Game Review: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Well being here in Hong Kong has left me with a lot of spare time, so when I’m not working or out at the local bars and arcadias with my friends I tend to spend a lot of time on my consoles (not that different from how I was in the U.K actually). That’s why I have decided to start reviewing the games I have been playing as a way to at least contribute something to the site, so onto the first game I will be reviewing Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann on the Nintendo DS….

Platform: Nintendo DS

Available: Far East only!

Well as most of you will know I am a huge fan of this anime series, so when I first heard of a game in the works I was already doing back flips for it. Add to the mix the fact it was being released the month I was arriving in Hong Kong and I was prepared to yank my own head off for it, so the second I saw it I bought it.

I purchased the special addition which comes with a short OVA, only adding to my excitement; this was a veritable holy grail of gaming for me and so I popped it into my DS and the opening intro was exactly what I wanted to see as it used scenes from the anime and also the music, but it was then it started to go wrong…

In my almost brain exploding excitement I stared the game only to see a strange looking Simon…umm… thing looking back at me, and I guessed I had to move him to some area to start the mecha madness! But no, I spend around 15 minutes talking to people in the village before it came to Kamina.

My eyes widened and all was forgiven, except yet more text that I promptly skipped. Now, I know that this game is some new hybrid jrpg…thing but the amount of text was starting to irritate me like a naruto fan boy, so I skipped again until I was looking at the Lagann and then would you guess it, more text! Yay…

All of a sudden I was thrown into combat, I woke up from my virtual valium overdose and jumped into action! The bottom screen was some sort of control panel with a few red buttons that you could tap with the styles to activate attacks and blue buttons that activate defensive moves or stat increasing skills, all of the attacks had a range radius forward, left and right and a close combat move you can see these ranges on your map located in the corner of the bottom screen.

Your enemies also have a limited range so you don’t have to worry about getting battered from miles away but here I met more irritation, your speed has 3 settings; walk, run and boost, now you try to get close to the enemy as fast as you can but go too fast for too long and you overheat…well that makes sense but tell me how a super robot can overheat in less than 5 seconds of boosting only left standing with several red lights blazing on the touch screen and sirens blazing as if to say YOU F***ED UP MATE!

Well, you beat the first enemy and go up to the surface; now copy-paste the last paragraph until you have enough pages to match the length of Marcel Proust, À la recherche du temps perdu, throw it across the room and pick it up once in a while and you will have an experience much like the game.

Saying that, as you move on you do get new moves and such, but its not really enough to pull you in, as all of the moves are just mini games in disguise.  As plus though, the animations are very nice and the sound is top quality, but it still isn’t enough to really make the game.

Saying all this about Gurren Lagann pains me slightly as it is my favorite anime ever made to date and I had really high expectations for it. Maybe one day someone will do the series justice aka super robot wars, but until then I hope I never say another bad thing about Gurren Lagann, for I shall take 3 vertebrae out of my spine, lean back, and eat my own ass!

So all in all I give it a 6/10.

It would be a must for anyone who can read Japanese as it contains A LOT of text and is pretty much a perfect retelling of the show and if your REALLY into mini games then give it a try, but if you’re a die hard fan of the show I feel you may be disappointed.

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