Friday, May 30, 2008

My Kind of RPG

If there's one thing for which I respect Japanese game publishers to no end, it's that they've got guts. You don't give a game a title that takes longer to say than it does to write unless you're reasonably sure the game will live up to its epic moniker. And in the case of Banpresto's Mugen no Frontier: Super Robot Taisen - OG Saga, the title leaves some awfully big shoes to be filled (WARNING: the above link leads to Banpresto's very noisy Mugen no Frontier website).

Released yesterday in Japan, this game is a spin-off of Super Robot Taisen, a franchise that, in all honesty, didn't interest me in the slightest until they decided to cram it full of sexy android women. The game (whose long, tall title translates as Endless Frontier: Super Robot Wars - OG Saga) makes use of the button-tapping RPG battle system used in Namco x Capcom, a cross-brand fan service orgy unleashed by Mugen no Frontier developer Monolith Soft on PS2 owners in 2005. The result is unmistakably an RPG, but with a reduced dependence on clunky menu navigation during battles. And while the game's simplistic, top-down map wandering is also a hallmark of a boring genre, its in-battle sprite animations are good enough to make a lot of fighting games jealous.

Square Enix could win back my respect if they would put this much artistic flair into one of their Final Fantasy re-re-re-releases. Punishing enemies in Mugen no Frontier becomes a joyful occasion as you chain together one well-timed attack after another, and then hand the assault off to your teammate, occasionally unleashing an aesthetically pleasing super move.

As for the OG in the title, I apparently haven't played long enough to reach the "original gangstas" part of the story yet, but give me some time. I've only had the game in my possession for a day.

Mugen no Frontier: Super Robot Taisen - OG Saga has been rated B for boobs. That bounce. During battle. Here's the promo video, to prove it:

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