Shakugan no Shana DS – First Impressions
So, last night I finally sat down and had a crack at Shana DS and was left a little underwhelmed by the experience.
The bulk of the game (the "Adventure" mode) consists of reading lots (lots) of text and occasionally being presented with a choice in what to say next. The other way this text-fest is broken up is by a small touch screen game requiring you to tap 1,2,3,4,5 before the time runs out. Yes, really.
Which brings me to the battle portion of the game. This is actually a quite nicely setup turn-based affair, with the fighting characters shown on the top screen while a grid features on the touch screen. You’re able to move around the grid forwards, backwards and sideways as well as attacking (which requires you to charge up first.) When attacking, you are required to tap the grid three times while keeping an eye on the scrolling bar on the top screen. The combination of the elements chosen from this bar will be reflected in the type of attack you perform, along with the damage inflicted.
When your turn is complete, it’s time to defend. This is achieved by tapping the grid in (hopefully) the right spot while your opponent is preparing their attack, which will allow you to block them. It works fairly well, although the battles can be quite lengthy.
As for the aesthetics of the game, the visuals are quite nice – mainly static screens for the text sections featuring rather nice artwork by Ito Noiji. The battle sections feature a decent looking 3d field with each attack having a small animated sequence. The audio is good, with quite a large amount of good quality speech samples throughout.
So, basically I’m still unsure how I feel about this title but, as they say in the classics, time will tell.