Review by Nymm

"A solid enough by for tactical RPG fans."

Just when I was about to retire my hopes of ever seeing another tactics RPG for the GBA, Rebelstar: Tactical Command was released. Now, tactical RPGs for the GBA are a passion of mine, so I was more than enthused when I discovered this game was being released. When the game came to my local game store, I quickly scooped it up.

Brief Synopsis:

Aliens have taken over the world. Yeah, I know this is a new story concept to all of us. Bear with me The main character enlists in the rebel human army determined to confront the oh-so-evil alien menace. You, the player, command a unit of rebel soldiers in a series of tactical battles.

Graphics:

The game combines orthographic battle grounds with comic book style cut scenes. The battle grounds are visually appealing, though they lack the level of detail present in other games of it's genre. The cut scenes have well rendered backgrounds, and the character profile images are detailed enough- though a little cliche. The profiles also do not change with the characters emotion. The characters are talking about how the aliens are killing family members, and smiling while they thus converse.

Storyline:

No serious mind bending twists. The story was contrived for the game and lacks depth. It's not like alien invasions are really new ground for game story telling. But at least there are no dragons or magic stones in Rebelstar.

Tactical Game Play:

This is where the "star" in Rebelstar begins to shine. The game allows you to assemble a team of soldiers with specialized abilities. You can equip each soldier with the equipment and weapons of your choice. What, and how much you equip affects the movement range of the soldier.

Battles utilize fog of war. This practically guarantees you will be replaying battles to keep from loosing soldiers to hidden enemies. To me, this makes the game more tactically realistic. It is very much a SWAT related tactics game.

As you progress through the game, you gain access to more equipment, weapons, and soldiers. Your soldiers also level up, earning skill points you can allocate to various stats to customize a character to your liking.

Overall, Rebelstar employs game play different enough from the other games in it's genre to be worth a look-see from any tactics RPG fan.

Replay:

This game has a fair number of challenging missions, but not as many as other game's in it's genre. One fun aspect of this game is that you can create your own scenarios. You can replay any level you have completed, choosing to play as the enemy, for instance.

Downsides:

If one of your characters dies on the battlefield, you get them back next battle, BUT THEIR EQUIPMENT AND WEAPONRY ARE GONE! This can really bite if you loose your laser sword. While the game play is unique, the story and characters are cliche. They could have taken this game so much further. Character customization lets you go as far as equipping your soldiers and choosing how to utilize their skill points, and stops there. You don't get to name your soldiers, they all where the same boring uniform. Not quite enough bling for my taste.

Conclusion:

If you enjoy tactical RPGs and you have burned through the best ones GBA offers, try this one. You will be entertained.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/14/06


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