My Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals Post
*may contain spoilers ... but you'll live, I'm sure*
So, I haven't done this for a while and I've decided it's time to do it again. I started playing Lufia a couple of weeks ago. I haven't finished it, but I'm up to what I believe is quite possibly near the end, so I feel that I have enough of a grasp on the game to express my feelings.
For those who don't know, Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals is a DS title that is based, loosely, on the Lufia II title that was available on the SNES back in the day. That game was a turn-based title, much like a Dragon Quest game, but this DS title is action-based, and has been compared to the Ys series.
Okay, so Lufia II was my first turn-based RPG after Final Fantasy VII, which isn't turn based, but you hopefully get what I mean. Secret of Mana was my first RPG period, and so both FFVII and Lufia were completely different to it.
Kind of amusing, but I remember that I wasn't too impressed with the turn-based stuff at the time. I guess that's what it's like when you're young, though, and something is really different compared to what you were expecting.
I remember the characters were quite lovable, in their SNES-like way. I mean, looking back and comparing them to what we see today or in PS2 RPGS, they don't really compare, but they were special at the time. I'll touch on this a bit later, though.
So, the DS title. It seemed like it was met with mixed opinions even before anyone had played it, due to the fact that characters (other than Tia, of course) had changed their appearances (sometimes drastically) and the fact that people were disappointed with the fact that the turn-based battles were scrapped for a more action-oriented approach. When I heard about this, I thought, "Hmm, okay" but I didn't think much of it and I was still interested in what the game could be.
The reviews were all over the place, but I still wanted to try this out for myself. The music was nostalgic enough to entice me. I don't know exactly why the music appeals to me, but it's memorable enough for me to remember it to this day, so it must do something right. I guess that this sort of meant to me that they must be keeping enough of the original game intact and that the only people who were really worried or stressed about it would be the fanatics.
Anyway, I started it up, and it was immediately familiar, yet really different all at once. It's hard to explain, but I think the best way to explain it is that the game starts with a rather familiar scene, and then as soon as you exit the house, things are drastically different. The game does this a lot, like when there's a wedding halfway through, some of the lines of dialogue seemed very familiar to me, but there were heaps of differences as well, and I don't really know how I sit with that.
The reason I say this is because, looking back, I feel as if this game takes the bare minimum of the SNES title, and shoves it in there, but everything else is completely different and may as well have been just another game with another world and another story of destructive gods. The characters just happen to share the names of those in Lufia II and in some instances, the characters are so different that it almost ruins the image of the original character.
Tia sucks ... just sayin'. But it's true. I mean ... do I need to explain?
Oh, who is Bish kidding? Tia, let's just get it out there, is not the Tia she used to be, you know? I mean, look at her! First of all, the Tia in the original title had blue hair and a pink dress. Probably not suited to a battlefield, but I don't really feel as if this Tia is suited to a battlefield, either. There is a major difference with the Tia in this game. In Lufia II, I really felt sorry for Tia, and her attraction to Maxim. Maxim obviously only thought of her as a friend, but Tia wanted more. I don't know whether it is just my memory, but I felt like Tia was quite a lot more mature and sophisticated than this ditz. This ditz ... I mean Tia DS, well, she's a total tool. She has a typical RPG style sassy girl voice, has major jealousy issues that make her very ugly and has the stupidest weapon ever, as you can see in the pic. A suitcase with a chain. She lugs it around everywhere, in cutscenes and while solving puzzles. Somehow some chain thing pops out of it whenever she attacks, and she looses nothing from inside her bag. And unfortunately, there's a lot of puzzles that require her "expertise", so you'll get used to her moaning and saying, "YEAH!" a lot! How fun!
Once Maxim moves on, later in the game, Tia decides it's time to snag another guy, and latches on to the other single male of the group. But it seems really shallow and lame. I don't know whether this is meant to be funny or what ...
So, Maxim's pretty cool ... but was the original Maxim this cool? I don't think so. Maxim DS looks perfect, right? ... Right? Surely there's no flaws here?
Moving on. Maxim.
Basically, there is nothing to really complain about ... but I'll find something. Okay, so he basically gets updated like the rest of the cast, so that he basically looks like a mega handsome stud with badass fashion sense, a feisty attitude, with a slightly reckless streak.
So, basically your typical RPG main character. I must admit that this updated look of his wasn't too bad, but the personality suffers again.
Sex appeal, for those who find cartoon characters hot. While Selan might look cheerful enough here, she's really quite the ice queen.
Selan, Selan, Selan. I am pretty sure she was never this detestable. In the original game, she was a strong female type of chick, but she also seemed motherly. At least, that is how I recall her, I could be wrong. Like most of the characters in the DS version, however, she has had an attitude readjustment and the volume has been cranked up so that she is now a major icy witch with a b who barely ever smiles and doesn't like taking orders from anyone else. Eventually she nearly dies, which causes Maxim to take the lead, and she suddenly says that Maxim is better than she thought, and she suddenly wants to be married to him. Keep in mind she's been in the party for about an hour at this point, so her sudden change of personality is kind of grating. (Did I mention the game is pretty short, so the "story" goes along at the pace of a racehorse?) Suddenly she's a mother, and all friendly and smiley and almost seems like a completely different person.
The mystical Iris, some weirdo who appears out of nowhere and joins the group and acts all mysterious and enigmatic. OoooooOoooooh!
This Iris chick, I won't say much, but let's just say that while they gave the Iris character a bit more of a personality this time around, her big secret comes across as lame rather than shocking or upsetting. Sure, I knew what her secret was already, but due to the games shortcomings, it makes her moment in the spotlight really idiotic and rushed in my opinion.
Guy is a musclebound meathead. We get it. In fact, the game mentions his muscles more than once ... and Tia likes to insult his "meat head" quite a lot over the course of the game. He usually begins to agree with her and then suddenly goes, "What? ... Hey!!!" It was sort of amusing at first, but the joke is taken way too far and becomes quite eye-roll-worthy as you play. I didn't really think that the Guy in the SNES title was really this muscular, but I sure didn't think of him as being totally dumb that even his girlfriend in the game insults his intelligence. Honestly, if I was Guy, I'd probably take my hammer to Tia, but for some reason he seems to forget that Tia or his girlfriend, Jessie, have even said anything a few seconds later ... until the next time they say he's a dumbass anyway.
Next up is Artea. He joins so late in the game that it doesn't even seem worth discussing him. Haha. Oh, alright. What can I say? He's as mystical as Iris. He's an elf. He's magical. He is wise. He is stoic. He is serious all the time. And his weapon is a gun that fires magical energy. Fair enough. Not everything can be stereotypical, can it? Oh, and it's fun playing as him as he can float, so you can jump and float everywhere. Other than that, he's really not that exciting. At all.
And finally, Dekar. Yet another character that was altered so much that he might as well have been someone else entirely. Okay, so we have Guy, a meathead, right? Well, rounding out this "diverse" cast of "memorable" (for all the wrong reasons) characters is Dekar, the dumbest warrior in the land. He and Guy compete to be the strongest warrior, and both of them get picked on by Tia for being dumb. Dekar looks totally strange, though. He's meant to be as strong as Guy, right, so why does he look like a scientist with a bad 80's style pink mullet and one of those small pencil ties? Oh, and he's barely around for most of the game due to a "mishap" that he has no unique weapon, instead being able to equip any equipment he wants. Awesome!!! The Dekar I remember was an axe-wielding dark purple/blue haired guy. I can really see the similarities here, can't you?
Don't get me wrong, though, hear me out. The game isn't a total loss, but it really doesn't even feel like a Lufia title to me at all!
Okay, so where should I begin ripping this thing apart? I mean, where should I begin praising it? I've already ripped enough, right? Wrong.
The game is really quite generic in a number of ways. There's a New Game+ which is great because I do like NG+ in games, but I doubt I will be playing it again. The bad thing is, though, that I know I will put people off this title with what I'm saying here, but it has been fairly entertaining to just pick it up and play it. Basically the battles are basic, but that doesn't mean it isn't fun to just button mash and beat them up. That's all there is to it, basically. You enter a room, kill the waves of monsters and then usually deal with the puzzles. Any and all puzzles from the SNES title are practically replaced with other puzzles, so the game really is loosely based on the SNES title and that's a fact.
I have said this before, too, but the DS really isn't that great for fully 3D titles. It really needs an analogue stick, because some of the more "advanced" battle moves are way too hard to pull off due to the fact that you have to adjust your character to the right position only for the monster to have already moved on, or mowed you down.
Back to the puzzles, though. None of them have been majorly taxing, which I was grateful for. I guess that they are kind of entertaining, but there's nothing here that will make you go wow, and sometimes you will get sick of them as you just want to move on. However, having said that, because the puzzles are usually quite easy to solve, you're never really stuck anywhere, and the game has quite a fast pace. It's probably the one thing that the game has going for it, to be honest, but it's also a flaw if you want something deep and meaningful in the plot department
The game has voice acting. This stuff is hideous, I guess due to the limitations of the DS. I'm not an expert on the technical stuff, but yeah, Tia sounds like a major douche, and you will find a small "skit"-like conversation happens a number of times throughout a dungeon. Some have been mildly amusing, and I have smiled, but the majority of them are pretty dorky and you would probably not have worried if you had missed hearing them in the first place.
I'm sure I could go on, but that will probably do!
When it comes down to it, though, the game is fun for what it is, one of those games you probably play in between major titles as nothing is very taxing. And yes, there's a sidequest/side area called the Ancient Cave, this random dungeon that was in the SNES version, and it's basically the same, but looks very dull and boring. The areas never change or anything. It's basically the same, and a nice little diversion, but I'm not going to spend hours going through it. The game has a sort of FF-like board that you equip stones on to power up your characters. I guess that's quite nice, but I barely understand what I'm doing, despite the game having a "tutorial".
Let's face it: there is nothing in this game that is going to wow anyone.
The character artwork is kind of nice. Whether that helps people in-game, I don't know, but I like this sort of stuff. Oh, and here you can see Guy and Dekar. And Tia. With her threatening bag. Dunno where Iris is. Probably stuffed in it.
Hmm, I can't think of anything else. I think that will do.
Can you tell Iâ€™m bored? Iâ€™m kind of annoyed. I had an appointment today that was cancelled. This person has cancelled on me four times now. Iâ€™m expecting a service and they keep on ringing up with some excuse. I sure know how to pick â€˜em. Anyway, thatâ€™s my little vent, and I thought Iâ€™d post this for something to do. So hope you enjoyed it!