Game Title: God Eater 2 Rage Burst
Developer: Shift, Bandai Namco
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Game Type: Vita
Download: 3.5 GB
NA Availability: Digital Download
EU Availability: Retail | Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes
The hunting genre is quite popular among handheld gamers. Between Final Fantasy Explorers and Monster Hunter on the 3DS and nearly a dozen hunting games on the Vita, handheld gamers are really digging the formula of these games. Whether it’s the colorful Ragnarok Odyssey or the bloody Lord of Arcana, there’s something on handhelds for any type of hunting fan.
Last month, I touched on the genre when God Eater Resurrection released in North America. It was a remake of the original God Eater and originally intended to be bundled with its sequel, God Eater 2: Rage Burst. I said a lot about the game in said review and now it’s time to return to the world of God Arcs and Arigami.
My very first review key game from Namco Bandai, here is my review of the Vita version of God Eater 2: Rage Burst!
3 years after the events of God Eater / Burst / Resurrection, a separate branch of Fenrir travels in a moving fortress. They are constantly fighting Arigami, strange creatures that suddenly appeared in the world and have brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Since the events of the first game, however, they have grown and evolved to repel God Eaters, humanity’s only military force capable of fighting them.
In these worsening times, it is up to a special unit known as the Blood Unit, to fight back. Using a hidden ability known as “Blood Power”, they can resist the Arigami’s growing ability to stop God Eaters in their tracks, and fight to bring an end to the fight, once and for all.
The plot of God Eater 2 will bring both new and old faces into the fray, giving players of the first game something to look forward to as well as newcomers. It is also worth noting that the story of God Eater 2 stands on its own, so you don’t have to play through Resurrection before diving into this game.
God Eater 2: Rage Burst is a Hunting RPG in the same vein as previous games of the series. It takes you on missions where you hunt after giant monsters and bosses to obtain materials, complete objectives, and progress the storyline. If you’ve played the first game or other hunting RPGs, then you know where I’m going with this.
The first thing everyone wants to know about a Hunting RPG sequel is what the new features are that weren’t in its predecessor. This is where things get a little tricky. You see, in Japan, God Eater 2 released before Resurrection. Then, Resurrection was made with almost all of the enhancements from God Eater 2. The fact that the West got Resurrection first means that most of the new features that made God Eater 2 unique aren’t very new anymore.
Almost all of the game feels exactly like Resurrection, except for one feature: Blood Arts. These tie in with the story of God Eater 2 and are special skills that can be unlocked and unleashed. Monster Hunter players, you know Hunter Artes from Monster Hunter Generations? Blood Arts are kind of like those. Powerful attacks that can help you in your fight against the Arigami. That, along with the story, is the main unique point to Rage Burst compared to Resurrection.
Past that, progression is done between your base of operations and missions that you take part in. Your base has different areas, mostly for story purposes. The main area has a desk for taking part in missions, kiosks for modifying equipment and skills, a vending machine for buying items, and the exit to take you out on actual missions. It’s just like the base was in the first game, except for being a different room layout.
When you’re out on missions, you’ll be in the middle of the action. Each mission has you and AI partners seeking out and hunting enemies and bosses. You will be fighting them not only with Blood Arts, but also your transforming Blade and Gun weapons. There are different weapon types for different types of attacks like short swords to great swords and rifles to sniper rifles. Your main goal is to find enemies and slay them. You also can use the devour system from previous games to steal skills from enemies and extract materials from fallen enemies.
Blood Arts are the biggest aspect that makes combat feel different from Resurrection. Everything else, from how swords and guns handle to using items and traps, is the same as before. You use OP when using guns and have to use melee weapons when you run out and still have a limited stamina gauge for running and dodging enemy attacks.
Another thing I want to talk about is the repetition that inevitably hits all Hunting RPGs. You’re going to have a lot of missions fighting the same enemies, and that’s a given considering the Hunting RPG formula. However, the game felt very repetitive from the get-go because it borrows a lot of resources from Resurrection, or rather, Resurrection borrowed a lot of resources from 2. It took a good bit of time in the game to find a battlefield that wasn’t recycled from previous games, and that made it feel repetitive from the very first few missions I took part in.
That’s not to say the game isn’t fun, because it is. It’s got all of the intense and strategy-heavy battles that the franchise is known for. If Resurrection hadn’t come out before Rage Burst in the West, we wouldn’t be having this conversation about recycled resources or a lack of brand-new features. I understand why they released Resurrection first because of the canon, but it really hurts Rage Burst in the long run.
Finally, let’s talk about length. Resurrection was a long game, easily covering 30-40 hours. Rage Burst is lengthy as well, but not as much so. It should only take you about 20-30 hours to clear the game, which is surprising, considering how much longer the first game was. It’s still got a good amount of length, but it’s something for you to think about.
The controls for this game are pretty easy to follow. First off, Rage Burst is fully compatible with the PlayStation TV. Like Resurrection before it, it utilizes not only the L3 and R3 buttons but also has features built in for the Dual Shock 4’s touchpad. It’s a really nice touch for those PSTV owners out there.
Now, the actual control scheme. The Left Analog Stick moves your character around and Right Analog moves the camera. D-Pad is used for moving around in menus. The L trigger is used for lock-in and R is used to change your weapon form. X lets you jump and Circle lets you pick up items while Square performs a weak attack and Triangle performs a strong attack.
It’s a pretty easy scheme to catch onto and the tutorial missions do a great job of explaining everything to you.
Visually, the game looks pretty nice. There are some jagged edges here and there on the character models (more noticeable when playing on the PSTV), but all in all, it looks pretty solid for a PS Vita title. It’s no Freedom Wars, but it’s close.
The only thing I will talk about is the audio quality of the game. For some reason, the audio compression on the voices in scenes and battle is really low. I had to almost completely mute sound effect and music volume with voice at the maximum just to try to understand what was being said in missions. It’s very different from how it was in Resurrection.
Performance, however, is pretty nice. Some load times may get up towards the 9-10 second area, but it stays within an acceptable range for a PS Vita title.
God Eater 2: Rage Burst is a fun and intense journey. It is unfortunate that it has audio compression and repetition issues from Resurrection’s release window and recycled environments, but that doesn’t stop this from being a good game for any Hunting fan.