Tech Romancer (Arcade) review
"Capcom has always been a company to produce excellent and well known fighting games, like Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom. But every once in a while, the folks at Capcom will release a game that is released quietly and with little fanfare, and dies out without so much as a whisper. Tech Romancer is one of those games. Even though it never became a popular title like most other Capcom fighting games, this game is a fun alternative that will surely empty your pockets. Tech Romancer is a giant..."
Capcom has always been a company to produce excellent and well known fighting games, like Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom. But every once in a while, the folks at Capcom will release a game that is released quietly and with little fanfare, and dies out without so much as a whisper. Tech Romancer is one of those games. Even though it never became a popular title like most other Capcom fighting games, this game is a fun alternative that will surely empty your pockets. Tech Romancer is a giant robot fighting game in which you can choose from 8 different machines (11 if you count the unlockable ones), some of which are inspired by Japanese animes or other games, to duke it out against other robots in full 3D stages. With two different and unique game modes to choose from, you won't regret losing some quarters on this game.
The gameplay is rather linear with a very short learning curve. However, with a full 3D stage, 360 degree movement, and a variety of combos that must be precisely executed for effective damage, it will quickly become apparent just who is an expert and who is an ameteur. The game has only four main action buttons (as opposed to Capcom's usual six when it comes to fighting games), the Main Attack button, the Item Attack button, the Jump button, and the Defend Button. The challenge to the game is to make effective use of the first three buttons as part of a successful offensive drive, in the meantime dodgeing all of the enemies attacks so as to use the Defend button as little as possible.
The Main Attack button is the button with which all the combos and regular techniques are performed. Depending on the machine of the players choice, this button can do different things under different circumstances. However, it is generally used to launch a close range melee attack. When combined with the Jump button, the player can begin executing aerial combos and deal lots of devestation upon the opponent. The Item attack button, however, is a button less used, as most of the Item weapons are not only expendable (meaning they run out, and rather quickly), but they have little use in a heated situation. When these two attack buttons are combined along with special inputs on the joystick, a Super Attack is executed. If used correctly, a Super Attack can take up to 75 percent of an opponents Damage Bar. Finally, the last and ultimate form of attack in this game, the Final Attack. The Final Attack, as the name implies, is an attack that, if successful, will destroy the opponent, regardless of how much damage the opponent has accumulated. Not only that, it's really nice to look at, and the aftermath of the attack will leave any human opponent looking down in shame. The Final Attack however, cannot be executed until the game indicates you can.
The actual combat of the game is very different from the conventional fighting game. Immediatly noticeable differences include the Damage bar, which works backwards than the regular life bar (the Damage bar starts and zero percent, and when it builds up to 100, the robot is defeated), and the Armor meter. When the armor meter reaches zero, it is no longer possible to block without taking damage. Once you have all the basics down, you can truly start your Tech Romancer experience.
Once you select a machine from the 8 unique and diversified default robots (most likely you won't be playing at an arcade with the extra robots already unlocked), you will be prompted to a screen in which you select from one of the two game modes. The game modes are Story Mode and Hero Challenge Mode.
Story Mode allows you to follow the story of your selected robot's pilot (in some cases, the robots will have more than one selectable pilot). As you fight your way through the various battles, depending on the character, you'll eventaully run into a situation in which the player must make a choice or meet special conditions to cause the story to branch, meaning a different set of battles and a different ending depending on your choices and actions during combat. While some special conditions are easy to meet, some are truly extravagant (for example, during one of the robots stories, you can fight an extra battle by completing the second stage with the timer number ending in 7). All in all, you'll have to waste quite a large amount of quarters if you want to see all of the characters/robots various endings.
The other game mode available is Hero Challenge Mode. Hero Challenge Mode allows you to fight all of the games robots consecutively with any robot of your choosing (you don't get to fight all of the robots in the game during the course of Story Mode). While this mode is far more difficult than Story Mode, theres not much to say about, as you fight all the robots in a specific order, and there are no endings to see.
All in all, this is an excellent game to play. The most difficult part about it is actually finding an arcade that has this great title, or if you can spare the cash, buy the Dreamcast version, as it has alot more features than this one does. "Kikaioh! GO!"
Community review by gmsephiroth (January 02, 2006)
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