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Nostalgeo no Kaze



Matrix Software / RED Entertainment



Release Dates

10/27/09 Ignition Entertainment
11/06/08 Tecmo
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Review: Nostalgia

By MaxwellGT2000 27th Oct 2009 | 4,701 views 

Classic RPG adventure awaits ye, young sky pirate!

Nostalgia is the latest RPG from Matrix Software, the famed developers of the Final Fantasy III and IV remakes on the DS and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years on Wii Ware. Its premise is 'old-school RPG gameplay and design mixed with modern enhancements'. While Nostalgia doesn’t reinvent the RPG wheel on the DS, it does many things well and makes for a quite enjoyable experience.

As the story begins, you control Gilbert Brown, a brash Indiana Jones-like adventurer. As the game begins, he saves a young girl from this sinister group, but falls off his airship as he makes his escape. This is where the real adventure begins, as you take control of Eddie, Gilbert's son. He gets word that his father has disappeared, and only his busted airship with the young girl aboard returned. Eddie in turn rushes off on an adventure to track down Gilbert.

The story’s premise is not the most original, nor are the characters involved. However, the story itself is well written, the interactions between the characters are fairly amusing, and the world is lively. Some of your characters start off very stereotypical, but through character development you start to really like and feel a bit more connected to them. They based everything in an alternate version of the real world, which assumes that it was the 1700s and and adventurers ran around everywhere taking on sky pirates and evil organizations. It’s not going to win awards for originality, but they made things very lively while keeping them rooted in more real world places, myths, and legends.

The presentation of the game isn’t going to wow people like its Square-Enix brethren. This is chiefly due to the lack of a bit of cinematic flair because of the lack of voice acting in the cut scenes, which could have enhanced the experience a lot. The music is good - it won’t have you humming the tunes after you turn off your DS like Final Fantasy IV, but it fits the game well. Sound effects, on the other hand, are really well done. If you brush against a bush it makes a rustling sound, and walking closer to flowing water makes the water effect louder. These aren’t new, but don't happen often on DS games, and the attention to detail is really nice.

The game is using the same engine as the DS Final Fantasy remakes, but has been enhanced a good bit. Textures are really nice, and the overworld has a lot of little details like other airships flying around, going in and out of ports. It’s one of the best-looking DS RPGs hands down. From the art style to the little details, it just looks great.

The gameplay is your typical turn based RPG style. Each character has their turn in an order determined by their agility and the wait time of their previous attack, and combat will not progress without you making a choice. This is probably the biggest throwback to older RPGs. Each character feels unique, since they all have very different sets of skills that you level up via their skill tree using skill points. Each battle is also graded based on how you performed - typically the faster you win and the more you dominate your opponent, the higher the score you get, which gives you extra experience, gold, and skill points.

When you are exploring the overworld with your airship, you'll sometimes have random encounters. These air battles play out differently than those that take place on foot in dungeons. First off, enemies can move around the arena, occupying either the front, left, or right sides. Which side they are on can determine how effective certain attacks are, as certain equipment is more effective depending on which direction your enemy is attacking from. Unlike the normal dungeon battles, your whole team shares one life bar with your ship. While you won’t have to worry about a member getting knocked out, the downside is when your ship is gone it's game over.

Level design is also classic RPG style. You may have only one to two save points between the beginning of the level and the end, with hoards of hard monsters and puzzles to block your way. Sometimes you have to make your way out of a dungeon with the only save point being at the end that you just came from, only to have your team killed right before you make it out and have to start all over. If you’re a fan of checkpoints this game may not be for you.

You can also go back to many of these levels later for side quests through the Adventures Association. You get more experience and rewards for doing so, and it adds a bit more to your playtime. There are also treasure hunting side quests where you find real-life landmarks (geography for the win!) on the map and return to the museum for your reward.

While the game is a bit punishing if you die, it is very well paced and you never reach a point where you need to grind for hours just to take out the next boss. Normal leveling going through dungeons will suffice, with the grind every once in a while to top you up being all you need. Speaking of 'punishing', the airship battles can be absolutely brutal until you get a healer in your party, as some enemies can take you down in just a few hits. Not a game stopper by any means since the airship battles are probably a bit more strategic and fun than the normal battles, but it's worth mentioning since makes it hard to get from point A to point B for a segment of the game.

Again, the gameplay, much like the story, isn’t going to further the genre by any means, but it’s a very solid system with a lot of ups and a few downs. My personal favourite parts are the sky battles, as any airship-on-airship action with sky pirates is a welcome addition in my eyes.

Nostalgia will last you a good while, depending on how many side quests you do and how fast you are to pick up on the puzzles - it should take a good thirty-five to forty hours. Doing all the side quests and hunting down treasures will definitely increase the life of this title.

Overall, Nostalgia does many things well but nothing that stands out. It’s got a good story, fun gameplay, and little details that shows this game was made with attentive care. However, basing its premise in old school gameplay with some stereotypical RPG bits makes hard to call a must-have for all DS owners. All in all, Nostalgia is great for any RPG fan out there looking for a slightly quirky but fun romp on their DS.

VGChartz Verdict


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Sales History

Total Sales
1 7,797 n/a n/a 7,797
2 2,678 n/a n/a 2,678
3 1,640 n/a n/a 1,640
4 1,219 n/a n/a 1,219
5 1,065 n/a n/a 1,065
6 946 n/a n/a 946
7 881 n/a n/a 881
8 840 n/a n/a 840
9 753 n/a n/a 753
10 250 n/a n/a 250

Opinion (14)

novasonic posted 23/06/2011, 06:27
I tried to hard to find a new copy of this, but today I cracked and bought a used one from EB. Beautiful game! I'm about 5 hours in and loving it sofar.
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oni-link posted 01/04/2011, 09:42
one of the best looking DS games out there!!!
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Fededx posted 16/03/2011, 03:59
Bought it today, beautiful graphix!
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Fededx posted 16/03/2011, 03:59
Bought it today, beautiful graphix!
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MLight80 posted 21/02/2010, 02:32
I really got into this game. Very well done overall! It's a shame it didn't sell well.
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Imphamis posted 03/02/2010, 04:36
This instantly became nostalgic the day it was released.
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