Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Battle Pentagram (VITA) More Impressions

On my first playthrough, I played as Madoka (I’m the kind of player who would ‘pick Ryu first’ lol), reached the final boss, was defeated by Walpurgis Night and got the bad ending (and a consolation trophy).

I was confused why this series is so popular and so I finally went to check the first two movies, which correspond to the 12-episode anime (minus 2 scenes, according to someone who is knowledgeable about the series).

And I gotta say, now that I finally watched it, wow it’s pretty ****ed up and I kinda understand why it’s so popular now. The show is about ‘beautiful tragedies’, I guess. The writer Gen Urobuchi has certainly caught my attention now.

Compared to the anime/movies, the game is a happier story where nobody dies lol. Mami didn’t get bitten, Sayaka didn’t turn into a witch and so neither Kyouko had to die (though I have no idea how Sayaka could accept Kyosuke and Hitomi so easily… even Homura is confused).

Basically in this game, in one of the timelines’ endings, after defeated by Walpurgis Night, instead of Madoka asking Homura to return to the past to prevent her from becoming a magical girl, Madoka raises an idea that if all 5 magical girls could be there during Walpurgis Night (instead of only 2 of them), the outcome of the battle might change.

So Homura’s goal changes from preventing Madoka to become a magical girl to granting Madoka’s wish to make sure all the 5 girls make it till Walpurgis Night.

So she approaches Mami, Madoka and Sayaka (who have already become magical girls) with Kyouko and reveals about Walpurgis Night (in anime/movies, she only discusses this to Kyouko). So from very early on they’ve met and agreed to work together.

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I think this game is a good adaptation to the series except the 3D action part. They should’ve hired Tecmo Koei or even Eighting (they made Dynasty Warriors style Kamen Rider game) to make it ^^;

One of the annoying parts is the enemies wander around. Sometimes they chase neither me nor my AI partner, so when I’m trying to attack them, it’s like they’re running away, which is annoying (in a way, the game is telling you to use long-range magical attack).

The lock-on needs some work too. It chooses an enemy that is dead center but might be far away, which is normally not what players want.

Some of the character models, especially Sayaka, are ugly. In 3D, she has broad shoulders. Artdink seriously needs to hire better 3D character modelers.

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The game nevertheless can be fun, but the strategy is simple. Basically, only use the long-range magical attacks. The radius magical attacks are useless since the combination attacks with partners serve the same purpose. And even though you can level up the magic attacks, you should still bring both low-level and high-level of the same magic. It’s because the high-level consumes more MP and the MP is too slow in regenerating, and the high-level one is usually overkill for the small fries.

So use low-level shooting magic for small fries, alternating between shooting and attacking (and combination attack), use high-level shooting magic for bosses, just running around and sniping them, waiting for the cooldown periods, and spend Soul Gems when MP runs out during boss fight. This strategy works in every missions. And because you attack less (since you shoot more), the bad action part is somehow more bearable.

My second playthrough, I played as Sayaka and defeated Walpurgis Night and got the ‘better ending’. This is similar to one of the timelines’ endings where they managed to defeat Walpurgis Night but Madoka turned into a witch (apparently it’s because even though they won, the city got destroyed and the people died).

In the anime, this is when Homura found out that they were tricked by Kyuubey. In the game, since the rest of the magical girls live on and Sayaka’s truck incident didn’t happen, they also learn about it first here and Kyuubey does a similar talk like when it lectures Madoka in bed (after Sayaka’s death in anime).

I guess to get the best ending, you also need to max all the girls’ relationships with one another. That might take several more playthroughs.

On third playthrough using Mami now… her attacks using muskets are pretty cool.

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