Eureka Seven - Vol 1: The New Wave Review
Eureka Seven - Vol 1: The New Wave box art
System: PS2 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Namco Bandai 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Namco Bandai 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov 2006 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
Review by Cole 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
After playing this, I doubt there really were "eureka moments" 1 through 6.
by Cole Smith

Eureka Seven Vol 1: The New Wave is bound to annoy everyone at some point. Expect giant mech lovers to stomp their massive feet right through the floorboards.

Eureka Seven - Vol 1: The New Wave screenshot

Hopefully by reading this review I can save you some frustration and most importantly, some money. All but the most dedicated of Eureka Seven fans will hope to get anything out of this meager offering. It’s hard to even begin with the bad news since there are quite a few issues that are vying for top place. I’ll begin with the gameplay. There’s not much of it. This entire game is more or less an interactive cartoon. There are tons of cutscenes that can’t be skipped. You’ll be doing more watching than playing. The story takes place before the events featured in the anime show. You won’t be following the exploits of Renton Thurston. You’ll only run into a couple of familiar characters but they are relegated to making cameo appearances. The graphics of the cutscenes vary from good to poor as many are rendered using the in-game engine. There are voiceovers but the game is not fully voiced. There is plenty of text to read but even the most ardent of fans will be forced into speed-reading mode since a lot of the onscreen text disappears before you can read it all. And you can’t pause or replay it without reloading it.

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If you’re a fan of Eureka Seven, you’re going to have to make some sacrifices for your love of the show. If you want to grasp everything this game is offering you’ve got some work ahead of you. At least you will know what to expect – and what not to expect. I will be honest. I don’t watch the show on a regular basis and I couldn’t be bothered to reload the game to re-read the parts of the storyline that I missed. It seems to jump around all over the place, especially when it jumps to text and I’m supposed to remember the names of all of the characters that I wasn’t paying attention to in the first place. I might forget a name but I’ll never forget a metal-etched face. I’m sure that most of you, even fans, will find this story hard to follow since it’s introducing characters that you’ve never heard of previously. Only those interested in the pre-history of the series will want to go through the pains of finding out all this back history. Bragging rights in the schoolyard. I don’t do recess – I’m old enough to be the principal.

Eureka Seven - Vol 1: The New Wave screenshot

Regardless of age, if you’re an avid gamer chances are that you have a soft spot for giant fighting mechs. How badly can someone screw up a fighting mech videogame? Well the fighting aspect of the gameplay isn’t bad, there’s just not enough of it. And the fighting that we do get to take part in could stand a lot more depth. But by the time that one finally gets around to fighting, they will be so appreciative that they will take whatever they’re offered. It’s only after you’ve stopped playing the game that you realize just how shallow it is.

The hero in this game is your stereotypical anime teenager that is torn between his duty and his raging hormones. Sumner Sturgeon falls in love with a girl who spins his head around so that he eschews his responsibilities at the New Wave Academy where he is trained in mech warfare. He becomes a great mech pilot and eventually joins the underground to impress this girl. It’s all really cheesy stuff that I hope I never have to sit through again. If only there was a way to fast forward those damn cutscenes.

The mechs are huge, mobile tanks capable of great destruction. They are called LFOs and operate in robot and vehicle mode. In robot mode they can walk, jump and jet jump as well as shoot various upgradeable weapons such as machine guns and rocket launchers. They can also take part in melee combat by throwing various punches around. Vehicle mode lets these LFOs operate more like traditional tanks. While they do have better speed they don’t have great offensive capabilities and they are somewhat difficult to maneuver.

Eureka Seven - Vol 1: The New Wave screenshot

Most of the time you’ll want to play in robot mode. It’s so much more versatile but it’s not without its problems. The AI is not very intelligent, at least from a ranged distance as they just stand around waiting to be hit. Other times they will be stuck behind obstacles. Amateur pilots. But when performing melee combat you’ll notice that they have great blocking skills. While you can lock-on to an enemy you may find that it’s not a wise decision during melee combat since you will usually be swarmed by other hostile AI that will be able to take pot shots at you while you’re trying to destroy the targeted AI. Ranged combat is usually the best but only in robot mode.

Pilots can come out of their LFOs and engage in combat much like the robot. There is hand-to-hand melee combat and ranged combat in which you’ll use a variety of weapons including a sniper rifle, machine gun and missile launcher. As with the LFOs, these weapons can be upgraded to increase their destructive capabilities. The pilots also enjoy doing a little bit of “lifting” with their ref-boards. It’s basically gravity-defying air surfing on a hoverboard. You’ll navigate the kids around obstacles while they search out the coveted Trapar waves that give them an energy boost. The boards can pull off some stunts such as flips and turns but these moves are limited. As interesting as this feature sounds, the lack of a deep control system and the relative short time that you get to ride these boards, it never really gets off the ground. Pardon the pun.

The cutscenes take away a lot of the potential fun in this game. Exploration, interaction and other fun elements are all done via cutscenes, or worse yet, text. The only time you really get your hands dirty is during the battles. They take place in enclosed arenas, often surrounded by invisible walls that prevent you from exploring the environment any further. You do get to do some exploring but it’s mostly a linear frolic from one battle scene to the next.

Eureka Seven - Vol 1: The New Wave screenshot

The cutscenes that aren’t generated by the in-game graphics engine look good but a few things are consistent. Some of the animations are fluid while others are stiff and jerky. The colors are vibrant and the art style is actually an improvement on the anime. In-game you will encounter slowdown when there are several mechs onscreen and the overall quality of the graphics is poor. There is also lots of inopportune loadings which interrupt the flow of the game – or the flow of the relentless cutscenes. The sound effects of the weapons are very good but the repetitive, Planetarium synth music wears thin after a short while.

Eureka Seven Vol 1: The New Wave is not terrible considering that this is its debut. It’s got a long way to go, and I haven’t even ragged on the fact that there are no multi-player modes. I may not be so nice when it comes to Volume 2. Average. At best.

Features:

  • High-powered robots: Featuring LFO machines that transform from robot mode to vehicle mode!
  • Mind-boggling board riding action: Sharpen your board riding skills to complete 360 degree turns, ollies, carving, and aerial tricks!
  • Multiple combat options: Action-based storyline featuring melee, vehicular, and weapon-based combat!
  • Prequel to the animation: Unfold the events leading up to the Eureka Seven anime series!

    By Cole Smith
    CCC Senior Writer

    Rating out of 5
    Rating Description

    2.5

    Graphics
    Inconsistent graphics. The game toggles between the two engines to deliver a mixed bag.

    2.5

    Control
    The controls are good but there's just not enough depth to them, even for an arcade style game.

    3.2

    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    The voiceovers are good but there could be a lot more dialog. The sound effects are good and while the music isn't bad it could stand some variation.

    1.1

    Play Value
    The only reason I can think of to replay this game is to read some of the quickly disappearing text.

    2.5

    Overall Rating - Average
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images

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