THERE are all sorts of video games today. We’ve seen original creations that are only available via video games and there are also adaptations based on materials from a different medium.
Today, I am reviewing a game based on one of the most popular Japanese anime series of all-time called Gintama Rumble.
SAMURAIS VS ALIENS
Long ago, the nation was known as the Land of the Samurai. That was until Edo (Feudal Japan) was invaded by aliens known as the Amanto. They took over Edo as well as the world, being a major part of the Earth as much as the humans are.
The legendary samurais were very few in number due to the public ban on carrying or owning weapons, and they were stripped down to just being ordinary folk.
The game follows the story of protagonist, Gintoki Sakata, a war hero who is now running a company doing odd jobs along with his trusty associate Kagura, a girl from the strongest alien species in the world. They are joined by Shinpachi Shimura, a boy who’s passionate about the way of the sword.
Together, they’re tossed into plenty of wacky and chaotic situations all over Edo, with some of them determining the fate of the universe itself. Gintama Rumble allows players to relive the entire anime series with cutscenes and battles up to the very final arc in the anime.
It recreates pivotal moments in the series with surprising accuracy and even includes some scenes to make you feel like you’re actually going through the anime again.
SIMPLE GAME LAYOUT
In Gintama Rumble, you only have two game modes to play: Gintama Chronicles and Gintama Free Battle.
For Gintama Chronicles, you follow the game’s storyline from beginning until the end, playing the character that is being focused on for each particular arc. This will see you playing protagonist Gintoki Sakata at one point and other characters such as policeman Toshiro Hijikata for the Baragaki story arc.
Gintama Free Battle allows you to play any stage using any character you like. For the most part, each chapter will have a set of cutscenes detailing the story arc with images ripped straight from the anime series as well as the actual battle itself.
If you are an avid fan of the series, there’s nothing new here to take note of, which is a good thing as Bandai Namco allows you to skip through if you wish to do so. You will then head straight to the battle portion of the chapter.
Prior to entering the battlefield, you will be sent to an intermission menu where you can begin preparing your character before the battle. This includes important matters, such as equipping coins to boost your characters’ parameters or giving them unique abilities, levelling up the characters’ parameters, taking note of the characters’ skills and going through the mission’s objective.
The idea here is to use the intermission menu as a means of formulating a strategy before going to battle. You will know the layout of the map as well as what sort of enemy you are expected to face here. This will enable you to customise your character accordingly.
It’s also important to take note of the achievements you can accomplish in the intermission menu here as it will determine how well you’ve succeeded in each mission. Once you’re all set, you will then be sent to the battlefield.
As soon as the battle commences and you are able to move, you will then realise how it eerily reminds you of another particular game.
If you’re thinking of the hack and slash-based Dynasty Warriors series from Koei Tecmo, you are absolutely right.
The idea here is that you will be going against hordes of enemies while trying to complete the mission’s objective.
Your character has a health bar, a special attack gauge, a coin-shaped icon indicating your support attack status, a kill counter on the bottom right, and a map of the stage on the top right.
The premise here is simple; attacks will fill up your special attack gauge, your support attack can be used every time it’s not on cool down and you have to avoid getting your health knocked down to zero.
Oddly enough, it doesn’t seem like there are a big variety of attacks that you can execute and this is especially apparent when you’re using a low-level character. You have a light attack that can be chained into a combo attack if pressed repeatedly, a heavy attack which can deal more damage albeit at a slower pace, and a Hurricane attack which serves no purpose other than a flashy counterattack and to shorten the distance between you and an enemy.
There is also the Awakening command, which makes your character stronger and faster, and if the Awakening meter maxes out in this state, you’ll be able to pull off a signature move which deals a lot of damages. In other words, there’s nothing much to do besides button mashing, which can make the game feel rather repetitive.
Another important thing to note is how awkward moving around in the game feels. For starters, you can’t have your character immediately running as it has to walk first before it changes to running.
This can severely impact how you plan on approaching enemies as you will find yourself unintentionally getting too close to an enemy and be the victim of punishing attacks. You also can’t just walk through enemies either, which can make time-limited events unnecessarily frustrating.
It is still enjoyable to beat up waves after waves of enemies using your favourite characters but with these minor drawbacks, it’s hard to get immersed in the game as you will find yourself stuck in the quirks of the game.
Gintama Rumble is a game that is only intended for fans of the series. For most parts, there is nothing new here and it’s just a way for fans to relive the anime series through the game. The gameplay seemed to have been modelled after the Dynasty Warriors series but with how quirky the movement system is as well as the limited move set each character has, the game can feel rather stale and repetitive very quickly.
It managed to recreate some of the most iconic moments from the anime series with incredible accuracy but the actual gameplay portion of it makes it hard to truly enjoy the game. Had the game developer managed to make a carbon copy of Dynasty Warriors combat system, it would definitely make the game much better. With that in mind, I give Gintama Rumble a four out of a 10 in ratings.