Starfy has eight worlds with four levels a piece, plus a bonus world where you get to play as his sister, Starly. Each world also has multiple bonus levels, which take some time to unlock. You have to complete challenges to open them up “" things like sumo wrestling a giant shrimp, collecting items in a set time, destroying snow penguins, or saving an aquatic creature’s pals “" but before you do that, you have to find the hidden room where these challenges reside. Once you accomplish both of these tasks, you unlock the bonus level, which will net you more opportunities to collect treasures and pearls. These are not all easy to find, as they oftentimes require a lengthy alternate path or for you to find a hole in the wall to spin through. Luckily, Moe shows up on your bottom screen along with an exclamation mark to let you know that the current room houses a bonus room, which keeps you from searching needlessly in every room in the game.

Each world is very different from the last, both geographically and in terms of gameplay. You learn new abilities to help you traverse the environments you encounter, so in one world you might feel like you’re playing Mario by jumping around often, or like Donkey Kong in Donkey Kong Country when he’s underwater, and in another, you might feel like you’re playing something like Sonic due to the fast-paced nature. There are even portions of the game where you wear suits that give you powers, like the ability to move through spikes as a ghost, or the ability to shoot flames as a dragon. This reminds me of Little Nemo, or of Kirby’s Dream Land 3, where you pick up powers that are pretty context specific to help you in your journey. This helps keep what is admittedly a pretty easy game fresh, so don’t worry about becoming bored with it, as you spend a lot of time learning new things, even up to the end of the game.

To reinforce how easy it is though, you have a health meter, but no extra life counter. If you die, you go to your previous save point, of which there are loads throughout each level. This does work given that it keeps you from backtracking or replaying sections too often, since the game requires a lot of replaying and doubling back in order to find all of the hidden rooms and treasures anyways. It’s just a shame it’s not a little bit more difficult to complete.

Starfy also encourages you to try out the cooperative mode, where both Starfy and Starly are active. You don’t need a copy of the game to play co-op (you just have to wait for the data to transfer wirelessly if you lack the cartridge), and though it makes boss fights even simpler, it also encourages some exploration and faster solving of puzzles. Starly can get to some places that Starfy cannot due to her move set, so I encourage you to give this mode a shot if you’re a perfectionist that wants all of those treasures and pearls.

Blast Factor: The game is jam-packed full of things to do just in the main quest, but there are also loads of unlockables and extras that might keep you entertained for a bit after you finish or while you are playing. It’s a little overwhelming at times with the amount of things you can do and features you can utilize, but you can’t complain that the game lacks depth. Starfy and his friends are essentially a new intellectual property in the west, and they are more than worthy of being added to Nintendo’s rich platforming history.

The Legendary Starfy is available exclusively on the Nintendo DS, with a suggested retail of $29.99

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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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