Saturday, May 2, 2015

Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters (PS Vita) Review

Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters seeks to mix visual novel stories and characters with expansive dialogue options and even grid based strategy battles.  While the concept is neat, there is a lot of missed potential in the game.

The game starts off with some story and a lot of dialogue.  They set up some of the characters, the story and you even do a sample battle all before you can save.  It took about 45 minutes to get to that point.  It's not horrible, but a little strange for a handheld game to go so long without a decent pausing point.  Thankfully the Vita has a wonderful suspend function.  Anyway, at many points throughout the story, you are presented with dialogue choices, and here is the first of my gripes with the game.

While this is fairly standard in RPGs nowadays, TTGH has a unique input to choose many of the responses.  A selection wheel appears that has icons representing the five senses.  Choose one and then pick an emotional response, like anger or friendship.  On the surface, that's pretty neat.  You see a weird spot on the wall, you can touch it, think about it or smell it (ghosts apparently smell like sulfur).  Cool.  Now I should mention the game doesn't label these interactions, or even have a tutorial on them, so I had to do a few before I even started to understand what I was doing.  Yuck.

Oh, and you can't go back a selection.  So if you pick touch, but then decide you should look, too bad.  Plus, a lot of times the selection just doesn't fit.  If a character asks you a question, I would like to say "yes" or "no", not sniff their hair.  Best I could do was either contemplate it or offer a handshake.  The choices you make seem to affect how the characters react to you, so I was not doing any favors when trying to be nice to the main girl by trying to lick her.  In my defense, I thought the mouth option might be speak, since that makes more sense than trying to french kiss a stranger, but I guess not.  It also seems like taking too long to choose will just move past it and others think you are just spacing out.  You just can't win, can you?  It could have been a really awesome and unique dialogue system, but it seems like they intentionally messed it up.  Adding a tutorial before the first dialogue choice, labeling the choices, or letting the player back up would improve it enough to make it workable.

While you will converse many times with your various teammates, there is a lot of time devoted to battling ghosts and earning money for doing so.  The battles start off fine, and there is a decent tutorial that teaches you what to do.  However, it's not really clear on why to do these things, which makes actual battles not near as easy as the scripted tutorial one.  The basic idea of each fight is to defeat one or more ghosts inhabiting a set area, all from a top-down perspective of a grid.  Seems pretty straightforward, right?  Well, in a way it is.

Unfortunately, I feel there are four things working against you in the fights.  First is the obstacles in the area.  The arenas, for lack of a better term, are things like shops and apartments.  There are walls, rooms, tables, chairs, counters... you get the idea.  You cannot move through these things, but the ghost can.  Fair enough, that makes perfect sense.  This shouldn't change, and I can work around it because it is logical.

The second thing working against you is the random nature of the ghosts.  At the start of each turn, the "visible" ghosts will show a projected move pattern designated by blue highlighted squares emanating from their present location.  That's fine, but they don't seem to follow it very well.  Granted, it is "projected", but it can be really frustrating trying to line up attacks so you can actually fulfill the mission.  Trying to move into position can be a crap shoot.  If a ghost moves through you, it is a free attack for them, and you don't get to retaliate.  You will only attack where you have targeted, so if you path crosses a ghost, you won't stop to take care of business.  I don't really like this system, but again I could learn to deal with it, as I did get slightly better as the game went on.  I didn't fully "get it", but there was improvement.

Third is the AP system.  Moves and attacking all require a certain amount of AP.  Ok, I've dealt with that before, so it should be fine, right?  Not really.  Moving taking AP, fine.  Turning taking AP?  I'm less inclined to agree with that.  However, the turning adds up very quickly to make the system borderline ridiculous.  Each panel takes 1 AP, as does turning.  Want to sidestep?  A simple enough motion that should take 1 AP, 2 at most.  Well, the game treats it as turn, move 1 square, turn again.  That's three, and that is overpriced.  Just trying to navigate around a simple chair costs an absurd amount of AP, and you don't get much each turn.  It also doesn't seem to roll over, so you can't store it up and then chase down a ghost once you find it.  Again, this by itself isn't deal breaking, but definitely not fun or user friendly.  In fact, I could deal with this and the above two if not for the fourth obstacle in battles.

There's a time limit.  Each battle has a set number of minutes you have to complete the battle, and each turn is 1 minute.  Remember how easy it is to waste turns because of the AP system?  Remember how annoying it can be to try and guess where the ghost is going so you can actually attack it?  Yeah, those are as annoying as you might suspect when coupled with a time limit to get them done.  As it stands, I could live with just one of theses getting fixed.  If the ghosts weren't so random, it would be easier to dispatch them in the time frame.  If AP was not so restrictive for simple actions, I could chase after them quickly.  If there wasn't a time limit, I wouldn't mind as much spending turns to side step and attack while trying to hit a non-corporeal baddie.  Unfortunately, you (and I) have to contend with all of them, and it definitely sours the experience.  At least you can instantly retry any failed battles.

Admittedly, I don't hate the game.  Sure big chunks of it have enough problems that make it worse than it should be, but it's not all bad.  The story itself seems pretty interesting, and the whole package is very unique.  Each story section is portrayed as an episode of a TV show, complete with the intro and credits.  Strange that two recent games have had that same thing, but I do like it as an interesting take for a video game.  There is also a lot of randomized side jobs you can do for extra money, so it is very easy to grind.  The way you access these side quests is pretty cool too, as you have to use a button combo to find the "secret" webpage in the office.  Plus, the overall presentation is really nice.

Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters has a cool concept: travel around with your group of ghost hunters and fight ghosts.  The dialogue wheel is also a neat idea, although it would need some usability tweaks to make it work.  The random nature and time limit of the battles severely limit the fun to be hard there, which is sad.  I wanted to like the game more than I did.  A few tweaks to the dialogue choices and the battles would make it a good game, but as it stands, it's just a little disappointing.  At least the trophy list is pretty cool and filled with Ghostbusters references.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Omega Quintet (PS4) Review

Omega Quintet is Idea Factory International's first PS4 outing.  It takes place in a world where a phenomenon called Blair is turning creatures into monsters called MAD.  The only people that can stop the Blair and MAD are super powerful magical singing idols called Verse Maidens.  Yes, really.  It's a zany premise, I know, but I like that it's so silly and unique.

The story mostly follows the character you play as, named Takt and his childhood friend Otoha.  Otoha has grown up and idolized the idol Mamoka, who has single-handedly been keeping the city safe for years.  How many years?  Well, she looks 17, so.... more than that.  The characters start off as tropes, but they are actually pretty entertaining.  I frequently found the dialogue funny as the characters would banter with each other, make fun of Mamoka's age, or Takt complaining about how he doesn't want to do the job that is thrust on him.  While I'm sure a lot of people won't like it, I enjoyed the dialogue, and would look forward to watching all the skits around the base whenever a new chapter rolled around.  The game is in both English and Japanese, so you can hear it in whichever language makes you more comfortable.

The format of the story was also interesting.  It's set up like a TV show, so each chapter begins with the game's opening video and even closing credits that are show scenes from that chapter.  The story in each chapter was fairly concise while definitely being part of the bigger narrative, and would sometimes even end with a cliffhanger or some other mysterious scene that is very prevalent in anime shows.  Although, this lead to most chapters following the formula of plot -> quests -> plot -> chapter end, repeat.  Not the most unique flow to a game, but I still like the episodic nature of the story.

This might be IFI's first PS4 game, but moving in the field seems very familiar.  Just like its previous siblings of HD Neptunia and Fairy Fencer F, you run and jump around in areas that have enemies sprinkled throughout.  These areas are bigger than either of those games, but the enemy count remains similar.  The bigger areas have stretches that are devoid of opposition, but the smaller ones have them practically on top of each other.  The areas themselves aren't bad, with decent scenery representing the ruins of the life that used to be.  You can also attack enemies before they contact you to gain an advantage in battle.  The attack is a strange sparkle that the leader throws out, but it doesn't fly as far as I would think.  There's nothing wrong with the field movement, but it isn't unique, especially if you have played other Idea Factory games.

Battles, though, do have their share of unique features.  Each weapon and skill has a different effective range that slightly affects its damage and accuracy.  Energy skills (magic) and Mic skills (weapon-based attack skills) take SP, same as most other games.  There is also a voltage meter thrown in that gives some bonuses, but I mostly used it for each girl's super move.  Skills add a certain amount of wait time, and the more turns you take the longer it takes for your next turn.  You can also assign Takt, the manager, to a girl and he can shield them or do additional attacks when they strike.  While he can only do that so many times each battle, the only time I would run out is some of the boss fights, so just use him whenever you can during normal encounters.

There are also special chain attacks that are activated by using certain skills with the different girls in succession.  You have to activate Harmonics to do them, though.  There's also Live Concert, where a song will play in the background and people request certain actions, which gives you bonus experience at the end of the fight.  While it can seem daunting with all the different factors to consider, you can still just keep hitting enemies until they die.  I usually went with "use circle targeting moves to hit as many foes as possible, then finish them with normal attacks" approach.  I appreciate the more complicated stuff, but I'm glad I don't need to pay much attention to it until I understand it all.

Strangely, for all the tutorials the game shoves at you, I didn't see one that mentioned the skill upgrades.  It's a giant disk that has lots of nodes on it, each representing the spells and skills in the game, plus the passives and super moves of the individual girls.  Since each girl can equip any weapon, they can also learn all the skills for that weapon.  Each skill requires points, which are mostly gained from leveling up your proficiency with each weapon.  That would be fine but I don't think the game mentioned that important part.

The skill disc will also function better when you realize you can zoom in.  It starts out very small and it was hurting my eyes trying to see it all before I realized there was a zoom feature.  Oops.  Since they are all laid out in different configurations, it can be a chore to find any given skill in a timely fashion.  I wanted to work towards the super moves as soon as I could, and it was a pain to find each one.  Same thing with their passive abilities.  Thankfully if you find a skill node with a prerequisite, the required node is highlighted.  That made it slightly easier to find ones I needed, but sadly it's still too cluttered.  The skills themselves are fine, just navigating each character's disk is more time consuming than it really should be.

There are a few more features to the game.  Besides the main quests, there are plenty of side quests to complete.  They aren't all obtained from the computer in the base, which again, was strangely not mentioned in one of the many tutorials.  I feel like I missed at least one, but I won't know for sure until I go through the game a subsequent time.  Anyway, the ones obtained in town have a stricter time limit, and I even timed an early one out.  I'd be less salty about it, but the item I needed for it was obtained as a drop from the boss that advanced the plot and timed the side quest out.  Grumbling ensued.

To round out the features, there's also weapon and equipment crafting.  Weapons weren't necessary to craft early on, as you find them as well, but a lot of the other stuff has to be made.  To get some of the materials necessary, you have to break down enemy drops and other pieces of equipment, so it can be very costly to use the system.  Outfit pieces you make will show up on the character models.  You can also buy new hair styles and colors with special coins you earn in the game, so you can tailor the look of each girl.  Granted, you can also change their underwear, but it didn't come across as creepy as it sounds.

One last thing I should probably mention are the little concert performances you can do.  There are thankfully preset ones, because you can edit a lot of the specific things that go on, such as camera angles, positioning, dance moves, effects and even which girls sing what line.  It's pretty daunting, and this is coming from someone that loves doing similar things in the WWE games for my entrance.  It's not quite my thing here, but if you are interested in it, there is plenty of stuff with the concerts.

While it is still a niche game that won't appeal to everyone, I like Omega Quintet.  The battles were fun and I enjoyed the characters interacting with each other.  The game might be a little formulaic with its progression, but I liked that each chapter was framed like an episode of a TV show.  There's also not as much fan service as you might suspect, although it was present for a few scenes.  I liked the game and I'm looking forward to going back to play it some more.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Toukiden: Kiwami (PS4) Review

The original Toukiden caught me by surprise.  It was very fun, and I ended up playing it for many hours after I had finished my review.  It has strong influences from the Monster Hunter series, but does a lot of new things that make it stand well enough on its own.  I was excited that the expanded game, Kiwami, was headed to the US and EU so I could play it some more.  I got even more excited when I saw it was not only continuing to be on the Vita, but coming to the PS4 as well!  While the portability is very handy for the multiplayer monster hunting genre, playing it on a console is something I prefer, so I opted for the PS4 version.  It is certainly the prettier of the two choices, but I wouldn't say it's the best looking PS4 game.  Good enough, though!

If you are new to the series, I'll fill you in on the basic gist and combat (if you are versed, feel free to skip ahead to the next paragraph).  You play as a slayer and are tasked with defending your village from giant Oni that try to break though your barrier and, well, kill everyone.  So most missions are focused on you and a group of up to three other slayers taking down big bosses.  Square, triangle and circle all do different attacks while X is your dodge.  You can also equip up to three mitama to one of your weapons that give you different skills and passive abilities.  In the fights with these giant monsters, you can sever or destroy various parts of them, which will give you more rewards at quest completion.  Parts are used to make new weapons and armor, so expect to fight monsters a few times to upgrade your equipment.  It might sound like a lot to take it, but it is basically you and up to three others (AI or online) taking down big bosses and making armor and weapons out of them.

Toukiden: Kiwami adds three new weapon types - a rifle, naginata and a giant club - to the six already present.  I'll start with the club.  I didn't like it.  It wasn't bad, but wasn't for me.  It reminds me of the great sword from Monster Hunter: big, slow and you do more damage when you hit enemies with the end of it.  However, it does have a nice reward in Toukiden for doing so.  Hit with the tip a few times, and you get a damage boost.

The next new weapon is the naginata.  It is fast, like the dual knives, but hits a wider area.  If you get enough unscathed hits, you will increase the damage area.  If that wasn't enough, it also has a move that puts you in the air for air combos.  As a dual knife user, I am totally going to work some naginata use into my character.  I really like it.  I didn't think I would, since there is already a spear in the game, but I was wrong.  It also has a parry move, but I doubt I'll use it.

The last weapon addition is the rifle.  Each has three kinds of ammo that you choose what order to load into it.  It aims really well, and even shows weak points on the monsters that cause extra damage if shot.  The rifle is a fun weapon, and will probably compete with naginata for my secondary weapon.  It can be a bit cumbersome at first, and reload can feel a bit slow, but they had to even the weapon out somehow.  Honestly, I don't think I'd use the rifle if I were on the Vita version, but it feels really good on the Dualshock 4.

Besides the new weapons, there are of course new missions, more story chapters and new monsters.  With the new monsters comes new weapons and armor to create from each one.  The new story chapters fits well enough into the original story, as they are set after the closing events of that title.  Probably my favorite new addition is sending the other hunters on a sub-mission.  Whenever you head out, you can choose one unused slayer to do another mission in any previous chapter.  For example, if you are doing a mission in chapter 5, you can send another into chapter 4 or below.  This is a good way to get more monster parts without grinding so much, since you can continue on in the story but still get parts from a certain monster.  I used it to finally get the Cthonian cloaks that I needed for a quest, but couldn't get to drop in the 20 or so times I did the mission in the vanilla game.  Plus, it doesn't seem to cost anything to send them out, so why not use it?

There was also a small but awesome change to the Mitama.  They can now be leveled up to 12 instead of 10.  That's not the great part, though.  They now have a forth skill when they reach maximum level, and you can freely replace the other three skills then, too.  Before, you had to replace one with another, but there was no efficient way to reclaim skills you overwrote.  The only choice you had was to set the mitama at level 1 again and raise it back up.  In Kiwami, there is no need to do so, as you can just max it out and set which three you want that it learned.  They even added a new mitama type that excels at destroying parts.  Nice!

If you played the original version, the save file from the Vita will transfer over as long as you download the update for it.  That let me keep all my stuff that I earned over 80+ hours and start on the new content.  You can also keep your stuff but start the story over again.  Either way, it is expected and awesome that you can port over your save.  If you play far enough in the demo, that can transfer over too.  Both bring bonuses, which is a great incentive to continue... as if saving all that time wasn't incentive enough.

I played a few matches of the multiplayer, and they felt smooth.  I wasn't using any form of microphone, but we didn't have any troubles taking down the monster.  In fact, it was a lot faster than with the AI companions.  If you don't want to or can't connect to the internet to play with others, you can just use the story companions and do them anyway.  Even late at night I found several lobbies to join, but I don't know how long that will last.  As always, if you have friends to play with you, that is the best choice.  Now, I just need to convince my friends to get the game, which shouldn't be hard because the game is really fun.

As a fan of the "vanilla" Toukiden, I of course like the expansion.  If you liked the original, I would recommend Toukiden: Kiwami if you want more.  If you skipped the original release but were interested in it, I'd again recommend it for the sheer amount of content you will get.  I'd also recommend it if you want to try to get into the monster hunting genre, since Toukiden is fast paced and more forgiving than other entries, without being easy.  If you are on the fence, at least try the demo, since you can carry the save over to the full version.  Fans of hunting games, action games and Koei games should definitely check it out!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires (PS4) Review

Following in the tradition of previous Dynasty Warriors games, the latest in the series has now received its Empires game.  Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires has added new weapons to some of the existing cast (although some of them were DLC previously), and thankfully brings back my favorite staple of the series: creating your own characters.

It's no secret that I'm a fan of create-a-characters in multiple games, and I still love it here.  There are a lot of costume pieces to choose from, as they brought  back pretty much all of the ones from the previous game, and added the DLC ones and a few new ones to inflate the list.  With the new additional weapons, there are almost too many choices when setting the weapon and musou attacks.  Besides setting a normal and alternate musou, you can set an air one and your rage attack one.  While you can't set any musou in any slot unfortunately, it's easy to get some that fit your character, or just take some all around good ones.  Although the animation of each contains the character's default weapon, so it can look a bit silly if you just grab some of the cooler ones instead of trying to have them match.

If that wasn't enough, you can also customize your troops, horse and war banner.  These options are somewhat more limited, but it's still a nice addition to the series and makes for some more personal touches if you want to invest the time.  There are several colors for each part and each costume piece.

Enough of me gushing about the create-a-warrior, let's get to the gameplay.  Like the previous Empires games, it is a mix of hack and slash Dynasty Warriors battles with kingdom management in between  the fights.  When you are a subordinate for a ruler, you can sometimes choose what to do to help the kingdom, but will be requested to make certain goals.  If you become the ruler yourself, you will have more options available, but also more responsibility in making your kingdom thrive.  One new objective to complete is quests.  These are small scale fights that task you with fighting or protecting someone or something.  They are tiny and quick battles that don't feature nearly as many foes as the army versus army fights, but they are a quick way to raise your virtue or get some money or equipment.  It's not too complicated to run a kingdom, but it is fun.

The virtue is basically your level this time around.  In the previous entry, there were six kinds of experience, depending on what your actions were.  Now it is just virtue.  There are also merits to be earned by performing well for your ruler.  While I liked the previous system of six different types, this system is fine too, as it feels less like the character is typecast as a certain type of person.

There are several different scenarios to complete, each ranging from a set of dates in Chinese history.  This will dictate what special battles will happen, and what characters you will see, but it won't limit your time there.  Each scenario is self-contained and will play out differently each time you play it.  Some will last a long time, depending on the whims of the leaders.  The scenarios won't stand out much from each other if you aren't at least passively versed in the story or history of the three kingdoms period, so if you aren't interested in that, just pick the special scenario that has all the Dynasty Warriors cast available.  Plus, you can always sub in any of your created fighters, and might even see some creations of other people!

While my primary reason for liking the Dynasty Warriors Empires series is the create-a-character, they are fun alternate experiences in the Dynasty Warriors universe.  It adds some management and unpredictability to the hack and slash series, and I know at least one person that prefers Empires to the usual games.  Fans of the Dynasty Warriors series and the Empires series should check it out.  It's also worth checking out for people that want more than just a hack and slash experience.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Project X Zone 2 and Monster Hunter Stories Announced!

Wow.  As a fan of the first Project X Zone, I was happy to see late last night that Bandai Namco (Bamco, as I call them) announced not only the release of a sequel, but that the sequel was heading outside of Japan as well.  Planned for a fall release in the US, I am definitely excited to get it!  The first was probably the first game I played on it that made my 3DS purchase worth it.  Project X Zone 2 will of course be adding new characters, and even replacing a few, based off the trailer.

Gone is Pai, replaced with Kage, both from Virtua Fighter.  Leon from Resident Evil 6 is joining, as is some people from the Yakuza series.  Thankfully X and Zero return from Megaman X, and now Virgil from Devil May Cry joins his brother Dante (eat that, stupid Dimitri!)  And for better or worse, Haseo from .Hack//GU is replacing Blackrose from the original .Hack.  While I liked GU and think it should have some representation, it seems weird that they replaced two females with guys.  Either way, I'm still looking forward to playing it on the 3DS later this year.

You can see the trailer for it here.

Also on the 3DS, Capcom announed Monster Hunter Stories.  Slated for release in Japan in 2016, I am hoping the game makes its way west as well.  It is an actual RPG this time, with cutesy graphics, but still with the terrifying Tigrex.  I have no idea why they would use him in a trailer, since... ah, nevermind.  Anyway, it seems you play as people who ride some of the monsters, since the trailer has the protagonist ride a small Rathalos to escape his pursuer that doesn't understand "no means no".  I'm sure Mark will love that.  The game definitely looks different, I'm still deciding if I like it or not.  Still, I'm hoping it makes its way outside of Japan with the forthcoming Monster Hunter 5.

The trailer for Monster Hunter Stories is here.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spiders and Focus Home Interactive announce The Technomancer

Earlier today, Spiders and Focus Home Interactive announced that they were making a new sci-fi themed RPG called The Technomancer for PS4, Xbox One and PC.  It is slated for a 2016 release.  The press release touts that there will be four skill trees, three fighting styles, dynamic conversation choices and crafting.

Since it takes place on Mars, and features technomancy, it's probably in the same story world as Mars: War Logs.  It also sounds like it takes a lot of those systems, since it had three skill trees, conversation choices and crafting.  I did like Mars: War Logs, and other Focus/Spiders games like Faery and Bound by Flame.  They are fun and unique, but they have uneven difficulty.  Even so, I'm looking forward to the game next year.  Here's two screenshots they sent over:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Damascus Gear: Operation Tokyo (PS Vita) Review

Damascus Gear: Operation Tokyo hit the PS Vita's store recently.  Why did it catch my attention?  Well, it had robots in it, and it was listed as a hack and slash game.  Sold!

It is pretty much as described.  The game is an isometric view with lots of hacking, slashing and shooting.  Kind of like Diablo.  However, your character pilots around a mech that is built from parts and weapons you select.  Kind of like Armored Core.  So, the game is really a fusion of those two, and it is pulled off pretty well.  It also has a story unlike either of those.  The world of Damascus Gear is an almost post-apocolyptic world with small enclaves of human survivors that battle sentient battle mechs.  The standout for me, character-wise, is the operator Mirai.  She's so pessimistic, but somehow makes it seem cheery.  I really like her lines.  They make me smile.

Note that the game uses the Japanese conventions for buttons, so Circle is accept and X is cancel.  It's not the hugest problem in the world, but it does take some adjusting, since in the US we frequently use it the opposite way of that.  In combat, however, that isn't a problem.  Square and Triangle are the weapons in your left and right hand respectively, and the Circle button is your back weapon, if one is equipped.  The hand held weapons can be stuff like rifles, laser guns, swords and pile bunkers.  The back weapons tend to be the heavy hitters like missile launchers and big laser blasts.  I favored a sword for hitting multiple enemies up close, and a rifle for  some distance attacks.  Once I got a back weapon, the stronger, the better!  It was really helpful to deal with the pesky life bar of bosses.

In keeping with the Armored Core style of play, the game is divided up into many missions, separated by rank.  The higher the rank, the harder and more powerful the enemies.  There are a lot more missions then I thought there would be, and some of them are optional.  The higher ranked missions are definitely harder, even with better equipment.  That said, I learned pretty quickly and after an unsuccessful run, I would then come out ahead.  Plus, you seem to keep what you picked up in a mission, even if you fail, so there's no reason not to push onwards.

Fights can be a little clunky, since enemies don't have many tells before they attack, just a time frame where they won't.  So when an evil robot slashes at you, dodge first, then you can get a free hit or two before it can attack again.  It's not foolproof, since you often fight multiple enemies, but trying to get the timing down is essential for the boss-like fights.  These enemies can do a lot of damage really quickly.  In general, it's easier to get hit than you think at first, so make sure to watch your health bar.  Thankfully there are repair kits you can find/buy/use to refill your health.  They aren't the cheapest, so frequently I took the chance that I could finish the mission without using one.  I was usually correct.  Aiming at certain enemies with ranged attacks is also a bit tricky, but you don't have ammo, just a recharge meter instead.  I like that.

One of the best aspect of games like this is assembling your mech.  Granted, some parts have better stats than others, but you do get a fair amount of freedom in what parts and weapons you want.  Also, it can be tough to just load on all the best stuff, since you need to pay attention to the power limit of the torso you pick.  But enough about that.  You can paint the various pieces!  The colors of each part and weapon can be changed individually, and you get a good selection of colors to do it with.  When I first started messing around with the paints, I was looking for a good blue on the legs.  Then inspiration struck and I made the top and arms red.  I nicknamed it Prime, and the boxy robot sort of resembled the Autobot leader.  I will admit that made me smile more than it should have, but it was cool.  I even made the sword orange to mimic the blade from the Bay movies.

Damascus Gear: Operation Tokyo is a fun game with many missions to complete.  However there doesn't seem to be much more to it than that, so replay is toward the lower end of the scale.  Since it's a budget download, you easily get your money's worth if you go through the story and do all the missions.  I like the game and I think it would be even better if there was some ability to play it in co-op (even though none of my friend have the game), or if the game had more adventure elements and was less mission-like.  Still, a fun game for hack & slash and mech fans!