Creating role-playing games can be a labor of love (not that it can’t be a labor of money either): creating a storyline, a world, and the people, creatures and items that exist and interact in that world is no mean feat. And when it comes to the upcoming RPG for the DS, Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled, you can tell that a lot of love went into crafting this one.
Published by Graffiti Entertainment, the RPG feels like a Super Nintendo port right out of the ‘90s, but in a good way. Two-dimensional sprites represent a colorful cast of characters who travel a world map with a variety of kingdoms, towns and dungeons to explore. There’s magic, monsters and boss fights aplenty, and even airships.
You start out in Bel Lenora, a world where being able to use magic is the norm, and where the non-magical are hated. It’s reverse discrimination, and unfortunately, you play the discriminated, a knight-in-training named Kairu, who is as magic-less as he is brooding.
Following genre conventions, Kairu begins on a simple quest: visit yonder neighborhood temple and find out if the local spirits will grant him a shot of magic juice so he can just be like everyone else. From there the story takes a number of twists and turns, with revelations along the journey to keep you in suspense. Coupled with interesting playable characters and snappy dialog, and you’ve got a modest, yet enjoyable epic in the making.