Okay, so March 21st isn't exactlly the ides of March, it's close enough. Konami seems to have decided that the 21st is the day for RPGs, as both the release of Suikoden V and Tao's Adventure are scheduled for that date.
As one of the first true RPGs to be featured on the DS, Tao's Adventure is set to pave the way for further RPGs. That is, if it is any good.
The game certainly has a lot to work with. The DS's touch screen seems to almost present more of a problem than a new innovation for some game developers, and many times developers seem to throw in some use of the second screen as an afterthought. Tao's Adventure is not one of those games. It basically requires use of the touch screen for almost every action. Buying items in shops, selecting attacks in battle, and many other standard RPG commands all require use of the touch screen here. Whether this will make the game unique or annoying is hard to tell without playing it. An often suggested, but never before capitilized use of the touch screen for RPGs is to use it to cast magic. Tao's Adventure realizes this idea, using the touch screen to draw various symbols in order to cast certain spells. It isn't the most original idea, but at least it seperates the game from others by making battles involve more control.
Tao's Adventure: Curse of the Demon Seal's plot places players in the role of Tao, a young man being trained in magic. When an ancient curse ravages his home town, Tao sets off on an adventure to retrieve an egg of an ancient creature, an egg which has the power to break the curse on his friends and family. Much of the game takes place in Monster Tower, where the egg is supposed to reside. The tower has 40 progressively harder levels to trek through as you attempt to break the curse before the next full moon.
Tao's Adventure's graphics look very much like many N64 games. The environments, while not overly detailed, are bright and cheerful, and the battles feature some pretty amazing animations.
Look for Tao's Adventure: Curse of the Demon Seal in stores on March 21st.