another short game. i played through the normal mode of suda51’s liberation maiden for 3DS, which is apparently also available on iOS (although the touchscreen controls look way more awkward than the 3DS version). the game has been compared to zone of the enders, which i haven’t played, but in both games you pilot a mech, i.e. giant robot. liberation maiden has very high production values, with anime cut scenes, artwork by yusuke kozaki (who also did the artwork for no more heroes and fire emblem: awakening), plenty of voice acting, and good graphics and music, although the story is completely nonsensical (the female president has to save japan by piloting a battle mech).
as for the gameplay itself, i started off feeling like the game was too easy and mindless because you simply steer with the analog stick, move the stylus to lock on to targets, and lift the stylus to release a barrage of bullets. scribbling away at the screen will do the job most of the time, but the game has a timer and a combo system that rewards more finesse, and both make the experience more worthwhile. the game has a unique mechanic whereby your offense (the number of shots in a single barrage) and your defense (your shields) are from the same pool, so you could take the easy and slow route and just never let your defenses get too low, but that’s not going to earn you the highest scores.
there are 5 levels, each with 3 stages, plus 5 bosses (one for each level, although they’re somewhat same-y). stages also may contain sub-missions, i believe made available when certain conditions are met such as completing part of a stage quickly. although i was fairly bored at the beginning, by the time i got to the end of the game i was enjoying myself much more. although overall the game is pretty short and can be completed in just a couple of hours, the action is eye-catching and the gameplay is pretty solid and fun. after beating normal mode i started in on the hard mode, which looks like it’s going to be much more of a challenge, and you can also replay a single level in a score attack mode. the game is on the pricier side at $8, but it ranks near the top of the games i’ve played from the 3DS’s eshop thus far.
liberate these liberation maiden links:
– official site
– entry at suda51.wikia.com
– review at nintendolife.com
– entry at metacritic
– list of the in-game achievements (although i’m still not sure how to earn a high approval rating)
– apparently a follow-up is in the works, although it’s going to be a “visual novel” instead of another action game