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Rebelstar: Tactical Command
  opened by paleface at 06:58:14 09/11/05  
  last modified by paleface at 12:27:18 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=GBA; cat=Strategy; reg=NA]
A portable, pastel version of the old PC strategy game, X-COM--made by X-COM's old developers, apparently. And indeed it does play like a slightly simplified X-COM, with anime-style character art and a story in place of X-COM's impersonal, open-ended research development.
The UI is a little clunky. You have to hit B to back out of a mode--for instance, if you move, then after moving you have to hit B to get back to the character menu. And moving the selection cursor around the map feels a little clunky; it probably doesn't help that the isometric movement is turned in a slightly different way than most isometric strategy games.
But it's still fun to come around a corner, spot an alien, and let off a burst spray of rifle fire in its face. You have more shooting options than before, I think, but maybe fewer movement options (you can't crouch or whatever--couldn't you do that in X-COM?).
It seems like the game might be pretty lengthy, as I've already gone through about five training missions, and that's five more than X-COM had, probably. It's kind of slow just moving one character around in these training missions, and I have the feeling that the clunkiness of the control will get worse with larger squads.
Still, I think this is a game I could play through. I like the character art, and the dialogue is pretty decent so far. And there really isn't any other strategy game like it on GBA--or any current console, for that matter, unless maybe you count the PS1 port of X-COM. Hmm, I wonder how that turned out...
  paleface 07:02:12 09/11/05
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  "A sample of some of the shot types available."
To explain a bit more about the battle system for those not familiar with X-COM, each character has a certain number of action points available to them each round. They can use these for shooting, moving, picking things up, or whatever, until they run out, at which point they have to wait for the next round before they can take action again.
But there's a twist: if you have enough Action points left to shoot, you can put your character in "Overwatch" mode. This means that they will use their remaining Action points to shoot at any available enemies during the other side's turn, so you can put a guy in ambush, wait for aliens to come walking by, and he'll let loose on them automatically. Pretty neat.
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