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Feel the Magic: XY/XX Review for Nintendo DS
Posted on Friday, December 17, 2004 @ 02:56:31 pm E.S.T

Have you ever seen one of those eye-catching games that makes you think to yourself “that definitely looks interesting, but I’m sure my friends would sit and laugh at me if they ever caught me playing it”? Okay, so maybe you didn’t have that exact thought, but I’m sure you can relate to the subject with games such as Animal Crossing, Wario Ware, and Donkey Konga. Feel The Magic XY/XX absolutely falls into that unconventional category, but like the aforementioned games, has a significant quality that makes the title unique, in the good way.

So you’re a guy. You spot a girl. You fall in love. Now you want the girl to fall in love with you. Bam. That’s the story of Feel The Magic. (Crazy Japanese people...) Somehow, in trying to get her to like you back, you decide to join a “Super Performance Group” called the “RUB Rabbits”. Apparently, in Japan, chicks dig guys doing abnormal and life-threatening stunts. By completing said tricks, which are in the form of various mini-games, your girl gains affection and you move on to even more insane acts. Of course, each mini-game is completely different from the previous one, which means you’ll be busy performing tasks from blowing in the microphone, to guiding a man on a unicycle across a rooftop. There are 27 mini-games in all, and considering they each have multiple levels and long play time, it’s hard to get bored in the least.

The touch screen and microphone are the only tools that are put to use, which works rather well, especially when the two are combined. Even I was surprised with how many different mini-game ideas Sega came up with, so expect something like a longer version of Wario Ware, except with "rubbing". In the actual story mode you’ll be placed in a seemingly sequential array of events, each pertaining to the following mini-game about to be played. The pace of the game is nice and, for only consisting of mini-games, the story mode is surprisingly long. And when you complete a mini-game in the main mode, it becomes unlocked in “Memories” mode, which lets you choose what mini-game you’d like to play and gives you one life to complete every level in the game. (And in case you’re wondering, yes; the games do get very difficult).

Most people aren’t that familiar with the capabilities on the DS quite yet, because we’ve only seen a small arrangement of titles thus far. Super Mario 64 DS showed us that the DS can handle vast environments with multi-polygonal character models. Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt taught us that our little dual-screen monster can pump out ridiculous textures and complex maps, all at a flying framerate. Feel The Magic teaches us that the DS can also be used for visuals that, like the game, are strikingly abnormal. These graphics can only be compared to that of an iPod commercial. While the character models are exceptionally well-done, and the color palette is nicely chosen, the lack of textures may anger some people. Personally, I think the execution of the game, visually speaking, couldn’t be more fitting. With every different section of the game, you get a different graphical feel, making love scenes feels cute and happy, and battle scenes scary and exciting. Also, there are a few visual tricks used, such as texture aberration, color inverse, and even the impressive polygonal distortion, which all keep the game looking spanky.

As Sonic Team mentioned before the game came out, they are particularly proud of the audio in Feel The Magic. I honestly can’t stress how absolutely irregular every aspect of this game truly is. Most of the sounds and even audio tracks are recorded using a varied type of “scat” singing, with mostly male voices making an assortment of noises in a musical form. You’ll have to trust me on this one, though, because the audio can’t be explained in text form: It’s good. In accordance with the visual effects, the audio helps with the overall experience of the game. And once you blow through the story once, a sound test mode is unlocked, which is nice because it lets you speed up or slow down the audio tracks to your liking.

Mini-games tend to bring some of the biggest replay value, and this holds true in games like Wario Ware and the Mario Party series. Feel The Magic is no different, in the sense that these little stunts are immensely fun to play over and over again. I found that even in extremely difficult parts of the game I wasn’t even that frustrated when I’d continually lose, because the games are just so fun. And don’t fret, little ones. Sega included plenty of unlockables for your enjoyment. Basically, when you complete the story modes, or the games in the “Memories” area, or even find the hidden “RUB Rabbits” (which are located by tapping specific parts of the screen during cut-scenes), you unlock different hairstyles or articles of clothing for your woman. Unfortunately, the varying attire she wears is only apparent in a few mini-games. (But that’s just because in many of the games, what she’s wearing is an important aspect to the way you play, if you know what I mean). With all this being said, there are still multiple levels of the story mode, as well, which include Normal Mode, Hard Mode, and the appropriately named Hell Mode. No matter how you play the game, there’ll always be something to strive for, keeping you busy for hours at a time.

When it’s all said and done, Feel The Magic is unquestionably a title for the DS. The abnormality of the game gives it flavor, especially the way the visuals and audio are portrayed. With 27 mini-games to choose from, everyone’s bound to find something they enjoy, and with so many unlockables, you’ll be playing those games for a while. If you are among the lucky and picked up a Nintendo DS, then you won’t be sorry if you pay the 30 dollar price tag for this gem. With the few launch titles out on the DS, this is a definite pick for gamers of all sort.

Review By: Dacvak - 1449 Reads

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