Saturday, 6 October 2018

Ridegear Guybrave (Playstation)

It's a beat em up, and it's not an arcade game, or on a console released before 1994! So, I'm sure you all know what's going to happen, and yes, there are both experience points and equipment shops. But it's not all bad, as the weapons you buy actually all have not only their own models that actually appear on your robot, but their own animations too! So you are actually getting a bit of fun out of them besides the numbers going up.

And yes, it's also a game about robots. Giant ones, though they're also super-deformed. Which is probably actually more realistic than big tall, slender mecha. The setting is an island in what I assume is some kind of newly colonised frontier world, as everything manmade seems kind of ramshackle, though there isn't any of the environmental devestation you'd expect from a post-apocalyptic world, with stages taking place in deserts, plains, caves, forests, meadows and so on.

The RPG elements don't just stop at the stat-raising stuff, either: there's towns where you talk to people, buy stuff, and so on. In fact, the towns conspire with the game's navigation system to create some offensively aggregious padding, which actually detracts from the game's quality a lot more than the stats stuff. There's a point early on in the game, where you have to talk to a guy in the second town, then go back to the first town to talk to another guy, then return to the original guy in the second town. The problem with this is that there are two stages between those two towns.

Now, the game's world map doesn't let you just pass over cleared areas, but instead, each area, whether it's a stage or a town, has two exits, one at the left and one at the right. When you leave via one exit, you can only go to the opposite exit on the next stage in that direction. So, how the above quest goes is that you initially leave the first town, and go through the two stages to get to the second. Then you leave the second and go through those two stages again, but backwards, to get back to the first town. Then you have to go through those same two stages for a third time to get back to the second town. I can't remember the last time I played a game with such little respect for the player's time. The combat was actually pretty fun at first: crunchy and satisfying, and with the novelty of trying out new weapons now and then, but after this nonsense, I'd lost all goodwill I once had towards this game.

I think if me and my friends had gotten copies of this from our local totally legitimate import games dealer around the time of its release, it might have been one of our favourites that we'd occasionally talk about to this day. As a more discerning adult with access to emulation and so on, I can't recommend it. If you want action games with nice low poly robots and cool anime character portraits, you can easily find many others that are a lot better than this.

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