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Robot Alchemic Drive
  PS2FightingNA  
  opened by paleface at 21:05:54 08/31/03  
  paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Fighting; loc=NA]
           
Also known in North America as "R.A.D." (oh those clever marketing people), this is a very, very cool game in which you play a youngster thrust into the role of fighting off gigantic alien robots by controlling your own giant robot via remote control. Each stage (so far, anyway--apparently there are over 50 missions in the single-player campaign) pits you and your robot against an equally titanic alien adversary. Here's the catch: you view the action from your human character's position--since the robots are several hundred feet tall, this snail's-eye view really gives a great feeling of the immensity of these massive fighting machines, and makes control a real challenge as you have to steer your robot around from a distant vantage point. Don't step on yourself!
 
The controls help give that "giant robo" feel too, as you walk by alternating the left and right shoulder buttons to move your robot's legs. Your human has a little anti-grav belt that allows brief boosts through the air (quite fun just boosting around this way) so the best part is when you hop up on your robot's shoulder and control him from there. This is one of the very few games in which I leave pad vibration on, since it actually helps you keep track of what's going on as nearby footsteps and impacts produce more pronounced vibrations.
 
Coupled with a typically goofy anime-style plot, this is a giant-robot dream come true. The graphics strike you as rather colorless and blurry at first but this actually helps things look more realistic during the battles. The horrible voice acting makes me wish I had a Japanese PS2 so that I could play the Japanese version instead--sure I wouldn't know exactly what was being said but it would sound way better than these insipid English-speaking actors.
 
That aside, the game is an absolute blast, and the split-screen two-player battles make for chaotic, suspensful fun as you and your partner try to zero your devastating weapons in on the other's robot. There are three characters to choose from (so I guess the exact story will be at least a little different for each one) and it seems as though as you go on you get multiple robots to pick from, and additional weapons for them. Oh, and of course you get to smash up every city you come to in royal fashion. Excellent stuff.
    
references:
· Remote Control Dandy (PS1)
· Simple 2000 Series Vol.81: The Earth Defense Force 2 (PS2)

 
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