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Bio-Motor Unitron - Review

By Martin Drury, RPGamer Writer


Review Breakdown
   Battle System 6.5
   Gameplay 7.0
   Music 6.0
   Originality 7.5
   Plot 7.5
   Replay Value 8.0
   Sound 6.5
   Visuals 6.5
   Difficulty Easy
   Time to Complete

12-20 hours

 
Overall
6.5
Criteria

Bio-Motor Unitron Title Screen
Bio-Motor Unitron  

  At first glance, Bio-Motor Unitron looks like a shallow RPG, with nothing more to entice the gamer than the variety offered by weapon customization, or the feeling of power one used to get when piloting a Mech (called Unitrons in this game). The recent onslaught of Mech related games might cause one to overlook this game as clichéd, but underneath that surface Bio-Motor Unitron has a point to make.

   The game's background story, like so many other RPGs, is one of war and destruction, but with a twist. 199 years ago, the planet Elscea was in the midst of a world war, which threated to destroy everyone. Coming to the rescue, was not a brave hero, but a Meteor, dubbed Unitice, which crashed on the continent of Tridiss, in the Kingdom of Rhafiace. Rhafiace then created the Unitron Robots from UNITRON crystals discovered after the impact, and was able to secure peace.

   Fast-forward to the present, where Unitron Robots are no longer machines of war, but vehicles of sport. Every year the Kingdom of Rhafiace holds tournaments to crown the "Master of Masters", you, the player, are given the task of becoming the Master of Masters, with the help of your engineer.

   At the beginning of the game, the player is given the opportunity to choose his species, and the species of his engineer. Each species has different traits, which help them to specialize their Unitrons in different areas. In the city of Rhafiace, members of different species also live, and although some will be unwilling to help at first, or downright rude to your character, all of them have important parts to play and things to say. In fact, one of the characters spouts the moral of Bio-Motor Unitron, long before it becomes painfully evident.

   Surrounding the city of Rhafiace are four dungeons, each seven levels deep and each complete with a guardian spirit. Although completing each of the dungeons is not required in order to progress through the game, they are quickest way to raise levels and get the money necessary to enhance your Unitron. And completing them earns you a medal that can be exchanged later for valueable items.


Battle Screens
Boss Screens  

   The translation of Bio-Motor Unitron was well done, to the point that very few things leap out as out of place. The only fault I found with the translation was the dungeon boss's cliché sounding invitation to battle. All in all it was quite pleasing, compared to other Neo Geo Pocket Color translations.

   Given that Bio-Motor Unitron was designed for a handheld system, it is not surprising that the graphics are not as good as what we have become acustomed to these days. However, Bio-Motor Unitron makes good use of the Neo Geo Pocket Color's graphics abilities, resulting in vivid images. Even animation sequences such as the intro movie are pleasing to the eye.

   Sound and Music are nice, although a bit repetitve, which is to be expected from a handheld game. Still, there is enough variety to keep one from turning the volume down all the way. I even caught myself humming the overworld tune once, before glancing around warily to make sure no one had heard me.

   The battle scenes of Bio-Motor Unitron are similar to those of Pokémon for the Gameboy system, but not enough to make one think of it as a direct clone. In battle, the player will have at most four attacks available to them. These include one for each of the Unitron's arms and a maximum of two special attacks, which can be learned from the previous Master of Masters, Helmut. One of the things that caught me by surprise was how easily I was able to defeat the first few ranks in the Arena. This causes me to wonder if the game suffered some "dummying down" before be released in the US. Unfortunately, like many RPGs, Bio-Motor Unitron also suffers from the feeling that random battles appear much too often, it often seemed that within 6-7 steps from leaving a battle, I encountered another enemy.


A Dungeon
A Dungeon  

   The strength of Bio-Motor Unitron lies in its replay value Multiple species to choose from, 100+ weapons to buy and create, the highly customizable nature of the Unitron, and two "endings" make it difficult to just play through Bio-Motor Unitron once. Another strength of Bio-Motor Unitron is its "moral". Bio-Motor Unitron has a point to get across to the player, and unlike many RPGs, where the point, if any, is driven home by manipulating the players emotions, Bio-Motor Unitron uses a process that borders on brow beating, but only becomes obvious once you have received either ending. Bio-Motor Unitron is a good first RPG for the system, and with a sequel already out in Japan, it is likely we will see another RPG from Yumekobo soon.

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