Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
Buy On
  1. For genre fans, the educated, the talented or the time-rich, Makai Kingdom represents a rich and deep pasture with almost limitless ways to play. It's clever, expansive, funny, well made and beautifully translated and, if you are committed enough, could be one of the best videogame investments you'll ever make.
  2. The story is interesting, the dialog is hilarious, and the game is fun. NIS did their best to pull out the best elements of their previous games – those mechanics that people seemed to enjoy the most – and funnel them into this new game, while still exploring other novel ideas.
  3. The more I play Nippon Ichi's unique line of TRPG’s, the more I like them. Makai Kingdom is no exception, and this time, they have the best game they've ever made on their hands, to boot. It takes beloved settings and ideas, meshes them with gameplay mechanics both old and new, adds a hearty dash of truly new content to the mix and still manages to be more accessible to a new gamer than their last game, "Phantom Brave" was.
  4. 85
    Makai Kingdom has as many fresh new ideas as any other game they've developed. But just as Tony Hawk eventually turned a little stale after its fourth installment, so might it also be time for Nippon Ichi to try something really new next time.
  5. Makai Kingdom does a great job of catering to the compulsive, play-to-crush RPG power-gamer without becoming as obsessed with micromanagement as "Phantom Brave’s" gameplay inevitably was.
  6. If you’ve played "Phantom Brave" and felt very pressed for both time and energy with each map then you’re going to love the more leisurely pace that Makai Kingdom takes.
  7. It's a shame that Makai Kingdom has gone largely unnoticed, but as long as Nippon Ichi keeps turning on games of this quality, I'm going to keep on supporting them.
  8. It all feels so, well, irrelevant--pushing around a bunch of tiny characters and dealing with their assorted toys provides loads of intellectual satisfaction, but I found it hard to make a real connection.
  9. A good game, but it all seems far too familiar. The game really hasn't changed since its predecessors, but if you were a fan of the rest of the series and are still loving them to pieces, then definitely pick this one up.
  10. 77
    The gameplay has been innovated in certain areas but falls short in others, but fans of "Disgaea's" goofy story and "Phantom Brave's" more complex experience system will both find something to enjoy in Makai Kingdom.
  11. Even though it feels like worn territory, Makai Kingdom is still a charming and intelligent game with enough depth to sustain the gameplay long after the story is finished.
  12. Statistics-centric games have never been my strong point, and while the game does a good job of presenting pertinent information clearly and simply I found all the numbers a bit daunting.
  13. Not a bad game, but do not expect to be blown away by the story or innovative gameplay. The Invite system is very nice, but the game moves slowly.
  14. To the average gamer, it may seem like Makai Kingdom doesn't know what it wants to be, but to the strategy RPG fan it's exactly what it should be.
  15. A completely mediocre title, its only saving grace being the sheer complexity of its innards.
  16. A fun ride with tons of maps, unlockable characters from previous NIS games and bonus challenges after you finish the main game, the replay value for this game is nearly infinite.
  17. 80
    Like the annual appearances of Madden NFL and Tony Hawk games, we might have to complain about Nippon Ichi's strategy/RPG predictability if we weren't so busy immersed in the latest version.
  18. The game provides a lot to do and people who enjoy digging up every little thing will spend hundreds of hours just tooling around, discovering every little aspect the game has to offer.
  19. Edge Magazine
    80
    Ultimately, Makai Kingdom feels more about brutal stat farming than true tactics… Makai Kingdom’s key strategy isn’t so much tactics as just sheer weight of numbers, of accumulation and refinement of properties. [Oct 2005, p.86]
  20. 70
    On its own, Makai Kingdom stands out as a solid and decent example of the SRPG genre managing to bring in the new elements of buildings and vehicles, but it is less strategic than "Phantom Brave," and the story isn’t as enthralling or interesting as "Disgaea."
  21. AceGamez
    70
    It's unfortunate to have to say that Makai Kingdom falls down when compared to its close cousins.
  22. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    50
    What could have been an engaging effort has been spoiled by bland presentation, a cliched story and tedious gameplay. [Nov 2005, p.122]
  23. No doubt the satisfaction gleaned is as alien to some as the allure of Sudoku to others, but being in that small Tactics RPG clique makes it all the sweeter.
  24. While not the classic SRPG that Disgaea was, Makai Kingdom is right up there with the best of them and is a must-own for any fan of the genre!
  25. While some might find their titles to be a little outdated graphically and not as overdrawn as some of the other RPGs that we see, Makai Kingdom does enough to make it stand on its own two feet with no problem.
  26. 87
    Luckily, everything else here seems to work in your favor. The music is exceptional, and everything just gels together. It’s a shame that some parts aren’t done all that well, like the somewhat muddy menu system, but they are the exception, not the rule.
  27. Pelit (Finland)
    86
    Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome does not bring new innovations to the genre but is nevertheless a great strategic RPG with deep and addictive gameplay and lots of hilarious characters. [Dec 2005]
  28. The wacky characters, impossibly upbeat music and insanely addicting party management, will have strategy gamers obsessed long after the doldrums of the summer months have passed. Makai Kingdom isn't the best of the bunch, but it holds its own quite nicely.
  29. PSM Magazine
    80
    An original, addictive, hilarious role-playing experience. Play this! [Oct 2005, p.93]
  30. Game Informer
    80
    It's funny, challenging, and complex, and a no-brainer for Nippon Ichi fans like me. [Aug 2005, p.101]
  31. Highly recommended for all RPG strategists. I could only give it an overall grade of 4.0 because it borrows too heavily from past games even though it manages to push the genre into new territory.
  32. "Disgaea" is still the game for which I would re-purchase my PlayStation 2 all over again, but if I get to have two games, Makai Kingdom isn’t bad company.
  33. 75
    Nippon Ichi has given gamers another fine srpg experience, but the enjoyment level is degraded a bit by the lack of difficulty and forced character grinding.
  34. Play Magazine
    70
    Brings a fresh chapter to the stagnant SRPG genre. [Aug 2005, p.49]
  35. netjak
    68
    Without characters that you care about and with very little fleshing out, you don't have a compelling story. Without a compelling story, a lot of the flaws one could overlook due a more complete overall package, like Disgaea, become major annoyances.
  36. A pretty good game. It’s not amazing, it’s nothing special, and it’s not even something to get worked up about if you’re a diehard fan of RPGs. It’s just another one of those playable and fun, but forgettable, RPGs on the market.
  37. Computer Games Magazine
    80
    It's all just another example of how well Nippon Ichi's strategy role-playing games are continuing to evolve. [Sept 2005, p.87]
  38. The gameplay picks up right where "Phantom Brave" left off with a few new additions that change the gameplay from leveling up to strategy.
  39. What Makai Kingdom lacks in visceral appeal it more than makes up for in complexity and nuance. It's fun in a brain-taxing kind of way, but in the end a bit too cold and piecemeal to love. Though it may be fun and challenging, it never quite hangs together as a compelling whole.
  40. 70
    The off-the-wall humor is wickedly pointed and the characters are simply hilarious; the gameplay is deep and engrossing but clunky and far too close to what the developer's been doing for the past several years, just more so.
  41. In the end, the game does end up being rather short -- toping out at around thirty hours -- but it still makes sure to satisfy.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Mar 7, 2014
    9
    Easily the best SRPG I have ever played. It's unique gameplay style adds flair and style to a generally boring SRPG scene. Combine that with aEasily the best SRPG I have ever played. It's unique gameplay style adds flair and style to a generally boring SRPG scene. Combine that with a strong narrative, good voice acting, flashing animations, and witty dialogue and you have a recipe for success. The game provided hours upon hours of fun and last-ability. Out of all the SRPGs I have play it is the funniest, wittiest, and most entertaining by far. Full Review »
  2. ClevelandW.
    May 30, 2009
    9
    I'm not sure why critics didn't like this game so much. While yes, the semi-2D SRPG was already done and conquered by Disgaea and I'm not sure why critics didn't like this game so much. While yes, the semi-2D SRPG was already done and conquered by Disgaea and many, many others, Makai brings a sense of humor and haphazardness to the fray that makes it all worth playing. I haven't laughed this hard at a game or loved one quite so much as Makai Kingdom in a while. Full Review »
  3. Thomas
    Oct 14, 2005
    10
    Great game by NIS, they make the best S.R.P.G.