Rengoku: The Tower of Purgatory

Overview

So far since the PSP launched a few months ago we have seen this handheld do well with sports and racing games, but to be honest we have yet to see the PSP have an action game that really captured our hearts. One of the first action games for this platform is Konami’s Rengoku: Tower of Purgatory, which attempts to fill the void of action games for the PSP. Can they do this? Read my full review to find out!

Gameplay

For those of you who haven’t heard of this game, don’t feel bad because you’re definitely not alone. I barely heard anything about this game while it was in development. But since I have played it I can tell you that this game really does try to take a very simplistic approach to making an action game and you will see this from start to finish.

The game features a story that has been done so many times that it just feels watered down and dreadfully boring. The game takes place in a time where humans no longer fight their own battles but instead have androids to it for them. You control one of this Androids (ADAM) who basically needs to kill everything in sight in order to get to the desired destination, which I will not give away but should be somewhat obvious. Anyways I must say that the story execution in the game was pretty dreadful and felt uninspired and lacked any sort of spark to make you care.

The one thing about this game is that Rengoku is full of action from start to finish and you will be constantly busy taking out these other androids and trying to move onto the next room. The idea is fine, but the execution is where the game suffers. The first problem I had was with the controls, which really felt clunky and didn’t allow you as much mobility as we expect from action games in this generation of games. Second off the gameplay was extremely unbalanced and too simplistic for my taste as it didn’t offer up any chance of using strategy to defeat enemies.

If the opponent you were fighting is stronger then you then you will find yourself on the losing end. The game makes it quite simple that the stronger man always wins and there is no room in this game for thinking or trying to outsmart the computer.

The game has you go through level after level getting new items and of course the new upgrades. But to be honest, because the controls and the gameplay mechanics not being anywhere near as refined as they should have been, I doubt many people are really going to care. The gameplay in the game is very standard and doesn’t ever try to be anything more and thus this game comes as an utter disappointment. When you think about this game you can see it has potential but the execution in the gameplay department was just totally off target.

Graphics

Since we know the gameplay was very sub par, did the visuals follow suit? Not precisely, as the developers actually didn’t do too bad of a job with the visuals as they actually have some nice features. I was actually a fan of the character/robot models, which in my opinion were nicely done. They had quite a bit of detail and offered off enough details to satisfy my needs. But on the negative side the environments seemed as uninspired as the gameplay, with a total lack of detail and a sense that there is neither reason to give detail to the environments nor any real color changes.

Overall the visuals of Rengoku Tower of Purgatory were pretty disappointing but at least they did have pretty nice looking character models.

Fun Factor

Plain and simply this game, as with games similar to this, have been done better so many times before that I think it makes this game look even worse. While I was playing this game I felt that I was not only wasting my time but that I was seeing the action genre take a huge step back. The action in this game was sub-par to say the least, and the visuals didn’t help the game out either. Unless for some reason you like bad controls and unbalanced gameplay, I doubt you’re going to have much fun with this one.

Overall

This game is a pretty clear cut disappointment and there is really no other way to say it. It had the potential to be a sleeper hit, paving the way for action games on the PSP, but ultimately let down with an uninspired storyline and lackluster gameplay. We can only hope to see better efforts from Hudson Soft in their next game outing, but for now we suggest you give this a miss.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.