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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Feel the Magic XY/XX

I love my DS Lite... but I have to admit, I don't play it that much. It's like one of those friends who blows into town every couple of years, you go out & have a great time with them, but you just don't see them that often.

The last time I played my DS was early January, after getting Custom Robo Arena as part of Roger's 2/$20.00 deal. I've been meaning to review that game, will get to that eventually.

Last week I saw Feel the Magic XY/XX at EB games "new" for $4.99! For $5.00, it's worth a shot. Especially with that cover!

Feel the magic XY/XX is a collection of minigames wrapped up in a "dating sim" type of theme. You're this guy who wants to attract the attention of a girl, and you perform all these minigames as part of trying to get close to her... it's pretty wacky, and very Japanese in its wackiness.

The look is great. The people are silhouettes, similar to the game Exit (PSP/DS) and overall the art direction is very stylish. Yes, the DS is not as powerful as the PSP. But games like this show how to do more with less.

I think Feel the Magic came out with the launch of the original DS, it's ©2004... but it really is innovative; its control scheme makes full use of the DS specific features. The controls are entirely stylus-based or using the built-in DS microphone. And I have to say, it (mostly) uses the controls fairly well. Doesn't seem overly gimmicky. There's one minigame where you have to blow a sailboat close enough to rescue the girl, and I'm really impressed how well it works. But there are some problems with the stylus controls, like lack of precision that makes a few minigames much less fun than they should be.

Like most minigame collections, there are a few clunkers. And it is a pretty short game overall. The replay value comes from re-doing the story mode in HARD, or replaying individual games to collect starts or rabbits to unlock more costumes for the girl.

It's weird that Sonic Team developed this game... to see the "Sonic" logo on a non-Sonic game.... but at least it doesn't suffer from the problems of that franchise. If you have Sonic GBA cartidges in your DS with Feel the Magic, it will unlock some bonus outfits for the girl. I (unfortunately) have Sonic Advance 3, so I was able to get a new hairstyle I think? In any case, take that, DSi! Ironically, having Sonic GBA games doesn't unlock ANYTHING if you have Sonic Rush in your DS. Okay... so this non-Sonic game uses a Sonic game to unlock stuff, while an actual SONIC DS game doesn't....... huh??

The game options have English & Japanese, and if you switch the language to Japanese and go back to the title page (same image as cover except cropped at the title), the girl doesn't have a bikini top... she's still in silhouette so it's not like you see anything...

There are a few little things like that; little bonuses that are kinda cool. On the player's birthday, the girl on the main menu screen will say "Happy birthday". Apparently there are also Xmas & New Years messages too. That's another thing I like about the DS, even the startup music changes a bit on your birthday. Like my PSP would ever acknowledge my birthday, or Xmas, or New Years.....

Feel the Magic is a pretty fun, stylish-looking, but short mingame collection.

Feel the Magic GameSpot review:


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