Did you ever want to become a dragon and break stuff? Well, you get the chance to do just that with Arbelos Interactive’s latest game Wings of Magloryx. The only problem is, it just doesn’t do it all that well.
Wings of Magloryx looks and plays like it was created from the mind of a 5-year-old. The story also has the same complexity of a little kid telling you a story about a dragon, which I am quite familiar with as someone who teaches art to Kindergarteners. Magloryx the dragon flies around breaking stuff, taking gold, and “saving” (abducting) random people which somehow helps in tracking down the evil wizard Horch. At the beginning of each level, you are given an objective which normally revolves around breaking a set number of buildings on floating islands or killing a boss… on floating islands. The presentation of the levels and action of knocking down buildings almost feels like a bargain bin Boom Blox.To do this you fly around shooting fireballs by holding down the right trigger or pressing A. There is also a bevy of spells you can buy with your gold but they are a pain to use on the Gamepad. Some spells are incredibly overpowered, such as invincibility, and others often don’t work as explained. Outside of shooting fireballs, there are other main attacks you can buy or earn but they are either too hard to enact or not worth using. Your dragon can strafe and look up and down with the left analog stick. The right analog stick moves your dragon on an axis horizontally and also controls how high it can fly. Unfortunately flying as your dragon feels like steering a double-decker bus underwater that occasionally gets pulled up by a crane.
Goodness gracious, mediocre balls of fire!
Speaking of how high you can fly. Don’t expect to feel any sort of freedom while flying because you will constantly fight against the ever present “Out of Bounds” messages that often push you away from invisible walls. I can understand that the mechanic is there to keep the game challenging but it often causes more frustration than anything else. If I am a dragon I want to spread my wings and fly as high as possible instead of worrying about hitting a glass ceiling or a building that somehow causes damage by touching it. Instead, I want to shatter that ceiling and catch everything on fire! You know, ‘cause dragon.
Nearly every aspect of this game has some sort of frustrating feature to it. For instance, any time you pause or come back from a cut scene the camera pans in meaning you lose precious seconds where you could potentially dodge the assortment of death bringing items coming your way. Arrows will literally hit you before the screen can pan down to your dragon and it will happen all of the time! You will be attacked from all angles by about a dozen cannonballs that somehow follow you like a heat seeking missile while you attempt to aim your dragon at a tiny floating wall piece that didn’t get the memo on how gravity works. Also, the treasure gathering and people abducting mechanics are often spotty keeping you from your sweet, sweet gold.
The music eventually gets unintentionally chopped and screwed in big-boss battles.
Boss fights are incredibly boring and last way longer than they should. I wouldn’t mind the battles lasting due to a large health bar but the root cause is usually related to the game slowing down with everything happening on the screen. You even hear the music, which is surprisingly tolerable and apt, slow down like someone purposely pushing down on a spinning record until it stops. None of that really matters in the end as you can rig the whole gold and spell system by hopping into a level, grabbing gold, hitting quit, and repeating this step to pick up as many invincibility spells as you want. In fact, I shamelessly did that to defeat the game the first time because the game simply allowed me spam invincibility endlessly. I only felt this was fair because nearly a third of the 25 or so levels are a “redux” of the original levels but chock full of pointless cut scenes that cause your dragon to be smacked around with cheap shots before you can move. The final boss literally one-shot killed me at one point when I didn’t see my dragon on screen.
Just like Donald Trump and his taxes…the rules were written up that way so I took advantage of it! Mwahahaha!
Honestly, this game can be mindlessly fun at times and you do find small sparks of interesting level design. Music is appropriately dragonesque and the options music made me want to start headbanging every time I heard it. If you have a small kid who just wants to be a dragon then, by all means, pick this game up because there just aren’t any other dragon simulators that I know of on the Wii U. However, if he starts throwing the controller around and toppling random lego buildings don’t blame the game for showing him quasi-realistic acts of dragon violence. He probably just got one-shotted by a magic arrow and had to take out his aggression in a much more fun way.
Breakdown of Score:
Graphics: 3 out of 10 – The cel-shaded graphics are reminiscent of a mobile 3D game and animations have inconsistent quality. Unfortunately most of the time you will be contending with massive amounts of slow down and questionable physics.
Controls: 2 out of 10 – Usable but barely. I just don’t feel like a dragon. More like a blimp.
Gameplay: 4 out of 10 – You go in and knock over buildings with fireballs. You can also pick up gold and people if the controls allow you to. The game feels like it almost wants to be a reverse tower defense game but never realizes its full potential. The game can be beaten in a little over an hour or two.
Sound/Music: 3 out of 10 – Surprisingly enjoyable music. The sound effects are tolerable but when too much was going on and the game begins glitching I started to worry about my speakers with all the cracking and popping going on. That is not a good sign.
Did I Feel Like a Dragon? 3 out of 10 – At first the title music made me feel like a dragon. That did not last long.
Wings of Magloryx is a game where you play as a dragon and do dragon things, sort of. Unfortunately flying as your dragon feels like steering a double-decker bus underwater that occasionally gets pulled up by a crane. You will be unfairly killed by the game due to the terrible camera and everything (even the music) slowing down to a crawl during boss fights.