Tsunami 2265 Review

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Graphics: 5.0
Sound : 4.0
Gameplay : 4.0
Multiplayer : N/A
Overall : 4.2
Review by Andreas Misund Berntsen

Got Game Entertainment is the company behind this third person shooter, being coded by a somewhat small company situated in Italy. Tsunami 2265 is a game where you immediately realize that the arcade feeling was what the designers had planned to reproduce on the pc. It has its faults though, which I will get more into further down.

The story goes as following. In the year of 2118 the gods struck humankind harder than ever. Earth lies prey to nature?s anger as countries quiver and collapse beneath the powerful fury of apocalyptic floods. Devastated by the fury of the gods, Japan and its people struggle for survival.

In the wake of the destruction, the planet?s survivors gather to create the Terrestrial Republic: a united republic under a single flag. For the first time in Earth?s history, East and West join to govern the world.

But the peaceful unity of the Terrestrial Republic will not prove lasting as a new feudal system emerges. Men, who once ran international corporations, now reign above their own kingdoms, each battling for control of the territories and scarce energy resources.

Now, a new and unbridled power prepares to unleash its might, to rise from a battle-scarred and exhausted Earth.

A power that will rise above all armies.

So, that particular power happens to be two characters: Neon, the angry ronin, and Naoko, the female samurai. They set out with two different motives; Neon wants to avenge the death of his master (a ronin is a samurai with no master), while Naoko simply wants to restore world peace, which is closely related to a mysterious energy source. Neon and Naoko share enemies, so you will be controlling each of them in different levels. In total there are 13 levels, including 8 different sets.

Graphics

Tsunami 2265 supports the use of DirectX 7 and OpenGL, so immediately you can tell that the most advanced features of the latest generation graphics card will not be used. Personally I found that using DirectX 7 gave the best visual experience, because their OpenGL code seemed to ?shake up? some of the textures. The textures far from impressed me, and even though this game is supposed to have a cartoon-ish feel they simply appeared mundane and redundant. There?s just not enough variation and crispness! The only positive aspect of the graphics occurs when you are being fired upon with lasers, because they actually look somewhat good, along with not too bad smoke effects from the rockets you send and receive.

Level design is neither something the developers managed to impress me with. Several of the levels are in boring canyons, where you basically just need to go from start to finish, blowing up everything in your path. There aren?t really any noteworthy objectives, except maybe when your character figures out that the main road is blocked, and that you need to find a new (much longer) route.

Since Tsunami 2265 has two modes; shoot-em-up and dynamic adventure you would think there could be some more variation in the adventure department. Those levels are mainly about getting from start to finish, but this time around you need to unlock doors and reveal alternative paths by foot, and now you are only armed with what looks like a popgun. Graphically speaking these levels are a bit better than the shoot-em-up levels, but there was an incredibly annoying bug that made me mostly able to only see the floor!

You see in the beginning of the levels the camera would start in a normal position; a position that seemed perfectly fine to me, but then things started getting worse. The camera would slowly go upward, and to such an extent that you could either not see your character (you would just have to guide yourself with the crosshair), or when you were in an area where the roof was relatively low the camera would move in a way that your crosshair is centred on yourself, locking you in a position where you couldn?t see anything else than the floor, and immediate surroundings. This was one of the main things that made the game more or less unplayable.

The major innovation graphic wise in Tsunami 2265 is the use of cel-shaded graphics, a technique which can be seen in several fully cartoony role-playing games, but in the third person shooter genre this has not yet been done a lot. Both DirectX and OpenGL support this technique without too much hassle, and I must say that with anti-aliasing turned on it was a refreshing sight. In fact, the cut-scenes in Tsunami 2265 scream for anti-aliasing, but when playing this isn?t as much of a necessity.

Sounds / Music

The introduction movie to this game is actually somewhat humorous. Music which I had thought was from the 80s pumped out of my speakers, for two minutes. It was charming in the way watching old MacGyver episodes is charming, but not something that oozed quality. The in-game music is neither good, nor terrible. It does its job, although not excellently. Speaking of not oozing quality; the voice-overs to our two heroes sounded very much like a cheap anime movie, completely read from a script, and without a feeling of realism. The dialogues ranged from decent to pretty bad. The actual voices suit the characters, but they lack power.

Sound effect wise it also ended up below par. However, seeing as how you only have two weapons you can?t expect a really rich assortment of weapon sounds, but a bit more work in the sound department wouldn?t have made this title any worse.

Another thing I find amusing, even in the year of 2002 where the graphical standard is fairly high, the enemy units in Tsunami 2265 still didn?t seem able to communicate with each other, even after having failed to dodge my rockets. I suppose they have learned telepathy.

Gameplay

As previously mentioned this is a third person shooter. You control enormous robots who not only have thick armor, but for some reason have reactors that can handle constant fire of laser weapons, and who also seem to have limitless rocket ammunition. Actually, there is nothing stopping you from holding down the left and right mouse button (to fire laser and rockets simultaneously) constantly. Sure, this is a ?arcade? game, but it could at least have somewhat limited ammunition, and reactors that needed recharging.

Controlling is very similar to most other third person shooters, seeing as how you move around suing W, A, S, D, moving the crosshair using the mouse, and using space to jump. However, jumping is the second thing about Tsunami 2265 that made it unplayable. Standing normally like a gigantic robot should, and jumping, results in a loss of about a fifth of the health. If you thought that was strange you should only know what happens when jumping next to for instance a boulder! I didn?t actually notice this until I had gotten to the second level, because it never required me to jump, but on that particular level I had to go inside the ruins of an old building of some form, run to the top and jump onto a ledge. The problem was that doing so would kill me! But that?s not everything, jumping next to any somewhat big object killed my beefy mech.

Mech Warrior 4 is a good example of how a mech sim should feel. Controlling a huge mech should be slow, because you should feel the weight of it. However, the mechs in Tsunami 2265 feel like people! One of my favorite games of all time happens to be a game called Terra Nova. It?s an old mini-mech game where you playing missions that were actually exciting and complex, but the mechs used in that game had the same physics as those in Tsunami 2265. The thing is though that the latter are 10 times as big! But still, this IS an ?arcade? game; so fast paced gameplay has obviously been something the designers focused on.

Multiplayer

Nothing, nada, zip! Of course, such a mode could have been fun, had they included a bunch of modes, maybe with team-play, bots and lots of mechs to choose from, but maybe in a sequel.

Conclusion

From the start when I played this game I tried to be positive. I tried to find explanations to why things were done in such strange ways, but there are just too much bad things in this game. It lacks in every department, of course in some more than others, but still enough to make me give the conclusion that this is a game I don?t recommend to anyone, even if you are a die-hard fan of the genre.