80It took long enough, but another of Nintendo’s cute, marketable mascots has made its way to North America. The Legendary Starfy is not the most innovative platformer around “" in fact, it combines its originality with elements from other Nintendo franchises “" but the end result of its mixing and matching is a quality marine platformer that will have you coming back for more.

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: TOSE
June 8, 2009

Starfy is the prince of Pufftop, a kingdom in the sky. One day, a bunny in a spacesuit crashes into Pufftop and is captured by unknown assailants until Starfy saves him with his spin move “" the bunny, Bunston, then runs off to the world below. Starfy and his pal Moe give chase, and your adventure begins. Surprisingly, the story in this platformer is entertaining, and you won’t want to skip the text-based cut scenes, or the comic book style cartoons that occasionally come up during important moments. The localization is very well done and humorous, much better than the tripe that usually pollutes these types of games (I’m looking at you, hedgehog.) Despite an appearance that the game and some of the humor is intended for a younger crowd, you won’t roll your eyes unless the game means for you to do so.

Starfy and his friends are cute “" almost disarmingly so. Close your DS with the game running, and Starfy emits a wail like you’ve hurt his feelings by leaving, but he’ll greet you with a satisfied cry when you return to play again. The assault of cute on your senses is never ending, with Starfy making adorable faces as you run, jump, attack, or just sit there. The music is catchy and bubbly, and will get stuck in your head while you play and after you shut off your DS. The 3D backgrounds are well drawn and animated, and add to the 2D foreground; both utilize all of the colors of the rainbow in that sugary sweet style that Kirby is so well known for. The aforementioned cut scenes involve a bunch of character animations that look like your typical Japanese animation emoting, which is pretty adorable when it involves little sea creatures and a star.

The controls seem a bit awkward at first “" why is the button to dash on land and underwater different? “" but that goes away as you learn more abilities. When you require that the transition process between abilities is seamless late in the game, it is, and the control scheme will make much more sense than when you first start up. These powers vary from longer and stronger spin moves to double jumps to the ability to float, and you will use all of them in a variety of ways over the course of the adventure.

You have your basic Mario style run and jump platforming, but you also have Kirby style gaming mixed in as well “" though in the case of Starfy, many of these powers are inherent, rather than acquired the way Kirby does. It all works very well together though, which is somewhat surprising given the amount of things they want you to learn to do and implement. Besides reaching the exit, you will have some other goals, like collecting treasures and pearls. Treasures can be heart containers (collect three to extend your life bar) or costumes and accessories for a 3D model of Starfy to model on the pause menu. Pearls come in large and small sizes (worth five and one pearl respectively) and are used to regenerate your health and to buy unlockables from the pause menu.

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About The Author

Marc Normandin was gaming editor of Blast from 2008 to mid-2010. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @Marc_Normandin

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