It's charming, it's fun to play, it reminds me of SpongeBob, what's not to love?
Didn’t know what to expect from this one: Starfy has been a mainstay in Japan for ages, but is only now coming over to the States with The Legendary Starfy. The series has garnered comparisons to the Kirby series, and while there are a few similarities, Starfy is very unique and charming in its own right. Starfy might not be the hardest game in the world, but one can’t help but deny its appeal.
The demo I played had lil’ Starfy swimming around a marine sidescrolling landscape. Swimming is as easy as holding down B and using the D-pad, and Starfy can use a spin attack by pressing Y. If you spin too often, Starfy will get dizzy and won’t be able to move for awhile. The spin is, however, his main attack method. I navigated Starfy through an underwater maze as he rescued fish friends for a lazy crab, collected what appeared to be salmon eggs, and was swept through water currents, all in a quest to save his friend from an enormous octopus. Our hero can also double-jump and glide when out of the water. The Kirby comparison came to the fore when Starfy came across an animal ability, which he instantly used to turn into that most fearsome of marine mammals—the seal! Starfy looked a little bit like a Pokemon after his transformation, but doing so allowed him to move through the water with the D-pad only (rather than holding down B) and use a wicked icicle attack on enemies and barriers. After going back to normal, Starfy was rolled up in a snowball and sent spinning down a series of slopes punctuated by pits that you had to lump over. Eventually, Starfy broke free from his snowy prison to face a giant boss character who looks suspiciously like King Dedede.
Unlike everything else in the game, the boss was rendered in 3D and looked great. That’s not to say the rest of Legendary Starfy does NOT look fine (it does), but the 3D boss meshed well and impressively with the rest of the game. It made me wish there were more 3D effects (backgrounds, anyone?). The game controlled like a charm. The music was catchy and entertaining, and Starfy himself is a likable hero. For a 2D sprite, Starfy conveys his emotions well.
The Legendary Starfy will hit our shores on June 7th.