One area in which Black Sigil differs from other games of its kind is the battle system. Fights are turn-based, as in many other RPGs, but you also need to position your characters strategically on the screen by moving them around. Location, location, location - realtors know this, and soon you will too. The position-based aspect of battles adds a new spin to a well-worn system, but the actual practice may lead to some frustration. Some battle screens have limited navigability, which can leave some party members twiddling their thumbs for lack of a monster to reach and hack at.
Skills and magic are also position-based, and are relatively straightforward. A nice touch is the addition of powerful multiple-character attacks, a shout-out to the venerable Chrono Trigger series.
Built on a bedrock of good design and programming, Black Sigil looks like it will be a solid addition to the DS library. Promising 40-50 hours of gameplay, this is a traditional-form RPG that genre fans and those with a taste for adventure will want to check out.
Feb 25, 2009