Contact (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 15.02.2007 9

Mixing together the talent from Marvelous Interactive with the brains behind killer7 from the GameCube seems like an unusual choice, but they joined forces for a new DS RPG called Contact. Marvelous is well known for its down-to-earth Harvest Moon open-ended RPG and Suda51 of Grasshopper Manufacture has only released extremely adult themed games so far, with No More Heroes following the same line for Wii at the moment. But now the end product is finally here, hitting European shores at long last was the wait for such an intriguing collaboration worth it?

Well it certainly does start off as strange as you might imagine

Screenshot for Contact on Nintendo DS

You see Contact really is a mixed bag that will not appeal to all RPG fans out there, mainly due to its poor battle mechanic. Everything else is very pleasing indeed and the soundtrack, as just mentioned, definitely helps bolster the game's charm, but the repetitive nature of fighting and the feeling of not being in real control of actions is a major failing. Let me quickly thrown in that you can either control Terry by using the D-pad or the stylus, but the favoured set-up is probably using the directional pad control, whilst touching objects you wish to interact with using the stylus. When it comes to battling, there are no random encounters

Screenshot for Contact on Nintendo DS

And away you go, except you do nothing of the sort

Screenshot for Contact on Nintendo DS

And boy is the soundtrack uplifting-ly, heart-warming-ly and toe-wiggling-ly good (am I drilling this point home yet?). Dungeons are strewn with large treasure chests full of helpful items or money, as well as lots of hidden paths to take and secrets to uncover. With Contact only being a short game as well, the factor of the annoying battle system (which kind of takes a step back from the regular turn-based style of early Final Fantasy games!) is thankfully eased somewhat, although you will definitely have to do plenty of back-tracking and building up of levels if you want to make it through to the end, as Terry needs to have his stats boosted as much as possible. And there are no experience points, as such, so instead the more you attack, the greater chance there is of your weapon power increasing. And the same goes for aspects like defence (repeatedly being hit), speed (running around constantly) and so on. A nice little touch as well is that if you choose to attack characters or peaceful creatures, you gain bad karma as a result...So make sure you do not just run around slashing everything in your path! Finally, there is a Wi-Fi option for other gamers to get involved in proceedings, although you will probably just polish the game off on your own for the sake of ease. A very enjoyable game on the whole, but it is sad to see it dragged down by the battle system...

Screenshot for Contact on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

For a first attempt at a new RPG franchise and the first pairing of two extremely different developers, Contact comes off surprisingly well, with only a few (admittedly major) niggles to spoil an otherwise enjoyable adventure. With the core team now forming a separate company for a future sequel, you can only hope they build on this strong foundation and work on the battle mechanic!

Developer

Marvelous

Publisher

Rising Star

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I bought this game on import and its just not very interesting mainly because of the battle system.
There seems to be huge difficulty spikes as well.

Everytime I thought the battle system was going to grind me down too much, something amusing or surprising would crop up and keep me going. Thankfully it was short enough overall or else I would have not given it the time...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

I really don't have the time to read all the review, can someone please summerise the 'few' major flaws in the game.

{ Monkey Wii. ~ Nirbis Hater ~ Nintendo Fanboy }
I HERD U LIEK TEH MUDKIPZ?

been looking forward to this game for some time, but then I just forgot about it after awhile because every review that I have read has been incredibly vague about this game. I dont think I know enough information to make a purchase, although I must say that your review has been far more informative than the IGN and ONM reviews. Kudos.

-Have you any idea what it's like to be a Fembot living in a Manbot's Manputer's world?
-What?

Thanks E_S :Smilie

Monkey, in a nutshell: fantastic soundtrack, humorous story, nice use of collecting costumes that affect stats and give new abilities, boring battle system.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Err... I'm kinda confused here... The main thing that attracted me about Contact in the first place was the fact that it looks absolutely bloody amazing, and you gave it a 7? O.o

I mean... Whaaaa!?

Image for

The art's just orgasmic ;-;

As for the battle system, it's an RPG, it's bound to be boring >.>

Still a proud member of the 'omfg amazing water in games' society

Tales of Symphonia is an RPG, one of the best battle systems I know of for an RPG actually, really fun, engaging, deep, interesting, my main point being-

Lay off RPGs. Smilie

Thanks 'raz, I should defiantly pick this up soon then :Smilie

{ Monkey Wii. ~ Nirbis Hater ~ Nintendo Fanboy }
I HERD U LIEK TEH MUDKIPZ?

Megadan - that may look great, but it's still in Golden Sun territory, which was a GBA game. Remember, this started off as a GBA title, and that's probably why not much has changed other than incorporating two screens!

Indeed, as dojo says, some battle mechanics are so much fun - such as Chrono Triggers, for instance...this seems to take a few steps backwards, sadly.

Monkey, don't forget there's maybe around 15 hours of gameplay altogether (incl. level grinding). Short, but rather sweet I'd say :Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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