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Ikusa Gami
  opened by paleface at 21:23:13 12/21/05  
  last modified by paleface at 23:08:29 12/30/05  
  paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Strategy; loc=JPN]
Genki made a big fuss about how their 3D engine for this battlefield action game allowed them to have "65,535" units onscreen at once. And, I mean, I can't count that high, but there are definitely a ton of dudes/monsters running around the screen. Automatic best game ever?
Well, you know, it seems all right. There's actually a lot of story and little text interruptions throughout the battles, and I don't have much idea what those are about, but in battle you rip around with this super-powered wolf-headed demigod samurai guy, who has all kinds of nifty moves that allow him to mow through those 65,535 enemies like a freight train with a school of piranha mounted on the front.
You'll find pretty quickly that it comes down to energy management. Your demigod has an energy meter, and his big splashy power attacks drain that energy. On the other hand, killing certain enemies or something like that can restore his energy, as can having his troops construct little party pillar things at specific points on the map.
There seem to be other kinds of pillars he can have them construct, too. I've got a second kind so far, which act as defense turrets against the hordes of monsters. Not very effective ones, but hey, they try.
In general it seems like the goal for a map will consist of leading your troops, or maybe just certain troop leaders, to a spot on the map guarded by tons and tons of respawning enemies. So you put your troops in follow mode, run on ahead, toggle on your power-draining glowy sword mode, and carve through the enemy, sending whole platoons of them skyward with every single sword stroke. It's pretty neat, even if you can't always tell what's going on.
There's a zoomed-in camera mode, but it's pretty impossible to see what's going on when you're in it. The zoomed out mode gives a pretty good view of the action, but you can't always tell the difference between your troops and the littler enemies. Your troops fire brightly colored arrows, though, so that helps.
Still, I can see this kind of thing getting a little boring after dozens and dozens of battles like this. I've read that they vary things up later on with time limited objectives, and multiple simultaneous waypoints per map, but will that be enough? There's the occassional extra-large boss type monster, but these aren't really all that impressive, and are just as dumb as all the other 65,535 monsters: they move in a straight line, for the most part, and then stop and chew on their target repeatedly.
Also, wading through all your troops and pillars can be a little annoying; they don't absolutely block your progress, but they kind of slow it down a bit.
On the other hand, when you beat a stage (might require a certain score), you seem to get a new sword. There are 99 swords, so does that mean 99 stages? I'm not sure that they behave very differently.
So, the jury's still out on this, as to whether or not it's something that can sustain itself for a while. I like the feeling of cutting massive swaths of destructive energy through 65,535 monsters, but is that by itself enough to hold my dangerously low attention span?

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