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Text review - Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual SympathyCategory: (general)
Friday, 9 September 2011
12:39:39 PM (GMT)
After wandering the internet and hearing such undeserved praise for this game, I
feel the need to speak up.
Don't mind me otherwise.

So, as a fan of the series (As most of you probably know), I'm always investigating
every bit of material that I can. This ended up leading me to the three games that
made it overseas from the first series. (I really hope those damn Brotherhood games
port overseas at some point.) I've seen my friend play the first PS2 game, I own and
have beaten the second PS2 game and I enjoy it thoroughly and would pop it in any
day, but the last one, the only DS release.... ugh.

As the game begins, you hear a pretty good MIDI rendition of Melissa, the anime's
first opening, along with Vic Mignogna and Aaron Dismuke announcing the game's title.
The voice acting isn't terrible, it's from some of my favorite FUNimation voice
actors, but the quality of the audio kills it. It sounds like it was recorded in a
really crappy studio. I'm not sure if it was something that happened in post, or if
it really was recorded in a bad studio, but it blows. What sucks even more is that
when you go through the game, there will be occasional lines that are voice acted.
Already, this is weird, because it's very unpredictable, comes out of nowhere, and is
in that same crappy quality. It also appears to be only the main characters as well.
We'll get some Vic and some Aaron and some Travis and such, but again, it comes at
random and kind of sucks with the audio. There's one point in the first level, Vic
Mignogna has a line or two, but when Rose responds, it's only in text. I'm unaware of
the purpose of this, but...it's weird. And it throws the pacing of the game off.

Ok, anyways, rambles. When you press the start button, you find that you can only
play the normal mode of the game, so you quickly start the game. As the beginning
cutscene, the flashback of the protagonists failed transmutation, you'll quickly find
that the lines are taken straight from the anime. It's not even like it's a
translation of the original Japanese dialogue, they went to the anime and used the
exact lines said in the show. It's nice that they tried to keep it consistent to the
anime, but there's times when you should do that, and times where it's really not
necessarily. I just find it annoying that it's the same lines I heard in the show. I
preferred it when the lines were reworded in the Crimson Elixer game for the PS2.

After that cutscene, you get another cutscene where, again, lines are taken from the
first episode when Ed and Al are wandering around the desert. I never got that, you
would think that a train would run to Liore, but that's irrelevant at the moment.
After the whole shenanigans with the crappy audio, you get skipped all the way to the
Temple of Leto and finally you start playing the game. You'll quickly find that it's
in a beat-em-up fashion, and that it gets monotonous pretty quick. Right off the bat,
I find that the A button attacks and the B button jumps. I think any gamer that grew
up with Nintendo like myself would be used to A jumping and B attacking. So already,
that's confusing.
The top screen shows the game play, and thankfully, the game looks accurate to the
show, and the sprites for Ed and Al are colorful and also look accurate. You control
Ed, as one would expect. On the touch screen, there's a bunch of Flamels floating
around. I never figured out what they did, but apparently, they charge up your
alchemic attacks. Those are also easily accessible icons on the touch screen. If you
touch the icon on the bottom left of the screen, you can quick-transmute a cannon
which fires a cannonball to hit all of the enemies in the way. On the bottom right,
you can quick-transmute a rock wall, used for blocking projectiles and getting over
hazards, a lot like in the Crimson Elixer. If you hit the background on the rest of
the screen. The screen changes, and you see a bunch of books, with each one assigned
a character in the show. For now, most of them are grayed out, and you can
immediately choose the books for Edward and Alphonse. If you click on the book for
Edward, you get a regular rock wall and a cannon and stay in control of Edward. I
assumed that these books could choose you characters, so I selected the Alphonse book
only to find that I'm still in control of Edward, and the only think different is
that the cannon has a cat on it. Bizarre but...stupid. So, yeah, you play most of the
game as Edward, with occasionally playing Alphonse, although you have no control over
it. You don't get to control the other characters until after you beat the game once
and you unlock the hard mode. If you would even bother playing that far.

So, anyways, the first section in Liore is filled with a couple of Leto believers
with few different sprites. You just beat them up while Alphonse tries to help out.
Once everyone on the screen is dead, you wander around a bit until you figure out
that you can walk to the alter on the right side of the screen, and you get launched
into another aspect of the game; using the touch pad and stylus to draw alchemic
circles. An interesting concept and a good idea for utilizing the stylus pen, but
these parts are very brief, and it's basically connect-the-dots. Once you neatly
transmute/shift the alter away to reveal a staircase, you continue on. For some
reason, Alphonse can't follow you for the rest of the level under the excuse that he
can't fit into the under croft. Let's just say I don't see a purpose for this. If you
use common sense, it's impossible to die in this level.

Anyways, you follow Cornello into the undercroft, beat up some more bad guys, and
continue on. You meet up with Cornello in that room where Ed and Al first revealed
their back story in the anime. Cornello runs away like an asshole, you go and follow
him some more, and you face him outside of the Temple. He uses the face Philosophers
Stone to transmute a chimera -which is different from the show-, along with rows of
guns you have to block with your rock wall. You basically stay alive until he uses up
the Stone and screws up his arm. We get one or two more cutscenes, and we jump to the
next level; the train level when you're stopping Bald and his terrorists from
hijacking the train.

The level starts and you keep going right and killing terrorists this time, with the
same few separate sprites. Nothing real exciting happens, apart from a few alchemic
sequences until...holy crap, you start playing as Alphonse! It's a refreshing change
to control a sprite that's a lot bigger than Ed's is. (Short joke not intended.) The
controls don't really improve much, but it's nice to control another character.
Again, you can open up that page with the books, but you don't change characters,
just controls. You go for a bit further, doing more of the same. (You see why it gets
monotonous yet?) At the end of the level, you end up controlling Edward again,
fighting off with Bald. It's real easy to beat him if you use any common sense.

Then the third level hits, and... holy crap.
For one, I think we jump about 20 episodes ahead, all the way to the Fullmetal versus
Flame episode, and our level is just a boss fight, going against Roy Mustang. The
stupid thing is that Tim Marcoh is brought up, but has never been mentioned before
this point, and if you didn't know the story, you would be confused.
And when you start playing the level...jeez.
Roy Mustang is the HARDEST THING EVER. So far, this game has been incredibly easy so
far, and I was able to breeze through the levels thus far. But I can't get past Roy,
no matter how hard I try!
Whenever you try to get close to him, he throws these flame tornadoes (It doesn't
make sense to me either) in which you have no choice but to run back to the edge of
the screen where the tornado's fade. If you try to use the cannon to hit him, it
won't hit him because he's off of the screen and if you get him on the screen, he's
just send those flame tornadoes again. If you try to block the tornadoes with the
rock wall, you'll find that it doesn't appear to block fire.
I can't beat him. I simply can't. I tried for about an hour until I eventually looked
up a walkthrough, only to find that there IS no real strategy to beating him. Your
best chance is to keep running at him and hoping you'll hit him before you get
And it's not like in the Crimson Elixer in the Resembool chapter when you spar with
Armstrong and you're supposed to be beaten by him after you try to beat him with
everything you can. (Most likely wasting all of your health power-ups in the
meanwhile like I did the first time.) You have to beat Roy to continue on the story.

I can't do it. From what I hear though, it's a real short game. If you're actually
capable of beating Mustang, the game seems to be less than an hour long. That's
atrocious. A game should be able to boast at least an hours worth of gameplay. Even
Portal was longer than that, and it wasn't even originally released as a full game!
It was just an add-on for the Orange Box! and the sequel, while short, still can
boast 4 hours of gameplay. Playing about 45 minutes of gameplay for the ability to
play as different characters isn't worth it. If it was an easy game all the way
through, I wouldn't mind too much. But the fact that it goes from being so easy to so
FRIGGIN' hard really brings my blood to a boil. Even though I absolutely love
Fullmetal Alchemist and am collecting whatever I can about the series, I would
recommend you avoid this game like the plague. If you really want to play an FMA
game, I'd say either wait for FUNimation to get off their asses and bringing the
Brotherhood games over to North America, or playing either of the PS2 games. I would
recommend the second game, the Crimson Elixer. The best thing about this one is that
you don't require having played the first game to understand what is going on. Each
game is their own separate story, and the Elixer game I believe is the better one. It
has authentic voice acting all the way through, and good gameplay to boot. That's the
one you should play. Stay away from Dual Sympathy, as there is much better games to
Last edited: 18 September 2011

‹SqueeneyTodd› says :   11 September 2011   261274  
Oh god, I still haven't finished that game after ragequitting at Roy
I actually liked the game. I didn't mind the dialogue being taken from
the anime that much. It's just a DS release after all. And I thought
the gameplay was good enough. But ROY MUSTANG WHY? Why is it so hard
to defeat you?! D:


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