Terrain of Magical Expertiseby Aethyna Sep 11, 2021 | 1 Votes | 40 Played | 0 Reviews 8 rate Venture out into the virtual fantastical world of the Terrain of Magical Expertise, develop both your character and your guild of newly-found friends, and do your best to help them win the in-game event which features a grand prize of $20,000 real-life cash, all the while trying to rid the MMO of its slew of cheaters and hackers! Play Now Similar Games Played
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Terrain of Magical Expertise is a fairly whimsical turn-based RPG that puts you into the shoes of a white-hat hacker out on a mission to rid an MMO game from its plague of cheaters and black-hat hackers. Venture out into the virtual fantastical world of the Terrain of Magical Expertise, develop both your character and your guild of newly-found friends, and do your best to help them win the in-game event which features a grand prize of $20,000 real-life cash!
An internet friend reached out to you for help. Apparently, the MMO he’s playing in is being plagued by cheaters and hackers and he hopes that you, being the dedicated white-hat hacker that you are, can help get rid of them.
However, in order to tackle the hackers, you’ll need to first play the MMO yourself! One thing led to another and now you find yourself teaming up with a guild of new, quirky friends who are all determined to win the grand prize of $20,000 real-life cash by winning the in-game event.
To understand the gameplay, you’ll first wrap your head around the fact that Terrain of Magical Expertise is a game within a game. This means that you’re playing a gamer who is playing an MMO called… you’ve guessed it… Terrain of Magical Expertise on his/her PC. This is why despite being a turn-based RPG, Terrain of Magical Expertise is able to offer some pretty unique gameplay.
For starters, at the beginning, you’ll be asked to set up your character for the MMO game where some features you’ll be able to customize while others, like how your character looks, you won’t. The different race, class, and elemental inclination you chose will affect how you can best play the game, mainly the combat part.
Exploring the world here feels a bit like Pokemon as well. It’s fairly linear, as in you know where you’re supposed to ultimately go, but there are some “extra areas” that you can venture to. Usually, you’ll be rewarded with a chest or two because of your *ahem* “gotta explore them all” spirit.
The map for each location feels rather level-like, and they are thronged with enemies that move along in fixed paths or in case of the other players in the MMO, stand around waiting for a “newb” to come around so they can give the newb a “proper welcome” …and yes, I meant a ganking.
Now, unlike a traditional game, you don’t get to earn experience points by slaying creatures or defeating other players in Terrain of Magical Expertise. Plus, you don’t really get anything special from engaging enemies, so, this means that it’s wise to avoid combat whenever you can. However, similar to Pokemon, you can’t really avoid the other players in the game as they will automatically engage you in combat when they see you, which they will, thanks to the level design – this means it’s intentional.
The combat in Terrain of Magical Expertise is truly one-of-a-kind! In addition to what you’d expect from a generic turn-based combat, the game also added in “reflex-based mini-games” or “quick-time events (QTE)” that will give you the opportunity to make an ability you want to use deal a whole lot more damage than the “basic damage” a.k.a. the combo version. If you can master these QTEs, you’ll find it a lot easier to take on the enemies in this game, even those who have a lot more health than you do.
But of course, enemies can tap into these combo versions of their respective abilities too, so if you’re not careful, your characters might get hit by a truck of a spell, knocking off a huge chunk of their health with just a single hit.
Besides offensive abilities, which come in two forms, basic physical attacks that generate MP per hit, and spells that require MP to dish out, some characters even have healing abilities that drags a battle out and is frankly, super annoying. There’s also a defensive mode to use if needed, a “scan” mode to see a player’s or creature’s stats, and in your character’s case, since you’re a white-hat hacker, you can access a range of hacks that allow you to level the playing field if a player decides to cheat the system.
For Nature-inclined characters, they can even turn a player into a harmless flower, blocking them from their more powerful skills, reducing them to being able to only deal a single point of physical damage per turn. And oh, don’t forget to choose what skill you want to use fast – there’s a time limit for player action for every turn.
I’m definitely a fan of the combat here since it’s unique and feels a lot more “active” than the usual, but there is some really important info that the game is missing which I find quite frustrating. For instance, there’s no way for you to know the attack order for your characters or the enemies since this crucial information isn’t displayed for the player – that’s you – to see. This makes strategizing a bit hard, especially in the first round.
You can’t see an enemy’s health bar either so if you’re not memorizing how many health points an enemy has left, you might find it hard to use the exact ability you need to defeat and enemy without wasting your team’s MP. Even without crucial information like these examples, the game is still playable, though you may end up feeling as though the game is intentionally hampering your strategizing efforts, like me.
That aside, Terrain of Magical Expertise is also story-driven, choices matter-style, and it comes with a whole lot of dialogues. After all, the story progresses mainly through your interaction with your fellow players and guild members in this game. I’m not too far into the game yet so I can’t really see the impact, or the lack there of, of my dialogue choices. However, the game promises non-linear stories, so I reckon my choices will come and bite me in the butt later down the road.
Terrain of Magical Expertise is a single-player RPG, but if you want to connect with the other players in the game, to chat about the game or to report a bug to the devs, you can drop by the game’s Steam page.
The graphics here is probably just a few notches above “drawn in MS Paint”, despite being very well-drawn, but I think that’s intentional. After all, the game looks like it’s designed using a game-maker tool, but that doesn’t mean the game or its gameplay is “low quality” at all.
The soundtrack here is exactly what you’d expect from a retro-looking game, but it’s pleasant to listen to, though it’s not exactly something to shout about. However, I’d like to give the game a lot of props for the excellent voice acting. The voice acting really brings the characters in the MMO to life.
Despite not knowing anything about the Terrain of Magical Expertise beforehand, the game is still incredibly engaging to play, be it the strategically intriguing turn-based combat that comes with QTEs or the intricately connected storylines and the camaraderie that you’ll eventually form with your fellow guildmates in the MMO. The game has some flaws, as pointed out in my review, but overall, the game is definitely worth playing.