Review by Dalos Geymer

"Simply Fun!"

Everything about this game speaks of simplicity—the special effects, the music, the levels, the controls, the story, etc.—and yet it’s unbelievably fun! It can also be addictive.

GRAPHICS:
Simply beautiful… It’s simple and it’s beautiful. I absolutely love the character designs! They look stylized to anime, and I could even swear that some of the in-game models were used in the anime intro with a different rendering technique. You won’t find any complex or intricately textured models here, yet they all look very well done and polished.

The in-game animation is fluid. The special effects, like explosions, lasers and the like are all simple as well and it all comes together nicely. The level backgrounds are appropriately no more than a slightly flowing image of the sky or something similarly undistracting that allows for good clarity of the foreground action.

MUSIC AND SOUND EFFECTS:
First of all the voice-overs, though few they are, are all somewhat sketchy, but it comes across as if it was intentionally done that way. Personally I like it and find it entertaining, but for those who find it unbearable there is an option to mute it. The music is a bunch of synthesized tunes—nothing flashy. It’s simple and fitting.

STORY:
A young boy finds and befriends a little robot named G Red from the planet Megaborg that was destroyed by the Galactic Emperor and his evil Death Force. The young boy must command G Red in battle together with allies that they meet along the way save Earth from destruction… Again, simple and fitting, it sets the atmosphere.

GAMEPLAY:
At the beginning of the game you only start with the borg named, G Red. You start out with a few easy battles to get you acquainted with game. Eventually, you’ll have the option of choosing an NPC ally to fight alongside you as well as choosing the order in which to fight your battles. You’ll also have to put together a team or Force of borgs that you won from winning battles. Before battle you assemble your Force within the GF Energy Limit. Each borg has a cost attached to them and this GF Energy Limit is kind of like your budget. So if you have a GF Energy Limit of 500 for example you’ll have to choose between two ninja borgs that cost 200 each or one powerful borg that cost 500. Get the Picture? As a side note, your ally’s force is always separate from your own, and the GF Energy Limit increases after every battle you win. You can save up to twenty forces with a maximum of thirty borgs per force.

The different classes—or Tribes as they’re called in the game—include Winged Borgs, Gun Borgs, Ninja Borgs, Machine Borgs (which include transforming robots), Knights, Samurai—and many more. There are also Dragons, Flying Battleships, Tanks, Fighter Jets, Valkyries, and so on that are categorized into their respective Tribes. They're all unique whether it be in the way they move, their speed, the way they attack, the speed of their attacks, their stats, etc.

During battle the borgs in your force will fight in the order that they were placed in the force. If one is destroyed then the next one materializes until either all of your borgs or the enemy borgs are defeated. There is no difficult setting and the game may become quite challenging as you start facing increasingly powerful forces. You’ll be up against superior numbers while you and your ally can only have one borg on the field at a time. After winning battles you’ll win more borgs that will randomly be one or more of the borgs you fought in the battle you just won. The chances of receiving some borgs are more likely than others as they each have a Rarity Rating between “A” and “D”, with “A” being the most rare. In time, it is possible to win and use every one of the 200+ borgs you face in battle. All characters can gain experience and increase in level although apart from gaining more hit points it is not immediately evident what gains there are.

The action takes place from third-person perspective. The camera may turn off or turn away newcomers as it takes some getting used to. Except for the brief moments when no enemy is on the field the camera and your targeting reticule will always be focused on an enemy. What results is an enemy being knocked to and fro with the camera swinging like so staying focused on the enemy; you’ll also sometimes have an enemy flying overhead with camera swinging below ground (with the ground becoming transparent) to keep the enemy in focus. It’s not obscuring, but it might seem unusual. In close combat it might be disorienting at first, as you’ll lose your bearings until you get used to it. Given a little time, once you figure out what the camera is doing, you’ll never lose your bearings and forget that it was ever a problem to begin with.

The controls are very responsive. The B button and X button are your attack buttons which vary depending on the borg you’re using—X is usually reserved for special attacks. A is the jump button and you can dash by tapping the control stick in any direction. A character with boosters can boost or fly by holding the control in a direction while airborne until the boost gauge empties. The boost gauge immediately resets upon touching the ground. The R and L buttons switch targets; the Z button targets your ally (there are some special moves that aid allies); and the Y button uses a Power Burst which increases speed, attack power, defense, and ammo recovery rate. The Power Burst can only be used when a gear like meter fills near the top of the screen, which fills as you attack.

REPLAY VALUE:
You’ll want to play this game over and over to win more borgs or just for the sheer fun of it. In versus mode two human players can take on two others or you can set up three computer opponents with one as your ally and fight with and against any forces you desire that are available. You can also fight 1-on-1, or 2-on-1. Other than that you can try challenge mode and see if your force within a certain limit can survive battles against numerous random computer forces.

Some people need to experience this game to fall in love with it while others need only see it. It deserves much more praise and attention than it is receiving. I give this game a ten not because I like it so much, but because it deviates from the norm and excels at what it tries to be—accessible, simple, attractive, and boat loads of fun. Thanks for the masterpiece Hitomi Nishimoto!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/12/03


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