Sunday, 29 January 2012

Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation (GBA)

Another game request, though this will be the last for a while.

The Super Robot Wars franchise has apparently been going on since 1991, but due to licensing issues this is the first in the series to escape Japan. The games are typically a crossover between famous giant mecha series, but for this one the cast is all original characters. Which I guess would be a lot like Smash Bros dropping all the Nintendo characters for a game. Not that it makes much difference to me, I don't know shit about giant robot anime.

Okay, the first thing I have to do is choose my character. There's Ryusei, who's happy, and Kyosuke, who isn't. And that's pretty much all I have to go off. There's no descriptions, no stats, nothing.

I'll go with Kyosuke, just because he seems like he'd be less annoying.


Whoa, a beard and a pipe? Does this guy even know he's commanding a spaceship in the future?

Apparently they were out doing something at the outer rim of the solar system when they were caught in a surprise attack by bug-like mechs.

Oh, and the mechs might be aliens. The captain's ship (The Hiryu) is damaged in the battle and has to retreat.

Then the game gets bored of those guys and switches to scrolling text instead, which goes over the backstory.

It seems that in 179 SE the EFG discovered that Meteor 3 contained EOT. The EOTI investigated, and reported to the EFA that there was a high chance that ET was going to turn up with their UFOs and NASA certainly wasn't going to save us. And so the EFG began constructing...  PTs. Humanoid mobile units.

(Giant robots.)

Hey it's Kyosuke!

He's a little concerned that the mech he's been asked to test pilot is basically broken and isn't ready for testing. Hans doesn't really give a crap what he thinks though, he's got bigger schemes in mind. Besides the mech's only going to get shot at with paint.

Uh, Commander your radio's still on, we all heard that.

Okay so I've finally hit gameplay. It's a tactical war game with an overhead view. I get to move a certain number of squares, then attack if there's anything in range. When I'm done moving my team, the enemy gets their turn to move their tanks.

I have to admit, I was expecting the graphics to look better after that briefing scene. This looks about as basic as you get.

And this screen ain't so pretty either. Though I suppose it serves its purpose.

I'm sure it all makes perfect sense, but right now all I see on this screen are lots and lots of numbers. Beam Cannon has a P next to it and does 3000 Dmg, but only +30 Hit (though it also has +10 Critical) and I suppose it costs 30 Energy. Fortunately it's the only weapon I can use right now (for whatever reason) so there's no need to figure any of this out just yet.

I've only got the one mech on my team, so all I can really do in this fight is fly over to the enemies and try to engage them one by one.

It'd be nice if the units had little health bars on them so I could tell the situation at a glance, instead of having to dig the info out from a different screen each time.

Oh, now they break out the good graphics.

Not bad, I took off half his health with that shot. Though for some reason he gets to fire right back at me during my turn. That shit ain't right!

Hans you son of a bitch! These robot tanks are firing live ammo at my defective mech.

Anyway, I managed to kill all the enemies, which wasn't actually too hard as I seemed to just dodge all their shots. But Hans still has one trick left, and orders me to use the mech's broken transform feature. Kyosuke obeys like an idiot, and the machine explodes halfway through.

When Hans discovers that Kyosuke STILL isn't dead, he finally decides to just transfer him off somewhere else, where he can screw with someone else's sinister schemes.


Don't tell me she's going to be on my new team. Somehow I'm finding it a little hard to believe this woman made it through military training. She just won't stop *giggling*.

Though it's nice to see someone else having problems fitting their name into the text box instead of me for a change. It's her own fault for being called 'Excellent'.

Could I have another teammate please?

Okay this is just a mock fight to test my skills, so at least I shouldn't have to worry about her accidentally shooting me in the back with live ammo. Then giggling about it.

Live ammo again? Why is it that my own commanders keep trying to kill me?

I'm starting to get the impression that the gameplay is just an excuse to have flashy battle cutscenes.


Oh crap, I've lost Excellen! Though on the plus side, I've lost Excellen!

It's okay, I managed to win the mission without her though. Without even doing anything in fact. The enemies attacked me, and I automatically killed them all with my counter attacks on their turn.



Well at least now I know I can't get any of my team permanently killed. I really hate it when these types of games do that. It makes me feel like I have to replay the mission whenever I lose even a single character.

Between every mission I get a chance to go to this incredibly boring looking menu screen and upgrade my team and gear. What happened to all the flash and style from the battle cutscenes?

Damn, I can't even guess what half of these mean. Mel? Man? I think I'll drop my points into Evd, that seems a safe choice.

Whenever I attack an enemy, they get a free hit on me too... and vice versa. So it seems that the only way I can avoid damage is to be out of range of their counter attack, or to have high evd and dodge the attack entirely.


And now she's walking around the base in just a towel, harassing all the other pilots. It's okay, she's just trying to make Kyosuke jealous... I think.


There really is a lot I can buy and upgrade on this menu, I have no idea what I should be spending my cash on. There isn't any way to make extra money either, no side missions and no way to replay old story missions, so I have to be very careful how I spend it.

Actually, I'm just going to blow it all on upgrading my mech. A couple points in everything, why not?


They put me in a new mech! I just wasted all my money on my old robot for nothing!

Though this thing looks alright I suppose. I like the happy face on the shoulder.

It can one-shot enemies! I'm liking the thing more now.


Well if the enemies can hit me every time I take a turn, and I hit the enemies every time they take a turn... why don't I just skip all my turns and get this over with faster?


Skipping turns worked, but somehow was even more boring. So now I'm trying out all the weapons on my boss's super robot. Magical star power seems pretty solid, though I'm not sure it suits his image.


Finally the starship Hiryu makes a return (y'know, the one from the pointless intro), and the crew turns out to be just as bad as the NA Brigade.

Show a bit of respect man, that's your new captain you're talking to! Imagine if he'd tried that shit on the first captain.

It probably would have been more interesting at least. Enough talking, back to the gameplay.


Uh... what? Why did a talking cat just turn up in the middle of the fight in a super advanced mech?

Actually, you know what, I don't even care. I've had enough of watching poor Kyosuke deal with this crap. I'm going to start again and see if things are any better on Ryusei's side.


I've only really played like 7 fights in the game and I don't feel like understand the combat well enough to judge it yet, so I won't, but I can say that I was very very very very bored by this game. Incredibly bored.

They kept throwing new characters and organisations at me in every dialogue scene, who then got scenes of their own where they'd discuss their own problems, and I found it very hard to care about any of them or anything that was going on. Though I did like the way the story carried on throughout the battles and even during attacks, even if I didn't much like the story. Next game.

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