Sunday, March 7, 2010

Super Robot Taisen OG Saga Endless Frontier

Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier

If you’re a fan of anime, big robots, hot ladies, some of whom happen to be robots, and a turn base RPG with a twist, this game is for you. Another gem brought over to the DS by Atlus, and the localization is done really well. The Japanese audio during combat is left intact, if you’re into that. You’ll get to roam about the Endless Frontier, which is several different worlds linked to each other by these Cross Gates, which allow access between them. While exploring a wrecked ship he comes across a sleeping girl and his adventures just take off from there. These strange crystals show up and seem to be destroying parts of the world or controlling people. He and his crew race around the different worlds trying to stop the crystals from spreading.

This game is kind of a traditional rpg with random encounters, and grinding. There is a unique gameplay element though. You’re able to have a total of 7 people throughout the game, including 1 slot for a special unit you’ll find out later on. The first four are the ones you will actually be using in combat, with the latter four being the support you can call on to attack during your turn. All your characters get experience even if they aren’t in the front, so you don’t have to worry about keeping your characters balanced. Each character has several different attacks they will learn as you level up, with their damage/costs differing. You can also use the menu on each character before you attack, and use an item, ability, a special skill, or defend. The primary mechanic here is to rack up as many hits as possible and keep the enemy in the air. If they hit the ground they will revert to blocking (if they were blocking before) or may end up going into forced evasion, in which all your attacks will do no damage. As you fight you will build up a meter that will let your character do a special attack. This Frontier Gauge will fill up faster with air combos as well as support attacks, which cost 5 SP. Your party starts out with 100% COM which lets them attack a maximum of five times per turn. During this turn they can call in a rear character for a support attack for a 5% in the frontier gauge, or switch to the character next in rotation for a 10% boost in the gauge as well as a 30% boost to their COM. Another key thing to figure out is that you can cancel any attack at a certain time and move onto the next for a boost in the frontier gauge. This may be better as well, as some attacks tend to leave the enemies dangerously close to the ground if you don’t time it well.

Here’s an example, as well as an introduction to Kaguya, one of the party members in the game.
Here’s an example of a turn of attacks you can do to keep the enemy in the air.

Haken Browning, a bounty hunter who fancies himself a cowboy. He’s your typical gunslinger guy with a rifle and pistols, and he is built for criticals. Most of his attacks are easy to cancel and he’s good at juggling opponents. I used him throughout the game.
Aschen Brodel is his constant companion, a cyborg who has a party girl mode when she uses her full power. A lot of her attacks are easy to cancel and she does decent damage, but I usually set her as support when I get a full party.

Kaguya Nanbu is a princess from Kagura Amahara, who is on a pilgrimage traveling all the known worlds. Aschen estimated her bust to be 100cm and she is the target of many jokes throughout the game. She can end up being pretty powerful, and she is the best healer in the game.

Suzuka is a shiki-oni princess from Kagura Amahara, and she controls a mecha called Jyaki-GUN-oh via wires from her fans, waving them around as she dances. I usually set her to support as well, as her attacks are a little more difficult to get the hang of. Some of her abilities are helpful though.

The crossover characters are:
Reiji Arisu is a character from the game Namco x Capcom. He is Xiaomu’s partner as part of the Shinra organization from Earth. His fighting style utilizes several guns and swords. He ends up being the strongest attacker if you use Soul later on. Most of his abilities boosts his own combat, but the good ones do eat up a lot of SP.
Xiaomu is a 765 year old sage fox and partner of Reiji from Namco x Capcom. She fights with a cane sword, pistols, and magic. She has the same special as Reiji, and her moveset has a lot of easy juggles. She can do pretty decent damage, but I usually leave her as support because her support attack is almost always a guard breaker.

KOS-MOS hails from Xenosaga. Her version is from episode 3 and she also seems to be infected with the neko virus from Xenosaga Freaks. She comes from the same world as Reiji and Xiamou, but far into the future. Her special attack is insane, and her attacks do a lot of damage. Her abilities are also well laid out, giving herself a guard break, as well as an ability to launch enemies higher after they get hit. Even without Soul she does very good damage.

The final rear slot is always going to be set aside for the mecha you will obtain throughout the game. They will show up in the support line in the normal rotation amongst your rear characters.

The dialogue in the game is hilarious and there will be many boob jokes. The plot is nothing revolutionary but the twist concerning the main character is well done. All in all this game is definitely worth trying out if you want a solid RPG for the DS. I’d rate this game as a solid 8/10. The good news is that the sequel Exceed is out in Japan, and it will have all the original characters and a ton of new characters from familiar series. Hopefully it’ll come to the US as well, otherwise we will have to get Holy to translate every line for us.


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