Hideo Kojima is about as odd as they come when it comes to video game designers and developers but one thing is for certain, the man hardly ever makes a bad game. Interestingly enough, Boktai was one of the most creative game ideas during the GBA years. The game had a built in solar sensor that played a very important role in the game.
Since the game centers around hunting vampires and monsters, night and day plays a very important role. In the original Boktai games you sometimes were required to play in the day out in the sun and other times you were required to play at night inside. This proved difficult for players to play due to the fact that the TFT reflective display of the GBA typically turned extremely dark in sunlight.
Gone is the solar sensor of the GBA years and the Boktai name with it. The replacement is the top screen, since it emulates the sun, moon, clouds, and the weather. Using the top screen helps keep the original idea intact without making the game difficult to play to to issues outside of the player's hands. Lunar Nights takes all of the original Boktai's excellent formula of meshing Castlevania, Zelda and Metal Gear into one cohesive and excellent title. With two swappable characters, and an easy to use stat and fight system, the game shines in gameplay. The game even features amazing CGI anime cutscenes that are entirely dubbed with great dialogue by somewhat talented voice actors.
It's an excellent game and is one of the first great games in the junior year of the DS. If this is a sign of how much 2007 is going to rock than I'm pretty excited for this year.
I made it half way through the game ,and couldn't stand its repetitive hack and slash game play any more! Its story is interesting but the gameplay falls flat on its face. If you must play it just rent it, i'm sure you'll know what I mean.
The game's pretty simple. You march around an area, killing guys with your sword, you level up, you get items, you fight bosses. The game is made interesting through a series of side-mechanics that sometimes work, sometimes don't.
The main quirk is the day/night mechanic. You play two characters, one uses lunar energy and one use solar energy. So at any given time, energy is readily available for one guy. Closely tied into that are the spirits. When you beat a boss you get a new elemental spirit. Enemies have affinities, so attacking them with the right element causes more damage (and all enemies come color-coded for your convenience). Some hidden areas are accessible only by using the right element.
Then there's the weather. Some puzzles are solvable by changing the climate, while some climates block the sun/moon and deprive you of a major energy source. You get new climates by, that's right, killing bosses.
There's also "weapon enhancement." Basically you collect scrap materials, and when you get enough you can bump your weapon's attack. You get a few different weapons in the game (guns for the sun guy, melee for the dark dude), but nothing really beats the sword. I could've done without the gun guy for a lot of the game.
The space battles are a way of making the touch screen not totally useless. You tap to shoot and drag to dodge. that's about it.
Throw in some items, a passable storyline, some cut-scenes and some decent voice work and you've got Lunar Knights. It's not the next Castlevania, but it's amusing enough.
Bottom line: it's an isometric hack-and-slash with some quirks. Worth the rent, might be worth the buy if it grabs you.