God Eater Resurrection Review

2016-07-11-022801

Title: God Eater Resurrection
Developer: Bandai Namco
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Game Type: Vita
Download:  3.0 GB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download (Available August 2016)
PSTV Support: 
Yes

God Eater is a franchise that started back in the PSP gen but has never ceased to fail to gather fan after fan in the handheld world.  From the original God Eater to God Eater 2 in Japan to the game we’re going to review today.  When you get into discussions about hunters, a lot of PSP and Vita fans will talk and say such great things about the God Eater franchise, along with distaste towards the misspelling of the first game in the West, called Gods Eater instead of God Eater.

The PS Vita has been quite fortunate with this franchise as it can play every God Eater game that’s been made.  From the PSP original and “Burst” release to God Eater 2, the “Rage Burst” expansion of GE2, and the remake of the first game, God Eater fans have a lot to love on Sony’s handheld console.

The remake is what we are going to talk about today.  Not long ago, the most recent game in the series, “Resurrection”, released on the Vita and PS4 in the west.  A remake of the original game, here is my review of God Eater: Resurrection!

Story

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The sad case for most plots of hunters

Since this is a remake of the first game, it follows the same story.  The Earth has become a warzone.  Some time before the beginning of the game, strange biological creatures called Arigami evolved and appeared, attacking humanity.  What resulted was in humankind’s near-extinction, with the remaining population living in protected walls made by the Fenrir Military unit.  Think of it like Attack on Titan’s plot idea, but with far less human population remaining.

In the time since their appearance, humans have developed weapons that use the same kind of cells that make up Arigami that bond with their users, known as “God Arcs”.  People compatible with these are known as “God Eaters” and are sent on missions to take down Arigami to collect resources and protect citizens as a project is underway to build a stronger fortifying position to protect against them.

This is a remake of God Eater Burst, which was an expanded release of God Eater.  As such, all of the bonus story areas from Burst are here, and Resurrection has even further story expansion in order to bridge the events of God Eater and God Eater 2.

The story, itself, says pretty interesting throughout and comes by on occasion.  The story isn’t nonexistent like in Ragnarok Odyssey but not as heavy like in Freedom Wars.  I call it a happy medium to let you focus on missions and get a good amount of story.

Gameplay

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One of the few hunting games with proper jumping and aerial combat

Just like the original, God Eater Resurrection is a 3D Hunting RPG with mild shooting elements thrown into the mix.  You’ll be spending your missions running around 3D environments and using various weapons to attack enemies in groups.  If you’re familiar with the original, you’ll know what’s up here as well.

Since this is a remake, the first order of business is to go over what’s different between Burst and Resurrection.  The base game is the same, but the gameplay has been enhanced.  New weapon types from God Eater 2 have been included as well as new attacks for bosses, influenced by their behavior in the second game.  There have also been Predator Styles for devouring (which I will detail later) and a lot of balancing that changes the difficulty of the game.  All of these are relatively minor, though.  All in all, it’s basically an HD remake with gameplay enhancements from its sequel.

Like most Hunters, you create a custom character when you start the game.  After, you’re introduced to your base of operations where you can customize your character, upgrade and buy equipment, talk to characters and start story events, buy items from shops, and go on missions.  You will mostly just use the terminal for equipment and front desk for missions, though.

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There’s not a giant number of options, but plenty to choose from

As above, the terminal is used for customization, which is beyond just making equipment.  It can do much more than that.  First of all, you can use materials you’ve gathered from missions to upgrade your equipment to increase its stats or turn it into a completely new weapon.  You can also craft new equipment from weapons to shields to new outfits and even stat changes you can equip your character with.  Later on, you also are able to equip your weapons with special skills.

You can also customize NPCs here.  On each mission, you can take AI characters with you to assist in combat, and they all have special abilities.  Beyond what they come with, you can create and add extra abilities, like giving their attacks special effects like poison or paralyze, or the ability to power up other characters around them when their health gets low.

There’s a lot to swallow in the form of customization, but it is all introduced to you in a very balanced and slow pace, offering tutorial hints as well as time for you to get used to each feature before introducing the next.

When you’re out on missions, we see the first unique aspect of God Eater.  In combat, you will have 2 different weapons that your weapon can transform into.  You can use a melee weapon and a firearm.  You also have several different types like short swords for quick attacks and buster swords for slow, powerful attacks and guns ranging from close-range Shot-gun weapons to long-range Sniper weapons.  Remember switching between swords and guns in Freedom Wars?  God Eater is likely where the Freedom Wars developers got that idea.

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Predator Styles are truly a god-send for fighting quicker bosses

The second unique aspect is Devouring enemies.  A God Arc is like a living weapon that can eat at enemies, offering you materials from killed enemies or the ability to steal abilities from enemies still alive, letting you use your guns to fire off their special attacks right back at them.  Resurrection introduces Predator Styles that allow for more acrobatic and quicker devouring that make battles a bit more manageable.

Past this is using bullet types in combat.  God Eater has a large focus on elemental weaknesses, so you’ll have to switch what types of bullets you use depending on what enemy you’re fighting or even what part of a boss you’re currently targeting.  You don’t have to, but it could be the difference between a normal Sniper Bullet doing 80 damage per shot and a Freeze Sniper Bullet doing 300 damage per shot.

As you’d expect, this promotes strategy in combat.  This is in combination with body parts and Oracle Points for your guns.  Most Hunting games have a focus on attacking body parts.  Toukiden takes this to the point of actually destroying limbs.  God Eater implements this into armor.  Every boss has weak spots where you can do normal and critical damage.  Then you have the fact that firearms now use a large about of OP (Oracle Points) when fired.  This means that once you run out, your firearm becomes useless until you attack them with melee weapons to build it back up.

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Those few missions where the game forces you to have a small party, and still winning

This is a lot to read and swallow, but it works pretty well together.  However, the balancing done to Resurrection does cause for some concern to non-hardcore Hunting fans.  Firearm bullets now take a significant amount of OP, which makes the strategy bigger, but also makes a lot of boss fights last a lot longer.  I’ve had save files for both Resurrection and Burst at similar areas and sniper bullets in Burst barely lower the OP gauge, while in Resurrection, the same bullets lower it by almost 30%.

I’m all for difficulty in games, but this makes the battles a lot longer and more tedious.  Missions go from spending 4-5 minutes on a boss to spending 15-20 minutes on a boss, depending on your level of skill.  The game is still undoubtedly fun for a Hunting RPG, but when you start fighting several bosses in a mission that all take forever to down, it starts to feel a little tedious.

With length, we’re still looking at 30-40 hours, like Burst.  You could arguably add a lot more to it due to the balancing I mentioned above along with all the new story they added to help bridge the plots of God Eater and God Eater 2.  Still, it’s going to be a nice time-sink, especially for $19.99.

Controls

Bandai Namco deserves huge props for the control scheme of Resurrection, most notably how it works on the PSTV.  First of all, L3 and R3 have special functions on the PSTV, but they even went as far as to accommodate for the Dual Shock 4’s touch pad.  There are special features for the map that can be done with the DS4 touchpad completely outside of the actual touch controls you can enable for the game.

Now, aside from this, you move with the Left Analog Stick and can move the camera with the D-Pad and Right Analog Stick.  The L trigger is used to center the camera and the R trigger is used for dashing and switching weapon types in the field.  X is used for jumping and Circle for interacting with items.  Square is used for attacking normally, and Triangle is used for powerful attacks.  Finally, you can use the Select button to pull up the item and command menu and Start for the map menu.

As fluent as the controls are, the R trigger in the default control scheme gets on my nerves.  Tapping R changes weapons, so if you just let go for a second before holding to run, your character changes their weapon in mid-run and you go into combat, expecting to slash with a sword and end up stalling from a gun out of ammunition.

Presentation

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Such a tense scene.  I couldn’t keep it from popping up in this review

The visuals were one of the most noticeable things that got upgraded.  Even for the PSP, God Eater Burst looked really grainy and had a ton of jagged edges that shouldn’t have been there.  Resurrection is much more polished and looks that much smoother whether you’re playing on the Vita or the big screen with the PSTV.

Load Times are much improved but there is the occasional frame drop that can plague the larger bosses and groups of bosses.  When you’re in combat and a particularly huge boss corners your group in a small area, the game will have some frame drops when all characters are in the middle of attacking.  This is more prominent when you have multiple large bosses on you at once (which happens a lot more than you would hope.  The bosses love to gang-bang you, in a very painful way).

Summary

God Eater: Resurrection has a lot more polish and some useful gameplay changes to the original formula.  It still has faults through frame drops when being ganged up on by large bosses, a problem with the default control scheme, and balancing that makes repetitive missions even more tedious than before.  But, it is give and take and quite enjoyable, even if it’s just for the story.   

7/10

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