| paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Fighting; loc=JPN] |
|This precursor to Robot Alchemic Drive was a Japan-only release from Human. The presentation, with gorgeous menus, fully spoken story text, lovely talking-heads style 2D character conversations where the characters animate fluidly between poses to reflect their mood, excellent voice acting, an extensive tutorial build-up in the early missions, and robot and 3D city graphics the likes of which you'd have never have thought to see on the PS1, pushes this ahead of the later PS2 R.A.D. in my book.|
Of course I can't understand the details of the story but at least it hasn't been spoiled by poorly motivated English voice actors. The big thing lacking here as compared with R.A.D. is analog support, so you have to combine the X and Square buttons with the D-pad to execute different arm maneuvers, rather than just being able to swing the analog sticks to move the mech's arms, and it's a bit cumbersome. The funny thing is that RCD was late enough that the analog DualShock was quite common, and heck it even says "analog controller" on the rear jewel case insert. Also, the game punishes extensive collateral damage with mission failure (darn that prissy female commander!) so you can't cut loose quite as much as you can in R.A.D. Pooh!
The game starts off with a bang as a giant creaky rustbucket of a robot interrupts your tea-time in Paris, chases you and shatters the Arc de Triumph if you're clever enough to run through it to ditch him! A seemingly interminable series of tutorials follows--just keep clicking that Circle button, it does get better after this, but also pay attention to the red text because it tells you what buttons do what. Your robot can pick up stuff here, nifty. Oh but you can't jump up to his shoulder (at least not as far as I've got) as you can in R.A.D.
I'm gonna play through this one before I continue through R.A.D.--Dandy is so quality that it deserves full attention as the forerunner in this remarkable series of games. Another Human game, Zipangu Jima, is hidden away inside the extra-thick RCD case for some reason.