Steel Batallion (Tekki) review

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by paul h, Oct 1, 2002.

  1. paul h

    paul h Supporting Actor

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    http://www.xengamers.com/sections/reviews/8754/
    "Any game that costs roughly US$150 had better be phenomenal. Unfortunately, Capcom's mech sim has quite a few rough edges. While presenting an average to decent gaming experience, it's hard to recommend this title due to the killer price tag."
    Score C
    Gameplay C-
    Graphics C
    Sound B+
    Replay Value C
    "Love or hate it, Tekki's most distinctive and talked about feature is the controller. It comes in three separate sections, which the player bolts together with an included hex wrench. There are two joysticks. The right stick aims the VT's weapons and has three buttons for locking on and firing. The left stick is a simple lever for steering left and right, and also has a thumb-hat that allows the player to look around. The middle panel features a knob for tuning the VT's radio to communicate with allies, and an assortment of systems buttons, which do things like change clips, switch weapons, and fire chafe. Also, there is a gear shift for controlling speed and on the far right, is the red EJECT button. In addition to the console is a separate block of 3 foot pedals. The right peddle accelerates, center brakes and combinations of the left pedal and joystick allow the mech to slide quickly in any direction. The core movement/weapon controls are good, providing precise, intuitive control. The twin joystick configuration is also a lot more physically engaging than the standard controller, and serves to get the player into the spirit of the game. However, some of the buttons seem rather gimmicky, and don't really enhance the gameplay much. For example, at the beginning of each level the player must flick a series of five toggles and press three buttons in a certain sequence to power up their mech. These controls are then not touched again during the actual game. Granted, this is fascinating the first few times, but quickly becomes routine. We really would have preferred fewer toggles and more gameplay.
    The core campaign of over 20 squad-based missions is set in a variety of urban and pastoral environments. Before each mission, the player can buy new VTs, then customize the loadout with a variety of main and sub weapons. Mission objectives are generally of the “seek and destroy” variety, but get more challenging as the game progresses. Clearing missions makes them available for replay in a separate Free Mission mode and unlocks new mechs (there are around 18) which can be purchased with points accrued throughout the missions. If the player fails a mission (i.e. is forced to eject), points are used to buy a new VT to retry the level with. The most problematic twist in Tekki is its pilot deletion system. If the player fails to eject or ejects but has no points with which to buy a new VT, the player's data is deleted and he or she must start the game over (although all cleared missions are still available in the Free Mission mode). This goes beyond user-unfriendliness; it seems downright rude to delete the character the player has spent time building up. Another big problem is the AI. Friendly squad-mates will sometimes be stymied trying to walk through walls, or will shuffle around aimlessly, blocking the player from getting past.
    Tekki's presentation is rather sketchy. On the bright sight, the mechs are superbly animated and move quite convincingly. There is really a sense of weight and power to them. The environments are well designed, with hills, cliffs and buildings forcing the player to use a variety of strategies. Buildings collapse realistically and enemy VTs explode spectacularly when destroyed. The cockpit is rendered in elaborate detail, and sort of acts as an on-screen extension of the controller to give the player a sense of being there. The sound effects are excellent. Servos whine and click as you swing your VT's guns about and the VT's footsteps make a nice rumbling thud. However, the cockpit graphics, while pretty, take up a huge chunk of real-estate, leaving only a small window for the actual action (as better mechs are unlocked, the view-screens get larger, easing the problem somewhat). Further, the world as viewed through the VT's view-screen is intentionally made to look as if it were coming from a video feed. While this may add to the “gritty realism” factor, it is not very pretty –colors are washed out, and draw-in is noticeable. Similarly, the music, ostensibly coming from a boom box in your VT cockpit, is intentionally tinny sounding (and fortunately optional). "
     
  2. Scott "E"

    Scott "E" Second Unit

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    IMO, this is the wrong kind of reviewer for this kind of game. The things that aggravate him are things that were already known about the game and one of the main reasons I can't wait to play it. To go into a review of Steel Battalion and be in shock about the realism is ridiculous. Here are quotes from what Famitsu said about Tekki:

     
  3. Jean-Michel

    Jean-Michel Supporting Actor

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    I would like to make it clear right now that there is no such thing as a realistic giant robot game. [​IMG]
     
  4. Oscar_R

    Oscar_R Second Unit

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  5. Ricky Hustle

    Ricky Hustle Supporting Actor

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  6. Dave E H

    Dave E H Supporting Actor

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    This guy sounds like he's rather play an arcade like game (Mech Assault) than a sim. There's nothing wrong with that, but one shouldn't confuse the two. I'm buying both, but I know that Mech Assault is the kind of game I'll sit down with and 5 minutes in be fragging people online. Tekki is one where I might spend 30 minutes managing to get my VT to walk correctly. Nothing wrong with that - they are just different.

    This is definitely one review I'll happily ignore.
     

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