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News: Solatorobo Hands-on Impressions

Posted on : 18-09-2010 | By : | In : News

Hardware:

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We managed to put some time into the playable demo of Solatorobo at this year’s TGS. The game is 90% complete and it’s quite polished as a result. We’ve also had a somewhat unofficial confirmation that the game may be receiving an English localisation, which is great news indeed. In any case, the demo had two playable levels and was accompanied by a wonderful opening movie with suitably impressive animation. It’s worth highlighting at this point that the setting coupled with Nobuteru YĆ«ki’s striking character designs, gives the whole game a feel of Laputa meets Escaflowne (with furries). Of all the games we’ve played this year, bar Ni no Kuni, it was pretty much our game of the show. More after the jump.

The game is fundamentally an action-platforming based RPG and if you’ve played Tail Concerto then this will probably make a lot more sense. In short, of the two levels at the show one had the player flying between aerial islands and another assaulting an enemy ship from within. You can exit your mecha whilst grounded and most of the combat revolves around you picking up other enemies and using them as projectiles. The ship level also had some puzzle elements, which helped break up the combat quite nicely. Many elements of the environment can also be picked up and thrown by your mecha. The platforming elements are more prevalent in the sky island level, as negotiating the surprisingly large environment was quite liberating (despite the obvious boosting restrictions).

What’s reassuring is that all the action elements feel really quick and responsive on the DS and it basically plays a lot like Tail Concerto in that sense. We didn’t get to use the touch screen much at all, so we don’t have any comments on that really.

Considering that furries get quite a bad rep in general, we were quite surprised at how well executed the characterisation was. Maybe it’s down to the fact that the stigma isn’t one that really exists in Japan, so the developers haven’t been bogged down by that. In any case the game is very bright, vibrant and colourful in tone.

Overall, with the 3DS around the corner it’s nice to see such a carefully crafted game released in the final months of the normal DS’ life. There’s clearly a very good little game to played here and we’re definitely looking forward to its eventual release at the end of October.

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Comments (2)

I feel a lot better after you saying it’s good after a bit of hands-on time with it–I was worried my enthusiasm for the game might have been misplaced. Looks like there should be no worries there!

The furry aspect is one that I’m worried might “dog” the game on release in the West, though, as people “cat”egorize the game unfairly based upon preconceptions about furry fandom.

Do want. Too bad it’s on the DS. I never have handheld systems. x_x

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