Opoona and Lost in Blue 3Written by Michael Siebenaler | | email@example.com
Nice visuals and battle system make this one player RPG game well rounded (excuse the pun) as your orange protagonist, Opoona, battles the Dark Rogues while trying to get back home. Stranded on Landroll, you may long to reunite with you little brother Copoona and sister Poleena; you may discover more resident characters like Chaica…you also may take your time and smell the roses among the appealing scenery and epic landscapes. A great social role playing game that also lets you earn money and gain accomplishments from several activities.
The single hand controls consist of the nunchuk, plugged into the optional Wii Remote (can use left and right arrow button to pull the camera behind Opoona). The challenging combat, a real plus here, requires unique concentration and asset management during the dodge ball-like battles. There’s no movement required, but timing moves with your various meters and icons becomes crucial for success. Angles and points of attack also play into this engaging battle system, packed with a large amount of strategic challenges and rewards. This game is no button mashing exercise. Players must carefully pick their real time battles (try firework attacks or using fire then ice on the baddies). Hasty decisions can leave you unconscious and depleted until you sleep, get some food, etc.
Reading skills also help players succeed quicker as the dialogue provides guidance, tutorials and extra hints. Veteran RPG players might set the dialogue on the fastest text speed, but be sure not to skip over the battle system hints, which can save you precious time and grief. This game can get lost in translation at times causing a little confusion and uneven gameplay from some tedious, bureaucratic errands, which is where most of the storyline and linear gameplay exist. Players do get plenty of optional missions, which consist of small tasks you master until you gain a license in that given area. Composer Hitoshi Sakimoto (“Final Fantasy XII“) compliments all the action with a memorable music score. A solid purchase that you’ll always find yourself revisiting again and again (***, E10+ mild fantasy violence, mild language and suggestive themes)
Lost in Blue 3 (Konami)
This third installment on the Nintendo DS might charm new fans while veteran players will enjoy new challenges, expanded game play and improved graphics. Eric, Claire, Kumiko and James are the game’s four characters. Each has his or her own strengths and weaknesses, though players usually can’t go wrong with the base character Eric. Each character has a back story (check the unlockable cut scenes) about how he or she got stranded on this paradise. Less micromanagement helps you work on getting off the island and back to your life. But wait, this survival stuff is pretty fun, so why would you leave, especially when you control your own pace.
You should talk to your fellow character(s) every day just to keep them happy. The only real visual gauging of this happiness, and your own, appears on the top screen during game play. The other characters also help; the interchangeable inventory is another strategic element of your survival. Claire is a great cook and usually gets high ratings, which makes the meals more valuable as an energy replenisher. Be sure to keep her inventory open. If you take up too many slots (16 empty slots is the maximum for her) she can’t make much food. You can also make packed lunches for long trips or as gifts, just don’t let them sit too long or you’ll get sick. You can usually recover quickly. Nothing really devastates players in this game, which helps avoid some aggravation with younger gamers.
Game makers do a good job expanding the A.I. and independent activity of the other characters. You can also find useful items like an oil drum to hold water, so characters can get a drink any time they want and you don’t have to lead them to the river all the time. Native animals including alligators, anacondas, dolphins, deer, bats and a talkative chimpanzee add some nice elements to this survivor potpourri. Water related activities include rafting, diving and fishing. The seafood boosts energy the best and catching these staples in the water is one of the more rewarding activities. You can fish using the spear plus many other useful hunting/gathering jobs by combining gathered items.
Players can also access a map for improved navigation, which comes in especially handy when collecting items and locating other characters. Just lead the character in the direction you want to go. You even sprint after walking for a while plus just touching items on the ground automatically puts you in that location to pick up the item. Characters can join then separate at any time, plus characters will complete tasks you give them and automatically help keep the status quo like getting firewood for that all important fire. The microphone is nicely incorporated into starting the campfires. Making furniture and necklaces is practical and fun. Players eventually can amass a nice set of unlockables including furniture pieces; food recipes and character cut scenes.
No overall tutorial here, you just learn as you go, which boosts the surprise filled storyline. Most of the activities are self explanatory and the puzzles includes some important numbers, so you may want to keep a pen and pad nearby, unless you can remember six digits numbers. There’s no real advantage to finishing quickly, besides bragging rights, so take the time to soak in everything this game has to offer. It’s the strongest of the game series so far (the first 2005 title is hard to find and the second installment was just released last year) with longer life stamina and different endings, so take your time and enjoy. This game also includes a set of multiplayer mini-games, plus download play for up to four players (lots of room for expanded play here).
This game has plenty of exploration opportunities for players willing to work through the game, especially the rafting element, which takes you full circle to your original base location. Some climbing expeditions would be great for the next installment. A solid title for all ages that like a little challenge and fun multiplayer mini-games on the side. After you conquer the game and watch the ending credits you can play again as any of the four characters. A possible Wii release might expand the series even further (***1/2, Nintendo DS, rated E10+ for mild violence)