By Alex Arbizo . November 26, 2006 . 8:13am
It’s a tale that has been told before, a young, up and coming “go-getter” who defies his family and joins the military. All he wants is to become a mech pilot and join the elite of the elite, sounds easy right? Well that’s only the beginning of the story.
Eureka 7 Vol 1: The New Wave is loosely based on the anime, but takes place at an earlier time (with different characters). The game is centered around Sumner Sturgeon, an aspiring LFO pilot who gets accepted to New Wave Academy. LFO’s are the transforming battle mechs in the Eureka 7 universe. It is at the Academy where Sumner meets and falls for Ruri (there’s always a girl), a fellow student and exceptional LFO pilot. Sumner graduates at the top of his class and joins Sawyer Team, an elite KLF group in the military.
Most of the game is spent in Sumner’s LFO. LFO’s have both a vehicle and a robot mode, that are switchable at any time during a fight. Vehicle mode has excellent maneuverability but limited attack power and takes more damage. Robot mode is in the traditional “mech” style, with a melee and a ranged attack. For most fights robot mode is most practical, the exception being some team fights. Eureka 7 provides a very basic level of customization. Upgrades can be purchased at a shop and when equipped, will add a percentage increase to one of the basic statistics. These include defense, melee attack power, range attack, etc.
On the side LFO pilots practice “lifting”. This is a hoverboard style mini-game where opponents race around for bragging rights. While lifting there is a boost meter that can be replenished by performing basic flips and spin moves. This is later integrated into the mech battles with the introduction of “ref-boards”, allowing LFO’s to ascend into the air for a dog fight. Every now and then a mission will require a player exits their LFO and proceed on foot. A new set of controls allows you to perform tasks such as hand to hand combat, talking to people, and some basic gunplay.
The overall presentation is good. The menus are stylish, and aside from story mode and tutorials, Eureka 7 also includes a situation mode. Here you can play all the situations you have completed, including lifting races. As a mech game, Eureka 7 scratches the itch. Problems arise when the RPG element is brought into the equation. There is much more readingtalking than necessary to move the plot forward. The player only controls what is going on during the action, and not while exploring or gaining new information. The plot development between each scenario is excessive, skip it and you will be placed in a setting, in your LFO, against some opponents. What more does one need to know?
Eureka 7 Vol 1: The New Wave is based on an anime side-story. It goes too far with the story-telling, and consequently is a completely linear game. The time spent actually playing the game is fun, but is more or less the same as a player progresses through it.
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