Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August of Games: Day 20 - Magical Starsign

You'd be amazed how hard it is to find videos of the songs from this game, and not many of the best ones are even uploaded! This is one of those games where the decision to just use the game's music is biting me in the ass.

Magical Starsign
Developer: Brownie Brown (now 1-Up Studio - they've done a bunch of work with Nintendo and Level-5)
Genre (Setting): Space Fantasy
Genre (Gameplay): RPG
What is this game: This is a silly DS game about kid magic users who find themselves traveling between planets that have elemental alignments and looking for a lady who got kidnapped by pirates with a plot. The kids are several humans and a robot and a salamander-person and a bunny girl. everything is a joke of some kind, the dialog is absurd, and the plot is actually noticeably better than I'm making it sound here (which was a big surprise!)
The gameplay is a no-nonsense RPG. It's actually remarkably traditional, which isn't usually a thing I enjoy but it worked out pretty good. It's also tough for a game that, on the surface, seems built to appeal to a younger crowd.
The pixel art graphics are absolutely fantastic, and I've several times I've tried my hand at the style and I've never quite pulled it off. It looks REALLY pretty. The soundtrack is hurt by being a DS game and having to deal with the DS's speakers, but is still okay if you're okay with that sound.
What's great about it: A few things! For one, if you haven't caught on, I'm a huge fan of silliness in games. This game just goes all out, and it's that, plus a level of detail to the universe that surprised me, that make me love this game. 7 years after release (shit, I was like 13 when this game came out? SERIOUSLY?), I still come back to this one on a fairly regular basis.
Oh, and if it wasn't clear above, I love love love the graphics.
Other players who aren't me will probably enjoy that the game is also a decently long and more than a bit difficult. While the setting and style aren't reminiscent of classic RPGs, the gameplay very much is. I fear there's probably some grinding, but what can you do?
How do I get it: Hell, it's a DS game, I don't even know how you would go about getting this. Used game stores? Piracy? I would hate to see people only experiencing this game through PC emulation, so if you can play it on a flashcard do that, but options are probably limited at this point.
The game never recieved a sequel due to low sales, but it does have a predecessor on the GBA! Magical Vacation is a Japan-only game that I've not played because I can't read Japanese and I wouldn't really bother doing it without the text. Starsign is only an indirect sequel and none of the events of Vacation matter to the plot, so don't worry about just skipping it if you aren't interested.
NOTE: Apparently it's wicked cheap on Amazon, like $7.50 cheap.

End Recording,

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