Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy Review


Well this is going to be a short review. Itís not because Iím a lazy game reviewer, and itís not because I think your attention span has been destroyed by too much television. Itís simply because Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy is a short game. So short, in fact, that you can complete it on a single flight or long car trip. And that time is not necessarily well-spentÖ

Dual Sympathy is a pretty simple brawler that will evoke memories of bygone games in older gamers. Basically you enter a room, punch out the enemies that wander onto the screen, and then move on to the next room to repeat the process. The game has a punch combo system based on landing multiple punches in a row, but thereís not much of a challenge to it since the enemies seem to be more concerned with wandering back and forth than with actually attacking you. The occasional boss fights present more of a challenge as youíll need to find their weakness first before delivering the fatal blows. These fights are more enjoyable than button-mashing your way through the minions, but they are pretty few in number.

Alchemy makes its way into the game in the form of spells that can be unleashed by using the DSí touch screen to tap the icon of the spell you wish to cast. These spells arenít really needed in the majority of the gameís battles, but they do come in handy when facing bosses and the occasional simple puzzle thrown your way. For example, you can make a wall appear to use as platform to help you jump over a bed of spikes. The game also likes to present you with an occasional touch screen exercise Ė I really hesitate to call them puzzles Ė but these really feel like they were tacked on simply to add more touch screen interaction to the game. Touch the blinking dots on the screen to move to the next room, woo-hoo!

The gameís levels are interspersed with plenty of cutscenes to convey the story of your quest for the Philosopherís Stone. Well, theyíre not quite cutscenes so much as a series of text-based dialogs with static pictures in the background. There sure are a lot of them though. After playing the game Iím not quite sure if I spent more time making my way through the story screens or actually playing the game, but if I had to guess Iíd say more time was spent reading than playing.

The game does include a few extras for when youíre done with the story mode after a couple of hours of play. There are a few mini games, none of which is particularly entertaining, and some artwork that will appeal primarily to fans of the show on which the game is based. Thatís about it. If youíre not a fan of the show thereís really no reason to spend any time with the game, and if you are youíll be disappointed with the gameplay that is at once repetitive and overly short.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 48%. My dual sympathies go out to gamers who find themselves playing this short and dull game.