FEEL THE MAGIC: XY/XX / Sega / Nintendo DS

Feel The Magic is basically Sega's take on Wario Ware. The player controls some guy who is trying to impress some random girl by joining a performance art group called the "Rub Rabbits". The game is basically a series of mini-games, which begin with the hearty exhortation of "Rub It!", and that is indeed what you do in most of the games, using the stylus to rub something or another on the touch screen.

In addition to the mini-game format, Feel The Magic also seems to be consciously trying to imitate Wario's quirky, off-the-wall style of humor. It takes a unique aesthetic approach, however - something like 1960s leisure class advertising mixed with ultra-minimalist shadow characters. Unfortunately, in both the games and the humor, it falls short of the Wario Ware standard.

This game was a near-launch title for the DS, and it seems like the developers had a laundry list of things that they *could* do with the DS's new features, but no experience as to what actually worked well in practice. So they just went ahead and made a game based on everything they could think of. Most of the games are based on simply making some sort of rubbing motion in a particular direction on a particular part of the screen - for the most part, they are very simplistic, and get boring pretty quickly. The game also doesn't "stir-fry" the mini-games up in the way that Wario does, but instead forces you to play the same game 3 to 5 times to clear a level, simply increasing the difficulty each time. Even more irritating are the games that require blowing, speaking and even yelling as loud as you can into the microphone. In theory, the DS microphone is supposed to be able to recognize words and varying levels of volume, but in practice, we all know it doesn't always work out that way. Also, all the yelling and such makes portions of the game basically unplayable in public, which is where a lot of people play their DS.

I guess Sega was expecting to sell the game on quirk alone, but that just doesn't cut it. The shadow characters and "Rub Rabbits" are completely unmemorable, and the game is basically only funny when it is using lowbrow stuff, such as the digital cries of "Rub it!" at the beginning of each match and the Engrishy secksual noises of the girl you are trying to woo. It has it's little moments here and there, but I didn't think it was something worth spending money on.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video
* Rub It!
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