EX Troopers Is More Style Than Substance

EX Troopers is an anime take on the world of Lost Planet. There's a 3DS version and a PS3 version. Today, I played both.

EX Troopers offers run-and-gun gaming against giant monsters (the Akrids from Lost Planet) and robots (again, the Vital Suits from Lost Planet) with the occasional bandits (guess where they're from!). You may even call it a dash-and-gun game, considering that's your only dodging manoeuvre available (in the demo). You will be dodging. A lot.

Players will be able to wield two weapons, light and heavy, per mission. You can also melee but I don't recommend punching and kicking giant tentacle monsters when you could be shooting it, especially as reloading your seemingly endless cache of ammo only takes a moment.

You have the ability to use special attacks of two kinds: by yourself, or with your teammates. The latter dealing more damage than the former. The downside to the team-attack is that all players must activate it while next to their teammates. By the way, while you are waiting for your friend to activate it, you'll be immobile and susceptible to damage. Thank god there was no friendly fire.

Going back to the weapons, the demo only supplied me with simple guns, like the submachine gun, shotguns, rocket launchers and such. The most unique weapon on the list was a laser blaster that required charging every time it shot. With the auto-lock system, aiming is basically obsolete and the only reason the game can be challenging is because the Akrids are simply humongous, with an abnormal amount of health making you feel like you're chipping at a wall of concrete with a wooden toothpick.

An interesting (but not exactly positive) thing about the game was the number of maximum players you can play with: three players total including yourself. Why Capcom chose three, instead of the magical gaming number of four, I don't know. They did not mention anything about online services as well.

The unique aesthetics of the game with comic panels and anime effects can only be seen in the cutscene, making the actual gameplay very bland. They do force in the comic panels effect while fighting, but it's disorienting to suddenly have your main character's face zoom in randomly, then going back into game for no apparent reason.

There were no true flaws to the game, but nothing to make it stand out from all the others.

If you are getting EX Troopers, do yourself a favour and get the 3DS version over the PS3. The graphics were essentially the same (save for that sheen of PS3 HD polish) and the game content seemed to be the exact same. The controls were similar, too — save for obviously hardware differences.

So get the 3DS version — unless, of course, you simply can't play games unless it's on a 60-inch HDTV.


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