Lost in Blue
With the popularity of the TV show 'Lost'?, I was surprised that a game involving being stranded on a deserted island didn't come out sooner. And given its premise, the developers chose not to go with all of the, X-files-ish goings-on that make the show such a hit, but rather stranded its protagonists in a decidedly 'real'? world island. Problem is, maybe it might be more fun fighting polar bears and finding strange traps rather then finding food and trying to make fire.
OK, well maybe that isn't fair of me to say. I'm sure if any one of us was stranded on an island it would be anything but fun. But since we're talking about a video game, I think there is some validation in my statement. So let's examine the dynamics of this title further. In Lost in Blue, you can choose to play as either the boy Keith, or the girl Skye. Playing as either involves playing a decidedly different adventure, but the other character is still involved in the story. The whole point of both though, is to survive your lengthy stay on the island. Unfortunately, the game has a clunky control scheme while you roam the island. The D-pad isn't as smooth or as friendly as it should be, or has been in previous DS titles, which is a shame. AND, the game doesn't allow you to do the kind of exploration that you would think being on a deserted island. Not because the game has limited boundaries, but because of the game's other glaring problem, which is'
The purpose of the game, which of course is to survive the island, but rather then make this a constant evolving challenge, you are forced to maintain your basic health. So often I would be off trying to explore, and the DS would start warning me that my character was hungry; that I needed water badly or any other number of frustrating things that stopped me from doing things that I thought would be more fun. And due to a plot twist, I was forced to constantly lead around Skye by the hand as she was not able to do so, on her own.
Another disappointment was the hot and cold graphics. Some part of the game looked so much worse then others, you might think you were playing two different titles. The little sprites that represent the characters weren't as smooth as I would have liked, but then the game has these really decent fire effects. It was weird, although hunting and fishing was kind of a hoot with the pseudo first person perspective, the land and other textures of the landscape weren't at all convincing.
Now not everything is so bad, I mean I did rate it 'Fans Only'? after all. You do have some nifty play dynamics with a title this different. One of the more notable ones is trying to start a fire. While doing it you must blow on the DS microphone to oxygenate the flame. I'll admit it, a smile crossed my face the first time I did it, and it probably will do the same for you.
The overall feeling I got after playing this title was 'what could it have been'?. Maybe it's the action guy in me but finding herbs to make a more nutritious meal isn't my idea of awesome gameplay. It may be yours, but it wasn't mine. The two different games make for some additional play, but it would take a real special gamer to play both characters to completion. My hats off to Konami for coming up with yet another, 'original'? game idea for the DS, but to me there are far better RPGs to play out there. Try it if you are up for some 'odd'? gameplay, otherwise you could buy something else.