So-so Robot Taisen.
Super Robot Taisen is a long-running series of strategy RPGs from Japan that started as a work of crossover fan fiction, usually involving robots. Super Robot Taisen Original Generation Saga Endless Frontier Number One Best Great Holy Crap This Game Has A Really Long Name ditches the piloting of giant robots for a more hands-on approach. So instead of driving a bunch of rejects from Mobile Suit Gundam, you wander around on foot, the main characters being a cowboy and his pet android.
[image1]Along the way you’ll encounter a number of almost interesting characters (mostly women with mostly enormous breasts) and say something sarcastic to them before fighting them. I promised myself I would try to not make any boob jokes but since every other line of dialogue is a bout of witticisms regarding one of the many, many female character’s massive, flopping mams, it only seems fair that I milk this gag.
The story is bland in all the Super Robot games and serves only as a means to connect one fight to the next. When the games were SRPGs in the vein of Advance Wars or Fire Emblem, the fights would last for a while; however, the average fight in Super-Long-Name only lasts about forty seconds. The level design is uninspired as well, having one (and only one) path through that you couldn’t miss, even if you were aiming in the opposite direction.
Super-Long-Name is also guilty of Atlus’ notoriously bad habit of blathering on for ages before anything happens. There was a scenario where a bad guy was getting away and instead of, oh I don’t know, chasing after him, Buckeroo Dip-Shit and Roboboobies just stood there talking about him getting away. I suppose exposition is the heart of all storytelling, but come on! There were times where I, for the life of me, couldn’t tell if the game was just taking the piss out of itself by going on like it did or if it just didn’t realize just how ridiculous it was being.
[image2]The combat itself is engaging and is the epitome of “easy to learn; difficult to master”. It’s turn-based, and during your turn, you use the attack button to chain attacks and juggle your opponents for more damage. As you gain levels, you learn new attacks and spells to further pummel your enemies.
Magic is pretty much worthless. You learn a spell that fully heals the entire party about an hour into the game and will use that almost exclusively. The combat is fun, and the combat system is fun; but after a while, it becomes repetitive. Granted, this is the nature of the genre, but Super-Long-Name (and nearly all Atlus games really) has the nasty habit of having you fight every five fucking steps. Fortunately, the linearity of the levels ends up being a good thing.
Of course, this being an Atlus game, it does that Atlus game trick where it lures you into a false sense of security by giving you only really weak enemies for the first few hours or so... and then wheeling out the enemies with invincible bullshit armor once you’ve invested too much time to give up without feeling like you wasted your time (though the super-fans that stick it out to the end will find it well worth the effort).
[image3]Despite the title, there are only a handful of robots in the game. There’s the android you start with, and later Kos-Mos from Xenosaga shows up as a playable character; and while both are super and both also technically robots, neither are the “Super Robots” the title leads you to expect. I realize this is more of a semantic gripe, but shurly this gaem had a edditer. [Yeh, tottaly. ~Ed.]
There are other playable characters from other game series that probably came out exclusively in Japan, but if anime-themed RPGs with more boob jokes than a conversation in a 7th grade locker room are up your alley, odds are you may know who they are. The story (bland as it may be) is at least cohesive enough to understand, and dialogue (boob jokes and all) is punchy and well-written. There’s voice acting, but only during combat, which is probably for the best considering it’s voiced solely in Japanese and given the inherent crackle of the DS’s speakers, perhaps it’s for the best that the VA is kept to a minimum.
Super-Long-Name attempts to reignite gamers' interest in JRPGs by combining *giantfingerquotes* “classic” 16-bit style graphics and (somewhat) innovative combat, but most of Super-Long-Name just feels phoned in, and all of it could have been done in Flash on Newgrounds.
Oh, and I’ve completely forgotten to mention Super-Long-Name is yet another in a growing trend among DS games to ignore the touch screen so ultimately, this could have come out on GBA for about half the cost.
So the story is so-so and the characters are a bit over-the-top, and the levels are a bit dull, and there aren’t really that many “Super” robots, and the ones that are there are a bit less than super, but whatever. At least there are tits.