Most helpful positive review
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
The Magic of the Starsigns (by Laura)
on June 6, 2008
This is a great game, but it's a game that one can easily overlook. I've encountered this game in stores several times. Most of those times, I walked away from it; because it certainly doesn't look like anything interesting on the cover. I received this game a few of days ago. My mother and I were at a Toys R Us store, so that I could receive Darkrai for my "Pokemon Diamond" and "Pokemon Pearl" games. While we were there, a sales clerk gave us a five dollar off coupon for any other Nintendo DS game. It would only last the day we were there, so mother and I looked at the DS games. I picked out the "Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Travelers of Darkness", a game I've been meaning to get my hands on (I haven't played it yet so I can't comment on it's quality). The store was out of the "Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Travelers of Time" game, however, so we feared that it may be out of the one I picked too (it wasn't the actual game, but an empty box that we picked out to take to the front desk). So, mother sent me to pick out another game in case they were out. "Magical Starsign" only popped out at me then, because it looked better than everything else on the market (which wasn't much). I was reluctant to have my mother buy it thinking it would waste her money; but when she saw it was only around fifteen bucks, she jumped at the chance to purchase it for me. After all, it's not unusual that DS games go for thirty, forty, or even fifty bucks. However, even though the price wasn't ridiculous, it made me pessimistic; normally, stores only sell games at those kind of prices as a desperate attempt to get rid of them. Well, it's no use having the game if you're not going to play it, so I took it for a spin. Here's what I found:
1. Great characters with slight customization features. Choose to play as a boy or a girl, and select your sign light (normal difficulty with healing capabilities) or dark (hard difficulty with the ability to steal strength from your foes). Then, you become aware of the five other main characters. Who start off being Lassi, Mokka, Chai, Pico, and Sorbet; but you can change their names! I named mine Windy, Coffee, Blitz, Spyro, and Charity respectively. To avoid confusion, I'll describe them using the names given in the manual: Lassi is a rabbit with an "insatiable curiosity" who controls the wind element. Mokka is a robot that controls the earth element. Chai is the only child of a lizard family, and he controls the wood element. Pico is the "coolest hot-blooded male you'll ever meet" and he controls the fire element. Sorbet is a girl who always thinks she can do better, and controls the water element. These colorful but different personalities complement and contrast each other in the storyline.
2. The game has a good storyline. Sure, it's the old storyline of ____ goes missing and _____ has to rescue him/her; but it's the way it's performed that makes it masterful. You, Lassi, Mokka, Chai, Pico, and Sorbet are students, along with a bunch of nobodys, in a school known as Will-O-Wisp Academy. Miss Madeleine is your teacher, who is always running late. One day, Principal Biscotti asks Madeleine to perform a dangerous mission (stop a former student known as Kale from doing evil) on the planet of Puffoon. Everyone, including you, overhears this conversation, and gather around Miss Madeleine in stress; she comforts you and says it will be fine. Later, she calls you to the meditation room (I think that's what it was called) and decides to teach y'all how to defend yourselves, because "she has a feeling." This is where you learn the basics of the game. After that, she leaves the academy and disappears for three months. Then, Lassi goes missing; everyone else talks about a prank the seniors played about a rocket being in the back room. Everyone suspects that, since Madeleine is gone, Lassi went to go look for a rocket to find her. Everyone splits up and searches; Mokka decides to team up with you, in order to prevent you from doing anything "foolish." This is all I will reveal, but the story gets really good from here out.
3. Fun controls. It looks complicated at first, but Madeleine goes over the lessons thoroughly with you. In addition, there are a couple of commands you may never use (I'm referring to the repeat command). The only thing that Madeleine doesn't cover, but a radish later will, is if you tap a character at the right time when performing a spell, you get a power boost. This is a cool thing to see. Similarly, tap a character right before an attack to activate reflex guard, which reduces damage. This works especially well if you activate it during a normal guard.
4. Beautiful graphics. Somehow, among all it's cartoonish designs, the background is realistic. It sucks you in as if you are actually there.
5. Good comedy. It's basic and you have to listen carefully, but it's good. You can tell a certain designer has a dry wit. Probably the funniest, and most groan inducing, joke is the ongoing pun with Mokka. Think about it: he was built by Principal Biscotti, with parts from the Cappuccino civilization. I'm dead serious. Eek!
6. Great music. The melodies really hypnotize you, match the situations perfectly, and really enhance gameplay.
7. There is strategy involved. With each element, there's a planet and a special area it corresponds to. Get the planet in it's special zone, and allies and enemies alike, who share that element, get a big power boost. As the main character, your power relies on the time of the game's day (days rotate faster than in real life). If you choose to wield light magic, you need to fight during the day; with dark magic, you need to fight at night. Staying at various inns, for a price, can help you control the period of the day, if it's worth the money to you. Incorporating these strategies can create maximum effectiveness and simplicity, but at the same time it's not essential for winning or enjoying the game.
There isn't much, if anything, that's negative in this game. Some parts players might find repetitious, but I find it an absolute delight. I don't know how it's like for multiplayer, but it's an almost perfect single player game. I recommend it and for all ages who play Nintendo DS.