Episode 6 of Side by Side is now up! (Well, it was up a couple of weeks ago but I sacrificed Magicka 2 for some Disney and Orlando ‘magic’.)
I’ve dabbled with Magicka 2 since Joel and I played it last year, both on my own and with friends who I played through the original with. I was very surprised to find that they didn’t click with it. Like, at all. They gave it just shy of a couple of hours and got a refund. Though they were unsure what felt ‘off’ about it, I attributed it to a few things.
One had technical issues with the early native Steam Controller support (he didn’t have an Xbox controller) so spent far too long getting frustrated with that during the tutorial. Meanwhile, the other player stumbled through most of the tutorial on his own resulting in numerous misunderstandings about how to do certain things (things that Joel and I had no issues with). I also think that Magicka 2 may have felt too familiar to them so it didn’t really have the same spark as the original, although it certainly did for me. My only gripe with the early game is that the intro areas are a little too tame and genteel to really expose the exciting and chaotic core of the Magicka experience. It ramps up too slowly.
Disappointed and disgruntled with my now distinct lack of fellow wizards to magick with, I dipped back into Magicka 2 on my own to have a go at some of the challenges and I stick by what I said: I think Magicka 2 is still the better game. It’s more streamlined and balanced, and the new control scheme works perfectly with controllers, opening it up to local co-op, which is what Side by Side’s all about isn’t it?
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