Anime hasn’t always been as popular as it is today; many forget what really started the craze here in the States. The Robotech series was really the beginning of mainstream anime here in the States. Now Global Star has teamed up with developers Vicious Cycle again to bring us another addition to the Robotech series, in Robotech: Invasion for the Microsoft Xbox.
For those of you who haven’t been following the Robotech series all that closely they recently released Robotech: Battlecry with really mixed results. The game used some beautiful cel shading but the gameplay became very repetitive very quick. Now developers Vicious Cycle are going to give the series another go in Robotech: Invasion, a better Robotech experience.
The storyline behind Robotech: Invasion takes place in the third Robotech mini series (Mospeada), which has a new alien life form, the Invid, who have begun colonizing on the Earth, attempting to harvest a new type of substance. Well you take the role of Locke, a solider of the Robotech Reclamation Force, who ends up having amnesia (is it just me or a lot of game characters suffering from amnesia?). Moving on, through the game Locke will have flashbacks that let you know of what he remembers before the amnesia. Although the storyline at times can be quite confusing, it still does a lot of things right to make it an interesting storyline.
When I first heard about Robotech: Invasion quite a few months ago I was really intrigued by the list of options the game said you were going to have. The game, on paper, really did sound amazing, like one that would really contend for being a great game. One of the key features to the game is the ability to transform between motorcycle rider to foot solider. Just think about that for a second, that feature right there alone is enough to make me want to play the game. Unfortunately although paper this may sound enthralling in actuality it’s not all that great.
On foot things tend to be quite good actually. Controlling your character on foot is pretty standard for most action games as the controls are extremely easy to just pick up and play. You can easily switch from the third person viewpoint to the third person viewpoint, something I really believe they should have left out of the game. In my opinion I must say that the developers should have chosen one viewpoint and stuck with it as the game really doesn’t perform as well as it could. With that being said, the gameplay on foot is pretty standard for these type of games. The lock-on system in the game works pretty well, still giving you some control by allowing you to move the aim to try and get off a much more effective shot.
Although things on foot are good, when you switch over to the bike things take a downward turn. Although this game is set in the distant future, their bikes sure don’t move very fast, as the game has your bike move at a very slow pace, something I am not sure was a good idea. Although the game does offer boost throughout the normal speed, it is just nowhere near fast enough. It will end up making many people quite frustrated with the slower pace.
Another nice addition to the game is the online play, which makes its first appearance Xbox Live support. The game offers up a nice eight-player experience, including Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Protocapture. All are pretty straightforward games that offer little to no difference from other games of the genre. Although the online play is pretty solid there is one major problem. There aren’t enough people to play with in the game, which makes finding a game that much more challenging.
Overall the gameplay of Robotech: Invasion really is a little disappointing with the amount of potential that Battlecry. With that being said the gameplay does enough right to make for a somewhat enjoyable experience.
In the last Robotech game, Robotech: Battlecry, Vicious Cycle offered us a beautiful cel shaded experience; one that wasn’t perfect but did show a whole lot of potential. So does Invasion go the extra mile and create a beautiful game or did the series take a complete u-turn?
Robotech: Invasion is in no way shape or form a good-looking game, which is quite unfortunate. Why did they decide to go away from the cel shaded style? If you ask me if a game is done right with cel shading they always make for an amazing experience. Unfortunately Robotech: Invasion goes to a normal 3D look that didn’t turn out overly great. The amount of detail on the foot soldiers is decent and the motorcycles are decent as well. But where things get bad is in the animation, which is choppy at times in the game.
Overall it was quite disappointing that Robotech: Invasion went away from the cel shading that worked so beautifully in the last edition. Although the 3D engine does show potential this time around it just doesn’t make it up to par.
The major downside to Battlecry was the repetitive nature of the game, which thankfully is not present anymore in the game. Now Robotech: Invasion offers plenty of different of mission types doing the best it can to really mix up the gameplay as much as possible. And for that Robotech Invasion did a great job of keeping things fresh and interesting throughout. Its just a shame the gameplay wasn’t a little more interesting.
For all of you Robotech fans out there who are wondering if you should pick this game up or not, my answer yes. Fans not familiar with the franchise might have more fun renting this one.
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.