When I grabbed the box of this game I immediately got back the childish feelings from when I was watching the adventures of Pikachu and his friends on TV like a zombie. This game after all is a mix of Pokemon and Medabots with the collecting elements of the first and the robots of the second. Of course, now it’s my task to find out whether this game has made it, isn’t it ?
When starting it up for the first time, I instantly had to turn down my speakers as the standard volume is way too high. To make a comparison: all my other games have a volume of 30 on my speakers while with this one I had to put it on 10. Of course this isn’t a major problem as you can adapt the volume.
The choice in game modes has Story Mode, Challenge, Versus, Options and Collection. With the last one you can take a look at the robots you’ve gathered and with Options you can of course adapt the game to your choice (including the volume luckily ;p). As usual, I first check out Story Mode.
The intro has the same kind of drawing as Pokemon and such, very Japanese-looking cartoons and I love it. For a brief moment I wanted to take a look at the Medabots DVD which I once won with the bank, but I quickly pushed that idea away.
The story is quite simpel: one day a boy called Kou sees a meteorite crashing down in the woods little further. He goes there and finds a robot so small that it can stand on the palm of his hand.
The robot explains what’s going on: his name is G Red, a Gotcha Borg from the planet Mega Borg which has been destroyed by the Death Force which are now aiming for Earth.
The Gotcha Borgs are coming to our beloved planet to protect us and G Red now is the borg which belongs to Kou. Together they form the Gotcha Force which will save earth from evil.
A typical Japanese story…
With my first fight I have to figure out the controls myself or I have to check them in the accompanying book. Of course I was too late in realising this, but fortunately the controls aren’t too hard. Movement is done with the Control stick, attack with B and X and you can use these together to do yet another strike. With A you can jump while robots can fly with the same button. L and R locks you on a different enemy.
The graphics aren’t superior. The robots have a nice finish – and there’s more than 200 unique ones – but the attacks aren’t really beautyful. It’s clear the intention is to make everything look cartoonish but the attacks are really numb.
The levels aren’t anything special either. More than an empty space with a table here or a hill there you won’t get. Also the only way you realise you’re working with mini-robots is the size of deks lights, beds, etc… which are bigger than yourself.
Same goes for the sound which constantly gives the same tune in the background and very simple “dzief dzief” effects when shooting. It doesn’t bore, it suits the game, but it might have been a bit more…
Dialogues are often annoying. The sentences aren’t read completely but instead a cry from your robot appears with every new sentence. “HOOOOOAAA?” and “HMMMM”.
Your guy even doesn’t stop brabbling during fights. “OOOH YEA”, “YOU CAN DO IT”, and more where that came from.
Of course, sound and graphics don’t make a game and gameplay has a big role in doing that and that’s exactly where Gotcha Force shines.
You’ve got a big amount of GF Energy which you need for fighting. With this you “pay” your robots; if you’ve got 800GF Energy you’ll be able to use a robot which needs 500GF and another one with 300GF Energy. If you go over this amount, you won’t be able to use all your robots.
Each fight you get some extra of this energy and when winning you’ll receive a robot or an item.
The collection urge from Pokemon will easily rise up again.
You don’t only have to fight the Death Force but also practice against your allies is present. You read that correct: your allies.
You don’t play alone is this game. Some battles you only need to survive but most of them are with a computer controlled partner who really co-operates very well. The robot AI has been done quite good, both from enemy and allied robots. The enemies help each other like your allies help you. This goes from healing your teammate to helping you when being under attack.
Sometimes things get a bit too hectic and then you’ll notice some framedrops.
The camera is annoying as hell. Often it’s positioned below the ground while you can check out your robots’ feet.
Story Mode isn’t too long. I managed to finish it in just over 15 hours. It isn’t hard either although you do notice the level increasing. There were several fights I had to do over because my complete team of bots were slain by the Death Force.
Once you’ve finished the storyline you can start over again with all the robots you’ve collected in your last adventure so you can constantly enlarge your collection.
Multiplayer is almost the same as single player with only one thing: the graphics have been turned down A LOT, making it look like a N64 game.
Versus gives you the possibility to play with maximum 4 gamers and you can use to computer to fill empty spaces. Challenge is for only 2 players and you always have to face the computer. Once winning a game you’ll immediately go to the next with the same team of robots. This is much like some sort of Survival where you get completely healed after each game.
This is a very fun title, especially for lovers of the Pokemon/Medabots genre. The urge to continue playing and collect more and newer robots is definitely present but the people who want great graphics won’t like this title at all. Collecting fan like with Pokemon? Fascinated by robots? Don’t mind the graphics? Then this is surely a game which will give you a decent amount of gaming fun.