Though it may not always appear as such, Nintendo has a respectable stable of franchises that are more than ready to see release around the world. The company, however, tends to express reticence over which franchises merit international exposure, choosing in most cases to regulate certain properties to specific countries.
Starfy is one such example; though well known in Japan thanks to a series of releases, the starfish-like character, developed by Tose, is an unknown property in Western shores. The Legendary Starfy for the Nintendo DS marks the first domestic release of this character’s adventures. It proves successful as he packs enough charm and gameplay variety to impress anyone who is looking for a worthwhile platforming experience.
Starfy’s adventures begin when he and his friends run into Bunston, a spacesuit-wearing rabbit who is being pursued by thieves. After successfully holding them off, Bunston requests help from Starfy and mentions that he really doesn't know why he is being pursued. The only clues that Bunston has are a series of crystal shards that cause him to have vague memories of his past. Eager to help his new friend and make sense of the calamities present, Starfy, along with his clam friend Moe, set out to recover the aforementioned shards and help their new friend rediscover himself.
What is present in Starfy’s kingdom, besides a maritime world with creatures eager to either help or hinder him, is gameplay that combines aspects of games such as Mario, Crash Bandicoot, and Kirby. Like the popular Bandicoot, Starfy fends off his adversaries with a forward spin attack. It proves quite potent, as it can easily be chained together to wipe away two, three, even four foes at a time. Unlike Crash, however, this maneuver has its limits; spin too often and Starfy will become dizzy, an action that will not only result in a humorous animation that sees his eyes and mouth gape open, but will temporarily render him defenseless. Along with this skill, Starfy will unlock other abilities, each equipping him with the necessary means to fend off anyone choosing to stand in his way.