I put up a Youtube video here, if you’re interested. It gets cut off though, since I ran out of HD space for recording. Also, excuse the poor playing.
Way, way back, over half a year ago, I put up a quick review in my now defunct former blog of the Trial Edition Alpha of Es. In Comiket73, 9thNight came out with the next trial, which does leave me wondering when the real thing’s gonna come out. But enough of that. What exactly are the marked differences between the Alpha and the Beta?
First of all, a “story” of sorts has been placed; probably to give some sort of premise as to why a girl with a giant bayonet and photon cannon is flying around, blowing up robots. Apart from that, graphics have been somewhat improved; textures have more detail, some objects have higher polygon counts and look smoother overall, along with some other things. Pad support has been improved as well, though I really have no point of comparison, since I used the keyboard in the Trial Alpha. The interface has been slightly changed as well, with a few meters getting moved, and some other parts removed.
Another new feature would be the addition of the ability to modify Es with parts, weapons, and abilities. Currently, there are the Homing Missiles and Shield for weapons/parts, and the Double Boost (basically double-jump), Auto Recovery, and the Reflector as abilities. The Shotgun and Photon Bomb (technically the machine gun and cannon, respectively) and of course, your bayonet cum sword have already been provided for you. The last other radical changes would of course, be the addition of a single new stage, as well as save/load functions to keep progress and clear data.
The game’s been compared a lot with Zone of the Enders, which, because it came out early in the PS2’s life, I haven’t had the chance to play, so I have no preconceptions of the game. It’s a very simple game at heart – Start from point A, go to point B, blow everything up, proceed to point C, repeated several times. This makes the game rather simple to work with, but can easily bore most people who aren’t obsessed with keeping a perfect chain, getting a high score, and so on. This ends up making the game unbelievably fast-paced, as you’ll be racing between each point, taking care not to break that wonderful 80,000 chain you have going. Timing and proper chains and combos, as well as reflexes, are all well rewarded in the game, giving you more points; thus, more credits to upgrade Es with. After this, it’s off to your next mission, destroying more enemies in some nicely done 3D graphics.
Unfortunately, while the game’s graphics may look a bit more polished, but it still looks rather plain. A lot of buildings, roads, and towers litter the landscape with little else in it. The pad’s controls are a bit unintuitive, as weapons are distributed over the entire right side, rather than sharing some with the left shoulder buttons. Skills are also very, very important, if one wants to get a decent score – crucial to getting proper upgrades and parts. However, it is a fun game and doesn’t require too much thought to play. It may be graphically bland, mindlessly repetitive, and absolutely boring at one point or another, but for those who find it fun, who cares? And besides, one doesn’t always get the chance to play as a girl with a photon cannon.
PS: By the way, the reason why only stage one got capped was because I played this on the pad while manually capping with the keyboard. God, it is hard.