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Robotech: Battlecry
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Someone should've gone up to the makers of this game and pointed them to Star Fox or the delightful Sky Gunner to show them the RIGHT way of making a shooter.  Apparently fans of Macross and Robotech were waiting for a long time for one truly decent game based on their beloved franchise.  I guess they're still waiting.  Robotech: Battlecry is a tepid game at best.  While not one of the worst games I've ever played, for a 3D shooter, I've never seen a game so limiting.  In this game you control a ship that can transform into three different machines, a jet aircraft that can also fly in space, a battle robot, and strange cross between the two.  Each form has different capabilities, but only the most diehard fans will figure out when to switch to what form.  The air and space battles where you're in the fast fighter form are solid enough, but the controls feel generic.  You can roll left and right and even barrel roll, but it never feels as exciting as Star Fox.  The game does an admirable job of replicating the cartoon's trademark missile swarm battles, but acquiring a missile lock is done automatically by the computer, so no skill is involved there.  On the ground, you're better off sticking with the robot form.  The hybrid form's controls are so loose and frustrating.  No true sense of flight like the jet form.  No ease of movement like the robot form.  Flying and hovering is a question of trial and error.  Mostly error.  If you overshoot your target, there's no quick turn around.  You have to go through a really slow and painful circle.  In stages where you're fighting in cities, an inexplicable invisible bubble keeps you from flying over the buildings, forcing you to navigate in the streets.  Visually this game is mediocre.  The cel shaded look just isn't pulled off well, certainly nowhere near the level seen in games like Wind Waker or Sly Cooper.  But the worst offense is that nobody in this game feels alive somehow.  Not the villains and certainly not the hero, who just comes off painfully dull and cardboard.  To put it bluntly, you'd find a better shooter in the old Defender.  Or you can try and track down the underrated Sky Gunner for a fresh experience.

Grade: Dull

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