The Dark Spire Review
The Dark Spire box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Success 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Atlus 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Apr. 14, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

There is little sense of actual influence on the Woods of Mist. The whole of your journey ultimately amounts to you scrolling through endless options screens and menus before settling on a course of action that may or may not work. It's just not that satisfying to watch a screen pop up every time you "unlock a door" by selecting an action then a party member, just to let you know that you haven't been successful. That's annoying, but what is most frustrating is that, for those new to the franchise, there are no cues to try again. I wandered around a maze of red brick walls in a dungeon for half an hour before I figured out that I had to try to unlock a door more than once. It actually took around 5 or six tries with random party members before one opened it. That was just the training level.

The Dark Spire screenshot

The game uses an interesting combination of comic book style and 3D animation to provide the visuals. I'll admit that the colors pop and the gimmick is nice (I played on DSi) but, in a game like this it just isn't a enough to keep you interested. Even in battle (which is terrifically un-engaging, but more on that in a minute) the Crayola spectrum is only amusing for so long. We've seen the comic panel presentation before and, even combined with the still photo effects, you probably will get bored by the end of your first few fights. It's sort of a cross between the first few Pokémon games and John Madden's replay pen. Even as lights flashed behind the pictures of my enemies, and slashes and 1960's Batman-esque words appeared on the screen, I found myself sifting through yawns like so many unnecessary menus.

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Clearly, the focus was on nostalgia for nostalgia's sake here, and that doesn't make this any easier. Success even decided to include the old wireframe level models from the original game. Sometimes we can look at the old titles and learn something. Sadly, this one's showing every wrinkle.

By Leon Hendrix III
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
The colors really pop, but DS remakes have spoiled us for the still shot thing.
2.0
Control
A lifetime to learn, and then the game decides to switch up the menu interface every so often. Fun.
2.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Some interesting sound effects. Didn't really notice the music, but they felt the need to include a CD of it. That counts for something right? Hello?
2.0

Play Value
It just wasn't that fun. If you play this game it's because you love the original. If not, it's because you love yourself.

2.5
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Pen and Paper RPG just like mom used to make.
  • Quirky comic visuals.
  • Wireframe Classic Mode for Dark Spire aficionados.


  • Screenshots / Images
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