Thursday, January 17, 2019

God Eater Resurrection

Dystopian settings where the future of Earth isn’t exactly bright have proved popular in the entertainment industry, represented by media such as Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games book trilogy and their subsequent film adaptations. Videogames too would sometimes take a crack at the genre, among these being God Eater for the PlayStation Portable, its enhanced remake for the system Gods Eater Burst translated worldwide. A remaster of the game entitled God Eater Resurrection would come the following console generation for the PlayStation 4 and Vita, the latter version this review covers.

Resurrection is set in a fictitious country, the New Asian Union (NAU) in the year 2071 when mysterious adversaries known as Aragami have largely ravaged the Earth, and an organization known as Fenrir saw its establishment to combat them, with members in charge of exterminating the monsters known as the eponymous God Eaters. The story is surprisingly good, with some scenes becoming viewable should the player use certain team members in their mission party, although the localization team made little effort to make the dialogue sound realistic, with characters repeating themselves way too often, but fortunately the translation doesn’t detract too much from the narrative experience.

Fortunately, solid mission-based gameplay backs things, with players able to get a view before hunts on what to expect in terms of Aragami, such as what types of weapons they’re weak against and elemental types whose damage certain shields can reduce. God Eaters have two primary types of offensive capability: melee weapons and firearms, the latter consuming bullet power and the former coming free of charge whilst simultaneously restoring ammunition ability. The constant alternation between firearms and melee weapons definitely keeps things from becoming too repetitive as the game goes on.

Outside battle, the player can purchase new equipment and/or upgrade with both money and materials gained from slaying Aragami, and fortunately, if they need a material they don’t have, they can check available missions to see potential rewards and the odds of receiving them, depending upon conditions such as mission-end endurance (which dictates how many times a character can revive on a battlefield before losing revivability, for the protagonist meaning a mission’s failure). The battle system is generally enjoyable, although the camera can be a bit jerky especially when the protagonist is close to walls, and fights versus multiple giant Aragami can be slightly tedious.

Resurrection is a fairly linear title, virtually ensuring the player doesn’t get lost, although there are areas of control that leave room for improvement such as the aforementioned camera issues in combat, buttons having multiple functions in battle, and the tedium of scrolling long item lists, for instance, to procure materials necessary for constructing certain weapons and shields. Dialogue during voice-acted cutscenes is also unskippable (although the scenes themselves are), no mid-mission recording of progress is present, and overall, while interaction isn’t terrible, it does have issues that the developers could have bettered.

The music for the most part is enjoyable, although there are some parts without music, namely when the player traverses battlefields with no Aragami nearby. The voice acting is also hit-or-miss, with all characters, regardless of nationality, having the same accents. Still, the audio is above average.

Aside from the camera issues, the graphics also look nice, with believable character models and environments (although these occasionally have pixilated texturing), not to mention the rare anime cutscene. There are some occasional Aragami that appear the same except with different coats of paint, but otherwise, the game looks nice.

Finally, playing through the main quest takes one to two days’ worth of playtime, with plenty Trophies enhancing lasting appeal.

Overall, God Eater Resurrection for the most part is a solid remaster, given its great strategic action and mission-based gameplay, lack of issues with ever getting lost, the excellent narrative, the enjoyable soundtrack, the pretty graphics, and plenty reasons to come back for more. It does have issues for certain, such as the jerky camera during combat, the lack of mid-mission saving, the inability to scroll through cutscene dialogue, the weak localization, some musicless portions, and the occasional inconsistent quality of the voice acting, but those who can look past those issues will find it a most worthwhile experience, and this reviewer in particular wouldn’t mind playing its sequel.

This review is based on a copy purchased digitally by the reviewer and played to the standard ending, with 26% of Trophies collected.

The Good:
+Solid strategic action combat.
+Little problem getting lost.
+Excellent storyline.
+Good soundtrack.
+Nice visuals.
+Plenty lasting appeal.

The Bad:
-Camera can be somewhat jerky.
-No mid-mission saving.
-Unskippable cutscene dialogue.
-Lackluster localization full of redundant dialogue.
-Some parts without music.
-Voicework can be grating.

The Bottom Line:
An enjoyable introduction to the series.

Score Breakdown:
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Game Mechanics: 8/10
Controls: 6/10
Story: 9/10
Localization: 5/10
Music/Sound: 7/10
Graphics: 8/10
Lasting Appeal: 10/10
Difficulty: Moderate
Playing Time: 1-2 Days

Overall: 8/10

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