TITLE: SHIN SEIKI EVANGELION: BATTLE ORCHESTRAPLATFORM: PLAYSTATION 2, PLAYSTATION PORTABLEDEVELOPER: GAINAXGENRE: 4-PLAYER FIGHTINGCERO: A
The Angels are invading, NERV is mankind's last hope! Suit up and pilot the evas, and stop these monstrosities from causing the 3rd impact and erasing mankind from existence!
GAMEPLAYIn this day and age we have quite a few really powerful 4-player fighting games, the likes of Super Smash Brothers and Playstation All-Stars. On this side of the pond though we don't see most of them. In japan, licensed anime games are littered through out the smash genre: Fullmetal Alchemist: Dream Carnival, One Piece: Gear Spirit, Jump Ultimate Stars, etc. Well this is one of them. Now this game is a lot of fun, but I'll be honest in saying that the mechanics are not terribly impressive. You have your punches, kicks, and ranged attacks. The Ability to use dropped items, specials attacks, and these kinds of things. Which is fairly simple, but like I said its a lot of fun. It does feel kind of clunky, once you've begun attacking you cannot move until you're combo is over, which is annoying if you start attacking in the wrong direction, surely your enemy will get an easy back stab on you. And the combos themselves feel fairly stale, you can feel the contrast from how smooth games like Super Smash play. Aside from this, it functions decently. And the game has a wide array of modes to enjoy. You have a story mode, mission mode, practice, challenge, and multi-player. Every mode earns you money which you ca use to buy new characters and stages! Once you've gotten used to the flaws of the game, I'm sure you'll find a wealth of time and fun in all the corridors of this game. It's not amazing, but it certainly is fun!
PRESENTATIONI'll Start by saying this game looks great! I'm giving it a good score here, if you want to know why keep reading, otherwise go onto story! Anyway, the first thing that really struck me about this game (especially in the ps2 version) is how wonderfully rendered the eva's are! all the textures are detailed and smooth. obviously this game isn't super high budget, so it's no match to the likes of Final Fantasy XII or Shadow of the Colossus, but damn does it come close! Unfortunately the background environments are a bit stale. As far as menu set-up the text is nice an poppy, everything is stylized to feel like you're inside NERV headquarters, and everything is placed exactly where you'd expect it so it's organized well. I took off half a point here for one presentation flaw, and that is the story mode. With a story like this, and the great looking renders, this game is top contender for having some amazing anime-inspired cut-scenes... but alas, it's that visual novel style text only bullshit that really doesn't serve this game justice. aside from that and the so-so environments, this game earns a great presentation score!
STORYLet me gush, I fucking love Evangelion.... The story is great, and the game follows the story of the anime so I mean it's perfect! right? well sort of...
This game follows the story of the anime, the premise of which being: Beings from space, called angels, come to earth and try to destroy mankind and erase them from existence. 14 years previous, an event called second impact occurred, which is widely believed to be the first time the angels appeared on earth. NERV, an organization ran by Gendo Ikari, develops a humanoid android called "Eva" which is the only weapon that can combat the angels. Sounds pretty straight forward, yeah? well along the journey a wealth of secrets are unveiled which makes you question any fact you thought to be true about the show, followed by one of the most controversial ends of any anime I've ever discussed. (I will not give spoilers no matter how old the series is) needless to say, I loved every second of it!
Well the game does't get super heavy on the details and kind of lets the story flow on the surface level, you will probably get the over all concept, but it doesn't get as deep as the anime or the books. half a point there, and half a point for not having cutscenes (again).
IMPORT FRIENDLINESSThis Games main menu is completely in english, so basic navigation will be very easy! Once you enter story mode, practice, multiplayer or whatever you should be fine. not much reading is "required" (although will enhance the overall experience) Once you start getting into the mission mode, on the other hand, you will run into some trouble. The mission objectives are actually very Kanji heavy, which requires a native and/or advanced understanding of the language, some of it was a little rich for my blood. Also buying characters and stages will be all in japanese as well, albeit much simpler japanese than mission mode. so we do have the existence here of a small language barrier.
as far as the act of actually importing, you will need either a Chip-Mod Ps2 or a Japanese Original Ps2. The PS2 version is 100% Region-Locked! these can get expensive for your average consumer. On the other hand you have the PSP version, which is natively region free, and is by-in-lerge identical to it's PS2 counterpart.
so it's doable, just depends on if you're a handheld gamer or not
FINAL THOUGHTS AND SCOREI had quite a bit of fun with this one, and I still carry it around with me for lunch breaks and the like. I give it a high recommendationyou can get the full collectors edition on amazon for the same price of buying a regular copy, so enjoy the extra freebies!
FINAL SCORE: 7.75/10