Magical Starsign

Beards, sausages and yolks. Ah, it's one of those games

Gamer's starsign is Tuberculosis, with Llama rising. It explains our jaunty personality, and propensity for slaughter. However, Magical Starsign eschews these more familiar horoscopes for a system based on elements: Fire, Earth, Wind, Water and Wood, as well as Dark and Light. For once, rather than a lame way of dividing the characters, these alignments really do affect the ways in which you play the game.

Mario Slime
As cutesy as an RPG can be, it's as if Mario & Luigi and Dragon Quest: Rocket Slime got married and had a child, but sadly one that didn't receive all the right genes. There's some of M&L's combat, and a fair dose of Square Enix's personality-driven chatter, true enough, but not quite enough of either to satisfy.

The story follows a group of magical school children who go on a hunt for their missing teacher, flying from planet to planet in some rather wayward rocket ships. You can be controlling two to all six of this bunch at any time, using their skills in tandem with the position of the planets in the sky, and the elaborate roshambo strength system between elements.

Trouble is, it's all rather sluggish, and not nearly as funny as it wants to be. The dialogue can't be sped up, which is aggravating. And the pace of battles is far too slow for their lack of complexity. Despite the celestial influences, each character has very few spells on offer, meaning you repeat yourself endlessly, and while objects can be used in battle, this isn't nearly as fun as M&L's silliness. Battles should never be met with a groan.

The verdict

It's all stylus controlled, and while it's sometimes clumsy, this is a welcome innovation. If only it were more neatly wired in, it would have been splendid. But as with everything else here, it's a nice idea that doesn't quite shine.

Nintendo DS