Game Review: Black★Rock Shooter The Game

So, now that I’m (technically) out of school, the only thing I have taking my time is work. Evidently, you can see that wont prevent me from rarely updating.

Anyway, here we are on another, super-delayed review, this time of an anime-based game that I have been looking forward to for years: Black★Rock Shooter The Game, available for PSN download on your handheld Sony gaming device.

As with all the B★RS merchandise, this game is unrelated to the previous installments (that is, the anime, OVA, and many manga). Instead of focusing on two worlds where B★RS is a conscience-like manifestation, the game focuses on a post-apocalyptic world where humanity is on the brink of extinction. As the humans lose hope, the so-called “Final Weapon” appears before them to save the human race: our main heroine, and title character, Black★Rock Shooter.

This game takes a surprising grasp on what the world would turn into if aliens and humans fought until both were at the brink of extinction. Being the last hope for humanity means a lot to your allies, which also means that they found time in their day and money in their budget to spring for a motorcycle and a stealth jet- built especially for you.

Black★Rock Shooter: The Game, takes an approach of basically everything from Parasite Eve’s last installment, 3rd Birthday; the basic plot outline, the grotesque and intriguing environments and enemies, and even the combat system, to an extent. Speaking of, it does have its own differences; B★RS combines the free-roam RPG environment with a Final Fantasy-like encounter system and a battle system crossed between Parasite Eve and (believe it or not) the hit-and-run system of Galaga.

The game is truly interesting, although the levels seem too easy at times (it’s easy to get an S rank if you replay one or two missions), and other times, it seems to try and apologize for it by putting you on a bike and throwing enemies at you. There are also in-game dialogue sequences, where every now and again you can respond with one of two answers- one usually gives B★RS a more serious, military personality, while the other shows off how little she knows, and adds to the little in-game comedy (such as Operation Piggy Ninja).

This was a short, very bad summation of a game that I played; in short, my opinion. If you disagree with my summation, score, or something else, you can shoot me a message, but I recommend that you post your frustration on some other site where it will be read. I just write these to express my personal beliefs, not what I think I know.

Without further ado, the scoring. My scoring system (which I though I used before, but can’t find) is on a five-level scale: Story, Art/Acting, Character, Playability, and Overall.

Story is the plot (what I’ve seen of the game so far), and how well I think it ties into the game, original concept, etc. Out of 5.

Art/Acting has two parts in itself, but is scored as one: the designs of the characters, environments, weapons, etc. is the Art, while the Acting (if any) is to determine how well actors fit into the character concept, and if they put feeling into their acting. Out of 5.

Character is how well the major characters fit into the game, or how focused the game was on character development. Out of 5.

Playability is how many times you can play the game before you get bored with it. Out of 5.

-Finally, Overall is, as you probably guessed, the overall score, factoring in the above scores, and my personal views and biases toward the game itself (or franchise). Out of 100.

Okay then, my scoring for Black★Rock Shooter: The Game (ESRB T, PSN) is as follows:

Story: 4.5/5
The story is very unique in that it takes a near-extinction world and a creative twist ending, but it still feels lacking when you see one enemy after another reveal their “hidden” motives.

Art/Acting: 5/5
I would give Art alone a 4/5 because of the poor cell shading and the lack of effort in generic enemy designs, but the environments are fun to roam, the voices are untouched in their Japanese glory, and the major characters all have their own personalities, all of which are affected in some way by the main character.

Character: 4/5
Basically the same reason as Art; there, but still missing some things. The game does focus on each of the major characters individually (not much, but it does), and does hint that you should try to develop relationships with these people before they die a gruesome and/or untimely death.

Playability: 3.5/5
To be honest, I never finished playing the game. After one or two repays of a second-chapter mission, you become stronger than most other enemies, and there’s very little consequence to losing if you save occasionally.

Overall Rating: 85.5/100
Although I had some complaints about the game, it remains a solid, good game with some quirky comedy that is guaranteed to make one chuckle, even despite the dire consequences in the story. I truly hope B★RS makes another console appearance, whether it’s in a new Black★Rock Shooter game, or as a cameo.


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