Jan 142013
 

When I was informed that SUDA 51 was making a 3DS shooter, called Liberation Maiden, I was instantly excited. SUDA 51′s contribution to the the gaming community had been well documented and a chance to delve into his world on the 3DS shouldn’t be passed up. See, that’s what I said when I found out about the game, after delving further into the game, is it possible that the hype train pulled into the station early?

So, what is Liberation Maiden? Well, definitely not your typical SUDA 51 affair. Liberation Maiden tells the story of Shoko Ozora, the Second President of New Japan, and her Infiltrator mech suit. Apparently in this dystopic future, New Tokyo’s President is the one that fights against the industrialized invaders that are converting nature into barren cityscapes. While a little odd, key points of the game are told using animated cutscenes, which are cool.

Graphically, the game is a somewhat decent representation of 3DS software and ultimately is pretty much middle of the road. It certainly does get extra points for the very cool animated cutscenes within the game though, they are crisp and clear and as I said before, well implemented. Audio in the game is actually quite awesome, the music sounds like it is straight out of a mech-based anime with a few songs even featuring Japanese lyrics.

Gameplay feels quite a bit reminiscent of Zone of the Enders. As  Shoko Ozora, you pilot your Infiltrator around and convert your shield into a multitude of deadly lasers that will lock onto targets or a large focused beam that can quickly destroy single targets. Aiming and targeting are all done on the touch screen, while all the action takes place on the 3D display. Although it may take a second to get your aim right, this system is decently interactive and kept me engaged throughout the game.

Most missions involve you flying over a small island and blowing up enemy ships and buildings. After taking out a building or target, the land will partially convert back to a green landscape again, along with a news report on what the public thinks of your feat. In a few areas I was forced to have to pilot the Infiltrator under bridges and though corridors, which was cool because it definitely gave a solid piloting feel to the game momentarily.

While I enjoyed my time with Liberation Maiden, there were a few things that were just huge bummers. For starters, the game isn’t more that a few hours long. Just as I was getting the controls down and figuring out how to use my weapons at maximum efficiency, I was notified that I was on the final mission. In fact, while waiting in line for the Wii U, I actually started and completed the game in one simple sitting. There really isn’t too much in the area of extras and unlockables, just a movie mode and also a time attack mode. So, just to throw it out there, the game is disappointingly short!

Liberation Maiden is an interesting conundrum. In one hand, it is an enjoyable game that is absolutely reminiscent of very popular franchises from the early 2000′s. In the other, we have an incredibly linear and short game that plays throughout more like a mobile game than an actual downloadable game. You’ll have fun playing Liberation Maiden, unfortunately after the couple of hours it takes to beat the game, there isn’t anything else to do afterwards.

3DS

Graphics

70
 

Audio

80
 

Gameplay

70

Creativity

75
 

Execution

50
 

Offset

60
    

6.8

  

How do these ratings work? Click here for descriptions!

Retro City Rampage Xbox 360

A while back Sean took the PC version of Retro City Rampage out for a joyride. During the review he mentions how the game is a love letter to the 80′s gaming nostalgia of the 8-bit generation gamers. With my first dive into the Retro City Rampage world, I can absolutely confirm that his initial observations are correct. But wait! There’s more!

So I got an opportunity to review the Xbox Live Arcade version of Retro City Rampage and for all realistic purposes, it seems to be pretty much the same game as from before. However, it would be boring to just end the review on this point and tell everyone to have a great day, so here are some things that are definitely worth knowing for the Xbox 360 version of Retro City Rampage. The video filters are intact so if pretending you are playing on a collection of old school consoles or throwing your blue and red specs on for anaglyphic 3D, you don’t have to stray from your familiar system. There are also tons of achievements available to be unlocked on the XBLA title, along with a nifty avatar award as well. If you love getting a few extra treats with your games, Retro City Rampage will not disappoint.

With all of this being said, there are a few thing that I don’t think were completely addressed before. The game is indeed fun, and there are absolutely times where gameplay truly tests your patience with repetitive gimmicks and features. Something that I spent more time in that almost playing through the game myself had to be the mini games. At the in-game arcade, I was able to play a Virtual Boy knockoff of Super Meat Boy, a homage to the Mortal Kombat minigames with the cast of Epic Meal Time and even a good solid run at Bit.Trip with a slightly lower class graphical scale. While each one of these games unlocked a special guest character to play in the game (Muscles Glasses? Fuck yeah!), there is also a certain level of enjoyment to be had while chasing the high scores or trying to improve your best. Each game is put together masterfully and are a great way to break up the late game monotony.

All in all the game is still fun, controls are still a bit wonky at times, it will get bland at points and is probably the perfect game to pick up and grind out while you are waiting for the eventual release of Grand Theft Auto V.

XBox 360

Graphics

80
 

Audio

95
 

Gameplay

80

Creativity

70
 

Execution

80
 

Offset

85
    

8.2

  

How do these ratings work? Click here for descriptions!

 

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