Robot Alchemic Drive
Genre Action -> Action
Today's Rank 26319
Date N/A
Publisher N/A
Date N/A
Publisher N/A
Yes, Robot Alchemic Drive is yet another giant robot game, but this one is different, I swear. The main difference is in the way you control your robot--not from a cockpit inside the robot's skull, or from a dynamic third-person perspective, but by remote control from the point of view of a human character on the ground. This means you have to position your human character someplace where you can see the action (rooftops are good), but not so close that you get killed. This makes for some interesting strategic issues: when a battle rages from one end of the city to the other, you must decide if you should continue trying to control your robot, who has now become a distant figure on the horizon, or move your human character in for a closer look, temporarily leaving your robot helpless to defend itself. But the best part of the game’s human element is that, while in other giant robot games you eventually feel like the buildings are stage props and you are just some normal-sized guy in a metal suit, R.A.D. never loses its dramatic sense of scale. The heavy, lumbering movement of the robots also adds to the sense of realism. Each limb of your robot is controlled individually (R1 and L2 for the legs, left and right analog sticks for the arms), so every step you take is an earth-shaking, control-rumbling event. The game's story and characters (designed by Toshihiro Kawamoto, creator of Cowboy Bebop) are very much in the style of Japanese anime, which is good or bad depending on how you feel about science fiction melodramas with soft-voiced, big-eyed teenage orphans. Here are the only really annoying features of the game: 1) though you can fast-forward through each individual line of dialogue, it's impossible to skip it altogether, even if you've heard it 10 times, and 2) the action is often interrupted with pointless communications from "headquarters." Despite a few design flaws, though, this is a fun game that finally puts the "giant" back into giant robots. --David Stoesz Pros: Interesting strategic elements introduced by the remote-control system Dramatic sense of scale Fun, lumbering combat Sweet, charming characters Cons: Impossible to skip cutscenes and dialogue Too many interruptions Excessive load times
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