 


You can trigger them with any color lightning. The color means nothing, purely aesthetics. I never tried having more than 1 of each element in my arsenal. There's only 4 Elements and you can only carry 4 spells.

These rooms are not dead ends; the puzzles just gotcha!
🙂

If I'm not mistaken, that room you're referring to is on a timer. You have to light them all quickly (with any version of a Lightning spell) and then do something before they run out of power.

ploog
Level 4

cybernettr said:

Yeah, that’s the room I’m talking about! I have Lightning bolt Red and fireball, but in the video I watched, YouTuber had a third one (Lightning bolt blue?) that he triggered that lighted all  four orbs at the top of the pedestals, which opened up the door so that he could proceed out of the room. (He didn’t know why he had one more lightning bolt color than I did.) The only other room was the one with the statues holding torches and the water pipe leaking on one, preventing you from lighting it, so that room was a dead end too. 




The coloring reagents have no effect on the associated spells other than providing a highlight color for the spells (and your gloves when the spell is active); that's why they have no cost (i.e. rest on Lazy Susan with no flames at the center). Note that the most powerful spell reagents are on the spindle with 2 flames at its center, indicating no other reagents can be combined with one of these; each spell has a 2 "flame" limit.

I did notice that Man of the Antz, in his published play-through, had two different lightning spells available, and was only successful in energizing the orbs with the second spell -- but I don't believe it was because of any modifications he'd made to his spell. It was...
... likely just that his later attempt managed to energize all the orbs in a single spell cast -- though it *is* possible that a modified lightning spell could make the task easier.


Also, Re: this room with the energy orbs atop the 4 large statues/pedestals...

... this room is just a spur, not critical to moving forward in the dungeon. Some reward may await at its end, but failing to light the orbs is not an impediment to continuing the adventure -- just 100% completing it and notching gold on the portal slots:

bjfzovtaczm7.jpg



cybernettr said:

The only other room was the one with the statues holding torches and the water pipe leaking on one, preventing you from lighting it, so that room was a dead end too. 


Ok, yeah, that one you definitely DO need to solve, if I recall correctly; I believe that *is* on the primary path; however, as with many instances in Mage's Tale, the tools to progress are available.  A hint...

In this room, didn't you come across a chest? And what did you find in the chest?  And then consider your description of the room:

"... statues holding torches and the water pipe leaking on one, preventing you from lighting it"

I have to go back to my earlier question... Are you hitting the workshop to add to your spell palette as you acquire new reagents?


Zenbane
Level 15

ploog said:

I did notice that Man of the Antz, in his published play-through, had two different lightning spells available, and was only successful in energizing the orbs with the second spell -- but I don't believe it was because of any modifications he'd made to his spell. It was...
... likely just that his later attempt managed to energize all the orbs in a single spell cast -- though it *is* possible that a modified lightning spell could make the task easier.




Yes if you modify the Lightning spell to have ++Arcs then it is easier to hit multiple targets. Including enemies and puzzle orbs. But it is not necessary. You can have the base Lightning spell and hit all Orbs in one setting by moving your hard around.
🙂

ploog
Level 4

cybernettr said:

The only other room was the one with the statues holding torches and the water pipe leaking on one, preventing you from lighting it, so that room was a dead end too. 



p.s. If you made it to this room, nearing the end of The Sewers, then you obviously were able to continue on the main path, bypassing (leaving for later) the big room with the 4 energy orbs atop the statues/pedestals -- from just a bit earlier in the same dungeon.

ploog
Level 4

Zenbane said:

Yes if you modify the Lightning spell to have ++Arcs then it is easier to hit multiple targets.  ...



I was trying to leave it vague to give @cybernettr another chance to semi-solve it on their own. (Especially since it doesn't seem like they're upgrading their spells; figured they could use a good session of testing some mixes against the hapless goblin target in the workshop.)

MowTin
Level 11
I'm almost finished with this game. Took forever to get around to playing it.

It's really a mixed bag of good and bad.

My biggest complaints are:

1. For a game created from the ground up for Oculus VR, the way you interact with objects like levers, knobs and handles or how you pick up objects is just awful. I mean really awful.

For example, I solved a puzzle, it gave me a key and I tried to put the key in a keyhole. Nothing. I spent hours looking for where to use this key. I had to go on YouTube to see that it belonged in the keyhole I had tried repeatedly. 

2. Like Zenbane mentioned, there's not much variety in terms of magic. It's one of the laziest in terms of magic diversity. You have a fireball, an ice spear, wind force and electricity. It makes you believe you can create your own spells but all you really do is make a stronger fireball. You can make some things seeking. You can add a special effect that turns your target into a sheep or blinds them momentarily. That's it. 

Throwing the fireball like a ball is really exhausting. The electricity is crap, I hardly used it. In the end I didn't feel like a mage. I just felt like I'm just throwing fireballs and a wind force power. 

3. The enemy variety is just terrible. It's just a handful of enemies repeated over and over again. They lock you into a room and the same bunch of enemies spawn and you use the same magic spells to deal with them.

5. There is free locomotion but only snap turning. 

6. The music is terrible. Same music every time you fight enemies. I'm so sick of hearing that same music whenever enemies show up. 

The good:

1. The combat can be really challenging. You have to block projectiles and deal with multiple enemies. You'll get frustrated until you learn to manage attacking and blocking better.

2. Some of the visuals are just awesome. It feels magical. There is a frog that appears and you throw stuff in its mouth. There's this little fairy you follow, make you feel like Peter Pan following Tinkerbell.

3. It's a nice long story-driven campaign. There is not enough of those in VR. It's not a good story. It's not a story worthy of an RPG or even today's modern shooters. It's like Mario save the princess. 

4.  The puzzles are really really good. I really enjoyed many of the puzzles. You feel good when you solve them. And they're not so hard that you'll get frustrated. But there is one that may frustrate due to poor design. Make sure you touch everything. 

5. A few of the bosses are really awesome. They're large and look great. Had some great battles. 

6. Just lots of cool little things in VR. I love how you raise your hands over your head to teleport to your lab. I love how when you level up there is this little glowing star on your hand (hard to explain). 

Overall, it's definitely worth getting but definitely a missed opportunity by the devs to make a much better game. 

Anyway, back to Skyrim. 
i7 9700k 3090 rtx   CV1, Rift-S, Index, G2

RuneSR2
Level 15

Zenbane said:


I'm a bit late to the game with Mage's Tale. I beat it this week and enjoyed the experience enough to warrant a Review.

First off, I love the fact that this game so casually transitions from cute things like fairies and dancing Trow's...


98ncj2ze5c12.jpg


To straight up Lord Satan's house of pain...

bxny20vuqawa.jpg


In some areas you can hear beautiful operatic singing, in others you hear howls of torture. Fantastic!

Storyline, combat, and controls are all very well done. Even though the game was made with Teleportation in mind, it supports full locomotion. However, there are specific types of interactions that simply work better with Teleportation. Not many, but few enough to where I would have liked to have seen a better implementation.

For example, walking through traps is very easy using the Teleport joystick. So instead of memorizing a pattern of swinging Hammers, you can just teleport through them and take minimal damage. That needs some work (but there's less than 5 of these encounters the entire game).

I love the Spells, but I was sad that the number of crafting combinations were so limiting. There is a Rack that carries great spellcraft abilities, such as being able to suspend enemies in the air helplessly. However, if you use that craft... then that is the only modification you can make to a Spell. I often faced choices like:
  • Do I want my Lightening spell to do extra damage and have more Arcs, or
  • Do I want my Lightening to turn enemies in to sheep.

There's a lot of missed opportunities for what I feel would be some great spell combinations. I presume that the reason is because it would make battles a bit easier, but that could be remedied by increasing the health, damage, and speed of the enemies.

That being said, there were some really epic battles in the game. I personally enjoyed coming face-to-face with a giant Ogre:


e2u4ei57b4j8.jpg



Another memorable battle takes place in a secret area where you perform an incantation on a corpse (you even get to wear a demon mask), and end up fighting an army of 99 enemies. At least that's what they were called; I didn't actually count them - but I felt like a damn Spartan from 300 by the end of the fight.

The puzzles and secrets are very well done, and easily my favorite part of the game (although I am biased towards puzzlers). They did seem to get easier more towards the end-game, as did the battles. My favorite room - as in most games that offer this type of thing - is the Space Room:


nwkm0751x55e.jpg
(click on the image to get the full view)

There are quite a few areas that are a unique and splendid visual treat. In fact there's one room that is just so badass that I didn't even bother taking a screenshot. Because a flat image doesn't do it justice. It's a room beyond that Space Room, and the Player is trying to save an ally from a cage while you appear to be inside a burning Star... as a giant demonic mouth is flying towards you both. I don't think I was breathing throughout that entire sequence.

This Space Room reminded me a lot of the main Space area in the game, Obduction. In fact, so did the "coffin" room. It isn't that visually appealing, but there's a  large room in Mage's Tale full of corpses that are all laid out similar to a corpse room in Obduction.

z7z531w0gdi6.jpg

mvh7vr6yh4lb.jpg


Overall, I would give Mage's Tale a 4 out of 5 rating, and highly recommended as a great VR-RPG-Combat-Puzzler. There's just so many great elements and nothing is overly easy. Normally when a game tries to be too many things at once (RPG and Combat and Puzzle Solving), there ends up being a sacrifice somewhere. But with Mage's Tale, I often lost certain battles repeatedly, and some puzzlers had me pulling my hair out. Role Playing the type of magician you want to be is also pretty badass. At one point I went full on "crowd control" with all my spells:

  • Ice Lance with enhanced blast area to freeze groups of enemies.
  • Fireballs that turn people in to Sheep.
  • A Drunken (unpredictable direction) Air Blast spell that knocks enemies down.
  • Lightning that suspends enemies in the air (anti-gravity).

That was a mighty good time!



Hmmm, sometimes I get the feeling that I'm the only one in here playing nearly all the Oculus exclusive games, and that I'll be the first to complete them - but then I stumble across evidence that forces me to think differently  😄 

Well, Zenbane may be the first to complete Mage's Tale - but at least I still have Chronos!  ❤️

(yes - that was a joke, sigh 😉 )

Btw, I'm considering Mage's Tale a thinking man's game - because right now I'm stuck and need to sit down and think some more  :# I just realized that's why this game is a dungeon crawler and not a maze runner  😄

Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"