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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Got Game Entertainment

 

Developer

Prograph

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q2 2002

 

 

- Cool Graphics

- Great anime theme

 

 

- Uninteresting level design

- Mechs donít have feeling of size

- Simple AI

- Boring gameplay

- Overly simple gameplay

- The Gameplay

 

 

Review: American McGee's Alice (PC)

Review: Shinobi (Playstation 2)

Review: Enclave (XBox)

 

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Tsunami 2265

Score: 3.0 / 10

Itís really a tragedy when a good idea goes to waste through poor execution.  What would it be like if Akira had an awesome story, but the animation sucked?  Well it would probably be a lot like what Tsunami 2265 is like, except the other way around.  It has a great idea in terms of graphical presentation and plotline, but it throws it all away through poor gameplay design.

tsunami-2265-1.jpg (55588 bytes)         tsunami-2265-2.jpg (43595 bytes)

First, the good that has gone to waste is the great graphical idea in the game.  The cut scenes are absolutely gorgeous in their representation of anime spliced into a high-resolution computer graphics world.  It really looks and feels like you are watching an anime movie when viewing the generously long cut scenes.  Some people may find the long cut scenes annoying, but believe me, they are the highlights of an otherwise boring gaming experience.  The story itself isnít all that bad either, having to do with futuristic mechs in a world where Japanese Shoguns battle for world control of a mysterious power source.

You play Naoko, one of the loyal servants of one of the good leaders, and you have the honourable task of stopping the son of the emperor who is bent on capturing all the mysterious energy that is out there.  To do so, you have a big mech which you use to lay waste to your enemies.  Here is where the gameplay comes in and displays how a simple concept can be turned horribly boring when little thought goes into the game design.

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When will game designers learn the importance of proportional ratios.  In games where a sense of speed or size is important, other objects around the protagonist need to appear slower or smaller.  Knowing that youíre in a giant robot isnít much use if it doesnít feel if like it.  Tsunami 2265 decides not to let you feel as if you are in a giant robot by making all of your enemies and surroundings, proportionately equivalent to you.

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The level design in an action game is so important, and the developers have managed to botch this important aspect of the game as well.  Each level is basically a series of winding corridors in either an exterior context with mountains and canyons, or indoors in a maze of hallways, and dead end rooms.  The game also has an adventure mode where Naoko is not in her mech and it is fundamentally the same as the other type of gameplay except that there are some colour coded key and door puzzles in the levels.  Basically, it doesnít have any semblance of an interesting or engaging level design.  The scenery and layout is different from level to level, but the concept is the same.  Find your way through the simple maze, open the correct door with correct colour key and kill some bone dumb robots on the way.

If robotic AI is at the level it is in this game in the year 2265, I will be extremely disappointed in the scientific minds of today and tomorrow.  The enemy AI in Tsunami 2265 is so simple as to be laughable.  They will always move a little bit, but not so much as to make it difficult for you to hit them.  They will always shoot where you were about one second ago, and they will not try to evade your fire.

The only thing that could redeem the game now is if there were a series of really cool mechs that had a bunch of different strengths and weaknesses, and weapons so that you might be able to skirmish with your friends online.  Well, no such luck as there is no multiplayer mode, and the different mechs only have cosmetic differences.  Each mech has a gun and a missile launcher, which can be fired simultaneously and continuously with no penalty or loss in your mechís performance.  This takes almost all the challenge out of dispatching your enemies as you can run around while holding down both the mouse buttons and take out almost any host of opponents.

tsunami-2265-3.jpg (60684 bytes)         tsunami-2265-4.jpg (53677 bytes)

The adventure mode is not much more interesting as it has all the failings of poor level design, with the primary difference being that you do not have a missile launcher.  Instead, you will only be equipped with a pistol, and you will be squaring off against human sized enemies.  The drudgery of looking for keys and door releases gets to be too much and it is unfortunate that there are no grenades that can be used on yourself.

Many action mech games have come and gone and managed better than this.  If this game was able to equal Slave Zero, it would have definitely gotten passing marks, plus a little something extra.  As all it could muster though is a boring whisper in the fan of my cpu, it can hardly be worth noting in the annals of gaming.

- Mark Leung

(September 14, 2002)

 

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