Feel the Magic XY XX

Nintendo DS

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 5

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

There are some games you pick up that are so wildly different from anything else, you simply can't comprehend what it is you're playing. "Feel the Magic" is one of those games, a totally unique gaming experience that uses the DS to the fullest. It's a little short and can be frustrating at times, but you'll always be back for another shot.

Though it is just a collection of various touch-screen compatible mini-games, there is a ridiculous, simple story linking it all together. The (get this) Rub Rabbits Super Performance Group has a new member, a helmet wearing silhouette guy who falls for a dress wearing silhouette girl. They agree to help him win her affection by performing various stunts to impress her. It only gets weirder from here.

There are 30 games in total, though a few are just repeats of previous challenges. Amazingly, the only thing available on the DS this game doesn't require are the buttons. Everything is done via either the touch screen or the microphone. Each game is crazier than the first, whether it be ejecting a parachute by typing in a number, stopping rampaging bulls, blowing out (literally) giant mutated candles, or dancing just like the Sonic Team's own "Space Channel 5." The circumstances are usually insane, but it turns what are very simplistic games into highly enjoyable and addictive experiences.

In a very wise decision, you do not have to beat each game in every stage (there are usually three) to advance. If one of them is giving you trouble, just replay one you have already beat. Granted, you won't really unlock the entire game this way, but it lets you constantly make progress.

Once you have beaten the main story game, there is some real replay value as you challenge the Memories portion of the game. Here, you only have one chance to clear 10 progressively harder stages of each game you conquered in the main game. Doing so can unlock more clothes to dress the girl in, though some can only be earned by putting a Sonic Team GBA game into the proper slot on the DS.

Considering all of the people in this game are silhouettes, you can probably guess by yourself that this one has a real unique graphical style. It works. Everything is very simple, but it lets the game keep up a solid frame rate. Animation of the characters is really spectacular; especially considering this is a portable. There's even a nifty water effect during the sailboat stage.

Sadly, the sound really doesn't stand out. Yes, there is an infectious soundtrack at work here, but the yelps and screams of the characters you're controlling are grating. More than a few times you will find yourself sliding the volume button down a bit just to get away from it.

Out of the few launch titles for the DS this is one to get. It's frantic, it's fun, and it uses the system properly to create a totally unique title unlike anything you've ever seen. Yes, "Wario Ware" had the same basic concept, but the games here are longer and more involving. In fact, it all adds up to one of the best portable games currently available.


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Last updated: Monday, January 03, 2005 08:25 AM