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Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals is a remake/re imagining of the classic SNES RPG Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals. It was just released for the Nintendo DS this past week by Natsume to little fanfare. Unlike the previous game, this title is an action RPG where you only play one party member at a time. Also you only see one member at a time on screen when fighting.  This has irked some hardcore fans of the franchise, but after playing it I am already impressed by the smooth fighting system.

While only a couple hours in, I wanted to get the word out about the game. Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals is a surprisingly really solid action RPG. It features some really great visuals for a 3D DS game and even better it runs smooth most of the time. In fact it easily beats out the 3D engine used in 358/2 Days. This is a big step up from developer Neverlands last Rune Factory entry on the system. The plot is super cliche, an ancient evil has awoken to destroy the world and reform it to its liking and a unassuming young monster hunting lad is destined to be the legendary hero to stop the evil. Sounds a lot like another really famous franchise. What has really impressed so far beyond the graphics and battle system is the characters and dialog. Right off the bat most of the entire cast has been really charming and the translation is really good at giving them fun and likable personalities. The main character Maxim is accompanied by a character that both looks and acts exactly like an anime Doc. Brown. and the dynamic chatter between the two is so far excellent. The game also has a unique feature on boss battles where if you die, you can restart from the last checkpoint but with 5 levels added to your party. It is totally optional and could be a huge time saver later on.

For those who seem put off by the radical changes to art style and fighting, try to look at it this way.  Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals is the Ultimate Spiderman to Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistral's Amazing Spiderman. Both tell the same general story, but they go about it by two completely different methods in both visuals and gameplay. Both games feature plenty of dungeons and puzzles within them. This makes the new game feel even more like a Zelda title, only with better visuals and much better controls (who knew a D-pad would feel so good!) At this point it is to early to make a final verdict, but so far this has shown to be the biggest surprise of the year. I recommend going out and grabbing a copy of this now before it becomes ultra rare like its predecessor. If your a fan of either action games or RPG games your  not likely to regret it.

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