The Legendary Starfy
Starfy finally makes his way stateside in a cute, entertaining romp.
The Densetsu no Starfy Taiketsu series is strong in Japan, selling moderately well for Nintendo. Fortunately, the company brought the star-shaped hero to the U.S. with The Legendary Starfy for Nintendo DS.
Starfy and his friends, including a talking clam named Moe and a bunny-costumed character, get into trouble as soon as they land on Earth. A grumpy octopus kidnaps one of them, leading Starfy on an unexpected rescue mission. Fortunately, he's got some great abilities along with a few allies, including the treasure-sniffing Moe, a cute and confident mermaid and a mapmaker. Why a mapmaker lives underwater is beyond us, but never mind.
At first, Starfy's got a few basic attacks, including a spinning maneuver that can take out enemies, a speed-up option that quickly moves him through water and other moves such as a wall jump and a crawl (to get through smaller areas). As he progresses, however, he gains special abilities through power suits, including a flame-throwing Charizard-like dino outfit.
Like most Nintendo platformers, The Legendary Starfy is incredibly easy to pick up and play. Older players will also get a kick out of it, as they can use Moe (his big mug appears on the bottom screen) to seek treasure and other hidden goodies. There are numerous levels to complete, and plenty of rewards to reap once you finish the main game.
With each new item you collect, you can customize Starfy and give him a different appearance. No matter what you do, he'll still be an overly giddy star that never stops smiling, save for the occasional mental tweak when he's talking with Moe.
If crave something deeper, we suggest playing the multiplayer games. You and a friend can play some levels cooperatively with Starfy and his cute sister Starly. If working together's not your thing, you can also connect with others and play one of four mini-games. There's Fishing Derby (catch more fish than everyone else), the rip-roaring racing game Depth Chargers, a tracing game called Sand Tracker and a cooking contest called Dumpling Master. You can experience all of these using a single cartridge, which is superb if you feel like showing off the game to others.
There's also an option that lets you watch Moe interview certain characters from the game. Although you can't control the conversations, they're hilarious to watch.
Legendary Starfy is a terrific debut, despite the overly cute presentation. You'd do well to wish upon this star.
What's Hot: Fun platforming action, cool transformation powers, plenty of treasures to locate and challenges to overcome, mostly entertaining presentation, local multiplayer games and co-op stages.
What's Not: May be too cute for some, no online play.