Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals is a Re-Imaging of an SNES title called Lufia 2 which was also a prequel to the original Lufia. Lufia 2 is considered to be one of the best games in the franchise as it had many elements that made it stand out from other RPG's on the console. Now we have a new title in this franchise which hopes to bring back the fans that loved the original game. Does this game live up to its prdecessor?
The story is almost the same as the original game the Sinistrals have appeared proclaiming that they will destroy all of mankind. You play as Maxim a red haired monster hunter who decides he is going to stop them. So he sets of on a quest to gather warriors who will help him take the Sinistrals down once and for all. If you have played the SNES game you will probably see a lot of the same moments from the original game however there are a ton of new elements for returning fans to enjoy as well as an alternate ending for people who play-through the game again. I suppose the best thing about the story is that it was incredibly funny(especially everything said by Dekar, you lovable idiot) you will get a good laugh from this game.
Gameplay wise this game is an action rpg instead of a turn based rpg like its predecessors. The mechanics feel akin to the Crystal Chronicles series for the DS. Of course the main difference is that you can switch between six different characters at any time and each plays differently from each other. But they most notable difference is when you come across the games many puzzles as you will need to use a combination different characters in order to get past various obstacles that impede progress. The game has bugs but is still playable and fun.
Where Curse of the Sinistrals really shines is in the music department a lot of the music from the original game has been re-done for the DS and is still just as catchy as the original.
All in all if you have been longing for a new Lufia title this is a game you need to check out.
Pros: Great combat system! You can easily switch between six characters; mobility is fluid, and a variety of special moves are at your disposal.
Cons: Kind of everything else... But let's start with the puzzles. They should have been a strength in this game in which each character has his or her own special field moves, unfortunately poor design tries to merely cover up what should blatantly be taken as glitches. Puzzles can be broken by dropping a block in a hole or falling onto the wrong platform and there's nothing you can do but reset back to your last checkpoint. Hope you realize that before you mess around too much longer! Other times if you don't figure out exactly where you're supposed to jump or can't see that you can climb a wall, you'll be stuck for a while.
Beyond that, there's only about ten areas in the game that you keep visiting; you keep talking to the same people, few of whom are at all interesting; but the game will keep forcing you to visit the 3 big towns to check in for various concocted reasons. The story is a mess, and there's not a good song in the game to speak of. Half of the first half of the game was frustrating and three quarters of the second half was just boring.
The Ancient Cave level is fun because all you do is fight! I said the combat is great, didn't I? Too bad that to be able to play through this area in full you'd have to beat the game first. If you're lucky, your rented copy will have a completed game save on it already so you can get to this right away...
There's not enough here that manages to A) be interesting; and B) not be frustrating, for me to recommend this. Find a better game, or just catch up on some Zs instead.
Before I begin the actual review, I should state one thing. Ostensibly, this game is a remake of Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals for the SNES. This could not be farther from the truth. Natsume (the US publishing group) has abandoned the puzzle-solving element of the original to make way for another bland DS platformer. World map travel is gone, replaced with a "find where you want to go on the list and press A" system. The story has also been completely bulldozed, as apparently Lexis (the inventor who has the world's only airship) is now in the starting city of Elcid, which has been turned from a quaint country locale to a technological marvel. Iris, the mysterious wanderer who occasionally appeared to help you find your way has now become a fixture in your party, and isn't very mysterious at all.
Pretty much every character in your party has been scaled down about ten years in age, and fits at least one anime trope to a tee. Maxim has been changed from a relatable, occasionally goofy warrior to an idiot with a big sword. Guy went from being the rarely aggressive thoughtful swordsman to a hulking oaf with a personality to match. Tia went from being a mature shopkeeper to a teenage girl with a crush...the list goes on. And it hurts.
The music is all ripped from the original game, but used to horrible effect. A little salt in the wounds? The last song to play while you control Maxim in the original is an ode called "For the Savior", which is easily the most emotional song in the game, meant to bring the experience to the close. This game plays it in the first dungeon, as walking music.
To be fair, the battle system isn't horrible and it does work well on its own. If they didn't try to pass the game off as Lufia (in any way, not just as a remake of Lufia II) it might have actually worked. As a fan of the series, who has played them all, the game is not just disappointing. It's insulting.