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Action/Third-person 3D Action
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Adopting the same action-heavy formula popularized in Koei's Dynasty Warriors series, Mystic Heroes features characters and a storyline originally inspired from the Japanese anime Houshin Engi. Four characters (Shiga, Lani, Tai, and Naja) are initially available for selection, each possessing a unique elemental affinity (wind, ice, thunder, and fire) as well as ratings in attack, magic, and speed. Story mode finds players embarking on a quest spanning eight wide-open environments, each consisting of multiple levels.
As in the Dynasty Warriors series, the game offers a third-person viewpoint and hordes of enemy forces to conquer — which now include an assortment of soldiers, undead creatures, monsters, sorcerers, and wild beasts. After carving their way through the masses, players will battle large sub-boss and boss creatures. Blessed with a variety of devastating maneuvers, players are capable of unleashing melee attacks, combinations, and an eclectic selection of magical spells. Magic is categorized into four main types: Direct, Target, Sword, and Jump.
Direct Magic encompasses projectile and area spells, while Target Magic lets players cast spells from a first-person viewpoint. Sword Magic imbues weapons with elemental power, and Jump Magic hails destruction upon the hapless enemies below. Defensive techniques, such as blocking and rolling, can also be implemented during battle. Onscreen indicators reveal the number of consecutive hits and KOs achieved, health and MP reserves, along with a basic representation of the number of allies and enemies on the battlefield.
To help players overcome the overwhelming odds, 70 different runes can be acquired during the adventure to give characters added abilities and spells. The game also features multiplayer support for up to four competitors on a split-screen. Five modes of play offer both cooperative and deathmatch styles of combat on one of ten selectable maps. As a bonus, single players are free to challenge computer-controlled characters in the multiplayer contests if no one else is available. ~ Gavin Frankle, All Game Guide