Dreamcast - Armada February 16, 2006
In this self proclaimed space epic, you choose between several races bent on destroying the evil insect like “Armada”. The gameplay involves an over head view of the galaxy as you fly between locations completing missions along the way. Your home base serves as a repair facility and is also where you will be briefed for your next mission by way of conversations with other pilots milling around the planet. People often compare this game to “Asteroids” due to the similarities in the combat but that is where the similarities begin and end.
The combat is old school arcade action but there are also role playing elements in the game as well. As you continue to fight the Armada and complete missions you will gain both experience and credits along the way. You will rise in level as will the capabilities of your craft. With the credits you can buy various upgrades for your vehicle and often mission success depends on finding the right upgrade at the right time. This brings me to my first issue with this game; while you can upgrade your weapons to make the shots faster or more powerful, there is really only one basic type of weapon in the game. It would have been nice to have some variety as pummeling the Armada in the same manner gets old rather quickly.
The missions are not varied enough either. They basically fall into one of three categories: escort, delivery of goods (which are way too easy) or destroy an Armada mother ship of sorts. The last mission type can be challenging and it is rather satisfying once you destroy the target and complete the mission. However, like I mentioned before, there just isn’t enough variety in this game. A player is either going to love this repetitive gameplay or get bored rather quickly. I was somewhere in between.
You would think a game of this nature would have a story to tell but alas, there really isn’t one. During the game as you interact with your fellow pilots as they blurt out nonsense after nonsense which of course, doesn’t add up to a cohesive story. I am not a huge fan of cut scenes but if there was ever a game that needed one or two, this is it. The story from the beginning is basically “go kill the Armada because that is what we have always done” and it never really changes.
You may get the idea that I didn’t enjoy this game at all but that’s not it. I did enjoy this game for what it was worth but some people will have you believing that this game deserves legendary status and I just don’t see it. This is an average game with some interesting elements but the lack of variety and the repetitive gameplay really drag it down. The manual says that you could play this game forever (since, of course, there is no real ending) but I am not sure if you would want to try!
Next Review: Dreamcast - MDK2