Robotech: Battlecry

February 24, 2003

[floatleft][/floatleft]Robotech: Battlecry is based off the late 1980’s animation series. You are Jack Archer, one of the fighter aces in the Robotech Defense Force that has to defend the Earth from alien conquest. If you ever watched the series, the game stays very true to form. You pilot your Veritech fighter through space, canyons, and even city streets trying to fend off the Zentradi threat. Cameo appearances by Roy Fokker, Rick Hunter, and even Minmay are a pleasant surprise. The game covers the first of the three sagas that make up the original series. There are five chapters that include 8-10 missions each. They range from eliminating Zentradi battle pods from the streets of the ravaged Macross City to guarding a group of helicopters rescuing civilians. There is also a head to head mode.

The graphics are similar to most anime shows. The landscaping and buildings are well done with vibrant colors. The entire game is in 3rd person view. There are a few glitches when you reach the boundary limits or get stuck behind something and the camera cannot compensate and you disappear. Overall the graphics are well done, but nothing to die for.

[floatright][/floatright]The sound was very realistic. Not that I have ever had missiles and plasma guns shot at my head. Explosions, gunfire and even the sparking sounds heard as a battle pod crumbles to the ground adds to the over all enjoyment of the game. The theme song was kept intact, but there was much to be desired in a few of the levels. The endless loop of drab instrumental music that was in some of the longer levels really got annoying. It was nothing that the volume button on the remote wouldn’t fix. The soundtrack did seem to follow the typical movie soundtrack. Fast, up beat tunes when in a dogfight and spooky music when you were sneaking around. All of the cut scenes that have dialogue are written and spoken. One handy feature is at the beginning of each mission there is a brief description of what is going on, what you are supposed to do, and a hint. When the level is finished loading, there is a cut scene that goes into depth about what is going on and what you are to do.

The controls are fairly easy. The hardest part is mastering the D-pad in regard to your Veritech mode. You have fighter mode, battleoid mode, guardian hover, and guardian fly mode. The worst thing is being in the middle of a firefight in battleoid mode and trying to switch to guardian and end up going into fighter mode. When you hit a building or boundary in fighter mode you automatically switch to battleoid. You have the ability, under the options menu, to change controls between normal or inverted depending on your preference. The “A” button is always speed. The “X” and “B” buttons are guns or missiles depending on mode. The “Y” button, depending on mode is sniper mode toggle, pick up item action, or anti-missile pods. The triggers are bank left and bank right. You can actually do barrel rolls and loopty-loops with different trigger/button combinations.

[floatleft][/floatleft]Some levels are much harder than others. Since you are carrying tracking missiles, as long as you don’t get shot too much you’ll probably pass the level. They gradually get harder as you get further through the story. A few of the levels have an actual time limit or you just need to get somewhere quickly before your buddy dies. Then you have the “bosses”. You have to out-pilot a few commanders and Zentradi aces that have much more powerful weapons than you. The officer’s pods are the hardest by far. Their head mounted weapon can kill you with just a few direct hits.

If you liked the original series this game is a must-have. If you haven’t seen the series, but like flying a futuristic transformer and killing all alien invaders then it is worth a rental. Including the training sessions, you could spend 15 hours to complete all missions. Once you finish the missions you may or may not have gotten all of the awards and medals that open up more fighters or head to head levels. It’s not a “finish it once and into the closet it goes.” Since this stopped at the end of the first saga, they have left the door open for two more games.

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