Senko no thanks.
Never heard of Senko no Ronde? Don’t worry, me neither. A Japanese game through and through, Senko no Ronde 2 is essentially a remake of Senko no Ronde DUO, which was release back in 2010 and tells the story of a future where mankind has left the surface of the earth and taken up refuge in space under the Aria Federation.
The first thing one will notice when they fire up the game is the large amount of modes available. There is a story based mode, the same as found in the original 2010 release, which focuses on a group of Rounder soldiers (Rounders are the name of the mechs they fight in) working for the Aria Federation. Terrorists are trying to get their hands on a super weapon in an attempt to bring the Federation to their knees, and it’s up to our plucky bunch to try and stop them. The cast of characters are varied in their personalities and all a little bit wacky, the story and dialogue is also a little ‘out there’ but I can’t tell if this is on purpose, or a result of the translation from Japanese. I felt it to be uninteresting and found myself fast skipping through a lot of the story sections, which are played out via headshots with text boxes.
Platforms: PC, Playstation 4 (Reviewed)
Multiplayer: Yes – Online and Offline
Price I’d Pay: $9.99
Along with the story mode, Senko no Ronde 2 offers both an offline 2 player battle mode and an online one, a practice mode and a score attack mode. Plenty of content to keep players busy; although there doesn’t seem to be very many people playing online, so getting into an online match may take you a while.
Sendo no Ronde 2’s gameplay is a 1-on-1 overhead mech battle. Each of the characters mechs are equipped with different weapons and styles of attack. The goal is to wear down the opponent’s health in a best of three match, much like a fighting game. Along with a standard attack, each mech also has a special attack and a ‘Boss’ mode, which can be triggered at any point during the fight. The special attack works on a cool down system, and the Boss mode requires players to fill up a special meter before deploying. However, this meter will also drain when performing other functions, such as raising shields, adding a small amount of strategy to the game in deciding whether it is best to save the meter and take damage, or to keep safe but risk not being able to deploy the Boss mode in a pinch. When either the player or the opponent reaches zero health, it triggers Vanish mode for that player.
This allows them to unleash a more deadly version of Boss mode in a last ditch attempt to turn the tide of battle. The issue I had with the game was the fact that the battle just didn’t excite me. The standard weapon is not very accurate and there is no fine aiming. If I was facing my opponent and firing, then I would either hit them or miss. Which meant I was relying on luck or my special attacks and Boss modes to do serious damage. But even then, the AI has the ability to shield themselves and using those attacks could end up being a waste. It’s even more frustrating when I got an opponent down to their Vanish state ad was trying to finish them off, with each shot I fired seeming to miss. Battles that should feel exciting and make you feel like your skill is at play, end up feeling laborious.
Having never played any of the original games, it is impossible for me to compare them in terms of graphics and design. However, although the menus feel sharp and colorful, with most the of the screen taken up by one of the 14 playable characters, once players get into the gameplay, there is something very ‘Last Gen’ about it. Simplistic character models and uninspired backgrounds and tied together with the kind of visual design that littered many eastern shooter in the early to mid 2000’s. But at least the music still holds strong, with the exception on the menu music. An excellent electro-Japanese score, which adds some much needed pace to the battles.
With a price tag of $39.99, it is really hard for me to recommend this game in 2017. Although there aren’t that many 1-on-1 shooter/fighters on the market, I do believe that your money would be better spent elsewhere. Maybe wait for a price drop before picking this up, if you really think that this will interest you.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.