As the first DS game to be controlled exclusively by the Nintendo DS' touch screen (and at one point it's microphone), a lot of people will use Feel the Magic as a sign of just how well the stylus and the screen can go together to create fun and exciting forms of gameplay. Fortunately, the game does wonders with the new device's features, and is definitely a high point of the system's launch. It's a very odd title, not just because of it's unusual control scheme, but also due to it's bizarre presentation and slightly odd plot. Feel the Magic stars you as an average Joe who spots the girl of his dreams one day on the street. Hoping to somehow win her affections, you join an offbeat performance group known as the "Rub Rabbits." You'll then find yourself performing odd stunts to win her affections, such as going bowling on a busy street, or riding a unicycle over a platform that's been suspended between two skyscrapers. As the plot progresses, you'll take on even more unusual challenges, such as defending her from a herd of rampaging bulls, or yelling into the DS' microphone to get her attention at the park. The concepts behind these games are all well and good, but there's still the issue of how well they work when you're actually playing them. For the most part, the touch screen performs quite admirably. However, there will be a few times when the game's hit detection seems a bit off. It might come about when you're asked to trace a thin line, or paint a shape onto the side of a wall, but eventually you'll probably have a problem with just how sensitive the screen can be. With practice though, you'll get better at the games and these issues won't be as much of a problem. But still, it would have been nice if the hit detection had been just a bit sharper. Every single game is first presented to you in the game's Story mode. In it, you're required to complete a certain number of the mini-games to progress to the next chapter. After you finish one game for the first time, it's sent to the "Memories" menu, where you can play it any time you wish. Even more unusually, when you complete a game in "Memories," you're often awarded with an outfit which you can dress your girlfriend up with in the rather unusual "Manic" mode. Sadly, the Story mode is a bit short, and you will probably be able to finish it rather quickly. "Memories" does give the game a bit more replay value, but the entire game still seems to be disappointingly short. Still, it's very easy to have fun with what's there, and that can easily last you quite a while. The game's graphics are incredibly unusual, to say the least. Everything is presented in a rather odd color scheme. All of the characters are mere silhouettes, with a small amount of color thrown in for their clothing and hair. The game's scenery is usually brightly colored, and has a rather odd style of it's own. Moreover, the game's graphics often switch back and forth between 2-D and 3-D as the different mini-games require. The 3-D sections seem to lack just a bit of the flair that the rest of the game's visuals have, but it's nothing devastating to the game's overall presentation. All in all, it's a very nice looking game, and a very unique one at that. The game's audio is also as surprisingly different as the visuals. The music is collection of lively and often rather frantic tunes that keep the games sounding upbeat and exciting. One of the first things that you’ll notice is how most of the games are preceded by a group of voices yelling the game's title, followed by a brief instrumental intro. Many of the different mini-games are punctuated by the comedic shouts and screams of the different individuals who are involved in the game's proceedings. The voice samples are never anything more than brief sound clips, and they're not used as part of the game's plot or anything, they're just there to add a little excitement to the games themselves. Overall, the game's audio is a very strong feature, and it's well worth hearing. To conclude, Feel the Magic: XY/XX is at the top of the heap of DS launch titles. More than that, it's a fun game that just about anyone can enjoy. There are some slight control issues, and the parts that are controlled by the microphone are probably best left to the privacy of one's own home, but other than that it's a perfect showcase of the unusual capabilities of the Nintendo DS. To put it simply, if you have a DS, or are thinking of picking one up, it would be a very wise idea to give strong consideration to purchasing Feel the Magic.
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