Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Magical Speed (Arcade)

Magical Speed is an adaptation of the tradition card game (traditional as in it uses a deck of normal playing cards) Speed, with a really nice-looking fantasy RPG lick of paint, and there's a few interesting (or at least unusual) things about it. Speed, if you don't know (and I didn't before playing this) has two cards in the centre of the table, and the players have 4 cards at a time each, as well as a pile to draw from when one of them is gone. You get rid of your cards by putting them on top of one of the two cards in the middle, though it has to be one higher or lower than it (suits don't matter). The winner is the first player to be rid of all their cards, or whoever has the least remaining cards when time runs out.

The first interesting thing about this game is that it's intended to be played two-player, on a cocktail cabinet, with the players facing each other. So each player sees their cards at the bottom of the screen facing them, and their opponent's cars at the top, upside down. Luckily, there's also a single player mode, as even if I could get someone to play, figuring out how this arrangement would work while emulating on a PC would be a bit of a hassle. The single player mode is surprisingly thorough, too! Though it's just a typical fighting game-style deal where you play against a bunch of opponents in succession, each more skilled than the last, there are three difficulty levels to pick from, and each of the three levels has its own seperate cast of opponents, all with unique sprites and animations, plus their own cute little introductory cutscenes. And there is actually a fair difficulty curve too! Well done, Allumer.

The other interesting thing is the controls. Since this is a game all about having the fastest reactions, using the joystick to move a cursor to select your card, then choose which pile to put it on would be far too slow. Instead, there are six buttons: two on the top row, representing the two piles and four beneath, representing your four face-up cards. Hit the button for the card you want, then the pile you want it to go to, and that's how you play. I may have mentioned before, but I typically use a USB replica SEGA Saturn pad for playing stuff on PC that doesn't require any analogue sticks, but in this case, I was having trouble figuring out a setup that let me press all the buttons quickly, while also avoiding my getting confused about which button was which. Eventually, I managed to come up with something that worked pretty well: holding the controller in my right hand, I had the two top buttons mapped to the Y and Z buttons on there, and with my left hand on the PC keyboard, and the four bottom buttons mapped to Q, W, E, and R on there. I could only play for 10-15 minutes at a time before the fingers of my left hand started getting stiff, but it was good enough.

In summary, Magical Speed is a very cute game, and it's fun enough, but I can't imagine anyone ever wanting to play it more than a few times in single player. I guess if you're lucky enough to ever encounter a real cocktail cabinet of it, it seems like it'd be a ton of fun to play against a real opponent that way, though.

No comments:

Post a Comment