Magical Starsign (DS)

I read a review
about this game long ago that basically boiled down to “it’s got
a girly name but it’s fine as long as you don’t let your friends
see you playing it”. I hope to be a little bit more helpful here
than that review was.

This has been one of
the hardest calls so far. The artstyle is pretty and unique (it kinda
looks like one of those early-2000s kids shows that was animated in
flash), the music is nice, I like the whimsy of the setting, and the
battle system is actually something I’ve not seen before, requiring
on-the-fly rearrangement of your party during battles to maximise
their abilities.

I gave it an hour
and a half, and the story hasn’t really grabbed hold of me yet. For
an RPG in particular, the story is what really matters, and I don’t
yet feel invested in it. But the kicker here is the controls. How on
earth do you get the controls wrong in an RPG??? Magical Starsign
somehow manages it.

The D-pad handles
directional movement, as you would expect. But the face buttons also
act as a right-handed D-pad… and the Action button is the L or R
trigger. Okay, fine, that takes some getting used to, but it could
work… if the L/R buttons weren’t also the Run buttons, and if the
player character didn’t slip by at a diagonal any time they ran
into an obstacle. It feels like I’m trying to put in the Konami
code every time I try to remember the right order to press and
release all of these buttons just to interact with the story object I
need. Baffling.

Fin or Bin:

Magical Starsign has
pretty much confirmed a plan I had been brewing, inasmuch as I want
to revisit all of the Binned games once I’ve got my backlog down to
zero. It’s not put me off enough that I can confidently say I want
to Bin it, but when I consider there’s 60 other games I could be
playing instead I also don’t really want to Finish it, at least
right now. I’d like to see if I can get into it better when there’s
less competition for my time- I might also be better in the mood for
an RPG later on, which I admit I’m not really feeling at the moment
regardless.

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