E3 is in the air and beyond, ladies and gentlemen; Metroid Prime 4 and Beyond Good and Evil 2 are officially underway, and developers are putting out whatever they can to attract an audience on the show floor! Meanwhile, I’m sitting at home playing a terribly underwhelming duo of games on my Nintendo 3DS. These are, of course, Mysterious Stars 3D: A Fairy Tale and Mysterious Stars 3D: Road to Idol. The former was originally released as DSiWare three years ago while the latter appears to be a new entry, yet both are so near-identical that I decided to kill two birds with one stone by reviewing them both at the same time.
The biggest difference between the two games is that they have totally different stories. A Fairy Tale focuses on a poor little girl that stays in an initially empty attic, and Road to Idol has a schoolgirl strive to get a music program going in the school she attends. I’d go into further detail on the tales, but the English transition is so hilariously bad that I could hardly understand anything! There’s nothing wrong with hiring a localizer, guys…
Visually speaking, they are far from impressive, but they get the job done. The characters are defined nicely enough, and it can be a bit neat to see the room fill up with furniture and objects as the game progresses. But a lot of the time, you’ll just be staring at whiteness and black lines. Why? Well, I’ll get to that in a bit.
Both sounds and music are calm and serene. There are no memorable melodies by any means, but the games at least convey a peaceful mood. Yet, I can’t help but frown. It ain’t the music’s fault, but it certainly is the gameplay’s.
Of all the pen-and-paper games to put onto a video game screen, why the heck would anyone go for Connect the Dots?! Seriously. Both games involve looking at the bottom screen and tracing across to connect dots together so a shape would be created. It’s Connect the Dots. It’s not even the best implementation of the pastime; to navigate the playing field, you have to manually move the camera around. Pressing L to snap to the next dot works, but you’d have to do that for every dot after! Worst of all, there’s a wait time until the next stage is unlocked. Said wait time is two hours. It can gradually be alleviated by feeding the Star God stars you earn so he could draw faster, but are you kidding me?
In the end, the Mysterious Stars 3D games are pretty terrible. Composed only of broken English and Connect the Dots exercises that you can’t even breeze through in a single session thanks to the wait times, this series has no right to have the same price tag as games that have actual value to their establishments. Avoid these at all costs.