Feel the Magic: XY/XX (DS)
Feel the Magic was one of the first games available at the Nintendo DS launch. It is the story of a guy who walks by a pretty lady and is immediately attracted to her. He will do almost anything to get close to her, and joins a performing arts group called the \'Rub Rabbits\'. This game is a rather silly look at what it took for him to \'get the girl\'...
How does this game play?
This game is a collection of 26 unique minigames that, along with various almost comic book-like transition scenes, move the story along. It starts with you trying to impress her with a good live performance. As things progress along, you \'ask her out\', hold her hand while walking through the park, and eventually save her as she is taken away by a \'bad guy\'.
At several points through the story there are \'Boss Battles\' which usually involve protecting her from some kind of serious harm, or saving her from a perilous situation. There are also \'Love Scenes\' which are scenes where you and your girl bond in some way. One example is where you have to scrub her clean when she got dirty. Another is where you get to hold her hand while walking through the park. There are a few more, and some of them kind of push the envelope a bit...
Boss Battles are usually kind of fun, and more involved than regular levels. Many use 3D graphics of some kind. In one level you have to stop raging bulls from hurting her. In another, you have to try to rescue her from a fast moving truck by flinging people you scoop off of the street into it (more on this in the appropriateness section). And in another you have to torch a rather large living plant that has taken her hostage. All in all, pretty neat.
Though each minigame is fairly interesting and fun, and in many cases more involved than Wario Ware: Touched! for example, being only 26 the game does go by rather quickly, especially if you are reasonably skilled with the stylus. This game is completely driven by the stylus, and all in all, does a fairly good job at using it well. Overall, the minigames are quite varied and a lot of fun to play, too. It just ends a bit more quickly than some might like.
What are the graphics like?
The graphics vary quite a bit, as you might expect from a minigame-based game. All of the characters are silhouettes, including the hero, villains, and \'the girl\'. All of the story and non-minigame areas are simple 2D scenes with a comic-book like style, and in games it can vary greatly; a lot of time the 3D effects are really quite good. The driving level in particular looks really good. Other levels range from interesting 3D to simple 2D, where appropriate. I never really found myself needing or wanting more, though I wonder what could have been done on a few levels. But nevertheless, this game\'s purpose is not to be a masterpiece of graphics, but to tell a story and be fun, which it does accomplish.
How is the sound/music?
The sound effects fit the bill pretty well; you can tell that the voice of the girl is well done. She has a very \'cute\' and \'delicate\' sound to her. When you touch her, she can giggle or scream (not a fear/pain scream, but a \'hey!\' scream) depending on where you touch her. This of course depends on the level, or if you view the girl in \'Maniac\' mode.
The music sounds good and fits the need and mood well, but there\'s not a lot of variety and gets pretty repetitive after a while.
How appropriate is this game for Christians?
This is where this game has a lot of problems. Though the game is light-hearted and tries to be fun without taking itself to seriously, it still is a game about a guy trying to get a girl. It seems to encourage a person to \'use their imagination\' about her, especially since you have to since she\'s a silhouette ;). There are also some intermission-style scenes where you might see her in a bathtub or shower and realize you are there and cover herself or something. Though you obviously don\'t see anything, it certainly (intentionally) is trying to get you attracted to this person as you play, so you will care about her more (one way or another).
In one of the levels called \'Drive\', you need to stop the maniac who stole your girl, so you drive a pickup truck with a large sling in the back. As you drive, you run over pedestrians, and you pick them up to use as ammo for the sling as you try to knock out the truck. You need at least 5 people in order to clear the level. It\'s obvious that, as silly as it may sound, it\'s not exactly appropriate to value people in that way.
One of the more troubling levels is where both of you just crawled out of the ocean onto a deserted island from a boat that was knocked over. When you arrive, you start a fire and \'undress\' her by unbuttoning her dress one at a time until all 5 buttons are undone. She seems to have a bra or bikini top on under this. Though again you don\'t see \'anything\', it\'s terribly bad for a person\'s imagination.
The hand holding scene, though mostly innocent, tries fairly effectively to try to \'bond\' you to this digital silhouette. She giggles and blushes as you go along, and responding in a very \'delicate\' way as bees come along to try to bust up your fun.
In one level the girl is always wearing her underwear/bikini (it\'s hard to tell when all clothes are blue). In the final part of the game, you have the last \'Love Scene\' by performing CPR on her and bringing her back to life.
In this reviewer\'s opinion, this game is fun, but very dangerous for guys in general, but married men specifically. It tries very hard to get your imagination going, and make you \'lust after her\'. (Matthew 5:28) Ironically, ladies may not find this game as offensive in that respect, since you don\'t actually see half-naked skin. But regardless, keep a very guarded heart if you do decide to play this game.
Because of the nature of this game, that the game revolves around what it does, the Sexual Content/Nudity deduction will by multiplied x2.
This game starts with a warning stating that \'Do not attempt to recreate any of the situations seen in this game.\' Not only is that good advice ;), it should also be a stern warning to those males who want to keep pure minds and hearts. It is a fun game that takes really good use of the special features of the Nintendo DS, but think very carefully before making the decision to get this game or not.
Sexual Content/Nudity 3/10 x2 - effective -4/10
Appropriateness Total: 32/50
Game Play 17/20
Game Score Total: 43/50