Review: The Legendary Starfy (DS)June 25th, 2009 | Written by Danreb Victorio | Topic: Nintendo DS, Reviews
If you’ve ever played Super Smash Bros. Brawl and came across an Assist Trophy that wreaks havoc upon characters on the screen by spinning like crazy, odds are you’d wonder who that star was. The star’s name is Starfy, and he’s the hero of the skies of Pufftop. Still confused? Then you need to play The Legendary Starfy.
The Legendary Starfy is a Nintendo-published series in Japan that has never made into the states until now. The game made its GBA debut in 2000 under the same name, and has since then distinguished itself with four sequels. The game’s North American debut is actually the fifth in this young series, and it includes all sorts of features and mechanics that sidescrolling platformer fans should instantly enjoy.
The game’s story revolves around a bunny that lost his memory. Confused at who this bunny is, Starfy follows the bunny with a strange shard in-hand. In stereotypical fantasy fashion, that shard is what the bad guys are after, and it’s up to Starfy to save the day.
Gameplay starts and ends as being overly simple. You move left and right using the directional buttons, with the A button allowing you to jump. You can also use the Y button to perform Starfy’s signature spin attack. Also, if you didn’t notice with the game’s boxart, a good portion of the game will be played underwater, and from here, the controls have more variety. While moving is still done with the directional buttons, you can make Starfy move more swiftly by making swimming strokes with the B button. In addition, Starfy still has access to his spin attack, so when barnacles or enemies get in the way, Starfy can pull off his own kinds of destruction.
Over the course of the game, Starfy can learn more moves, and things get a bit more interesting once you start using the game’s touch screen controls to pull of certain moves. At random times, Starfy will put on a costume to turn into some sort of beast. Our first boss with a squid had Starfy incredibly scared, but after a quick moment of fear, he quickly turned into some sort of fire-breathing beast that easily allowed us to get rid of the squid, albeit temporarily.
However way you play the game, the object of each level is to reach the shining platform at the end. At times, finding the end platform can be a bit tricky due to the alternate paths that lead to different secrets, but the more unorthodox the path—the better, because that allows you to gain access to hidden mid-levels that are a tad more challenging than the game’s default path of levels. In addition to hidden levels are various components to different suits that Starfy can wear. They’re pretty much useless, as all they do is make a 3D version of Starfy more stylish.
If you ever get tired with the game’s single-player adventure, you and a friend can also take part in various touch minigames to pass the time. One of the cooler ones requires the player to pull back on a coin to hit various targets. The beauty of the game’s multiplayer is that only one game card is required, of course, it takes a bit longer to get things ready.
When looking at The Legendary Starfy for the first time, it immediately makes you think it’s a cross between Kirby and the original Mega Man, but the gameplay is pretty much nothing like any of them. There’s a haven of hand-drawn sprites all over the game, and the 3D rendered backgrounds further enhance the game’s lush 2D look.
To be straightforward, the game just sounds like a kids game. All the tunes are light-hearted, and whenever you come across a conversation (which happens all the time), you’ll hear Starfy make his annoying cries of joy or disappointment. In fact, if you wanted to annoy a friend, you can keep closing and opening the DS to keep Starfy moaning. On a serious note though, while the game sounds annoying, the musical score is actually quite good. Nothing memorable yet, but it’ll get there, especially if this series takes off.
While it’s extremely easy and definitely is no Mario, nothing really takes anything away from The Legendary Starfy’s undeniable charm. Newcomers will love its pick-up-and-play nature, while the hardcore platform enthusiasts will spend a lot of time looking through every nook and cranny in the game to find something special. If you need a good, lengthy, and colorful platform to spend on those long road trips, The Legendary Starfy would be welcome company.