Hidden RPG Gems for the Nintendo DS
Like the Nintendo 3DS, the Nintendo DS has its share of hidden gems. The DS was home to many excellent RPGs like the port of Chrono Trigger, numerous Pokémon games, and The World Ends With You. As such, they tend to overshadow some of the lesser-known games. Let’s take a look at two hidden RPG gems for the Nintendo DS: Glory of Heracles and Magical Starsign.
Glory of Heracles
Glory of Heracles has an impressive name behind it, which makes it all the more surprising it’s so overlooked. It was written by Kazushige Nojima, a writer more famous for his work on the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts games. It is actually the sixth game in the Glory of Heracles series, but the only one so far to be localized. It is a traditional turn-based RPG, but you power up your special attacks through mini-games using the touchscreen.
As you might guess from the title, its story is based on Greek mythology, which provides a change from typical RPG settings. The writing is also pretty solid, and it has an enjoyable plot with a few unexpected twists. Glory of Heracles is short for an RPG, and fairly linear, but it’s a game worth experiencing.
Magical Starsign is the sequel to a GBA game called Magical Vacation, which was never released outside of Japan. It stars six students studying at an academy of magic. When their teacher leaves on a mission to hunt down a band of space pirates and never returns, her students set off to search for her.
Its blend of fantasy and space opera already makes it unusual, as your party of magicians travels from planet to planet, but the turn-based combat also has a twist. The alignment of the planets determines which element is most powerful, so you’ll want to keep an eye on your “astrolog” during battles. It’s also one of the few RPGs where you’ll rely on magic much more than physical attacks. Magical Starsign doesn’t have the deepest story out there, but if you’re looking for something lighthearted and charming, it’s quite enjoyable.
Both Glory of Heracles and Magical Starsign are overshadowed by more popular RPGs on the Nintendo 3DS, but they’re entertaining enough for me to definitely consider them hidden gems.