Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy Review

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Publisher: Destineer
Developer: Bandai


Platform: DS
Reviewed on DS

"Edward and Alphonse lost their beloved mother when they were very young, and sought to use the forbidden alchemy technique of 'human transmutation' to bring her back to life. However, the transmutation failed; Edward lost his left leg, and Alphonse lost his entire body. Edward sacrificed his right arm to affix his brother's soul to a suit of armor. He was successful, but the price paid was high. In order to regain all that they had lost, the brothers set off on a journey, seeking the immense power of the Philosopher's Stone.

Because of his auto-mail prosthetic limbs, Edward became known as the 'Fullmetal Alchemist.'"

Rating:
Kyle Ackerman


Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy is less a game than an extended cut-scene with a shortened version of the animated Fullmetal Alchemist series. If you're a fan of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime and manga, have seen and read everything you can get your hands on and have a shelf full of Edward and Alphonse figurines, Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy is worth a brief look. You might enjoy some of the extras that come with the package, but the game itself isn't going to keep you busy for long.

The actual game that's buried in all the story and extras that make up Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy is a the simplest of shallow side-scrolling fighters that would have been simplistic on the Game Boy. Aside from the ability to jump and attack, players get two alchemy abilities – typically an attack and defensive skill each. For Edward, that's the ability to summon a wall for defense – or for bypassing traps – and to fire an alchemical cannon. Almost every encounter is a breeze. You'd have to be very young or an extremely klutzy to take much time or effort with the actual game.

Most of the story mode is taken up by extended cut scenes with an extremely highly abridged version of the Fullmetal Alchemist overarching plot. These scenes are well done and even include voice acting from the original cast of the anime. Unfortunately, hardcore fans of the anime already know everything contained in Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy, and no one else will care. So, the many story sequences in this game are only of interest to those desperate for something else relating to Fullmetal Alchemist.

Fortunately, there are some extras and gizmos that will please Fullmetal Alchemist fans. There are a few mildly entertaining mini-games introduced during the story that can be played and repeated, but the biggest draws are the bonus media, a fortune-telling mini-game, and a Fullmetal Alchemist-themed clock. If those don't sound exciting, keep in mind that the biggest draw isn't very big. The clock is exactly that – a clock with an alarm. The fortune-telling screen is simplistic trite prediction, a step or two above a Magic 8-Ball. And the extra media are the same sorts of things that can be found at dozens of official and fan sites around the internet.

Finish the story mode to unlock the ability to play again using five other characters from the series, and every accomplishment opens up even more media. On these replays you don't need to watch the same cut-scenes again – scenes are saved until the end of the replay. Unfortunately, if the game wasn't that exciting the first time through, it's hard to argue that it's worth playing again to unlock Fullmetal Alchemist media.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on April 23, 2007 6:55 PM.

Dead Rising Review was the previous entry.

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