Busting with… Personality
Judging from the name alone, when I first picked up Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier, I was expecting a mecha-style fighter with some trace RPG elements. However, my expectations couldn’t have been more wrong. Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier is actually a sci-fi RPG that features a rat pack of space pirates and androids… and a lot of girly jokes.
If you’re an anime fan, you are probably aware of the Tenchi Muyo series as well as the Cowboy Bebop series. They are classics, and this title plays like a great hybrid of both. Although the story can get quite muddled at times, the core plot revolves around a space pirate’s discovery of an alternate universe that is sending plagues of crystals through space. These crystals kill off entire worlds at a time, and although our main character paints himself as a lazy, lady-loving cowboy, he eventually decides to investigate and eliminate this imminent threat. However, this decision is not entirely chivalrous. Joining our hero is a veritable harem of busty companions who have their own reasons for wanting to eliminate this new multi-dimensional threat. These voluptuous honeys vary in race and species, but they all seem to share a common interest in the main character as well as a common distaste for clothing.
Even though there are plenty of sci-fi elements to the story, the bulk of the dialogue revolves around witty remarks between the main character and the various females. The game is not overtly sexual, but there are plenty of double-entendres and one-offs to keep you chuckling. Statements like “Wake up, Sleeping Booty” and “Someone with such a large chest shouldn’t cry” are just a few samples of the dialogue you can expect to see in the game. While it isn’t the most high-brow kind of humor, it is mostly inoffensive and I definitely laughed my way through this title.
Aside from the side-splitting humor, the gameplay here is not that bad either. Endless Frontier is built on a very basic RPG structure that places you in dungeon-like settings, each with a boss at the end and an important plot point. On your way to this all-important battle, you will need to solve environmentally-based puzzles (normally involving switches or elevators) and will engage in random battles. The whole experience feels very old-school, which is a good thing for RPG enthusiasts. However, it all changes when you get to the battle system.
The battle system in Endless Frontier is a lot like more modern RPGs, blending turn-based play with active battle elements. Each character has a COM level at the beginning of a turn, which determines how many actions they can take during the turn. These actions can include using items and using special spirit powers that let you change stats and replace lost HP/SP.
After you are done healing, however, you’ll want to attack. In order to successfully attack an enemy, you’ll have to equip simple attacks using a battle screen. Each character starts off with one or two, but many more will be unlocked as you go along. These attacks must be equipped in sets of five, allowing for the ability to link chained attacks. When you are ready to unleash your attacks, you can engage them by repeatedly pressing the A button on the DS. The amount of attacks you can get in is directly tied to your COM level. So, if for instance, your COM is down to 15, you’ll only be able to get in 2-3 hits. But if you have 60 COM, you’ll be able to get a good 4-5 hits in. In addition to the regular attacks, you can also build up a Frontier gauge, which allows you to unleash devastating finishing attacks.
The battle system really succeeds here because it is quite deep despite having a core button mashing mechanic. Planning the attacks, chaining together different moves, and using your COM strategically really makes each battle feel unique. Even if you are just trolling and grinding, battle never feels boring, which is definitely a problem with longer RPGs.
Technically this title is a mixed bag. Visuals are really good and feature highly detailed sprites. As you can imagine, the female sprites have more “enhancements” than the main male character, and the amount of flesh tone is staggering. In addition to the sprite models, there are also anime-stylized animations that play during special attack scenes. These scenes are incredibly well done, very sharp, and well-detailed. The only area where the visuals falter is in the environmental arena. Most areas are very drab and feature a bit too many repeated elements. Still, the visuals overall are very nice.
However, sound in this game is not as impressive. One thing that really bugged me here was the lack of an English voiceover. While I almost always prefer the Japanese voiceover to the English, not having an option is not fair to those who enjoy hearing the dialogue in English. This is especially annoying during battle sequences, as the dialogue is not subtitled, and unless you know basic Japanese, you won’t know what is going on.
Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier is a very interesting game that I thoroughly enjoyed. I never picked up the Game Boy Advance versions, primarily because I had a very poor impression of the game just from the title. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong about what this game is. If you are a fan of the RPG genre, you definitely should check this game out. As long as you don’t mind the double-entendre-ridden dialogue or incessant dirty jokes, you’ll have a good time with this game and probably laugh a lot along the way.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 4.1 Graphics
Sprites and environments are nicely detailed, and animated attack sequences look great. 3.8 Control
The button-mash intensive battle system works well, but I wish there was a stylus option for the battle configuration mode. 2.6 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Music is a little on the repetitive side, and the absence of an English voiceover may be a turnoff for some. 4.0
The humor is what really kept me going through this title, though the semi-active battle system was also very entertaining. It’s not the longest RPG, but there is plenty here to enjoy.
3.9 Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.