Press R To Review – Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy (DS)

baccano39xo6-avatarFullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy has the potential to be a really good game.

It’s based on the highly popular anime and manga series and it’s a beat-em-up at that.

You get to play as Edward Elric Alphonse, Armstrong, Scar, Mustang, and Izumi.

The game closely follows the storyline of the first anime series.

You even get to hear clips from the English voice actors.

Recognizable tunes from the anime.

In addition to the main game, you can do a bunch of minigames, such as chopping wood with Armstrong.

Tons of unlockables guarantee you won’t be done with this game after one run.

Did I mention playing as Armstrong?

What could possibly go wrong?

Gaming Review Corner

Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy

FMA_Dual_Sympathy_US_DS_Cover

Well, a lot. Dual Sympathy is not terrible like a lot of anime-based games, but it has a bunch of problems that makes it a mediocre effort. Beat-em-ups are not known for their length, but Dual Sympathy is awfully short. Story mode with Edward Elric should take no more than 2 hours to finish if you skip all the cutscenes. The only reason I didn’t beat this game when it came out was because I was afraid of the game spoiling the anime for me. Yes, it does, but the game skips over a lot of storyline, especially the ones that cover most of the first season. You go from fighting Father Cornello to fighting Colonel Mustang. Maybe a better name for this game is Fullmetal Alchemist: The Abridged Version. When you’re not beating up random bad guys, you’re either fighting bosses or doing minigames like helping Edward Elric run away from a rolling boulder and drawing alchemy circles. There are some games that can be accessed outside of the main game like arm wrestling and a flame shootout with Mustang against Ed, which I found to be more fun than some of the actual levels.

Most of the bosses are way too easy.

Most of the bosses are way too easy.

Just because Dual Sympathy has a lot of unlockables doesn’t mean that it has a lot of replay value. You can play in character mode once you complete story mode with Edward Elric. This gives you access to Al, Armstrong, Scar, Mustang, and Izumi in addition to Ed. Being able to play as Izumi and Armstrong is great, but some of the other characters just plain suck at fighting. Scar’s special alchemy attack is among the weakest of any of the playable characters and his regular physical attacks are mediocre. Alphonse plays worse than Scar. Good luck trying to kill an enemy with just one combo. I found it impossible because I can’t hit an enemy while he’s knocked down. It would be cheap if the same thing happened to me, but I find this annoying. He also seems to have trouble fighting more than one chimera at the same time. Mustang is by far the worst character in the game if only for his physical attacks. He can’t do damage to an enemy when he’s right next to him. No, you have to keep a certain distance in order for your hit to be registered. Ed, Armstrong, and Izumi, on the other hand, are all really good fighters, with Izumi having the best special alchemy attack.

One of the worst characters in the game.

One of the worst characters in the game.

I didn’t mind the problems with this game on my first time through story mode. In fact, I should have stopped after playing character mode with Armstrong and Izumi. You get to unlock 1 art panel each time you beat the game with up to 8 unlockable panels. I only got 6 of them because the game got horribly repetitive. The problem with Dual Sympathy is that all of the levels are the same for each character. The only additional stuff for any of the 6 playable characters is that Ed fights Mustang and Sloth while Al fights Barry the Chopper. Otherwise, it’s the same thing over and over. It’s like level grinding in an RPG, only you suck all of the fun out of it. Each level has you fighting a bunch of enemies, moving on to the next area to fight even more enemies, dodging spikes, falling blades, and other traps, and then fighting a boss. All of the bosses are very easy with the exception of the last one in story mode. He’s very cheap and you will die a lot on your first time against him. He’s immune to alchemy, will teleport behind your back whenever you try to attack him, and has a thrusting sword attack that’s very hard to dodge. This was only on Normal Mode. I didn’t try Hard Mode.

Except for a couple recognizable tunes from the first anime series, the music is very generic and forgettable. The graphics look like they could have been done on the Game Boy Advance.

Even if you’re a fan of Fullmetal Alchemist, do yourself a favor and skip out on this game. Dual Sympathy is just another mediocre anime game.

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~ by WanderingMind on May 29, 2009.

3 Responses to “Press R To Review – Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Sympathy (DS)”

  1. You don’t use scores…

    Why not?

    Scores are a good thing!

  2. Grinding is fun?!
    When did this happen?

  3. Another great review! =D

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