The “Denpa” Men: They Came By Wave Review
The “Denpa” Men: They Came By Wave Box Art
System: 3DS
Dev: Genius Sonority Inc.
Pub: Nintendo
Release: September 27, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: N/A Mild Fantasy Violence

The thing is, the dungeon areas are painfully average. There are no puzzles or challenge to them. There's no risk of getting lost. So long as one keeps moving forward, the boss will eventually be reached. While each does at least look unique and has multiple floors, it's hardly thrilling exploring each floor; the only reason I found to roam every hall was the hope of perhaps finding a treasure chest.

The “Denpa” Men: They Came By Wave Screenshot

Fortunately, the battles more than make up for the extraordinarily ordinary dungeons. The "Denpa" Men: They Came By Wave takes a cue from games like Earthbound and has crazy foes like the anthropomorphic Corn Critter attacking alongside JRPG staples like bats and bearwolves. It also offers a streamlined form of the turn-based battles we know and love. When "Denpa" Men unleash physical attacks on foes, they run up as a giant mob and start wailing on foes. Unless they're using special abilities, you don't have to wait for characters to move one at a time.

Even the battle controls seem designed to save players time. You can pick out every character's actions for each battle if you'd like, as usual with turn-based battles. You can also choose one of two auto-battle options with the press of Y or X. Pressing X directs the "Denpa" Men to use only physical attacks while the Y allows them to use skills at their discretion. The "Denpa" Men: They Came By Wave is one of the few RPGs where I trust the computer's judgment when it comes to skill usage. It's perfectly capable of choosing the right time to use buffing or debuffing abilities, and is especially savvy when it comes to healing. It will automatically heal the character with the lowest hit points during a round and if someone is knocked out in the midst of a round and you have a character with the Revive ability, he will automatically use it that same turn.

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The "Denpa" Men is wonderful for another reason, as it's the perfect example of a bite-sized JRPG. The catching expeditions and breezy battles can be enjoyed at length or in brief sessions, making it one of the best time-sinks currently available in the 3DS eShop. It's well worth the $9.99 entry fee, and I'd expect many people will keep playing long after the King of Evil is vanquished in the hopes of befriending every kind of "Denpa" Man.

By Jenni Lada
CCC Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.7
Graphics
I can't decide if the "Denpa" Men are horribly grotesque or cute. They've got character, I'll give them that. As does most of the rest of the game, since you're battling giant ears of corn and your in-game shop is shaped like a loaf of bread.
4.0
Control
If you've ever played an RPG in your life, you'll know exactly what to do. Although, I'd have liked the option to press the shoulder buttons to launch a "Denpa"-catching net.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The soundtrack was composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto of Final Fantasy Tactics fame and is pleasant enough, but I doubt you'll be humming these tunes days after playing.
4.8
Play Value
Searching out "Denpa" Men is ridiculously addictive, and the turn-based battles move fast enough to keep level-grinding from becoming an exercise in mediocrity.
4.0
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Different types of "Denpa" Men are location-specific.
  • There are many types of "Denpa" Men, some are quite rare.
  • You can find and catch new characters anytime, anywhere.
  • Captured characters become characters in the game.


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