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 lard pirates dawt cawm  §  Castle of Magic (DSiWare) / by Spoony Spoonicus
 
 
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 ~Spoony Spoonicus on 01:45am 10/04/10 (08:14pm 10/03/10) in 44m59s  §  2604 eyeballs
 We love Virtual Console but man fuck writing a full review of something we just paid six dollars for. Have a Quick Hit instead.
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A platformer by Gameloft, a name which, if you've been following DSiware games for any length of time, you've probably seen a lot of. You've also probably noticed that many of their games get classified with descriptors like "inspired by Game X" or, less flatteringly, "blatant copy of Game X".

Case in point, Castle of Magic is a platformer reminiscent of Mario or Donkey Kong Country. Much of the game is simplistic platforming with the goal of defeating enemies, finding secret areas and collecting gems and powerups, with a small mini-game at the end of each stage that gives a chance to earn some extra gems and items. Powerups include transforming into a swordfish (for easy travel in underwater areas), arrows (which serve as both long-ranged attacks and makeshift platforms) and even allowing you to walking upside-down on the ceiling in certain areas.

Most stages also contain "photo booths", wherein the player is given a chance to earn a power-up or 1-up by snapping a photo; a prize is then awarded based on the predominant color in said photo (red, white or green). I'm not really sure what the point of including this is - it's not really challenging to find something in your house that's one solid color in order pick the exact power-up you want. Maybe they did it just to fill out a quota on utilizing the DSi's features.

My biggest issue with the game is that it's a bit too easy, being very generous with extra lives and gems (collecting 100 of which will give you an extra life). Gems also work like the rings in the Sonic games - getting hit will cause you to drop them, but as long as you hold at least one, enemy attacks cannot kill you, which makes boss fights a walk in the park to get through. The controls also feel a bit awkward at times, particularly when you try to shoot in mid-air - you'll literally stop dead in place as you fire, which can be annoying when trying to hit an incoming enemy without being clipped yourself.

Castle of Magic is nothing spectacular, but it is quite entertaining, and it's a good bargain at only $5. Give it a shot if you love the classics.

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