Lunar Knights is a game that will stupify you at the outset. This isn

Lunar Knights evokes old school charm in its clever use of sprites. Since developers have finite resources to work with for DS titles, what they lack in razzle dazzle they make up for in attention to detail. As you move the characters through one dungeon after another it

I never expected full voice work and excellent sound effects from the DS so playing Lunar Knights was a shock to the system. The anime cinematics were crafted by the team behind The Animatrix and it shows in their energy. Throughout the game, characters speak periodically but you never know exactly when. A key phrase or exclamation is when a voice kicks in and the effect helps accentuate whatever situation the characters find themselves in. Weather effects, all of which play a vital role in the game, sound appropriate whenever they kick in. Rain storms rumble and roar, and it would have been especially cool if the DS had a vibration function built into it.


The sound effects for the various weapons are cool by themselves, but they

The top screen of the DS provides information on the environment during gameplay. Players can tell whether it is day or night out and also what the exact weather is at any given time. For instance, if players are in a dungeon during a night cycle and are playing as Lucian, then they can find a moonbeam to recharge their magic with. But if a rain storm kicks in then the moonlight is gone and players will have to adjust on the fly. This is also the screen where players shift weapons and elements around.


The low score for the controls is directly tied to how the developers tried to do too much with too small a console. I applaud them for their efforts, but the result will frequently leave gamers scrambling to use the stylus to activate a special power while under attack from either a boss or multiple foes. The special move each player has available is noted at the bottom left of the touch screen and you have to activate it with the stylus. So in the midst of running from a boss monster, some of which are huge, you have to maneuver with your left hand while holding the stylus with your right hand all to activate a special move that requires you to drop the stylus immediately upon activation and start rapidly hitting the buttons on the right side of the console. This is a bad, bad move, guys.


The left and right buttons scroll through selections while in the menu, but during gameplay the right button locks onto your targets while the left one lets you change weapons and elements. The control pad is for movement except during the space sequences when the stylus shifts your spaceship around the screen. During the dungeon crawls, holding down the X button and pressing on the directional pad will let you look around. The Y button is your basic attack, the A button runs and activates items and people, and the B button blocks and cancels actions. Hitting Select will switch characters on the spot.

The appeal of Lunar Knights is tougher to classify than one might expect. At first, it appears to be little more than an anime-inspired dungeon crawl and even by the end of the game that feeling still lingers. Yet somewhere along the journey, the title

Aside from the game just being fun to play, you have several options included to extend the life beyond the main story. When you go into the town bar you can listen to the various music tracks you

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