Review by Rasmiel
"The most under-rated game. Ever."
One day I was at a mall far away from my house, carrying money to get me some anime DVDs. I decided to take a peek at a new gaming section opened there. Looking through the GC shelf, I came across this one strange game that I never heard of; Gotcha Force. I took a look at the back cover, and I thought to myself: What the deuce is this? This must be the "kiddy game" everyone is talking about. Nonetheless, it was only $10, I decided to give it a shot. I was stunned by the godly gameplay of this horribly under-rated game.
There isn't much to the story, it's far from being an RPG class. However, that doesn't mean it isn't fun. All you got is a little map of a small town called Safari Town, and an evil force called the "Death Force" appear all over the map, and you have to use your toy robots to defeat them. Some are event battles with your Gotcha Force friends, and some are just there for anyone who feels like torturing some weaklings to relieve their stress. Anyhow, the story progresses as you clear the event battles. Don't expect any fancy story. It's tiny toy robots (as known as the Borgs) called the Gotcha Force battling to save the world.
Godly. The graphics are just pure ownage. Each and every borgs have unique designs, except for different color schemes. Attacks look awesome, and I've barely encountered any graphical glitches.
Furthermore, the battlefields are refreshing. Not those "A place after nuclear missile struck it" you see in games like Armored Core. They are actually places like backyard and parks, only they appear to be huge because of sizes of these borgs. There isn't anywhere you can't go. You are allowed to use every structures of that map to give you strategical advantages. Beautiful.
It's really too bad I can only give 10. Gameplay itself can make up for any negative factors in this game. It's played much like games such as Armored Core and Custom Robo; only it's MUCH simpler. You use TWO buttons to perform your attacks, A and X. Does that limit the attacks to two? Rarely. A button alone can perform bunch of combo, and they differ according to movements of your borg. The X button is used for a specialty attack. Most of them are useful. Some of them may be used to blow enemies away, some of them may be used to one hit kill your enemies, and others may be used to halt enemy assaults. Multiple usage of A and X attacks can connect to more combo. The field is big, you have plenty of space to strategize your attacks. Camera angles can be a bit awkward for first time players, but it doesn't take long to get used to.
There are well over 200 borgs to collect. Almost everyone of borgs you encounter are obtainable through destroying them in battles. There are 20 different tribes of borgs; Ninja Borgs, Gun Borgs, Knight Borgs, Girl Borgs, Machine Borgs, Dragon Borgs, Musha Borgs, Knuckle Borgs, Wizard Borgs, Nurse Borgs, Idol Borgs, Bug Borgs, Demon Borgs, Hero Borgs, Wing Borgs, Angel Borgs, Tank Borgs, Air Borgs, Fortress Borgs, and finally, your very own Death Borgs. Each of them have its weaknesses and strengths, and it's up to you to find out which borgs are effective against which. You may put maximum of 30 borgs to each "Force". Forces are simply teams. You can name them and customize them according to your will. You can have up to 20 Forces. You could fill each with a tribe, or you can create a Force used to train your future main borgs, etc. Combination is limitless, however, there is this thing called the "GF Energy". Each borgs have their GF Energy cost, and if your Force Energy is lower than the total of your borgs' Energy, some borgs in that Force will be locked out, meaning you can't use them in battles. So you have to battle a lot to gain GF Energy. It isn't easy, as you gain 10 GF Energy for each battle, with exceptions of some event battles, and all borgs except the Death Force borgs have more than 180 GF Energy cost. That keeps you in front of TV for a long time.
You have Gotcha Force friends, and they join in your battle. You may recruit, even enemies you once fought with. You are mostly allowed to choose one partner for a battle. This may sound good, but it actually isn't, depending on your skills. They can either: a) Help you defeat the enemies, or b) "Accidentally" beat the crap out of you from behind and get in your way. Thank goodness there's an option to choose no one for a partner. Your partner AI sucks horribly, they stand aournd and do nothing but get in your way and steal your kills. When you are fighting to obtain a certain borg, it's better not to choose a partner because if that partner kills your desired borg, you can't get it.
Level up system kinda sucks. They just increase your borg's maximum HP by either 5 or 10, and they do nothing else. However, it's not that bad, if you don't have nerve to keep battling to gain levels like in RPGs, because your enemies don't gain strengths either.
I don't have much comments here. Music is simply awesome. They surprisingly get you on rhythm, and sounds are very sharp.
Again, to my surprise, replaying a same game over and over doesn't get boring. You unlock secrets everytime you beat a game, up to 9 times. You can keep your borgs after beating a game. After beating the second time, you get to replay a game you beat, to play ANY battles you did, which can help you collect specific borgs you want. It's a must for collectors.
Buy or Rent?
Honestly, if you like mech games, buy it when you see it. Since this is horribly under-rated just because it looks kiddish, most stores don't have it. Don't miss out your chance. This game is an amazing experience, and can give you months of playing.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/27/04
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