Robotech: Battlecry

Robotech: Battlecry

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DEVELOPER: Vicious Cycle   |   PUBLISHER: TDK Mediactive   |   RELEASE: 09/25/2002

We will fight on the beaches, we will fight in space, we will fight in big canyons, we will fight against 40 foot giants, we will never surrender!! Finally, one of the greatest mech animes has been reincarnated!! The phoenix has risen from the ashes! After a few good console titles on past systems, Robotech: Battlecry is a game spawned from an anime that had great gameplay written all over it! You enter the cockpit of Jack Archer, a rouge mercenary that becomes part of an Earth Defense Force due to the usage of the alien robotechnology, with the goal of preserving peace and battling against the Zentraedi. This game (to my knowledge) follows along with the major events of the Robotech Macross saga, so if you like the series, you’ll have more of an appreciation of this game.

Graphics and Sound
The graphics are cel-shaded, which gives the game some more class, but the problem is this, ALL of the game is cel-shaded! The terrain, the effects, everything!! So when you get shot, there’s no 3-D ping, there’s a pitiful four frame plasma cloud, and when a building blows up, it’s just a horde of cartoonish explosion clouds…A smooth mixture of cel-shades and 3-D effects would have made this game better, because all of the cel-shade effect detract from the seriousness of the game, and makes it look more along the lines of a cartoon that comes on Kids WB [tm]. The c-shade (I’m tired of saying it, it’s becoming redundant) gave it an anime feel, but not a good one, the games graphics are smooth as silk, but the frame rate is as smooth as sandpaper of the PS2. You won’t run into a lot of lag, but the speed of the game is obviously mediocre. Now the sound, is a different story. If the weren’t for the music in this game, I wouldn’t have felt the anime-feel! The music sound’s like it came out of the anime series itself (It probably did!), and really set the atmosphere of the game. All in all, a mix of c-shade and 3-D graphics would have made the game a little better looking and feeling.

Ahh, yes….the gameplay!! You have the option of changing into the Veritech Fighter, Guardian, and Battloid with the D-Pad, giving the game an edge when combining certain attack functions. I’ll give you the low down on the modes: Fighter- the fighter jet mode; you can use heavy missles which are very powerful but have poor maneuverability, and you can launch missle decoys. Guardian: Mid-way between jet and battle suit; Good speed and strafe ability, light missles that have average power but high maneuverability, and can pick up objects (relevant for some missions). Battloid: The standard mech fighter; Lowest speed but best CQB ability, can shoot down enemy missles and has a sniper mode (which is very effective). These different modes make the gameplay exceptionally great and in certain battles, you’ll have to know how to move your ass while shooting down the enemy in order to survive. In the topic of weaponry, you’ve got an endless supply of gun rounds and missles, but at what cost…? The cost of your gun overheating in a fierce battle, that’s what!! You HAVE to pay attention to your gun’s meter, and your stock of missles (both recharge eventually, but you have to know when to regulate, and to annihilate.

Another gameplay factor is the replay value; with you having to meet certain prerequisites before earning some extra stuff (different Veritechs, paint jobs, and Vs. maps), and gamers, lemme tell you, it isn’t easy meeting those prereqs! It’ll take you some serious playtime before you get some of these goodies, but it’s worth it! And if you’re tired of fighting the constant struggle for peace on Earth and good will towards man and peaceful Zentraedi, then you can duke it out with your friends in Vs. mode! Now for the cons (you knew they were comin) one major one is the amount of bugs in the game.

I got stuck in the occasional texture mapping pothole along the way, and I wasn’t happy! Another con is the lock-on system. Yes it is very helpful, and without it you couldn’t function, but it detracts from the extra skill that could have been put into this game. Honestly, when fighting, all you have to worry about is dodging your enemies attack and not overheat your gun, but you just hold down the button and [hey] I’m blastin this bitch, regardless of how fast he’s goin! But, all in all, the gameplay is gravy!

Robotech: Battlecry is a finely tuned machine, with a few kinks and squeaks here and there, but is a great game to try out. I don’t recommend buying it, but I DO recommend renting it to play, this is a good game! Now…I’m off to bitch-slap the 40 Foot Woman, wish me luck!!

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