Seeing how my blog's title is now ROBOT ATTACK!!, I thought I'd dedicate a post or two to robots and cool games in which they do their robotic work!
Michael Bay's Transformers film broke a box-office record this summer. Spider-man actor Tobey Maguire and Warner Brothers Studios recently announced they've begun work on a Robotech film, where transformable giant robots defend the planet from an alien menace. Robert Downey, Jr. stars in the film Iron Man, opening in 2008, where the hero flies around in a robot suit with laser cannon hands (always convenient to have). And FOX will be airing the Sarah Connor Chronicles this fall, a show set in the Terminator universe. Robots seem to be everywhere these days!
And there's been no shortage of video games featuring robots. But what are the best robot games that have come out in recent years, you ponder? Well, ponder no more!
In this arcade game port for the Playstation 2, 1-2 players can play through the battles of the hit animated show, Gundam SEED. You can choose from over 30 "Mobile Suits" (giant robots) to pilot, each that has its own unique look, special attacks, strengths and weaknesses. The presentation is great, with the graphics, sound effects, and music all top-notch stuff. The audio is almost all borrowed from the TV show, including the rock, pop, and orchestral music tracks.
The gameplay is easy to pick up, and even the most inexperienced of video game players can hop right in and have fun with the game. As each game mission begins, you and your teammate (human or AI controlled) take on 2-4 enemy Mobile Suits in a simple battle area. There's no need to manually aim your robot's guns at enemies like in some other games, as your Mobile Suit automatically locks on and tracks a single enemy for you. Just press the Fire button and your laser beam will fly out towards the enemy. Simple and fun, at least on the easier difficulty settings. Where the game's challenge comes from, especially on the harder difficulties or against human opponents, is knowing how to maneuver your Mobile Suit, and when to shoot. A quick double-tap of the directional pad will let you dodge an attack, and because your laser attacks take a few moments to reach their target, it's important to judge when your shot is most likely to hit.
Story-wise, the game is very bare bones. If you haven't seen the show, you'll have no idea who the characters are, or what each battle is about. So don't expect well-crafted cutscenes here. It's a pure action game.
The game is unavailable in the US, but can be bought from import game sites. Although nearly all of the text and menu options are in Japanese, you don't need to know any Japanese to fully enjoy the game.
With fun and simple game play, and great production values, Gundam SEED: Rengou vs ZAFT is one of the best robot games of recent years. Any fan of robots or competitive action video games should definitely check this game out.
In a later post, I'll go over the Gameboy Advanced game, Super Robot Taisen: Original Generations. Until then, you can check out this Youtube video of the the Gundam SEED game in action.