Nostalgia Hands-On

We take to the skies in this handheld role-playing game set in a steampunk world.

It was difficult to get an idea of what Nostalgia was all about at the Electronic Entertainment Expo when very little gameplay was shown. However, at the 2009 Penny Arcade Expo, Ignition Entertainment had a demo available so that we could get an idea of how the game works. Anyone who has been playing a lot of Japanese role-playing games on the Nintendo DS will find that Nostalgia looks familiar, even though it's set in an alternate 19th-century reality. That's because Nostalgia is the product of a combined effort between Matrix Software--which worked on Final Fantasy III and IV on the DS--and Red Entertainment.

Our main character was Eddie, a young man who is accompanied by his friend Pad and two lovely ladies, Melody and Fiona. We started off in a quaint, Victorian-era-like town and were told to go to the airship dock to board a high-powered zeppelin. Shortly after taking off, we were confronted by what looked like bright orange dragons and were given a tutorial on how to manage Maverick, our airship. Like in many turn-based RPGs that have come before, fighting with an airship is similar to the usual ground combat. You choose what command you want to use from the menu (blades, cannons) and wait until it's your turn. The battle order is displayed on the bottom screen so that you can plan ahead.

After the short skirmish (each battle is summarized and ranked at the end), we realized that we were hovering over London and were directed to head over to Cairo, which was just a short flight away to the southeast. The world map view can be switched using the select button, which will bring up a map that is similar to the ones that hang on the walls of your geography class. In Cairo, we were told to steer clear of the dangerous pyramids, so of course that became our next destination. Overworld travel can be accomplished only via zeppelin, which saves on walking time, but youre not exempt from random battles, which will occur in flight and on foot when exploring dungeons.

The gameplay is extremely straightforward if you're familiar with Japanese RPGs. A map on the touch screen will keep track of your progress, and in this particular dungeon/pyramid, we had to watch for trap floors, which would disrupt our exploration by dumping us onto the bottom floor so that we had to find our way back up again. Our balanced four-person party managed to fend off mummies and spiders rather well. It's clear that Eddie was our warrior, Pad was the thief, and the two girls fulfilled the roles of healer and offensive spellcaster.

We'd like to get an opportunity to play more of Nostalgia from the beginning, because it looks to be another high-quality RPG from Matrix set in an intriguing steampunk fantasy world. Role-playing game fans will have another game to add to their collection when Nostalgia is released on the Nintendo DS in October

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28 comments
wogboypaul
wogboypaul

i cant freaking wait.. been waiting for this for so long

mooooo99
mooooo99

looks very interesting, il be keeping an eye on it.

wuzitduzit
wuzitduzit

Cool. I just heard about this game. I will definitely keep an eye out for it.

robertdobert
robertdobert

The gameplay of this isn't enough to get my money.. Need more Steampunk games

Shidira
Shidira

This game looks and sounds absolutely amazing! I can't wait for it, as it sounds like it will be a lot of fun!

clqtte
clqtte

Yea, that's the one.............

MaryVincent
MaryVincent

Oh boy, another great RPG. The DS needs these like the 360 needs shooters, but I'm still excited about this.

Dualmask
Dualmask

I never get tired of these kinds of games, but I'm not a huge fan of the 3D approach on DS. Maybe it'll look better in motion though.

_Pedro_
_Pedro_

@ powerfulone1987, uhm it's called Nostalgia for a reason you know.....

AniMazter
AniMazter

meh, with Devil Survivor, Knights in the nightmare, revenant wings, and even FF tacticts A2, this game looks like just a copycat. its not even original.*skies of arcadia anyone?

AlmightyMax
AlmightyMax

@Jhraxlin: I highly doubt that will happen. Unless your definition of a 'real rpg' is a Western RPG - which would be close-minded and almost racist - check out SMT: Devil Survivor. It's got more role-playing in it than most JRPGs and yes, even some WRPGs.

Quinzark
Quinzark

i love these games, tho lately i've not been feeling it as much. Last new turn based RPG i really enjoyed all through was Eternal Sonata. ( looks a little childish but is actually a great game )

senselessboy
senselessboy

hmm too many games coming out for the ds i dont know which one ill play first... neh ill just buy everything hahahaha

OverlordEX
OverlordEX

@Jhraxlin: Now THAT would be awesome!

Jhraxlin
Jhraxlin

Cairo is more than a short distance from London! Jrpgs are killing me, I like the odd one now and then, but I want a real rpg for the DS (Elder Scrolls V.)

illmatic87
illmatic87

Looks great, this may be the worst time to release a under the radar DS game, but i'll probably wait till i am done with other DS games coming this month.

lew_0911
lew_0911

Sounds like Skies of Arcadia. I like it.

evilsolidjavi
evilsolidjavi

I've been waiting for this game for a while now...have the japanese version. love the combat and the story seems interesting.

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

sounds very interesting gonna keep an eye out for it

lolzman2
lolzman2

Agreed with nintendo naut people have really been making alot of rpgs for the ds

Next-Gen-Tec
Next-Gen-Tec

This game sounds very good. I'll probably pick it up. October is getting packed for me.

nintendo-naut
nintendo-naut

There definitely isn't a lack of RPGs on the DS. This one looks like it could stand above the crowd, though.

Cheddarchet
Cheddarchet

I have high hopes for this game. It looks like it could be awesome, but I wish there was a bit more info on it...