Mixed or average reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 45
  2. Negative: 15 out of 45
Buy On
  1. Feb 2, 2011
    There's light and shadow: Missing variety, an awful balancing and a horrible camera setting meet lots of customization, six different fighting styles, a huge amount of monsters and equipment.
  2. Jan 31, 2011
    Lord of Arcana will be liked by a very specific public who knows exactly what to expect from this game and its genre. It offers just what it promised, and nothing else: combat and hunting, and also exploration to find better items.
  3. Feb 21, 2011
    All in all, if you enjoy the idea of spending tons of time fighting, collecting and grinding your way to power, you should definitely give this game a shot. If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea though, skipping it may be a better option.
  4. Feb 2, 2011
    Lord of Arcana is a Monster Hunter like action game. A right tittle if you like this specific JRPG genre.
  5. Jan 26, 2011
    Lord of Arcana, at its core, is a solid title with lots of potential.
  6. Game Informer
    Mar 6, 2011
    Carves its own identity. [Mar 2011, p.98]
  7. Feb 23, 2011
    In the end, Lord of Arcana doesn't break out of the traditional RPG formula and has quite a few parallels with Monster Hunter, although Monster Hunter was far superior in terms of an overall gaming experience.
  8. games(TM)
    Feb 20, 2011
    It's the hulking great monsters that steal the show. [Issue#106, p.108]
  9. Feb 24, 2011
    As negative as I might sound about Arcana's problems, there is probably a niche group of gamers that could enjoy this game. However, it should only be considered for veterans of the genre that simply can't wait for the next Monster Hunter Portable iteration to come to the West.
  10. Play UK
    Feb 20, 2011
    It's online dungeon crawling by the numbers and could get dull quite quickly. [Issue#202, p.92]
  11. Sep 5, 2011
    If you have friends who love the role-playing/action sub-genre and have already played through the other games of this type, give this one a try, as there is some genuine fun to be had. If you're a solo player who's just looking for a few creatures to slash, feel free to skip this one.
  12. Apr 6, 2011
    Lord of Arcana tries to follow in the footsteps of Monster Hunter, but without success. The plot, which revolves around a magical stone and the "chosen one" who must retrieve it, fails to deliver, while the controls make cumbersome and uninspiring both the exploration and the combat.
  13. Feb 27, 2011
    Fans of Monster Hunter are in for a decent alternative to their favourite action RPG, but a lack of imagination traps Lords Of Arcana on a plane of relative mediocrity when compared to its bigger cousin.
  14. Feb 9, 2011
    Lord of Arcana has the same mechanic like Monster Hunter, but it's too simple and has a frustrating experience on single play.
  15. Jan 4, 2011
    Lord of Arcana is a Monster Hunter like action game. The Capcom franchise, anyway, looks much better than this Square Enix experiment. Lord of Arcana is graphically flat, and the lack of a wi-fi multiplayer is a huge problem for this kind of title.
  16. Games Master UK
    Feb 14, 2011
    A basic hack-'n'-slasher that won't keep you entertained for long. [Mar 2011, p.97]
  17. Jan 30, 2011
    Lord of Arcana is one of those games that you probably either love or hate. If you like this specific JRPG genre, you should definitely give it a look. But if you don't, there isn't anything about Lord of Arcana that will change your mind.
  18. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Feb 13, 2011
    Best stick to Monster Hunter. [Mar 2011, p.96]
  19. Feb 8, 2011
    As amazing as having a lock-on option is, it just can't save Lord of Arcana from the depths of mediocrity. The "warp battles," lack of online play, a slightly boring grind system and some just plain weird design and control choices keep this one from being great.
  20. Feb 3, 2011
    Lord Of Arcana is a title that betrays its own philosophy. The fun is directly proportional to the PSP and copies of the game available. Buy it only if you have friends to play whit it, and if you love games like Monster Hunter.
  21. Mar 24, 2011
    Mediocrity is a death knell for a game that is very shallow to start with. Lord of Arcana copies a lot from the Monster Hunter series, but failed to understand that the depth of combat was always the focus and thus fails at being fun.
  22. Mar 23, 2011
    Lord of Arcana has got more problems than being a clone of a better game can account for. It's boring, repetitive, tedious, and only rarely fun.
  23. Mar 4, 2011
    Although it uses a tried and successful gameplay design - that of the Monster Hunter series - Lord of Arcana feels like a rushed, poor-man's version of Capcom's games. There's almost nothing original here and the few and far between clever ideas are wasted by some awkward design choices.
  24. Feb 24, 2011
    Lord of Arcana tries a little too hard to be Monster Hunter, and ends up as a repetetive, soulless grinding feast. You may appreciate the game if you really love the genre, but there are way better alternatives out there.
  25. Feb 17, 2011
    For a portable game, it's a time sink that shouldn't be because there's really nothing to it but the pure grind.
  26. Feb 17, 2011
    It's barely got any good ideas, and the few it does have are not its own. It could have been a Monster Hunter Lite, with more emphasis on big bosses and gory finishing moves and less on collecting raptor talons and moss to make into a hat – but instead it's just a hollow, characterless echo of the game it's trying to be.
  27. Feb 14, 2011
    Without additional players, it's extremely tough to enjoy the game or make much progress, so I can't quite recommend it in place of the far better offerings out there.
  28. Feb 8, 2011
    In the end, Lord of Arcana becomes sadly boring and repetitive, due to some controls and balancing issue.
  29. Feb 7, 2011
    Often more frustrating than pleasant.
  30. Feb 7, 2011
    Lords of Arcana is the most fun when you have a couple of friends at hand that play the game as well. On your own, the game feels unbalanced and repetitive.
  31. Feb 16, 2011
    Tedious quests and dull, infuriating combat make this one fantasy adventure whose monsters you won't want to hunt.
  32. Feb 8, 2011
    Lord of Arcana commits the cardinal sin of game design: Beyond being painfully lacking in variety or original ideas, it outright wastes your time, and then punishes you for your determination to not give up.
  33. Mar 8, 2011
    For gamers that are fascinated by the Monster Hunter Portable phenomenon our advice is to forget the imitator and head straight for the real deal.
  34. Edge Magazine
    Feb 26, 2011
    Access Games' take on the Monster Hunter formula attempts little beyond a straightforward recreation of that series' structure. [Mar 2011, p.107]
  35. Feb 23, 2011
    It tries to compete with Monster Hunter, but fails on almost every aspect.
  36. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Feb 22, 2011
    An exercise in tedium. [Spring 2011, p.117]
  37. Feb 18, 2011
    It's not Monster Hunter, but it's desperately trying to be. If you like RPGs will little story, even less of a battle system and an endless amount of missions, this one's for you.
  38. Feb 16, 2011
    Even though its game system works, and you're the type of gamer that is patient and motivated, Lord of Arcana doesn't win from the comparison with Monster Hunter, from which it draws most of its design without trying to conceal it. Let's be clear : it doesn't match its model, in terms of fun nor content or variety, nor even in terms of combat or richness. We'd need to completely forget about Capcom's franchise in order to enjoy Lord of Arcana despite its shortcomings.
  39. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    Feb 10, 2011
    Arcana, save for a few inventive designs, looks like every other fantasy adventure that didn't go to the trouble, which is the root of its problems. [March 2011, p.79]
  40. 40
    A Monster Hunter clone that copies most of the key features but fails to properly balance any of them - or add any proper new ideas of its own.
  41. Jan 25, 2011
    Lord of Arcana is one of those games where the amount of fun you're having is directly proportional to how many people you play with. But there's the catch: if you're playing by yourself, you'll have little to no fun at all, and the lack of online play makes getting a party together unnecessarily difficult. Online play should be standard for this kind of experience, and the game suffers immensely for it.
  42. Apr 27, 2011
    Clearly, the guys at Access Games understand that games in the Monster Hunter vein are supposed to be punishingly difficult. What they didn't get was that the soul-crushing challenge should come from the gameplay and not poor design decisions. Throwing down your PSP in anger because a boss has outsmarted you is acceptable. Tossing it aside because a fight revolves more around beating the bad game design than the actual enemy is not.
  43. Mar 17, 2011
    Lord of Arcana isn't completely broken, but it's just a flop. No ambition, no uniqueness, and little if any appeal even to its target audience.
  44. Mar 3, 2011
    Ultimately, Lord of Arcana does not succeed as a viable Monster Hunter clone, both because of the broken battle system or the lack of variation in the missions available, there's enough to turn people off from the title.
  45. Jan 26, 2011
    Lord of Arcana has made a painfully deliberate attempt at riding the wave that Monster Hunter started, and lamentably, it's wiped out.

Awards & Rankings

#15 Most Discussed PSP Game of 2011
#13 Most Shared PSP Game of 2011
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 21
  2. Negative: 8 out of 21
  1. Feb 10, 2011
    Lord of Arcana, for the demographic of gamers it is catering to, is an excellent game through and through. Never have I read so many reviewsLord of Arcana, for the demographic of gamers it is catering to, is an excellent game through and through. Never have I read so many reviews across the web and felt that so much wrong information was being published about this game. First of all, the game is hard, because that's the point. But you level up and get new gear and stay persistent, and soon those early enemies and bosses become fodder for your sword. The game demands patience from the player, but it moves along steadily (I'm about half way through at 30 hours or so, which is standard for an action RPG).

    Second, this game, though obviously heavily inspired by Monster Hunter, is quite different. It feels much more like a Square-Enix RPG, despite the fact that Square-Enix was the publisher, not the developer.

    Third, the graphics are really awesome. No, it's not the top of the stack for PSP games visually, but it is far prettier than most would lead you to believe.

    And possibly the most important point I can make: you can play this game solo. At least it hasn't given me a problem yet. Many complain that the lack of wireless connectivity doesn't allow you to conveniently play with others, but you can certainly play this game alone. I've been doing just just need to grind, loot, build new gear, level, and learn your enemies attack patterns.

    Overall, this is already going to be one of my favorite PSP games of 2011, so if you are on the fence, please by all means, pick this little gem up. Not many things are more rewarding than downing a monster after fighting him for 20 minutes.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 27, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. The critics just love to hate on games like this for the idiotic reasons. "Oh the graphics aren't the prettiest", and, "Oh it's just like Monster Hunter". Last time I checked they gave Monster Hunter low scores. Now that MH is insanely popular they give Monster Hunter sequels decent reviews. So don't listen to "professional" reveiws. The game is fun. If you like Monster Hunter or Phantasy Star Portable/Online, you'll enjoy this as it mixes elements from both and throws them into a fantasy based world. The story isn't the prominent ( another thing reveiwers bash this game for while now loving MH...) but it's the kind of game where the story isn't important. The action is much faster paced and the leveling sytem honestly work better for weapons in this than it did for Phantasy Star Portable. Instead of having to grind certain moves like in PH Portable, you gain proficiency points for the weapon style you use. A much better system. You can still craft weapons and armor like in Monster Hunter. You can also craft magical spells and summons out of the bosses you kill. This game is not for everyone. There will be grinding, but if you are a true fan of Monster Hunter waiting for Monster Hunter 3rd for your PSP, get this game. The camera works a bit better than Monster Hunter as it has a lock on mechanic. The downside to it is that you have to hold the "L" button while fighting. You get used to it though. It's still a tough as nails game so you have to prepare for each quest like you would in MH. Especially for boss fights. Overall a decent game not at all deserving of it's lower "pro" score. Full Review »
  3. Oct 4, 2011
    Did I enjoy my adventures in Horodyn?
    Not really. I did at first; the tutorial was nice, the boss battle was alright and it had some variety.
    Did I enjoy my adventures in Horodyn?
    Not really. I did at first; the tutorial was nice, the boss battle was alright and it had some variety.
    The actual game, starting with a level one character turned me off.
    Some people might consider it fun to grind. And grind. And grind. And grind and grind and grind til they finally do a nice amount of damage, get some options and encounter more types of enemies,
    but I surely do not.

    Grinding is a good part of RPGs, but in Lord of Arcana, it just doesn't pay off to spend hours and hours into playing something you aren't supposed to play alone.

    The multiplayer might be a hell lot of fun, but due to 'bringing gamers together in real life'-reasons by Square Enix, you won't be able to play with your friends using W-LAN.
    All you can do is sit together and play via AdHoc or connect your PSPs to a PS3 to simulate AdHoc.
    While playing together irl is fun, it is seldom possible, especially in world unified by the internet.

    First Publishers cut Split Screen from their games, and now they want Portable users to get together.
    I sure wouldn't get any of my friends to spend money on such an unpolished game, that's for sure.

    Full Review:
    Full Review »