The game's combat mechanic is reminiscent of Panzer Dragoon's in that you can lock onto a single enemy onscreen with your primary weapon, but your secondary missile attack can lock onto numerous targets at once, so long as you keep the attack button depressed. Once you let go, you'll launch separate but simultaneous attacks on all the enemies you had targeted. The number of targets you can lock onto at once depends on the number of missile salvos you have left. Robotech: Battlecry gives you an infinite supply of ammo, but this ammo takes a while to regenerate: about three seconds for every missile salvo. You can hold off on firing your secondary weapons in order to recharge your ammunition in order to attack numerous enemies at once, or you can keep using your missiles to attack a single target at a time.
Battlecry just doesn't capture the intensity of Robotech's dogfights.
Fans of the series will undoubtedly enjoy shooting down handfuls of Zentraedi battle pods, fighter pods, and power-armor-clad warriors at a time. You'll also run into the occasional boss in the form of a powerful female warrior much like Robotech's Miriya, as well as an officer battle pod much like Khyron's, and several of the show's memorable characters like Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes, Roy Fokker, and Lynn Minmei make cameo appearances throughout the game as well. Likewise, the game does a great job of mimicking the look and feel of the series, thanks to the use of cel-shaded graphics. All of the mechs in Battlecry--be it the Veritechs that you and your squadron pilot, the ground-based destroids, or the varied Zentraedi mechs--are drawn using the same color scheme as their TV counterparts, and their in-game animations are particularly impressive. This is especially true of your Veritech, which can be seen transforming between its three modes with precision and without any skipping. Effects like explosions, smoke, and your gun's muzzle flash are drawn in a stylized fashion, and they fit Battlecry's overall cel-shaded theme nicely.
The game certainly isn't lacking in the number of missions available, either. Battlecry has five chapters, and each contains between half a dozen and a dozen individual missions. However, nearly all of the game's missions involve either all-out dogfights with Zentraedi pods or ground-based missions that involve some sort of hostage rescue or convoy escort. Likewise, many of the environments look alike--the game's generic city levels are completely cookie-cutter and are constructed using the same multicolored buildings throughout. As you progress through the game, you'll often wonder if you're replaying some of the same missions over again. Other missions are just as barren. One such mission pits you against an entire Zentraedi armada, though you'll soon realize that this powerful collection of warships is nothing more than a pair of 3D models and a flat background bitmap of all the rest. What's more, the game's plot unfolds through a mix of static images and in-game cutscenes, and both are poorly done. The artwork of the former is downright horrible, as it not only looks rushed, but is drawn in a style completely different from the soft, cel-shaded look of Battlecry. The in-engine cutscenes have stiff animations and awkward camera angles, though at least they never last more than a few seconds.
If you want to relive the Macross saga, why not just watch the show again on DVD?
The soundtrack, too, leaves something to be desired. Whereas the music that plays during the game's menu is sampled from the series' actual score, the in-game music has been recomposed for whatever reason, and the resulting tracks are largely unrecognizable. In fact, some of Battlecry's collection of blaring trumpets and horns sounds like a high-school band during practice. Furthermore, despite the fact that the voice of Jack Archer is provided by Cam Clarke (who voiced Max Sterling in the actual show), Archer speaks in a complete monotone, and his constant cockpit chatter will get instantly repetitive. Some sound effects seem to be missing altogether, like the sound when your battloid lands on solid ground or the sound of your fighter's engines, and other effects, like your machine guns and missile salvos, sound nothing like they do on the show.
It's really a shame that some poorly executed elements keep this game from living up to its potential. The truth is that while Battlecry does a commendable job of capturing the visual style of Robotech, its somewhat sluggish controls, repetitive missions, and the near total absence of a sense of speed keep the game from mimicking the show's exciting combat sequences. If you're a Robotech fan, the bottom line is you'll rarely feel like you're actually piloting a nimble Veritech, no matter how hard you try. And while you might be initially enthralled by the notion of reliving one of the greatest animated series of all time in video game form, the novelty will wear thin after a while. There's some replay value in the form of unlockable multiplayer maps and different paint schemes for your Veritech, but ultimately, Robotech: Battlecry is a mediocre shooter that's notable only on the strength of its license.
- Similar model: $
- Set Price Alert