Summary: Atlus U.S.A.'s The Dark Spire is a classic, western-style first-person RPG full of exploration and character development. Parties will be assembled, stats will be rolled, items, weapons and armor shall be equipped, and monsters will be slain.
Excerpt: So here's how I'm going to start this thing off, everyone: I died in my first battle of the game. I went into it fairly confident, as I had just created my level one team of adventurers and rolled their stats to my liking. There was my stout and trustworthy warrior, the fleet-footed thief, the benevolent healer, and the mage with a whopping four hit points. It seemed to be a pretty well-rounded group.
Conclusion: But what a bleak world it is. The graphics walk a fine line between total crap and inspired works of art painted on a limited canvas. This is the first time I’ve ever wanted my DS screens to be bigger: there’s something incredibly appealing about the simple hand-drawn imagery and the bold, almost monochromatic color palette. And, as a nod to the old-school Western dungeon crawls on which The Dark Spire is based, there is even a "Classic Mode" for the masochistic gamer.
Excerpt: The Nintendo DS has no shortage of role-playing games. Traditional, action-oriented, and strategy-based RPGs can be found in droves, with both original games and remakes being published frequently for the handheld. With the overabundance of role-playing games on the DS, it is getting harder and harder for a game in the genre to stand out. However, Atlus was able to do just that with The Dark Spire .