Review by PSO CheZi

Reviewed: 07/03/03 | Updated: 07/03/03

Oh my...is false worship OK in this situation?

Agetec = My new lords and saviors. I now openly praise them.

Why all the blasphemous idol worship, you ask? Let me tell you a short story. I've always been a fan of customization in games, but I've always wanted more. Ever since WWF Warzone came out for the PSX and debuted the now-essential Create-A-Wrestler mode, I've said to myself, ''Well, this came out pretty cool....but it would be even cooler if...'' I'm a picky person by nature, and when I want customization, even though most games come close to what I want (Even WWE Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth's excellent CAW system wasn't completely enough for me), I need full control of my creations. I need free reign to do anything I want with it (Or at least close to anything I want).

Now you should understand the worship.

For those who don't know, Magic Pengel: The Quest For Color is an innovative game from Agetec. In the beginning, both men and doodles were created; men born with free spirit, doodles born with free body. Basically, the human king treated doodles badly, and eventually, it was written that only people of pure heart could create doodles. Fast forward to present time, where your character befriends brother and sister Zoe and Taro, whose father, Galileo, has been missing. The Kingdom is trying to take poor Zoe and Taro's land, and the story is basically about trying to keep the Kingdom not only from gaining control of your land, but gaining control of the people of the town who can still draw doodles, and therein gaining control of the doodles themselves. To stop the Kingdom, you must use your Pengel (A type of imp that kind of emits ink, apparently) to draw your own doodles and pit them against others' doodles, not only leading towards the goal of winning the tournament, but also the goal of earning 1 million Gold Color Gems (currency) so Zoe and Taro don't lose their land.

OK, OK, enough back story. Let's get onto the meat and potatoes of the review.

Graphics: 9/10. Obviously, this game's gotta deliver the graphical goods, given the whole drawing theme. Now, I can't really say that the doodles look pretty most of the time, but this is fine, since they don't need to. The ''doodle'' moniker doesn't exactly scream DaVinci or anything. However, this doesn't mean that the doodles look bad. In fact, this is quite the opposite. While not masterpieces, the vivid colors and cartoonish style come off great. In addition, the town is pretty well-drawn. Nothing special, but it's the doodles that really force me to give the 9 rating here, for the most part.

Sound: 5/10. I'm not digging the music in the maps, though the battle music and doodling music are OK. The voiceovers aren't too well done (''My mommy said I can play here today!'' ::Vomits::), and are EXTREMELY repetitive (I'm a tad sick of hearing ''Don't embarrass me, doodle!'' over and over). I also don't like the total lack of music in the Seaside and Main Arena areas, though you usually don't stay in those areas for long, unless you're like me, and like to put down the controller in the middle of playing to go and talk to people online.

Gameplay: 7/10. Doodle and duel. The D&D that every Pengel player will get to know and love. That's pretty much all you do in the game. However, the dueling, while giving the impression of being very simple, actually requires some strategy to properly secure the win. The doodling, of course, is the main selling point of the game, and while it sometimes gets frustrating when you're trying to get that rotating part to not only be placed in the right place, but spin the right way, that's the price you have to pay for such an addicting and in-depth system. Unfortunately, the gameplay is hit hard by the unbelievable repetitiveness of the entire thing. Without the doodling function, I might not have continued playing this game for so long. I can't imagine myself gladly sitting and simply dueling over and over again with little rhyme or reason without the glee I get from watching my crazy blue coneheaded guy chuck his weapon (a cat which he holds by the tail) at the unfortunate opponent. However, that aspect makes the game worth it, and often makes you forget about the repetitiveness.

Controls: 8/10. The battle controls are extremely simple. The only thing that makes me lower this rating is the slightly awkward maneuvering of the pengel on the map screens. The controls are nice and easy in the doodle screen though.

I really can't believe how well this game came out. It had been a long time since I sat for about 3 hours straight, playing one video game, but this game made me do that all over again. I just can't get tired of this game.

Agetec, a photo of the golden idol I've made of your president is on its way to your mailbox.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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