Monday, 28 September 2015

Tyoushin Heiki Zeroigar (PC FX)

Ever since covering Kishin Douji Zenki FX all the way back in 2011, I've been meaning to get back to the PC FX, but as you probably already know, there's really not a lot to play on there if you can't read Japanese. But Zeroigar here is the console's one and only shooting game, and since a fan translation came out for it recently I thought I'd give it a go. Before I get on to the game itself, I have to say that the translation group did a really great job on it, not only is their script entertaining, but the yellow subs they used on the FMV cutscenes are a nice little nostalgic nod towards old subbed anime VHS tapes.

Now, as for the game itself, there's four different modes, all pretty different from each other. The main two are Anime Mode and Battle Mode. In both these modes, there's no scoring, with a system of EXP and levelling up instead. I don't really like this, as since levelling up only happens between stages or on continuing, it actually encourages continuing, when I'm more accustomed to (and in favour of) shooting games punishing continues. Levelling up in both modes increases the player's max HP and max ammo for their sub weapons (upon which I'll talk more later). Levelling up doesn't affect the main gun, which is powered up by collecting items in-game, and powered down by taking damage.

Anime mode is a typical story mode: you play through the stages, when bosses appear there's some dialogue, and between stages there's FMV cutscenes (of the high quality you'd expect from a console built specifically to deliver FMV cutscenes). Also, in this mode, sub-weapons are accumulated and powered up automatically as the player gains experience levels. Battle mode is structured differently, with players choosing one of three different robots and tackling stages individually. The levelling up system is still present, though in this mode, sub-weapons are acquired and powered up by spending money in the weapons shop between stages. You can also save your progress between stages in this mode.

The other two modes are Trail mode, which is a traditional Caravan-style 2-minute score attack, and Sakuraiger mode, which is a kind of alternative to anime mode, using the same levelling and power-up systems, though with different weapons. Sakuraiger mode presents a silly parody of the main story, told in childish crayon drawings, and in it, you play as the main character's sister piloting a giant robot version of herself. Despite the silly presentation, though, it's significantly harder than regular anime mode.

Zeroigar isn't a bad game, and it does have a ton of charm in its presentation (which is generally reminiscent of 90s OAV revivals of older properties, like the 1992-98 Giant Robo OAV series, for example), but it just didn't click with me. You should definitely give it a try, as it's a high quality game, and as I said, the fan translation is great, but it just didn't do it for me.
This game is also known as Choujin Heiki Zeroigar and God Fighter Zeroigar


  1. Hi! I'm one of the two guys who made the translation patch. Thanks for reviewing the game!

    Just FYI, your main guns do increase in power with each level. Those green powerups affect the number of bullets you fire, but your level affects the strength of each individual bullet.

    Anyway, thanks again!

    1. Thanks for commenting, and clearing up the power-up situation. Do you plan on translating any more pc-fx games? or maybe games on other jp-only systems?