Monday, September 24, 2007
Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation
The next robot game I want to recommend to all robot fans is Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation for the Gameboy Advanced (reviews). One of many games in the long-running Super Robot Wars series, Original Generations and its sequel, Original Generations 2, are the only Super Robot games to make their way to the United States.
The game is a strategy turn-based role-playing game. During your turn, you move your robot units around the map, then choose actions from a menu to attack your enemies or activate special powers (such as dodge the next attack, or increase the chances of hitting your next target). Unlike action games, this game doesn't require fast reflexes at all, so it can be a great game for people who prefer the more methodical pace of strategy games like chess. For example, an enemy that has highly powerful but inaccurate attacks would prefer you stand right next to him in order for him to blast you, so your counter-tactic would be to keep your distance away from him and pelt him with long range and accurate attacks.
As with most role-playing games, character dialogue and plot development are key features of Original Generation. The story begins with two warring factions on Earth, the Earth Federation and the Neo Divine Crusaders. Meanwhile, an alien menace is expected to invade Earth at any moment. It's up to your command skills to end the Earth civil war and defend Earth from the aliens!
Original Generation has over 30 characters, each with their own unique personality, motivations, and back story. Like an action-packed soap opera (or "space opera" as some call it), characters betray one another, fall in love, and get revenge over past injustices ("Archibald Grim, you killed my sister-in-law! I will have my revenge!"). It's all pretty fun stuff, although the huge cast can make it very hard to keep track of all the different story arcs.
Where the game really shines is in its art style, animation and music. Whenever you launch an attack, or are attacked by an enemy, the game presents you with a highly stylized 2D animation of the combat. You can check out an example in the Youtube video I embedded above this post. Each one of your characters also has catchy and energetic theme music whenever they battle. As you defeat enemies, you gain money and experience points, which you can then use to upgrade your pilots, robots, and weapons with.
Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation is a game that all robot fans need to try. Even though I'm not a fan of turn-based games, nor RPG games, Super Robot is such a great homage to all things robot that it was impossible for me to resist. The game has humor, drama, action, great music, and art. Plus, with around 40 missions (each taking between 30-60 minutes to complete!), the game has an incredible amount of play value in it. Check it out :)
Oh, and if you play the game and really get into it, check out these model kits for the robots of the game. That's right.. the game has its own toy line o_O