Gods Eater Burst

March 30, 2011

The Japanese and American PSP communities are different. It’s just how it is. While they’re almost everywhere there, making multiplayer-heavy experiences a blast, it’s hard to get people together for sessions over here. It’s that one factor that holds back a solid Gods Eater Burst experience, and it’s important to understand that from the start, because it affects everything else. 

For those familiar with the Monster Hunter series, Gods Eater will be a similar experience. You take on quests and attack monsters, gain money, equipment and strength. The environment is a bit different; Gods Eater is clearly based on anime style, and it’s set in an intensely-desolate post-apocalyptic world that creates an interesting atmosphere for the battles. 

To attack, you use a weapon called a God Arc. It’s a living thing attached to your arm, and it can transform to a gun or a sword. (Which, as a concept, is really quite cool.) There are so many options with bullets, attacks, shields and such, that it’s intimidating but deep. Oh, and in case you were wondering about the name: your God Arc eats things. The enemy is called the Aragami, essentially “demon god,” and you eat them to get stat boosts and harvest items. It’s weird.

Anyway, the gameplay is solid, and there are a lot of things to do crammed into the PSP’s buttons. Gun aiming would benefit from another analog stick, since controlling your character and aiming with the D-pad can be a bit cumbersome. As a result, most will use it for sniping or run-aim-run-aim tactics.

The quests are fairly straightforward: kill this monster, acquire this thing, with the occasional special mission here and there. Everything is playable with up to three friends locally, and that’s where it really shines. Team tactics and camaraderie make things a lot more fun, and the game scales the difficulty well with more help. It’s when you don’t have friends to play when it gets a bit tough. The structure of the game accommodates all these people, and you lose a bit of engine curation and flash when you let things like that be possible. There are computer-controlled teammates who can join at times, but there’s no coordination and their actions are as straightforward as the enemies’ ones. 

With such a lush world (and it is rather impressive), it would have been nice to have an epic story, but it’s your standard quest-based game, and that means lifeless characters, awkward localization and a hub world that’s more utilitarian than thematic. Which is fine, because that’s not what these games are about, but it’s another thing that doesn’t translate as well to the American PSP experience.

So that’s basically it. If you can get two or three friends to also buy Gods Eater Burst, it’s totally worth it and you’ll have a blast. If you’re alone, it’s not quite the experience it should be. It’s just the nature of the genre, though online play or crafted story modes could help overcome it. 

Pros: Imaginative post-apocalyptic world, tons of gameplay options

Cons: Without multiplayer, it can lose some of its appeal

Score: 3/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.