NINTENDO DS PREVIEW: MAGICAL VACATION

Unlike that trip to Mount Rushmore with your dad last summer, this promises to be a "Magical" vacation. by Cole Smith

May 16, 2006 - The sequel to Magical Vacation for the GBA will be available for the DS in the Fall of 2006. Magical Vacation: When the 5 Stars Line Up is an exciting RPG that features artsy graphics that look as though they were ripped from the pages of Heavy Metal, memorable characters, awesome monsters and a control system that utilizes the DS's dual screen and touch controls.

The students of Will O' Wisp magical academy have a little problem: Their teacher has mysteriously disappeared. After commandeering a handful of rockets to rescue her, they've wound up on a strange (and sometimes scary) adventure through outer space. Now players must rescue both their classmates AND their teacher - and just maybe the whole solar system while they're at it.

Game storyline: Madeleine, a respected and powerful teacher at Will O' Wisp magical academy, tells her students that she will undertake a dangerous mission in space and trains them for combat should the need arise. After not hearing from her for some time, the kids stumble upon a hangar of rocket ships. One by one, they board individual ships and crash-land on distant planets alone. The player hops from planet to planet assembling the group of classmates. Once together, they learn of an evil sorcerer - a former student of the academy who now has ambitions to destroy reality - and set out to stop him.

Characters: Players can choose between a male or female human character. The students in the academy make up the rest of their party. Each student specializes in a different kind of magic.
How to progress through the game: In Magical Vacation, players begin their quests as students at a magical academy. As they progress through the game, they will travel to new lands and cities, fight monsters to earn experience points and buy weapons, armor and items from shops. Characters will gain levels and power as they earn more and more experience points. Later in the game, players become free to wander and explore the world. Multi-player amigo dungeon and tag mode extend game play by giving players a unique "amigo" dungeon they can explore with a total of six people. Additionally, tag mode allows players to exchange data with one another and grow unique "egg" characters that slowly grow and hatch over time.


Special powers/weapons/moves/features: The game's combat plays like a traditional role-playing game. The difference comes from the command wheel and the stylus interface. Players tap on the attacks they want to use and then tap on an enemy to target.

The game focuses on magic attacks: Each character has a "sign" linked to one of the planets that determines the type of magic he or she uses. As the planets move through the solar system, the effectiveness of magic spells shifts, requiring an ever-changing battle plan: Monsters and characters grow stronger as their planets shift into prominence and weaker as they move out of those positions. Players can check the planets' positions by tapping on the astrolog. Characters can occupy two battle "ranks." From the front rank, they can attack individual enemies physically or with magic. From the back, they can attack groups of enemies with magic, but they cannot use physical attacks.

Features:

  • Explore strange planets. Players see the sights of this strange, sci-fi fantasy setting as they uncover the secret behind their teacher's disappearance in this epic role-playing game.
  • The stylus controls everything, from combat to conversations to outfitting allies. Simple controls make it easy to play but a challenge to master.
  • Players can link up wirelessly with five friends and explore the amigo dungeon together - they'll find unending challenges and incredible rewards as they delve into the depths of this unique multiplayer experience.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

Rating out of 5
Magical Vacation (DS)
NA
Graphics
Not Available
NA
Control
Not Available
NA
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Not Available
NA
Play Value
Not Available
NA
Overall Rating -
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
System: DS
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Released: Fall 2006
Players: 1 - 6
Preview by Cole

Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best