October 11, 2010

Hoshigami: Ruining Blue Earth Remix

Hoshigami Ruining Blue Earth: Remix is a remake of the Sony PSX classic for Nintendo DS. With the plethora of titles being re-released on a number of consoles, there hasn't been much to expect in the way of new features from these kind of games. Hoshigami is no exception. I remember getting the PSX version of this game a number of years ago when it came out. The only real improvement is that now I can take this game in my hands on the road rather than sit in my living room and playing it.

For those who haven't played this title before, it is a turn-based tactics game. Moves are determined by factors such as character speed, weight, number of attacks taken during a turn, and number of moves made. I know this sounds like a lot to take in. In a nutshell, the fewer spaces you move and the fewer attacks you take in a turn, the quicker your character can mount their next turn. With regards to weapons, the heavier weapons tend to have higher attack power, meaning that you can attack with them fewer times in a turn. Attacks can also be made using magic in the form of coin feigms (CF). You can upgrade the coins by merging them with elemental properties to increase their range, attack power, and reduce use cost.

Character selection in this game is very much like Final Fantasy Tactics. You hire mercenaries to join your team. There are different avatars for various to choose from and they have different religions that they follow. The religions determine which weapons have an optimized attack pattern. Each religion also allows the character to acquire skills to play on their strengths as they collect devotion points from each attack they launch. Along with the fully customizable mercenaries, there are also characters that join your party through the quests undertaken in the story. There characters do tend to be stronger when you acquire them than the mercenaries, so you may find yourself using more of them in your party than the recruitable characters.

The maps in the game are nothing special to cry about. They are very much in line with what you would see in pretty much any turn-based strategy game. The maps are all developed on a 3D framework with rotation angles to get the best movement pattern as you progress through the game.

The artwork in the game is also very much the same as Final Fantasy Tactics. The same character sprite design is implemented in Hoshigami Ruining Blue Earth: Remix. The music is also fairly bland in the game. The same songs just repeat over and over as you play through the maps.

Truth be told, this game didn't receive amazing reviews. Even though this is the case, I still found myself loving the DS version just as much as the PSX version. As of the time of this writing, the game has been discontinued on DS, and is pretty much only available second hand on eBay. Perhaps part of the appeal in having this game is the fact that it is now so rare. Although Hoshigami is not what I would consider the "best" of it's genre, it is still a very entertaining game to play and highly recommended.

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