Prey The Stars Review: Get In My Belly!
What happens when you mix hungry monsters with a need to save the world? You somehow get Koei’s newest DS game, “Prey the Stars.” It’s one of the oddest, and most unique titles to grace the portable platform in a while. As an added bonus, it can also be a lot of fun, and a really satisfying experience, especially for anyone looking for a new multiplayer game to play with their friends.
“Prey the Stars” starts off with a rather wacky, slightly humorous, and, overall, pretty random story line where you, the aforementioned hungry monster, need to eat everything in sight to save the world. You play as one of four creatures looking to devour everything in their path, and not let anything get in their way as they do so. The single player campaign is full of goals and missions to complete as you make your way through the game, moving on to bigger and better meals along the way. As you advance you collect spirits which take you to new areas, and unlock power-up skins, and basically help you save the world.
The power-up skins that are unlocked as you complete each area not only allow for you to customize your character, but also help increase your monster’s ability in three different areas, all of which are vital to the gameplay. If you need a little help with biting power, spirit sucking, or element licking, the skins are the only way to go. Each monster has different strengths, and correctly using the unlockable skins can either compensate for your character’s deficiencies, or really play up your character’s strengths.
If you want to win a “Prey The Stars” match, you have to eat… everything. Every item on the board has a point value and an element associated to it. As you eat houses, cars, clouds, rainbows, underwater treasure (the list goes on and on), you obtain weapons, based on the elements that are associated with the last three items you ate. If you eat the right items in the right order, you end up with a more powerful attack. In other words, there’s a level of strategy to what you eat, and when. Additionally, if you time enough of your bites correctly, you get to go into “Gabu Gabu Time,” where you get double the points for everything you eat, which is vital, because whoever has the most points at the end of the match, wins.
All in all, the story is really just a device to move the game along, and allow players to unlock all the boards and skins they’ll need for the multiplayer game, and that’s where “Prey the Stars” really shines. The single player game is fun and addictive as long as you are winning, but, once you hit a wall trying to complete a mission, the game becomes a tedious and redundant chore, until you luck out and are able to advance. Fortunately, the multiplayer game doesn’t suffer from any of the problems that the single player does, and always offers a new opponent to play against, and a different experience every match - assuming you can find someone to play with.
Taking the skills and strategy of “Prey The Stars” online should offer never-ending possibilities. With gameplay that feels a bit like “Bomberman” in terms of in-game offense and defense, there’s something to be said for taking down human opponents via wi-fi, and proving that you’ve mastered not only the game’s items, but also, Gabu Gabu Time.
Sometimes, something different is a very good thing, and “Prey the Stars” is pretty different, but it’s also pretty fun. You can tell there are some great games like “Katamari Damacy,” “Bomberman,” and even the classic “Pac-Man” influencing both the single and multiplayer games, and that’s not too shabby of a list of games to cite as influences. “Prey The Stars” manages to retain the feeling of a handful of other titles, but, in the end it creates its’ own, unique experience, one that hopefully won’t get overlooked.
“Prey The Stars” gets a 23.50 out of $30
*2.0’s reviews are based on a sliding scale to help you, the gamer, make better purchasing decisions. The review ratings are based on the cost of the game, so, if an Xbox 360 or PS3 game costs $60, they can get a rating of what the game should cost, somewhere in the range of 0-60. So, for this review, “Prey The Stars” received a 23.50 out of $30, meaning the price that seems appropriate is $23.50, and if it is ever priced $23.50 it is a definite purchase. In more traditional terms, 23.50 out of $30 equals a 7.8.