|GC, PS2, Xbox
| The Good
Cel-shaded graphics look mimick cartoon well
Audio seems ripped straight out of show
Lots to unlock
| The Bad
Battleoid/Guardian modes are sluggish
Area graphics and design are weak
North American fans of Robotech
have never known the joy of even a remotely decent videogame
based on the long-running anime series in which an alien ship
crashes to earth. From the wreckage, humans rebuild the ship
and use the technology found aboard to create the Robotech
Defense Force. When an alien assault force comes to Earth
to retrieve the ship (now know as the SDF-1), the crew manages
to escape to somewhere else in the solar system through the
use of a teleporting "Fold System". Battlecry details
the events and missions of Jack Archer, an ace pilot who is
left behind on earth after the SDF-1 departs from earth. His
story parallels the path that the cast from the anime takes
through the war.
In designing the graphics, Vicious Cycle decided to build
the game in a cel-shaded design, which manages to mimick the
look of the cartoon well. All of the mechs and ships are dead-on
accurate and a lot of the little things, like the smoke trail
from a hail of missles, work to bring back a sense of nostalgia
for fans. But, once you look away from the mechs and ships,
you'll notice a number of bland textures and fairly boring
looking levels. Cities are sizeable enough and have a number
of buildings you can shoot down during combat, but there's
very little life to accent and make it feel like a real city.
Also, the wilderness levels look rather plain and the backdrop
for aerial missions seems to lack any detail. On top of that,
I really wish the cutscenes had been animated instead of hand-drawn
The story mode is set up into missions, which are lumped
into chapters. The player will use their mech to perform various
objectives, including escort, attack and defending locations.
Using the D-Pad, the player can switch modes from Battleoid
(robot) to Guardian (half robot/half plane) to Fighter (plane).
Each mode has certain bonuses and drawbacks, so learning how
to switch them on the fly is key to finishing most missions.
Also, knowing which mode is the best for a certain mission
is also helpful. Firefights can be hectic and fast paced,
with losts of gunfire and missles being flung about. Using
the strafe buttons is to your benefit in this game and the
controls at times can feel sluggish. In fact, both the Battleoid
and Guardian modes seem to lack speed. Unless you keep your
hand on the boost button, it make take you some time to get
anywhere and turning tight corners is next to impossible.
Players can earn medals based on performance, which will unlock
new mech designs (including Skull Leader) and new arenas for
the Versus Mode.
Just about every aspect of the audio department is well done
and feels pulled straight from the series. The music uses
original themes effectively and even includes new tracks that
feel fairly similar in style. Sound effects are nicely done
and likewise feel reminiscent of the show. Considering most
of the original voice cast returned to do the game, fans will
enjoy the voice parts.
While I did enjoy the fact that they managed to capture the
Robotech feel well, there were some things I wish had received
a little more polish. As stated before, some of the modes
feel sluggish in control. From time to time, I felt like I
was fighting with the controls to get my mech where I wanted
to be. And on top of that, there seemed to be minor collision
detection issues that would leave me stuck between two buildings
until I could boost or blast my way clear.
Fans of the original series should check this game out. It
does manage to do well in recapturing the original anime,
even if some of the issues seem to hold it back. Outside of
the license and the tranformation aspect of the game, Robotech:
Battlecry is your standard mech action title.