Friday, July 20, 2012

First Impression Review - God Eater

God Eater, an action-adventure game released by Namco Bandai for the PSP, has been gaining popularity for one reason: It’s similar to Capcom’s Monster Hunter series of games in a lot of ways. Though the US release of the game is yet to come, many are already itching to play it. I, on the other hand, was curious about how good the game is to be compared to MH. To satisfy my curiosity, I got a copy of the Japanese version to see it for myself. Since it’s still just an import, I will most likely be limiting the review to as far as what I could observe in my initial play and try to dissect the game’s battle system.
The story starts with three main characters fighting a monster and eventually taking it down. The scene cuts to (what I think is) their base where the game introduces a new guy, which would be your player. Some long conversation takes place and then you finally go and choose missions from a girl in front of a counter (similar to MH’s Guild Hall).
 As you progress, you will eventually unlock new and more difficult missions. Unlike MH, movement in GE is more versatile. Players can jump, dash, roll, sprint, and even sidestep. GE, like MH, also has status bar that decreases with every dash/roll maneuver. The game also has the same difficulty with the camera. You have to keep on adjusting the camera as you move. Luckily, you can reset the camera angle if needed and a lock-on feature enables you to focus the camera on the target enemy.

Players wield only one weapon, which has the ability to change forms to suit your battle preferences. Blade form allows you to do slashing melee combos and block attacks similar to MH’s great swords. Gun form lets you fire from a distance and use various types of bullets for added effect. This form has its own energy bar that’s consumed with every shot. If you run out of energy, it can be filled again with every melee attack you connect. 
Finally, there’s Predator form, a charged attack that transforms your weapon into a monster-like mouth. Once you hit the enemy with this, players can enter “super mode” temporarily. In this mode, players will have stronger attacks in both Blade and Gun forms. With all these different weapon forms, players have a wide range of abilities that can be executed in battle, making them more balanced in both melee and ranged combat. The battles are executed a bit faster in the sense that there’s not much strategy to be applied here with taking down monsters… or at least that was my impression during my first fight.
Overall, GE is a solid game that can stand on its own. You can’t really compare it to MH. Personally, they’re not as similar as everybody thinks. GE impressed me by having an actual story in it as well as voice-acting, graphics and cinematics that give it an “anime” feel to it. Since I’m a complete sucker to the “big swords changing into big guns” kind of thing, I personally love their weapons here. They’re so badass.
BUT! Unless the US release is made available, I won’t bother myself with this just yet. I don’t want to play games that I don’t fully understand (except for Super Robot Wars/G Generation games, hehehe!). I just hope they won’t mess up anything that would ruin the storytelling. I mean, personally, I’m all good if they intend to dub it in English, AS LONG as this won’t ruin it. If they can’t do that then its better to leave the Japanese voices alone and just give us English subtitles. For now, I give it a thumbs-up! Everyone would probably love it. Personally, just wait for the US release (if ever) or try to find a English patched version of it. It’s all up to you. There still a lot of things to discover in the game. I just scratched the surface and got my first impression. Everything else is all up to you. Again, this is my first impression of God Eater.

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