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Like Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts, Magician Lord has a fairly harsh difficulty level. If you like your games to be challenging then this should be right up your street. Thankfully, it manages to avoid being totally frustrating. While it doesn’t quite reach the same level of brilliance as Capcom’s aforementioned fantasy epic, Magician Lord is still a classic game and the fact that people still regard it as a decent platform romp speaks volumes for the quality of this appealing title.
The graphics are large and detailed, if predictable. Similarly, the gameplay hits all the right notes for this sort of thing, without ever really bowling you over. It's probably the best thing in a fairly limp line-up this week, but 900 points for another side-scrolling button masher? Not much of an impulse purchase.
After playing through Magician Lord on the Wii's Virtual Console, it's easy to see why people were once so quick to plunk their quarters into the local arcade's Neo Geo cabinet just to give the game a go. The 2D graphics are colorful, the beastly enemies are huge, and your hero can transform into a ninja, a samurai, or various elementals. Unfortunately, now that it isn't 1990 anymore, those aspects seem less compelling in light of the game's sluggish pace, stiff controls, and unforgiving difficulty.