altered_confusion's Knights in the Nightmare (Nintendo DS) review

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Knights in the Nightmare Review

Knights in the Nightmare is a RPG/Strategy/Arcadey cross-breed. You'll taking on the roll of a wisp which will move around the screen, with the help of your trust stylus to deliver items and weapons that in turn can be used by units that you've befriended. You'll have to get pretty creative on some levels as the enemies attacks will make you have to dodge all over the screen.

Graphically this game looks like your usual DS game. Its not going to blow you away. I do like the art that is used in the cutscenes and the description of the units. The enemy attacks remind me of old school shooters where the attacks are missles and the position of the wisp is the ship.

Music and sound wise this game has a bit of room for improvement. I say this because the squeaky chair thing that is going on, to add dramatic effect will have you screaming after 10 or 15 different battles. The music doesn't really blow you away either. You're going to be hearing a lot of the same battle music, so I hope you like it.

The controls are the one thing that really confuses me. This game puts almost all of its emphasis on the touch screen and the stylus. Rarely are you going to have a chance to use the other buttons available to you. It is a bit confusing when you first start and you're having to dodge attacks and at the same time trying to get to units as you'll have to use the stylus on one screen while watching the other. Another control thing, or lack there of, is the fact that you can't skip the intro with any button combo or stylus touch, you're going to have to sit through it.

So the game is all about being the spirit of the king who met a questionable end. You've been rescued by a lady clad in armor, and have awoken. You'll be trying to collect items and weapons to help you get back to the castle, which has been taken over. The items you collect will be used to recruit warriors, knights, wizards, priests, archers, hermits, and duelists. Some items can be given to a non-knight (which basically translate into a character that's not going to join you) and they will in turn offer up an item to you. In order to kill your enemies you're going to have to use the weapons that you selected at the beginning of battle, but be careful there's only so many uses for each item. An interesting twist to the battle system is that you can't really move your characters around, so you're going to have to come up with a strategy and see how you're going to defeat your enemies. You'll have around 26 rounds each time to defeat enough enemies to move on. I say enough because as you kill enemies you'll be filling in a grid, just think of it as a bingo card where once you've got a line that goes from one side to the other you can advance. You can have rounds where not all the enemies die. Another twists is that certain weapons and regular attacks do different things depending on the misty environment. You'll be able to switch between Law and Chaos to change those attacks.

My biggest qualm with the game is that sometimes you think that you're going to be able to attack a spot, and it turns out that your currently selected character can't attack where you want them to. Also you have to find out on your own that you can switch out units by double tapping on them. This game does get a bit repetitive as you go along, and I got to the point in the game where I felt that I'd had enough, but I still wanted to see what was going to happen next. The other huge thing is it is a pain trying to get at your weapon selection when you have a selectable character right next to the hud, 9 out of 10 times you're going to select the character and waste precious time.

This game is something that those who are looking for something very mechanical (rise and repeat type gameplay) and with a couple twists. Its a game that's hard to put down, but at the same time its hard to play too much of this game without wondering why some of the kinks that you're experiencing weren't ironed out beforehand. Therefore this game is going to get a 7.9 out of 10 (It's hard to put a grade on this one because sometimes I feel like it should get a 4 and other times I feel like it should get a 9).

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