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Gotcha Force Package Art
†GENRE
††Action
†DEVELOPER
††Production Studio 1
†PUBLISHER
††Capcom
†NUMBER OF PLAYERS
††1-4
†CONNECTIVITY
††no
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Gotcha Force

New stuff comes around every once in a while and itís usually Capcom who takes the risk in bringing it to us. Gotcha Force is a title that comes practically straight from Japan with its strangely addictive, yet quirky gameplay. It also shows its Japanese-inspired charm, sometimes by the bucket loads. Whatís it like, though? Think something along the lines of Pokemon meets Robotech meets Micro Machines. Is this really what weíve been waiting for? It may not be as revolutionary, or as fun, as Capcomís own Viewtiful Joe, but it has a few things going for it that may turn it into a multiplayer cult classic. Other than that, youíll just have to see how well youíll take the bait.

visuals

Gotcha Force shares its visual stylings with the high-resolution titles of yesteryear. Itís not to say that it looks bad, it just doesnít look good. The low polygon count on each borg is less than flattering, but the colors are bright and the design has plenty of flavor. What else is there to say about the visuals other than the fact that the camera is one of the best in this type of high tension, fast-paced action. Itís easy to maneuver your way around with such a great, flowing camera. Thankfully, the development team at Capcom has plenty of experience, but this is easily one of their best non-fixed camera systems available. If it werenít for the exceedingly average visuals, Capcom could easily have had another Viewtiful Joe.

audio

Have you ever heard voice acting and a soundtrack that gave you so many cavities that you need several root canals? Well, after evaluating the sounds that Gotcha Force had to offer, youíll come to the conclusion that youíre much better off with headphones once you get back from the dentist. The sound effects are average at best and donít offer anything more than the usual laser gunfire and repetitive explosions. If you really want to go into it, just listen to the voice acting. The usual Japanese flair is there and itíll make you wince for the next week or two. Most of the lines are only punctuated with a high-pitched ďHI!Ē or ďLetís GO!Ē or ďAiiiiii!Ē Sorry to say, but the days of cute, anime-inspired vocal contributions are long past.

And letís not even talk about the soundtrack now. The high tempo beats and repetitive rhythms will make me want to throw in a Dead or Alive album faster than you can say ďRight round, round, round.Ē

gameplay

Youíll travel through sections of the map fighting on miniature battlefields with your miniature robot friends. Sometimes youíll be fighting a force of units that double, triple, or even completely outnumber your own numbers. Essentially the combat is extremely reminiscent of Capcomís old fighter, Power Stone, on the Dreamcast. It isnít necessarily a surprise since the visual engine has many similarities as well. The frantic, fast-paced action serves as an excellent distraction from other action titles, but doesnít stand well enough on its own. While collecting and unlocking each individual borg is entertaining and certainly provides enough of a challenge, weíre talking about 15-20 hours of working on this with a payoff that just isnít worth that kind of time. After working your way through the story mode, there isnít any replay value at all other than the sub-standard multiplayer mode.

The controls are easy enough to pick up since youíre really going to be using just a handful of buttons while in combat and mostly just arrow key motions throughout the entire interface. The presentation of the interface is a little jumbled when you get into managing your force of borgs and your entire collection as well. The element of strategy in this area is much needed as anything else that didnít feature this sort of micro management would be completely uncalled for and probably not worth anyoneís time at all. If you were looking forward to Gotcha Force, youíll probably enjoy it so you should certainly check it out. Others who havenít even heard of it should heed the advice of others before venturing into the darker waters.

multiplayer

Getting together with a few fans of the game and battling it out with each othersí forces can be very fun, but there just isnít a whole lot here thatíll make this game another Super Smash Bros Melee. If you and a couple of friends are really into the game and spend your hard earned time, you could go into an all out mini-Armored Core style match which could prove to provide several dozens of replay hours. That's all if you can stand the significantly brutal hit to the framerate. I highly recommend it for anyone who is into it, but if you just want a casual get together, you can easily pass this one up and spend even more quality time with the classics.

overall

Gotcha Force is certainly up to the above average standards, but certainly not by much. Is this something a younger person would enjoy? Most likely, the tweens will enjoy putting their time into a title like this. Itís cute, itís exhilarating, and itís an extremely good alternative to the failed Pokemon Channel. Is it worth the casual gamerís dollar? Probably not, but the most youíd be able to turn your head to is a weekend rental if youíve already played and finished most everything else out there. Other than that, you may spend your time doing something more worthwhile.

final score 6.9/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Austin Starr
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"If life's not beautiful without the pain / well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again"


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