Japanese shoot 'em up due out in the UK soon
Japanese games are often innovative and full of groundbreaking new ideas, but occasionally they're just plain weird, appealing only to gamers in that part of the world and never quite translating to a Western audience. The last one I played on Xbox 360 was Ubisoft's Enchanted Arms, a bizarre science fiction-based role-playing game with a puzzling storyline that went straight over my head and game-play that was ladenned with the sort of slow and dated turn-based action that bores me to tears. The company's latest game, WarTech Senko No Ronde, is another title which they have adopted from Japan and are publishing in the UK; a gamble which they hope will pay off this time around. Luckily, the signs have been good, with favorable Japanese reviews, including a gold medal from Japanese cult magazine Famitsu. But, Europeans are a totally different audience to please, with contrasting views on what makes a game great. Has Ubisoft made a wise investment in bringing this Japanese title to the European market? Well, thankfully, it's a million miles from being as bad as Enchanted Arms. Let's take a look…
WarTech Senko No Ronde is based on a Japanese arcade game from 2004. It blends the shoot-em up and fighting genres extremely well, with blisteringly fast-paced action, close up and ranged battles and a healthy and visually stimulating mix of attacking and defensive weaponry. The game fits firmly into the genre of the 'Maniac Shooter' with waves of bullets and missiles covering the screen in a blanket of colour whilst you dart around frantically trying to dodge out of the way and launch your own attacks. But, despite this non-stop action, WarTech never becomes just a button bashing exercise for your thumbs, thanks to the diverse range of weapons and special moves at your fingertips and the overriding need to think tactically in order to beat your opponent.
There is a back story WarTech Senko No Ronde: A violent war has erupted as nations struggle for world domination. Rounder Mechs fill the skies and the fate of the world is determined through aerial combat. That's all you really need to know. There are no cut-scenes with head scratchingly bizarre conversations or reams of text dialogue to plough through; instead there are short bursts of dialogue that precede each character's story. As previously mentioned, the game is a port of the Japanese arcade game so it’s good to see that they haven’t tried to jazz it up with unnecessary waffle and that the option to jump straight into a battle is only a couple of button presses away; in a nutshell, WarTech is a true arcade game experience.