Daily Archives: August 3, 2013

First Impressions: Magical Starsign (DS) ~ An RPG that I like.

250px-Magical_Starsign

Wikipedia entry.

Thou shall not say anything bad about Magical Starsign. No, ehrm. Maybe, you can’t say anything bad about this game. Nope, that doesn’t feel like me. Ehrm, well, let’s do it the easy way then! Hello there reader, I’m NekoJonez and I am not good at writing an intro for this game. Well, that was cheesy. Hold on, why am I writing these thoughts actually down? My readers don’t have anything to do with this. If only I had magic to erase this. That would make that delete key so obsolete. Ha! You didn’t see that one coming didn’t you? Well, enough playing around. I realize that I play too many games at once and rarely ever finish one. Why I do try to change that fact, I started to play this game a while ago and I got distracted by other things and I never finished this one. I regretted it and thought here and there to restart this RPG and finish it. So, that’s what I’m doing now. Taking games I started and finish them before I look for new titles. And when I restarted this game, man was it adjusting to this. The oldschool DS RPG’s. Sure this game has some flaws but there is no perfect game out there. So, after this messy introduction, let’s talk about my first impressions with this game. 

Underrated

magical_Starsign_1This game is an extremely underrated game. I can’t believe how few people know of this game. It’s an extremely well made game. Something I extremely like is that you can choose your play style at the start. Your character can be dark or light. And this will affect the gameplay an awful lot.

Also, the fact that I can rename all of the hero’s made this game have more value in my hart. Now all my characters have names of my fellow Arpegians and that makes the story more personal.

And speaking about the story. Man, is it written how I like my stories. You don’t get a whole boring backstory in how the magic got discovered and how the different planets work. No, it’s straight to the point. The tutorial though is badly written into the story but it works.

Also, this game isn’t your standard RPG. It brings in one element that makes the battles totally different. In this world, planets need to be in a certain area of the sun. When that happens, people with that kind of magic get a power boots. This makes battles so much different. You need to check your planets to know when it’s better to stay in a safe area or when you better use magic.

Also, the repeat button is one of the features I applaud the creators of this game for. It’s so useful. It makes battles more easy. Like you slowly getting back your MP, it makes the battles more interesting. Also, you see the enemy you are going to fight at the top screen. Nicely done.

Flawed

magical-starsign-1While I do feel like praising this game an awful lot, this game has several things that made me not liking this game as much as another RPG. One thing is the running. Since this RPG is released early in the DS lifespan, it shows of the touchscreen. And there they made a fatal flaw, nearly ALL buttons are for moving your characters. Your A,B,X and Y buttons are basically a 2nd D-Pad. And you nearly always run while using the touchscreen.

Graphically, this game is pretty. I like the design of the area’s and all the locations. The names of the planets and people make the game feel that more alive. But, in some area’s you don’t have a map of the area but you see the whole planet. This is a drawback in my opinion.

The sound effects are great expect one thing. The enemy sounds are either absent or too similar to all other enemies. I don’t like the sound design in this game very much. Like the cut scenes. They feel dated, even for the Nintendo DS. They are really out of place and they look a bit PS1-ish. They seem created with one timeline like there can’t be a rocket flying over the screen while having water coming out of the land.

Also something that brings the battles down is that you can’t look to what an item does in game. This is such a big pain in the but since you need to either remember or guess the right item to use in the fights. Thankfully, the fights aren’t annoying like every 10 steps. You actually get some decent time to explore the area.

Magical-Starsign_3Easy?

Is this game easy? Well, in a way it is. This game feels like it’s made for young teens. But, that doesn’t mean an experienced game can breeze through this. That isn’t the case at all. You really have to be on your guard since a few wrong moves and it could mean game over.

You can save nearly everywhere. And the fact that you have several slots to save in is for me another sign of a game aimed at families or the younger crowd. But I’m so glad that there are several save slots since now I can do the light and dark playthrough side by side. Or play one if I’m stuck in the other one.

But getting stuck in this game isn’t that easy to do. After some time, one of the characters will give you a hint that will help you a lot for progressing.

What I also like in this game is that this game doesn’t hold your hand in every step of the way. The only thing the tutorial does is learning the way of how the fighting system works. And for the rest, it’s your way to explore the mechanics of the game. But every useful thing said in the tutorial is in your diary.

To finish this article, I want to talk about the music. Which isn’t the best nor the worst point of this game. It isn’t memorable but it isn’t forgettable. It’s that kind of music that will be stuck in your head while playing the game and for a few days but after that, you will most likely forget it.

Oh and before I forget, for the people who have played this game. Feel free to leave your thoughts on the game and/or on this article in a comment.

So, that was my first impression article of this game. But wait, I’m also playing Elebits on my DS. Do you want to read what I think about that? Well, go to ButtonSmashers and read my article there. A link is here: Elebits – The adventures of Kai and Zero (DS) ~ Collect all the WATTS!

NekoJonez: First Impression: Elebits – The Adventures of Kai and Zero (DS) ~ Collect all the WATTS!

elebits2Wikipedia entry of this game.

After being successful on the Nintendo Wii, Konami made a new Elebits game for the Nintendo DS. It’s actually a sequel. After hearing this, I feel bad playing the sequel before the original. Oh well, it has to be this way since I haven’t got time to find myself a copy of this game on my Nintendo Wii. But alongside with Magical Starsign (which I wrote also a first impression article about, on my personal blog. Link is here: Magical Starsign (DS) ~ A RPG I like)  are my current DS games I’m playing. Since I got a bit tired of grinding in Pokémon Black. But let’s leave that to the side and let’s concentrate on this game. In my first impressions series on my blog I’m writing my thoughts of a game I’m playing at the moment but I haven’t finished yet. Mostly these kind of articles lead up to a review when I’m done with this game. But please keep in mind that I haven’t finished this game, so spoilers… Please -BLEEP- off. Thanks a lot. It’s highly possible that I played a game till mid-way before I write an article about this or that I played the first world. In this case, I actually played only the first world and the start of the 2nd world. And I’m excited to tell you all about it. Oh, and to the people reading this, even when you haven’t played this game, let me know in a comment what you think about this game or my article. 

Collect all the WATTS!

After a nicely drawn intro, you get to the title screen. Which is the quickest I have seen before it repeats the introduction. But this game is pretty unique. I haven’t played a game like this before. It really blew me away when I started playing it.

The cute graphics really pulled me in. the game looks amazing and colorful. It’s tr3250a.jpguly inviting. An extremely nice feature that I like in my adventure games is that there is a map on the top screen. It helps me out quite a lot. If I’m stuck I can look to the map to plan out me route or look if there is another route I can take.

Also, I managed to find an easter egg in the first area. The flood gates are shaped like a Nintendo DS cartrigde while is pretty neat in my eyes. Nicely done Konami. A pat on the back!

I didn’t expect this from Konami at all. Since before I played this game, I played the amazing Castlevania games on the Nintendo DS. Which I will talk about on a later date. But this cute-sie game really is something different. And they pulled it off quite well. Yet the story is generic and done before from what I know about it now. It’s basically a kid going on an adventure to get attention from parents that ignore him. But then he finds a time machine bus. Okay, that bus part might not have been done before. Unless you change it into a phone boot…?

You will read a lot on my blog how thankful I’m when a game has separate save slots. This is extremely handy when you have more then one person playing on this game or when you want to discover different routes. But sadly enough, this game is linear for the most part. But I give you the good advice to check around in the area as much as you can. You might discover a secret or two.

Bad game. Bad. 

elebitsinline_1214950790There are several things I don’t like about this game. First of all, the saving is extremely bad. There is only one spot where you can save. If you don’t count the “temp save”. This is such an annoying issue since sometimes I just stop playing and start playing another game and then start shouting in anger that I forgot to save.

Another thing I don’t like is that the game is easy. Really easy. Expect the final bosses of each area. Those provide a challenge. I admit I died two or three times when trying to defeat the first boss. But for the rest, this game is easy once you get the basics.

Also, this game has an annoying part with the controls. I wish they were better then what we got. It’s too much based on the touch screen. Since you have to touch Elebits and then your Omega to capture them, you almost wish you had an action button. But then I found out that this game has options to control. Sadly enough, no action button in sight.

The sounds is something were I can’t be happy about in nearly every game I review. But this game gets it done. The sound design is pretty well done and really gets you in the right mood and believing that the game can be real. The music is okay. I have heard better on the Nintendo DS, but some tunes managed to get stuck in my head, which is a sign of good music.

What else to say? 

wii34-rev_elebits-ele5-article_image.jpg

As I am nearing the end of my first impression article, I actually started to play a game a bit more to check if I didn’t forget to talk about something. And yes, I did.

The game gets some points back in the control area to have the option to not use the shoulder buttons of my DS so much. Thanks to several other games, my shoulder buttons are broken. Which makes me sad face.

Something that this game doesn’t have is some polish. Some area’s of the game feel lacking of decoration. The level design is too easy like I said before but apart from some trees and water, the area misses flowers and objects to make the area look alive.

Also, you seem able to download new Omega’s. If that’s new content or just more creatures to finish your adventures I can’t tell since my WiFi’s protection can’t be read by the DS Lite. Insert a picture of a sad kitten here.

But I’m excited to finish this game. The story hasn’t really started yet and I got to know the basics of the game. The story seems really interesting to get into and seems more then just about a child that wants attention. Wow, that might have came out wrong.

But one thing is for sure, I’m hooked to this game. The length seems decent from what I can tell. The game progresses at the decent pace and it doesn’t get boring. But enough rambling. Jonezy, you need to get back to creating content and finishing this game so you can give it a proper review. Thanks for reading and hopefully I can welcome you on my blog for the Magical Starsign first impression article.