Review by DJKennethA
"Cyclone riders....we need you"
Robotech Invasion is the second Robotech game to grace the PS2. This one focuses on the last of the Robotech series. For those of you who know, this is the Invid Invasion of Earth and the fight of the remaining humans to reclaim their planet from the invading aliens. You even get to fight at Reflex point!!!!
Diving right in:
When I first played the game I was impressed. Now fanboys don't hate me, but I myself liked this game a whole lot better then Battle Cry. I attribute that to the fact that it was first person, or third, and that well, the Cyclones just rock. The action was fast, and un relenting at times, the Invid Shock Troopers just rule, and the game is fun. These were my first impressions.
Ok now to the more indepth stuff. For starters this is a mission based game and it is very linear. Most missions consist of you starting off in a town, or field, and then having to make to point A. Point A could be anything from a radio tower, to a comrade in trouble, or just a place where you get to blow up lots of Invid ( WOOHOO). The neat part of the game is that since this is Robotech, and you have a cool Cylcone ( motorcycle ) you can switch to the Power Armor at any time by pressing triangle. ( BTW this game uses all the buttons on the controller which will be discussed later ) The Power Armor is the more useful of the two forms, and the motorcycle form seems almost an after thought, since you only have to use it in possibly less then 10 missions. Even then it isn't really necessary. As you progress through the game, you will pick up different cyclones. Some have blades for melee attacks, some do not. Though if you have to hand to hand against and Invid...its all over for you. You pretty much never run out of ammo though so its ok. The cyclones come equipped with different view modes. I.E. night vision, heat vision, cloak, and one other that I can't remember at the moment. You end up using all of these abilites at different points in the game. Night vision and Heat vision, being the most useful. Cloak doesn't appear until way later in the game. The one problem with the cyclones is that they handle a little wonky, and you can't transform in the expansive indoor environments. Only outdoors.
The weapons in the game are nothing spectacular, but they get the job done. You can only hold two ala Halo. One side arm which is powered by protoculture, and one gun that holds bullets. At times you will have to choose, between a shotgun and a machine gun, but can only pick one. ( GO FOR THE SHOTGUN.)
The control scheme is layed out well on the PS2 controller. For anyone who has played an FPS, you will be at home with this. The shoulder buttons, fire, throw grenades, lock on ( the lock is fantastic. ) etc. And the d-pad is used to switch your vision modes. The buttons on the controller, reload, switch from bike to power armor, and fire missles. ( Only in bike mode which was a let down. ) Also R3 is used to zoom with the sniper gun, and L3 is your action button for picking up weapons etc. The HUD also shows everything you need to know from how much life you have left, to where the enemies are, to where you need to go. I mentioned earlier that the HUD is annoying, but it can be turned down so its more transparent. Or it can be turned off completely.
The environments in the game are cool. Not all of them are the most detailed I have seen, but they accomplish what is necessary. You have snowfields, towns, delapidated towns, woods, swamps, an old high way, deserts, caverns and Invid hives. Inside the caves and hive you cannot change your power armor back to the motorcycle, but it really isn't necessary. The Invid attack you in all of these places, and they make sure to make use of the surroundings. In gullies, you will be sniped at from enforcers and pincers, and occasionally boxed in by Shock Troopers.
This was neat because all of the enemies fight differently. Most of the time they throw multiple types at you causing you to adjust your gameplay strategy. Some hang back, some fly, some will charge you, All can have limbs, shoulder cannons etc blown off. If you manage to hit one in its so called "eye" you can take it down quicker, sometimes with one shot. The only enemy AI I had a problem with was the human enemies. They would just run up to you shooting at times and all you have to do is press L2 and WHACK, one punch takes em down. I should also mention the the Invid shock troopers among other enemies are HUGE. You do not want to get close to them. You can see up to their knees if you do.
Some people on the boards were complaining about it, but I think it fits pretty well. There are different styles depending on the moment. The music inside the hives works perfectly as well as in the sections where you have to clear towns of Invid invaders.
The major downfalls of this game are few, but for those we are not Robotech fans, they could be significant. This is not the best FPS ever, but its fun because well you get to blow away Invid. The missions are linear and consist mainly of the same thing such as, protect this, clear this town, find you friends, get seperated and find them again etc. The one major complaint I can see from non Robotech fans is that there are not very many enemy types. There are maybe a total of about 8 or 9 different enemies. Some being variations for example, normal shock trooper, and a shock trooper with a shoulder cannon.
All in all this is a solid game. I think it deserves an 8 out of 10 because its fun, with intuitive controls, good music, lots of Invid to blast, a good story, decent dialogue, and keeps all the Robotech enemies and weapons to a T. Everything looks like it should. I'd recommend this one to the Robotech fans, but as always if you aren't sure give it a rental.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/11/04
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