Rock ’em and sock ’em! Review

Tech Romancer Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 2

Publisher

  • Capcom

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now

Platform

  • DreamCast

rating

Rock ’em and sock ’em!

Way back in the early ’80s, a company called Harmony Gold bought the rights to

a Japanese animated series called Super Dimension Fortress: Macross. Little

did they know just how large their Frankenstein’s monster-tech would become.

The popularity of the Robotech world would grow to include not only animation,

but toys, comics and other merchandise as well. The following of robot based

animation continues even today as channels like the Cartoon Network show off

old episodes to the younger generation. Now, the inventors of the Macross (Robotech)

series, Mr. Shoji Kawamori and Studio Nue, have worked their magic once again

to create Capcom’s latest robot fighter, Tech Romancer.

The robots in Tech Romancer have a distinct cartoon feel and are definitely

the product of Japanese anime. There is G. Kaiser, whose looks are based on

the old school style of Japanese robots, with a huge chest emblem and “V” shaped

wings on his back. Then there is Rafaga, a triple changer robot (robot/jet/combination)

who is obviously taken straight from the Macross world. The rest of the robots

of the game are also pretty cool and really add to the game’s character.

Even though the design of the robots is great, their actual graphical representation

is mediocre at best. Some of the characters are very blocky (especially Goldibus,

the bad guy). Considering the strength of the Dreamcast, more detail and better

textures could have been easily implemented.

One of the first things you’ll notice is the enormous size of the robots.

It’s almost like being in an old Godzilla flick. Small buildings litter the

fighting arena, just waiting to be stomped on. And stomp on them you shall,

as obliterating the puny structures will reveal a host of useful items. A wide

array of goodies ranging from stun weapons to the “Hero Booster” can be gained

in this manner to help you crush your enemy.

Unlike so many other Capcom fighting games, Tech Romancer sports an

extremely simple control system that stays fairly consistent across all of the

robots. For starters, you’ve got four numbskull buttons: attack one and two,

guard and jump. Great for button mashing madness. Those who prefer to destroy

enemies with a little elegance and a bit more flair can use a few very simple

button/controller combos. Unleash a strong attack by pressing the two attack

buttons simultaneously. Throw a super attack by pressing back, forward and the

two attack buttons. Completely annihilate your opponent with a final attack

by pressing all four buttons. It’s so simple that you don’t even need to look

at an instruction book.

This

simplicity is a double-edged sword. While great for jumping right into the action,

this also means that there isn’t as much depth as other fighting games. Compared

to a game like Soul Calibur, Tech Romancer‘s

overly simplistic control scheme is a bit underwhelming.

It’s always good for a laugh when fighting games try to include some sort of

story. Just look at what happened in Dead or Alive

2
– great fighting got intertwined with a plot that made about as much sense

as a waterproof sponge. The stories in Tech Romancer don’t suffer as

much as this, but they’re definitely a mixed bag.

There is a unique story for each of the eleven pilots in the game, though

some of these can branch in several directions depending on the outcome of a

particular battle. While many of the stories are straightforward and easy to

understand, some of them are just plain weird. In one story, your pilot rescues

the pilot of a defeated enemy robot and takes her home only to fall in love

with her since she looks like an angel from a picture book. Later on, he discovers

that she is really a robot that is a piece of the super-bad-guy-robot, who has

come looking for her. Ah yes. I hate it when that happens.

Thankfully, there are many other things to look forward to. Tech Romancer

contains a giant mech-sized helping of unlockable goodies. In Hero Challenge

mode (the game’s other main mode), you earn points based on your performance

which can be used to buy extras. You can unlock robot and pilot specs, a music

box to hear the game’s sound effects and music, and even some pretty cool illustrations.

Other goodies include short take-off movies, several VMU mini games, five extra

pilots, and a really cool animated “movie” that would probably intro the cartoon

if there ever was one. These extras will really keep you going for quite awhile.

Tech Romancer is a solid game that is sure to please fans of robot

based anime. Its easy-to-learn fighting scheme and tons of extras make playing

simple and fun, though this same simplicity will turn off fighting game veterans

looking for heavier metal.





REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

3
Rating
Giant fighting robots!
Loads of extras
A story!
A story?
Simple controls
Mediocre graphics