Title: Feel the Magic: XY/XX
Developer: Sonic Team
Date Published: 11/16/2004
Platforms: Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: T for Crude Humor, Mild Violence, and Suggestive Themes
Do not attempt to recreate any of the situations seen in this game
Every so often there comes a game that makes people take a step back, and marvel at it's originality, which is occasionally paired with a feeling of utter shock at the content of said games. More often than not, these are games that are imported from Japan. Past games that have been shipped state-side from the motherland of zany games include Space Channel 5, and Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. These are games that flirt with sexual themes, and imply themes in games that are usually reserved strictly for the adult crowd. However, with the release of the Nintendo DS, and it's touch screen, SEGA added yet another game to the above list, Feel the Magic XX/XY, or Project Rub, as it's known in Europe (Thanks Servo5678).
In Feel the Magic, you play a shy young man who happens to see the woman of his dreams one day while walking along the street. This girl is the most popular girl in high school, sought after not only for her looks, but for her brains as well. Being no prize catch, our young hero joins a performance art group known as the "Rub Rabbits," and through a variety of mini games, tries his best to impress his true love, and protect her from dangerous hazards, and creepy kidnappers.
Gameplay is similar to that found in games like Wario Ware Inc. or other iterations of said game, where the story progresses as the player completes mini games that usually have some sort of plot related element added for relevance. In all, there are 29 different mini games played throughout the 19 scenes of the story. What separates this from other similar games, though, is the fact that Feel the Magic incorporates not only the DS' standard D-Pad and button set, but the touch screen, and a microphone slot as well. These nuances offer an entirely new handheld experience. A list of the games available are as follows:
- Goldfish: use the stylus to rub goldfish caught in a man's stomach to force them up his throat.
- Parachute: use the touch screen to enter a combination of numbers that corresponds to a falling parachuter before they fall to their death.
- Candle: blow into the microphone to put out candles before they fall.
- Cart: rub the touch screen to clear the road of spiky balls, so that shopping carts can safely pass.
- Bull: (BOSS) tap bulls on the touch screen before they can get to you and your love.
- Antlion: rub people on the touch screen to help them escape out of quicksand, before they drown.
- Bus Stop: just like bowling! Roll yourself into people across the screen, without getting hit by traffic.
- Monocycle: guide our hero across a narrow and windy path using the touch screen.
- Painter: use the stylus to fill in the silhouettes of pictures, but be sure to avoid falling people, and stay in the lines.
- Scorpion: tap scorpions on the touch screen to get them off your love.
- Sign: hit the right puzzle panel to recreate the picture your love is holding up.
- Microphone: yell as loud as you can into the microphone to let your love know you are there.
- Drive: (BOSS) guide your car to avoid other cars on the road, to follow the kidnapper, and slingshot people at him.
- Yacht: blow on the microphone just enough to guide your boat to your love, avoiding sharks.
- Bonfire: rub the screen to take off her wet clothes, while blowing on the microphone to make sure the fire stays lit.
- Dance: follow her lead, mimicking her moves in rhythm.
- Snake: guide the hero, using the touch screen out from inside a snake's belly, while avoiding hazards.
- Seeker: rub away sand to find the buried object that your love wants.
- Plants: (BOSS) avoid the tentacles as they fall, and throw fire into the plant's mouth, all using the touch screen.
- Chaser: using the touch screen, guide the hero along a narrow path, avoiding sharks and jumping over gaps.
- Steal: touch a cat on screen to attract attention away from the hero as he sneaks into a guarded base.
- Nightmare: (BOSS) just like "Bull."
- Nightmare 2: (BOSS) just like "Drive."
- Nightmare 3: (BOSS) just like "Plant."
- Final Battle: rub back of the hero's head to generate enough energy to blast the kidnapper.
- Magic Touch: tap the touch screen in rhythum and blow on the microphone to perform CPR.
After completing each game in the story mode, the game becomes available to play in the "Memories" mode, where there are ten levels of increasing difficulty for that game. After completing enough memories, new articles of clothing become unlocked for your love. This is the creepy part of the game. You get to decide what your love will wear, including her hairstyle, her dress, and her shoes. Then, on the screens leading up to the actual mini games, she actually wears the clothes that you decide for her. On these preliminary screens though, you can poke her in various places on the touch screen, and she reacts accordingly. In all, there are a total of 55 different unlockable articles of clothing (21 hair styles, 21 dresses, 13 shoes). These clothes can also be unlocked by finding hidden rabbits of the direction screens for each game, or by inserting a Sonic Team GBA game into the DS (for example, Sonic Advance 2 unlocks a Sonic hairstyle Thanks again Servo5678). Other features in the game include a sound test, and a hard mode, both of which are automatically unlocked when you beat the game on normal mode. If you so desire, there is also a Japanese text option available.
All in all, Feel the Magic: XY/XX is a solid puzzle game, that is easy enough to pick up and play, but gets progressively harder so that it feels like skill are becoming honed as you progress. Anyone who loved Wario Ware Inc. and needs another game fix for the attention deficit gaming should pick this up - it isn't likely that they'd be disappointed. As for everyone else, if you have a DS, and want to try something different, then it's hard to go wrong with Feel the Magic. After all, who could resist a game that inspires yelling "QUICK! Take off her dress before the fire goes out!" while playing it in a public setting?