Unlucky Mage / Unlucky Hero
Download: App Store | Amazon | Nintendo (US) | Nintendo (UK)
If Dynasty Warriors were a turn-based JRPG...
Unlucky Mage is the name of the Nintendo 3DS port of Unlucky Hero. This review is for the 3DS port. It is worth noting that the 3DS port does not have any in-game purchases.
Unlucky Mage is a traditional, turn-based JRPG that feels heavily inspired by the “Dynasty Warriors” series of “musou” games, although the setting is a fantasy world rather than Chinese history. Like Dynasty Warriors, the story revolves around war and conquest. The titular Unlucky Mage is a genius not only at magic, but also at military tactics – a necessary skill for survival, as events force him into an unlikely alliance with a struggling kingdom and its idealistic queen.
Other major story elements include the presence of slavery as an abominable institution, the persecution of those born as mages, and the razor thin balance between high ideals versus necessary evils. More than any other feature, Unlucky Mage’s story is what makes it worth playing.
The gameplay of Unlucky Mage is primarily that of a standard turn-based JRPG, with one notable feature: the party’s formation (which can only be altered by the hero) is of paramount importance. Different formations confer different benefits or drawbacks, and can easily make the difference between success or failure in difficult battles.
Unlucky Mage is a worthwhile game, and I solidly recommend it.
Edit: As of this writing, the RPG Insanity Blog has two detailed reviews of Unlucky Mage / Unlucky Hero, written by other site members. Click on “Related Blog Posts” to find them.
- Excellent story
- Easy to pick up and play battle system
- Hero's negative attitude can get tiresome (even if it is justified)