A review for WarTech: Senko No Ronde is up at classic VFH. The game really had me with its premise, but sadly it was a major letdown. Hit the jump for the review.
UPDATE (3/22/10) VFH Classic is dead:
I have to be honest, I have no clue what the story to this game is. It has to do with giant robots and little girls that fly them. I don't know. The instruction booklet doesn't even give a rundown of the plot like usual, so on that note I will say, don't buy this game for the story. Even though the characters have conversations before matches to supposedly advance the story, I couldn't make too much sense of it.
The promise of a two-player versus arcade shmup is what initially attracted me to the game. As I've mentioned before on the site, I am a avid shmup fan. Don't get the wrong idea, the game delivers what it says it will. The best way to describe the game is that its basically two bosses from a classic shmup stuck in space, fighting. There are quite a few different attacks for each of the 12 characters, and even a special B.O.S.S. mode that makes you giant, resembling a classic boss even more.
The thing is, you don't exactly aim most of your attacks, you just try to combine certain attacks to trap your opponent. This makes for slow and mostly uninteresting gameplay. Even the specials at your disposal just barely make things more interesting. The game just has a boring feel to it. Two player versus does have its moments, I won't deny that, but you'd better have a friend willing to play with you, because its deserted on live.
Pretty much what I'm trying to say is, the strategy is pretty fun, and occasionally their will be some impressive moments that may make you feel that your 5$ was spent well on the game. There is, even to these few good points about the game, a bad side. Close combat. You can just boost in next to your opponent and mash on x. This allows you to do a large chunk of damage much faster than you could with strategy and long distance attacks, and matches usually boil down to just closing in and mashing x. This ruins the strategy and kills the chance you'll get a memorable moment.
On top of all that, even if you try to mix things up and go B.O.S.S., the different characters B.O.S.S. modes are extremely unbalanced. One characters will have horribly weak attacks and slow, avoidable attacks, while others will have fast, and strong attacks which are virtually unavoidable if used at the right time. Yet despite all this, the game retains some fun through the mangled, yet present feel that you are fighting a boss in a shmup.
The graphics are truly meh quality, nothing special at all, or even anything that couldn't have been done on the original xbox. But in defense of the game, everything is clear and easy to see, so the graphics neither enhances or detracts from the gameplay.
This was the games saving grace. It has loads of anime inspired style. From the menus to the character design it all looks great. Most of the characters are pretty original and well designed. The one driving force to continue playing the game for me was the fact that you unlock a art gallery of the character you've beaten the game with after completing their story mode. If nothing else the game was worth the small amount of money I spent on it just to see the characters, yet you can most likely find these pictures online, so if the greatest part of the game can be gotten for free, why buy it?
Well, I bought it because it was 5$, and that would probably be your reason too. Rack up a few cheap achievement points, get a time waster for a slow day, and only lose 5 bucks. If you happen to see this for anything over that price, I would strongly suggest that you don't pick it up, because it really does not do a good job at keeping you entertained or holding your attention. But word is theirs a sequel due out soon. If they can fix a few of the major flaws, the true genius of this idea may just be seen. The whole thing sounds great on paper, it just doesn't pan out due to lack of... well a lot of things. But for now, this game stands as a disappointment, a good idea with bad execution.