DS: River King: Mystic Valley
Published by Natsume
Developed by Marvelous
Rated E for Everyone
As the story starts out you discover that you’re the older brother to a little sister who is “sleeping” and can’t wake up. Don’t ask where the parents are because I don’t know. They aren’t anywhere near to help out, that’s for sure. The only “adult” in this game is a scientist who you can trade your fish for cards. Big whoop.
You soon discover that the only way to wake your sister up is to find the legendary “River King” and catch him. Once you catch him you’ll be able to make a magic potion out of his scale and give it to your sister thus causing her to “wake up.” I used the words sleep and wake up in quotation marks because she seems to talk to you a couple of times throughout the game. There’s every time that you save the game and when you place flowers next to her.
There’s another set of siblings that you’ll run into a couple of times during the game. They will help you out as well as challenge you to a fishing contest here and there. Some you can’t avoid others you can do just to gain experience and get a “feel” for the game so you know what to do once the River King is in the picture.
As you go through the game you help some monsters out and three of them become your friends and help you out (heal, boulder breaker, and flying). There are a couple of other montsters thrown in throughout the game as well as some other animals and talking objects that you’ll interact with and learn interesting facts from that will help you lead to the mysterious River King at the end.
This game uses the Touch Pad of the DS for reeling in the fish that you catch. You draw with your stylus in circles to “reel” the fish in but you have to watch the tension of the string. If the bar fills up with red that means that it breaks and the fish gets away. Chances are they also got away with your bat too, sometimes your Monster is able to fetch it for you but not all the time so you’ll have to make sure you have a small stock of lures and bait with you so you’re not back tracking to the trader.
You use the D-pad and the buttons when walking from one area to another as well as talking to people and interacting with them. So you get to use both sets of controls a lot throughout the game. Although you’ll find that you do have to use the stylus for reeling in the fish. I tried using the “A” button but it didn’t work for me.
Most things are easily done and I don’t have any complaints as far as the controls go. There were a couple of times when I was “reeling” in a fish that it seemed like the slightest touch on the Touch pad made the line break and let the fish get away. So there were times when the Touch pad seemed over sensitive but it didn’t happen too often.
Graphics for the most part are decent. They don’t rank as high up there as Chrono Trigger or Dragon Quest but they are there for the most part. There are several fish that look a like and the only way to tell them apart is after you catch them and the game tells you what you caught. The bigger the fish are the more pixilated they become as well. Some of them looked like they had skeleton heads and the mouth didn’t look right.
The overall feeling of the game was like you were playing through a cartoon. The main character as well as all the other ones looked like a cartoon put to life. I’m thinking more like the TV Simpson’s rather than Animation of most movies that are out.
The sound effects are alright but nothing to write home about. The overall music I found to be slightly boring and monotonous so I turned it off and listened to other things going on rather the sounds of the game. They did have sounds for when people were talking (little dot dot dot sounds), when you were walking/running and rustling through the environment for bugs and flowers. The rivers and lakes also made a babbling noise and the fish made a nibbling sound most of the time (not all the time) so you had to watch it closely.
This game is pretty easy and it’s a decent length for a game. It took me about 20 hours to get through everything completed to my satisfaction. It wasn’t all that exciting and I wasn’t “drawn” to the game nor was I itching to finishing it. So it was alright but nothing to write home about.
Storyline – 7
Controls – 6
Graphics – 5
Audio – 5
Buyability – This game would probably make a younger gamer happy and they might have fun with it. But for adults it’s only fun for a little while before it gets repetitive and slow. The quests that you have to go through in order to get to the end are more fun than the actual “fishing” you’re supposed to do. I guess that tells you right there what I think of the game.