13 July, 2014

Gigantic Drive

Totally forgot to write a post about this game back when I was playing it in May.

This game is really, really rough around the edges. You can tell they had no budget.  The graphics for the most part aren't very pretty (character/robot models are doujin level, the environments below even that), the physics are hilariously bad (like when you uppercut a guy on the chin and he shoots up five hundred metres into the air and flips twelve times) at times, there is no semblance of balance at all, and the difficulty fluctuates from pathetically easy to plain fucking frustrating. And sometimes they even come with annoying easy five minute sequences before the frustrating bits even though there are no mid-stage checkpoints.

But you know what? The game is fantastic. It's fun. It's unique. It's SPECIAL. Nowadays most games are so fucking conservative that they're mostly the same thing to other stuff in their genre, only with different graphics and variables. That's not entirely a bad thing, of course, because a lot of those games are pretty good, and by following the formula they guarantee at least a playable game. This is NOT one of those games. It doesn't give a shit about formula, it just does its own thing. And it's great because it feels, for once, refreshing. Remember that feeling, as a kid, when you played your first video game, and everything about it felt new to you? That's what this game feels like. It actually makes you feel like you're controlling a giant fucking robot.

You don't pilot the robot, it's remotely controlled like Tetsujin. Your player character can levitate to climb up buildings and such, and so you have to find a spot to get a good view to control the robot.

Controlling the robot is FANTASTIC. The shoulder buttons control the legs, and the sticks control the arms. To just WALK you need to control the legs individually. Depending on how you move the sticks you can execute jabs and hooks and uppercuts. You also have finishers that are ridiculously hard to hit with but also do ridiculous amounts of damage, and transformations. Transformations! There are three robots available, a slow one that transforms into a tank, a fast one that transforms into a plane, and the "main" one which just gets a super power mode with a time limit to game over. You can have your robot transform into the plane, hop on top of it, fly near the enemy, jump off onto the roof of a building, and then fly it behind the enemy and have it transform and turn around quickly and punch it in the back. This sounds like nothing, but when you actually manage to execute it in the game with its wacky controls? Holy SHIT that feels good.

It makes you feel fantastic when you get good at controlling it and pull off awesome moves. And beyond all this, it has something else, a hard to describe X-factor that makes it shine brighter than many, many other games.

It's games like this that made me start playing video games, and make me continue to play them.

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