|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: KOEI Canada||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: KOEI||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 7, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
When you beat a stage, you obtain new skins that can be used on your character of choice. These skins provide extra powers and sometimes more accurate biting abilities. Also, they're cute! You can dress Garu, Pero, ChuChu, or Bari as many different things, from soccer balls to presents, or even a strawberry! There are 30 different skins, each with their own qualities.
As you can see, all this sounds like a fun game with good rules and enticing goals. However, there are a few complaints that come with it. First, the Story Mode is a bit short, and playing against the machine is not as fun as multiplayer battles. Also, it lacks of a real story, other than the dog being hungry and little spirits showing him how to eat and beat the others. Second, biting things several times is a little annoying, mostly due to the fact that you have to deal with a two-second animation every single time. Instead of being a super-fun and fast-paced arcade experience, it becomes more like a chore.
The good news is you get used to it. When I started playing the game, the first thing I said was "Oh, no!" But after a while, I became addicted to the game and beat one stage after another without thinking too much about the gratuitously slowed-down gameplay. Of course, this game will never become as popular or addictive as Katamari Damaci and the like, but at least it provides fairly entertaining gameplay!
You can't really say the visuals or the sound are top-notch either, but that's not something to worry about when the gameplay is amusing. The tunes are cheery and fun. To tell you the truth, they fit the game's style perfectly. Also, the characters have been designed by a popular Japanese pop-artist called TOUMA, which makes the game a little more special. I know this game has been somewhat successful in Japan (Gabu Gabu), so it has the potential to make it here as well. I, personally, thought the overall presentation of the game was cute and fun to look at, so I have no complaints in that regard.
The best part about Prey the Stars is, no doubt, the multiplayer battles. The game can be played offline with up to four friends, and whether they own the game or not is not an issue, as you can play via local wireless single-card download play. You can also hop online and play against other players out there. Playing against others is really competitive and fun, and I could see this game becoming as popular as Bomberman battles, if it wasn't because Bomberman has been around forever.
Overall, it offers a fun and rewarding experience, but unfortunately, it's not quite as entertaining and addictive as it could have been. There are quite a few things that don't let it reach the levels of quality games like Katamari Damaci have been able to provide. However, I'm sure some casual players will find a good value in the game and children will have lots of fun with it.
CCC Site Director