Review by Shogain
"Gundams and Nubians and Dinosaurs! Oh, my!"
To be honest, you've probably never heard about this game, or the Super Robot Taisen series. Even so, it's popularity is huge in Japan, and if it's popularity is huge, then you might enjoy it too. Super Robot Taisen: Alpha Gaiden is basically a strategy tactics game, with some of it's own game mechanics. Such includes having a hefty amount of robots and their characters from various Mecha anime, with a twist. With an original storyline, Banpresto combines the various mecha animes with their story, into one. For example, you'll be seeing Mazinger Z fighting against Getter's villain, with other mechs. Instead of the basic attack animations, alpha gaiden features what Alpha had. Fully animated attacks that trigger when you attack an enemy. These animations shows the mech's attack in a side-screen view. I'll explain further on in the gameplay section.
Story - [7.0]
I might be a skeptic in terms of story, but I didn't see anything great about it in SRW: Alpha Gaiden. The story is basically of jumble of the conflicts in the various mecha shows, like the Dinosaur empire rising up from underground threatening humanity. You also got the Titans to worry about at the start of the game, who are the villains(probably) from Zeta Gundam. Aaaanyway, Alpha gaiden is more like a spin-off to the previous entry, Alpha. You start out after the events from SRW: Alpha, and as you progress through the game, you'll get warped to the future which consists of wastelands, and new civilizations. What happened in the future was that a shock wave created from the events of SRW: Alpha scarred the earth. I shouldn't spoil the story too much here, but if you don't know japanese, your not even missing out much. If not, at all.
Gameplay - [7.5]
Possibly one of the most easiest accessible gameplay goes to the SRW games. It's a strategy tactics game, so if your familiar to that genre, you'll get used to the interface of Alpha Gaiden quickly. At first, you battle it out on maps, pick your guys and battleship, then duke it out with the enemies. In these battles, you select one of your units, and it brings you to a small menu. In this menu, you'll have the move command, attack command, seishin command, fly/land/dig command, and wait command. For moving, you get the jist. As for the attacking, it is rather crucial you think before you attack. For example, if you use a beam weapon against an enemy underwater, it'll do less than 10 dmg instead of the occasional 3000-4000 range. The weapons your guys have are distributed in order by attack power, energy usage, and range. For the seishins, these are used by the pilots of your mechas. They use up their SP's, but in exchange, you can use various commands such as Focus, which gives you a 30% better hit rate, and a 30% better evasion for the following turn. Others include Enable, which lets you select a unit that has already went, and enable it to go another turn. There are bunch of other seishins that I didn't even include, but they're essential to your strategies. More seishins are avaiable to your pilots as they level up and such. Finally, you got the fly/land/dig command. Not all of your guys have such an option, but for the ones that do have them, they can easily travel across water in flying mode. Flying makes them lose EN by how much they moved. If they moved 4 squares up, they lose 4 EN. To conclude this, I'll also explain the menu after you finish a battle. This particular squared menu is where you get to upgrade your mechs, upgrade their weapons, or add parts which boosts their stats. You get the jist, right? As for the others, you can switch pilots, or assign them to the mechs they can pilot. You can't add Amuro to Mazinger Z. But you can add him to almost all the gundam related mechs. Now, for modules, there are only a few in the game. Modules are special weapon attachments to a few mechs. If you add the divider option to Gundam X, you get to use the Harmonica Cannon. But in exchange, you lose it's satellite weapon. Now, as for my opinions for the gameplay, I think it's very basic and import friendly. The only problem I had was the difficulty. It's pretty damn hard if you ask me, and you get some of these bosses in the later stages where they replenish their hp over 4 times. 4 times, which means having to deal with the same boss that has 50,000 hp or more. Overall, the gameplay is what you'd expect from a mecha strategy game.
Graphics - [8.0]
Graphics in this game was done pretty well. The mechs in the map are very detailed, and they come to life in the attack animations, where you can see how they attack your enemies. You should be really glad Banpresto decided to fully animate attacks now, which started from Alpha, otherwise, I'd rate the graphics a 6 if it had the basic animations from the previous SRW games. But anyways, banpresto did a great job. Especially doing a 2-D version of the character's anime counterpart. Overall, I give the graphics an 8.
Sound/Music - [8.0]
You can hear various songs implemented into battle themes for your mechas. When you attack an enemy with Voltes V, you'll hear Voltes' V's opening song as it's theme, but without the singing. Such things include for everyone. Banpresto did very well with these battle themes, and the music was good. For the sound, they were also superb, such as the explosions, the newtype sensation sound, and so forth. Overall, this section was great.
Final Word -
Even though there's a BUNCH of other SRW games I haven't played, which includes the PS2 installments, I've thoroughly enjoyed this PSone entry, and I think any Anime Mecha fans/Strategy tactic fans will enjoy this game. I mean, come on. Don't you wanna see the ZZ gundam fighting against enemies from Xabungle? Exactly. This game delivers with a bunch of hybrid story elements, and you won't be disappointed. As for a bonus, it's very import friendly, along with the other SRW games, and I think your all set to go. Your missing out if you don't try any SRW games in your life.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/09/09
Game Release: Super Robot Taisen Alpha Gaiden (JP, 03/29/01)
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