Saturday, August 29, 2015

Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm… reviewed!



This game is structured with tournaments in mind (even more so than other fighting games I’ve seen)… and could prove to be a great starting point for anyone working on creating their own tournament events.
I always welcome fighting games, and I feel that this is a pretty cool one (that will probably kick your butt on normal mode if you aren’t a frequent player of fighting games, but it looks pretty good doing it too)… representing 2D fighting in a way that takes me back (in time that is).
Off the bat… the opening of the game got my attention and made me curious about what it was all about, and I am a fan of 2D fighting games (if I had the means when I was a teen… I probably would’ve been in EVO-like tournaments showing no mercy; I’d still take on the likes of Daigo Umehara... I'm not joking).
The reason I feel that this game is structured with tournaments in mind, is because… the launcher presents you more options based on setting up tournaments more than anything else.
You can create your tournament start date, name, list the host, the venue, as well as tournament results, team registrations and the ability to tweet when you’re a participant in a tournament.
Tournaments can be either online or offline, it’s up to you or whoever the host is. There are a lot of options that may confuse someone  that’s not familiar with setting up tournaments… but for hosts, creating instructions on how to join a tournament would be the thing I’d suggest (if they aren’t local).
I think this is awesome… and would allow anyone to create a tournament if desired. You get the option of uploading your own icon (if your team wants to represent).
Something that stood out in this game for me (beyond the tournament creation aspect)… was the CPU commentators added to the mix. Think of the commentators of fighting game tournaments and how they liven up matches, then… take a few teaspoons of that and add it to a fighting game, and you get what we have here. Thought that was a pretty cool addition.
Beyond the tournament and commentator coolness, it would’ve been great to get a bit more from the story (mainly presentation wise). The background remains the same… and so do the character poses, and as we move forward, even with appreciation of the older fighters it would good to see new things added to the mix (in addition to those mentioned).
I won’t rag on this game for something many fighting games have gotten away with based on illustrations for story (minus skipping out on the backgrounds)… but if I can recommend any updates being made, it would be to update the backgrounds at least, and allow for analog control (thought that was going to be an option with the Xbox controller option). If all my requests were to be met, I’d also request character expressions with alternate poses (or even great 2D animation if it can be pushed to that point), more character, increased resolution. That’s totally if… the developer is seeking a way to deliver even more.
From the standpoint of it being a smaller team, I can understand that it doesn’t have such things… but at the same time knowing that some of the members of this team also played a part in games ranging from King of Fighters… to Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor, it would’ve been great to see more (that could’ve gained even more interest from fans of those games). Call it… wishful thinking, but I’m excited to see what they deliver as time goes on (hopefully they continue progressing Yatagarasu… versus jumping to another fighting game).
Another area where I feel the game could’ve delivered a bit more… is the… user interface (UI) outside of the health bars and power meters, because the menus are really plain. It doesn’t make or break the overall game… but just because I can still eat ice cream, doesn’t mean I’d pass up on having whipped cream and a cherry on top. I say that because presentation goes a long way.
Last but not least, one thing the localization team has to beware of… are those pesky typos. Some gamers wouldn’t care less or even notice, but those who want to enjoy a game to the fullest (because it is an investment)… deserve to have the text of a storyline make sense.
One thing I’m making note of is the indie initiative: Fine tuning can take care of those things mentioned, and though it would’ve been great to have such things upon release (if updates come)… this game was funded through a crowd funding campaign. That in itself makes me wonder if they did what they could under the circumstances of getting the game to backers as promised in a certain timeframe but plan on doing updates now that it’s out. (Fingers crossed.) I’ll take these things over game affecting bugs any day, but I could also do without either.
Character wise… the men and women in the game are almost even in the amount of male and female fighters the game has to offer, which one of the members of Nyu-Media told me in a tidbit that there’s some degree of gender ambiguity among the characters... so they consulted GLAAD for the localization (which is a non-governmental media monitoring organization founded by some LGBT people in the media).
I’ve experienced characters in numerous games… and even anime shows with unknown genders, so it isn’t uncommon to me. If they felt the consultation from the organization would help the game… more power to them, it would’ve been good to get more characters though. Anyway, get in and play with each character to see what you think, especially if you plan on indulging in some tournament action and want to be known for how much butt you can kick with a specific character. I’m still feeling them out, and for Street Fighter and King of Fighters fans… there are a few characters that will possibly feel familiar to you.

I really like what they did here regarding tournament options, that deserves 2 sore thumbs up (from playing that is). Some of the characters aren’t as memorable as they could be (for me)… but I haven’t exactly played with them a great deal (and it takes time for characters to grow on me). Some characters I do like... and my favs are not only looking the part, but are functional enough for me to be effective in matches. Thinking about the characters, they could be overshadowed somewhat by the commentators… who even shout at the end of matches in my experience (so I couldn't hear the character). Fans have the ability to take characters to that point of remembrance in my opinion though, because... some people fall in love with characters they represent with in tournaments and will (at times) talk about them, their back story, quirks, etc. Curiosity could literally be built in someone else because of the way someone else feels… but I will leave it at that, hopefully you understand what I mean and how it relates to this review. :p
Price wise… I can’t argue with $15, especially if someone can take the offerings of this game and turn them into an opportunity for themselves and challengers looking for tournaments (those are just memorable experiences waiting for action)… and the games not expensive.Fun factor: 4 (One player… bit of a lackluster, but add multiplayer and tournament action and it’s a different story.)
Visually: 3
Replay value: 5
Price: 4
4 / 5