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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Fresh" Review: The Starship Damrey

You are not prepared.

Maybe I'm just lucky that The Starship Damrey is such a short title, which means I get the honor of reviewing it within a day of its release. But don't get me wrong- I may have blazed through The Starship Damrey, but it is by no means a shallow game. As a matter of fact, it's pretty high up there on my list of all I've played in 2013.

Many games use their ending as a satisfying beat for the player, letting their stories wrap up neatly and happily. But The Starship Damrey doesn't allow us that courtesy. In fact, its ending is so crucial and heart-wrenching that you may want to pick it right back up again.

To explain The Starship Damrey would be a disservice to its core concept, which is that the player must know nothing in order to cope with the amnesiac setting. But from its opening moments, as you get a feel for the world around you and discover the nature of how things work- well, it's the sort of gaming magic many of us take for granted. The game relishes in the opportunity to throw you into a situation you don't fully understand, of course, and often uses tricks that keep diligent players alert and ready for more. Of course, the horrifying nature of the game may seem confusing, and it stays that way until the end- you're left guessing what clues you may have missed and what more could possibly await you. But trust me, you have no idea what is in store.

What The Starship Damrey is, is a mixture of the best elements of story and gameplay- simplistic, yet so very complicated. It is a merging of narrative and perspective that the player themselves becomes consumed with, and they are ultimately confronted with the choices they made as they are thrown back in the their face. At its most frightening, The Starship Damrey is tense, mysterious, and a bit creepy, but at its core, the game is a commentary on the ability to adapt and overcome the strangest of situations. It is humorous, bizarre, touching, and sad. It's an experience that one must go blind into, because that's the best way to appreciate it.

If there's one final thing to say about the game, is that it treats its owner with respect, with a great deal of rewards available to those who complete its numerous trials. But there's extra content to be found as well, bestowed upon those who have purchased any of the Guild01 titles. If you're looking for a fabulous pair, I highly recommend Crimson Shroud in addition to this title, so that you can enjoy all of the material.

Final Verdict: For eight dollars, the length of The Starship Damrey may not seem substantial, but make no mistake, it is a title unlike anything else on the 3DS, with treats and secrets peppered throughout. A masterful piece of storytelling in gaming and an excellent addition to the eShop, The Starship Damrey proves that Level-5 has enlisted great talent in the Guild series, and that Nintendo is lucky to have such a great effort exclusively on the eShop.

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