make something clear from the beginning here: I'm not a fan of the
Robotech series. Not because I hate it or anything, I just never
bothered to watch it growing up. That's good in that I'll be able to
approach this review without nostalgia (or anger over the canceled
N64 version) interfering with good judgment, but obviously I won't
be able to tell how well it sticks to the series' roots. Of course I
did familiarize myself a bit with the series before actually diving
into this review. What I can tell you without doubt though is that
the action is intense, the transformations add a great deal of depth
to the gameplay, and Robotech: Battlecry's unique visual appearance
all add up to provide an entertaining and fun experience.
before the actual anime takes place, Robotech: Battlecry sees
the player take on the role of Jack Archer. As Jack, the player
helps to defend Earth from the oncoming horde of Zentraedi forces
intent on reclaiming their technology that has fallen into the hands
of us humans. While Jack wasn't actually in the original cartoon
series, a number of the characters that showed up there will make
special appearances in various roles. It's probably for the better
that the player doesn't actually play one of the original characters
as this allows for them to once again be viewed from an outside
perspective (which fans are used to seeing them from), although I'm
sure some fans will be disappointed.
what I understand the original cartoon series had a very deep (and
mature) storyline, and while this game has a good one as well it's
really all about the action here. Plenty of action it definitely
delivers. Piloting one of several different Veritech models, the
player is able to instantly transform from Battloid to Guardian to
Fighter by simply tapping the D-pad. Learning how to master each
mode and pick the proper one for each situation is really the key to
mastering the game, as each form is definitely better suited to a
each of the three modes, A controls boosting, X is the primary
weapon (always a gun pod), B is the secondary weapon, and Y is the
special ability that particular form possesses. The Battloid's
special ability is a nice Sniper Mode, while the Guardian can pick
up and drop objects and Fighter can launch decoy pods. The Fighter
mode easily has the most powerful arsenal (and most stable camera),
so for almost all-airborne situations it should be the form of
here though that this game's first problem crops up, as the controls
for each different form are different enough to be confusing. For
example, boosting in the Battloid will hover, while in Fighter it
will turn on the afterburners, and in Guardian mode it just moves
you forward. I found it difficult to get used to the changing
controls as I quickly changed from one form to another.
camera also follows each type of vehicle differently and often blind
spots crop up as a result. Many times targeted enemies aren't
visible on-screen, so it's extremely important to become used to
using the radar screen. Even if they are on-screen though, often
everything else is so busy that it's hard to find and target them
properly. This is a common problem among flight games of this type,
but that doesn't mean it's any better here.
are a lot of missions to play through, but in the end they all end
up feeling pretty similar. From pure dogfights to protection,
there's nothing really new here that hasn't shown up in other mech/fighting
games of this type. As a result things eventually get repetitive and
fairly boring, although the storyline is interesting enough to keep
the player plugging through the "been there, done that"
graphics aren't terribly impressive, but the cel-shaded look goes a
long way towards making the game look unique. Robotech's roots are
in a cartoon series, and the cel-shading does a great job of
updating that look while staying relatively true to the series'
anime roots. The Veritech's are really well animated, with a number
of different moving parts that react to the on-screen action
appropriately. Enemy ships and robots also look good, but are
obviously less-detailed than the good guys. Environments look nice
and are scaled properly with the Veritechs and enemies, and
exploding buildings look "cartoony" without feeling
"kiddy". The overall graphic style is basically a cartoon
world that can be enjoyed without feeling like your back in 6th
voice acting is competent, and (from what I'm told) a number of the
original voice actors have returned. Regardless, they all sound good
and fit each character's personality well. Jack's voice is somewhat
annoying however, and since he provides most of the narration it
grinds a bit after a while. The music sounds great, and again comes
from the original cartoon series to lend a feeling of authenticity.
Less impressive is the overall surround sound quality, as often some
voice samples will almost mute other sounds and things don't always
seem to track from the right area on screen. It's competent, but it
could've been much better.
& furious action that rarely slows down.
from one form to another, and determining the best to use in
each situation, adds a layer of depth to the gameplay.
graphic look that updates the original cartoon quite well.
voice acting, using a number of the original stars.
camera has trouble showing all of the action properly, resulting
in some cheap hits and frustration.
issues arise from changing from form to form.
sound could've been better.
Battlecry is an excellent action game that should please
long-time fans of the show. What else did they really need to do?