Review by presea_lover

Reviewed: 04/09/07

THE underrated gamecube game.

There are a lot of games out there that have been dubbed "underrated." In many cases that is true. However, THIS is the game that I feel is easily the most underrated game on the 'Cube. To look at the box art would probably cause anybody over ten to drop- kick it into the street. That would be a serious mistake, though, because this game successfully combines all the best elements of games like Super Smash Brothers, Pokemon and Powerstone. At its core, this is a fighting game with over 200 playable characters, almost all of which have six different colors, and every color also has slightly different stats. In other words, you have over one thousand characters, 200 of which are completely unique, as no character is a "copy" of another. All characters also have their own unique uses, and no character is truly "bad." Now, let's get on to the review.
Graphics: 7/10

About Dreamcast quality, but bright and colorful. They have a very cartoon/ anime feel which helps immerse you in the universe of Gotcha Force. The character models themselves are very detailed, and there are some extremely cool characters and designs. Unfortunately, the battlefields aren't as defined. They look pretty good, and it's neat how your characters {being tiny} are actually fighting on "giant" tables, chairs and bookcases. It's easy to tell where you are, and easy to tell enemies from friends and backgrounds. The graphics basically get out of your way, so you can enjoy the gameplay.

Gameplay: 9/10

Godly. Near- perfection. Nirvana. These are words to describe the gameplay of Gotcha Force. With so much variety, it's very hard to not find a Borg that suits your playing style to a "T." You can use Ninjas, Samurai, Knights, Valkyries, Winged Warriors, Cowboys, Girls with guns, Spaceships, Airplanes, Tanks, Dragons and many more Borgs. Want to transform into a steely Darth Vader and dice enemies with a Lightsaber? You got it. Want to crush your foe with a transforming robot? What are you waiting for? Get to it! The amount of fun you can have in nearly unlimited. Not to mention that actually playing the game is extremely addicting. You won't want to stop until you've "caught 'em all!" A minor concern about the gameplay is the camera. Most of the time it stays behind you. However, if something gets above you, the camera shifts up, the floor goes transparent, and everything gets confusing. When your camera get blocked by a solid object, the solid object becomes see- through. However, when the entire floor is see- through, and you can't see to the right or left, it can be very disorienting. Essentially, never let somebody get above you, try to either be above them or about eye level. In the end, you learn to work around it, and it adds a layer of strategy to the fights, so it's not a huge deal.
Another thing that adds strategy is building "Forces." A Gotcha Force is a team of Gotcha Borgs. The number of Borgs you can send out is determined by how much Gotcha Force you have. Each Borg has a Cost, and you can't exceed the total Gotcha Force that you have when creating a Force. Gotcha Force isn't like money, its just a way of limiting how much you can do, and you don't "spend" Gotcha Force, because when you remove Borgs from a Force, you can free up character slots and Gotcha Force you spend one other Borgs, to add them to the team. More powerful Borgs cost more GF, though even the cheap Borgs can be great with some skill. There are a number of ways to use GF in setting up teams. You can create a large team of weak, cheap Borgs to mob opponents with, you can use a small team of quality, tough Borgs, or you can try to find a nice balance. Gotcha Force has extremely deep gameplay, as you can see. The only other flaw that some might find with it is that characters do not have huge move lists. About five or six moves a character, and variations of those moves, such as different melee attacks, depending on whether you are walking or dashing. It lacks the character depth of, say, Street Fighter or Soul Caliber, but it does have about ten times the characters of those games, so who really cares?

Sound: 5/10

Unbelievable in how bad it is. It's so bad it's good. The voice acting is awful, some of the characters sound half- asleep or ill. The music is disgustingly upbeat at all times, even when you're fighting against some "great evil." It will sicken you, count on it. After a while, though, it will grate on you less. Then, you will find the terrible voices hilarious. After all, some of these voices don't fit AT ALL. Sho is one example. He's supposed to be tough and mean, but he sounds like a three- year- old with a head cold. Well, it's bad, so turn it off or laugh at it.

Story: 3/10

The story has no impact on your enjoyment of this game and is totally irrelevant. That's good, because the story is terrible. It's a lame little story about saving the world from some evil tiny robots, by using your tiny robots to kill them all. Yes! I want to commit Genocide against a bunch of little toy robots! Woo hoo! Seriously, not only is the story lame, but the execution of the storyline is worse. All of a sudden, people are talking about the Death Force {the name of the baddies}, and how evil they are, and how you need to kill them. Then they go back to bickering among themselves, and challenging you to fight them. The main characters are all little kids, by the way, no adults in sight. It's really a good thing that the story is so unimportant, because it could have really killed this game. As it is, ignore the story and just play the game.

Overall: 9/10 {not an average}

In the end, the only thing that really matters for this game is how much fun it is. It will knock your socks off, which you won't even bother to pick up, since you'll be so busy playing this game. With so much to collect, and every Borg being potentially useful, not to mention the alternate colors, which actually serve a valuable purpose, this game a has a lot to offer. The only flaws worth noting are a lack of large movesets on the characters, and a sometimes annoying camera, which you can fix with practice. If you can find this game, you owe it to yourself to try it and see if this is your thing. Get out there and buy it, already!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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