So, unexpectedly, I found myself at the Namco booth today. Shouldn't
have been over there, but hey, Klaxor wanted to go and they wanted to
talk to us. We got there early though, so we stopped and checked out
a few of their RPGs before chatting with the fine folks there. Off to
the side in the GBA section, both Klaxor and I spent a bit of time
with Sigma Star Saga, the latest GBA RPG from Namco.
To be clear to those who were curious, and why not for I was among
those who questioned early on if this was in truth an RPG, there can
be no doubt on playing it that it is in fact one. Nothing else quite
has that much text in it and that sort of feel. To those who are old
enough to remember Guardian Legends, this feels like a spiritual
successor to it in gameplay, complete with the nifty spaceship battles
and exciting ground combat. Or would if it truly had those.
He can melt anything!
I'd like to give a better note to such a concept than I can and I
know had I experienced it sitting down in a comfortable area, I
would've been much more willing to put up with what this game had to
offer. As it was, all it had to offer me was boredom. I started off
from the start in an introductory space battle system that some,
rightfully, would compare to gradius, only it's not as fun. Likely
due to being an intro level, I was flying a ship that was slow, fired
a shot at a time, and generally just navigated around equally slow
enemies moving in pretty uninteresting patterns. It simply didn't
seize with it's intro stage at all, not being particularly engaging or
flashy. Moving into the plot, we find our hero, the pilot of the ship
from early on, traveling around a military base, talking to his
friends, and eventually getting assigned a high priority important
mission from the commander, all played out in standard RPG style.
>From here, the hero is assigned to infiltrate the enemy, an alien race
that goes by the name of the Krill.
The hero is then captured by the krill who, thinking him a criminal,
offer him the chance at revenge against the humans who have spurned
him. Attaching a parasite to him, he's given a chance to prove
himself in combat against a slow moving test enemy who is the current
champion of combat. Despite this being an intro fight, it revealed a
few problems with the system, most critically the inability to move or
fire diagonally, making lining up shots a bit of a pain. Generally
not a good showing on this end.
Talking with the folks, it's evident that later on, there's some more
fun stuff coming down the game with the ship getting gradius option
style power ups and highly customizable weapons systems alongside an
experience system coming into play and random battle 'space combat'
scenes, but from what I saw, the game was a slow placed blend of weak
elements from a few genres blended together without the energy to
really bring it out as a top game. Possibly something to rent and
check out, but look out for a little while of boring stuff before you
get any real freedom to cut loose with the system.