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Great Handheld Games: Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals
Click here to check out the reinvented Lufia: Rise of the Sinistrals.
I've never hidden the fact that I think Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals is one of the greatest RPGs of all time. When Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals was announced for Nintendo DS, I was full of mixed emotions. I was excited to see what new spins would be placed on the classic, on the other hand, I was afraid that the remake would absolutely crush any credibility the first game may have had. While I won't say that the remake blew my mind, it certainly put my fears to rest that the Lufia legacy will live on untarnished.
Once again, you control Maxim, a noble monster hunter who is destined to fight evil semi-gods known as the Sinistrals. These super beings have made it there goal to enslave mankind and rule on high as immortals. A chance encounter with Gades in the Soma Temple only further convinces Maxim that he must pursue these tyrants and end their reign of terror. Along the way, he'll befriend others who believe that they are on the same holy mission. Together, Maxim and his new friends will stand and fight against this new threat.
Based on the original Lufia series, Curse of the Sinsitrals, is an attempt to bring some new life into the classic and make it a little more up to date. The characters have all received an edgy new graphic update, transforming them from people shaped blobs into fully distinguishable human sprites. The dialogue has also gone up a few levels to keep the attention of this new generation. The story line is similar, but has changed at the same time. Big scenes and key lines from have stayed true to the original game, but the events that lead up to each new chapter have changed to make the story new again. For example, in the original, an encounter with the mysterious Iris sets Maxim on his journey. In Curse of the Sinistrals, Maxim is already chasing the mighty Gades through a cavern of fire. Another great example is when Maxim and Selan wed. In the original, we skip ahead to after the ceremony, honeymoon, etc. With the remake, we get to see a little more that happens during this period, and get to see a little more of how the two initially fall for each other.
The Official Game Trailer
The game still has plenty of puzzles that will trick you, but they are nowhere near the tough brain teasers of it's predecessor. Battle has gone from the traditional turn based RPG to more of a brawler style. Think of the old school button mashers Streets of Rage, Dynasty Warriors and even God of War, where mashing a single button repeatedly unleashes devastating combos that will decimate even the toughest of foes. While I'm sure many will appreciate the change, I would gladly trade the mindless button pressing for the discovering and exploitation of your enemy's weakness any day. Spells no longer play a role in the new version... :( The dungeon crawler mentality has changed into a Tomb Raider type platformer. While falling from a high ledge into a pit of lava won't kill you, it will take a good chunk out of your hit points. I don't mind the platforming aspect, but at times it's hard to gauge the height and distance from one ledge to the next, making climbing frustrating. Although, being able to switch from character to character in the midst of battle, capitalizing on each warrior's unique skill set is a welcome upgrade. The one major new addition to the game is the +5 ability. Every time your party is annihilated, you have the option of restarting at the last save spot with an additional five full experience level increase. A lot of people like the new enhancement while others, like me, feel that it's cheating. Fortunately, it's a feature that you don't have to use if you choose not to.
So, if you're a fan of the original, or maybe just looking for something different for your handheld, then Curse of the Sinistrals is something you should check out. It has enough of the lovable characters and endearing story line for hard core fans to enjoy, but has changed just enough for gamers like me to appreciate the updated version.
This link will take you to my review of Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals
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