Silphatos is a man.
Having been lucky enough to not play the original Hoshigami title for the PlayStation, I came into this without a negative impression of Hoshigami Remix for the Nintendo DS. Thankfully, I was met with a decent tactical RPG. Since I only had limited time with the game, I opted not to spend time reading the game's opening dialogue. I went directly to the tavern, recruited some characters, and headed off into battle.
I should have spent a little more time paying attention to who I recruited, because each characters has a specific job class and different deities they follow to gain bonuses. The available jobs include the typical RPG spectrum: archer, thief, fighter, mage, healer, etc. The deities give bonuses to specific job types, and thankfully, characters can change deities if so desired. The Coinfeigms (or CP) are abilities that can be learned through the purchase of Coins. Each CF has a range, RAP cost, and CP cost. These are helpful in shaping a balanced party. If all of this seems a bit overwhelming, don't worry as not only does the manual give a decent explaination of things, there is an in-game breakdown of all game features that are available found at the title menu.
Good luck with that.
Hoshigami Remix's combat system is not the traditional tactical RPG format, but features a system known as RAP. This is not something to just pick up and run with, as the RAP system takes a little bit of understanding. Characters can perform actions that take up a certain amount of the RAP bar. Moving the fully allotted distance will take up the entire bar and leave you with no other actions to perform. It's best to make small moves and save RAP for attacks. If you don't move at all, characters can perform multiple attacks in tandem. Keeping enemies at bay while saving RAP for when they arrive is best. Having spent most of the first battle learning the ins and outs of the RAP system, it took quite a bit longer than it should have to complete, but I was still successful. Though the conformation options that seemed to plague the original title are gone, but that does give way to one problem. Once a character has confirm a move, there is no undoing that move. The way the RAP system is designed requires this, but it was still frustrating.
After the first battle, I decided to take in a bit of the story. The story was localized quite well and seems to take a rather serious tone instead of the tongue-in-cheek translations you see out there quite often. I didn't really pick up on what I was supposed to be doing, but my next quest involved rescuing some man that looked like a woman. Art work, though quite nice, leaves characters a little androgynous. However, the anime style is well-adapted for the DS as did the new, updated soundtrack. The in-game graphics leave a lot to be desired as the characters are rather drab looking.
Hoshigami Remix is a nice first offering into the RPG realm by Aksys, but it will have a difficult time overcoming the negativity wrought from the hatred of the original title. After getting my hands on it, I can say that though it will not likely be a contender for RPG of the year, it could be a welcome addition for fans of tactical RPGs and those who wanted to like the first one, but were turned off by its unfathomable flaws.