PSP Game Projects Vol.03 : Nanoha Gears of Destiny sequel by Banpresto!

Because when Banpresto can make a series go from utter crap to pure awesome fanservice joy-ride, you know that nobody should ever stop them!

For those who want some backstory : Back in 2010, before the first Nanoha movie, Bandai Namco Games tasked a company named Witchcraft to make a Nanoha fighting game. It seems this was too much for them, so they also employed Natsume for the task. The result was Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A’s : The Battle of Aces, taking place during the “Missing Years” between A’s and StrikerS…kinda like what the new Dragon Ball movie did with its “Lost Decade”, but Nanoha pulled it off. Anyway, the game looked like this :

Yeah, it physically hurts to watch it. Sound was butchered beyond belief, the characters used weren’t that much different from each other, severe balance problems, half-baked story and to top it of it looks like a slightly more functional Ultimate Tenkaichi game…before Ultimate Tenkaichi copied its format…that’s creepy on so many levels! Needless to say…it was a disaster and somehow…SOMEHOW…Bandai Namco thought : “WHELP, guess we gotta milk a sequel now!#DERPFACES”

DERP

Now, anyone would be furious about that, but then…the trailer was out :

We were all reacting like that : “WAITWTF??? It’s actually good? The previous original characters return with personalities and different playstyles? FASTER COMBAT? BETTER CHARACTERS? CROSSOVERS AND NAMCO COSTUMES? BANPRESTO BEHIND IT ALL?????? WHAT KIND OF MIRACLE IS THIS????????” Not only that, Tsuzuki Masaki, the creator of the series and the series writter not only gave his blessings to Banpresto, he gave them permission to go as crazy as they usually go when they make the Super Robot Taisen / Super Robot Wars game, which he is a huge fan of. And Banpresto delivered far more than one would expect in a sequel! Hell, we could have hand-made combos…COMBOS!

And to put it in actual gameplay terms, the sequel feels like the third game in the series, the threequel were everything is fixed. Though, given the time[one measly year and perhaps even less] along with the work Banpresto had to do to “tame” Witchcraft and Natsume, it might have took even less. It’s not a perfect game, but it is miles ahead if not lightyears away from the previous game. While gameplay may not be its strong suit, everything else certainly get far more than passing grades, something that Banpresto always sees through when it comes to anime games.

But a third game never came out. Why…why not? Who knows? Maybe Bandai Namco couldn’t be bothered to let Banpresto have some fun and drove them to make more Super Robot games…though 2011 and 2012 were the years of the 20th anniversary of the series, so that might have factored in. With a new, third movie coming out and the popularity of the series picking up, it’s about time Banpresto returns and makes another Nanoha game, but not with those two this time. The reason is this :

This is another game by Natsume, but a pretty good one at that. It’s Rurouni Kenshin : Meiji Kenkaku Romantan Kansei, a fighter that covers almsot all of the Kenshin lore and the newest Shin Kyoto Hen. Despite it being pretty good…and even more so than what praise I have given it, some really weird things that are present…or rather absent and halt the game from trully being excellent. The same things were also absent in the Nanoha games and other of Natsume’s games. Perhaps it’s due to their frigid M.O. they don’t include them. Anyway, this time Banpresto should team up with Eighting and make a killer game, this time about StrikerS, or if they do make another one with A’s(highly doubtful) they should at least include more playable characters from other works. On to the gameplay changes :

A.)Controls and gameplay!

01.)Full button configuration, first step to anything!

02.)Add all the neccessary options :

– Add selectable difficulties in all modes, unless the story and survival mode are meant to have a progressive difficulty they can be the exceptions to the rules. It’s stupid and annoying for a fighting game not to have it.
– Add timer options. Having only 99.99 seconds each round is stupidly annoying and limiting since this isn’t an arcade 2D fighter and doesn’t play by the same 2D rules. Time Attack can be exempt from this for obvious reasons…and perhaps story as well but given that the mission requires it.
– Add round options. Having a set piece of rounds depending on the mode helps tremendously the players stay interested and have fun, instead of being stuck and set like it’s a coin eating machine.

And thus, all the problems[yes, they ARE problems!] that Natsume’s games have disappear.

03.)Have close combat movement on air be faster. This is sluggish and hurts in close combat. In Long combat, it can stay at that level.

04.)Instead of having 2 part magic meter, the players should have a magic meter that governs long range attacks and magic defense and have a seperate Accel counter meter below the magic meter, but work the same way as the magic one currently does.

05.)The Full Drive mode should be tweaked heavilly from its current form. It should refill all gauges, even the life gauge but only up until the orange part the gauge(the damage that can be healed part of the gauge) and enable a slightly different moveset for the characters along with activation of certain properties, if a character posses them. An example would be Fate having access to her Sonic Form. The activation period should also last longer.

06.)While the Nanoha series feature mainly sky battles, ground battle do exist as well and certain fighters excell on either ground combat of all sorts or “snipping down” combat. The system as it is now features pretty good sky combat mechanics, but makes gameplay a pain at times due to this restriction. While the main Nanoha A’s characters don’t appear to have problems, other characters, especially the crossover ones have many problems, given their backgorunds in fighting.

– The ground battles should be fought like the Kamen Rider Super Climax Heroes game, with the appropriate mechanics.

– The characters are always locked on close combat mode during a ground battle.

– The dashing mechanic on ground should be a jump, while a double tap of the jump button should perform and Accel Move, thus being able to beam behind the opponent at any time. Also, instead of double jumping, there will be a mid air dash.

– Instead of a counter, the characters will be given magical attacks that will belong in combos and can be comboed with the melee attacks.

– The melee attacks will now gain directional inputs and depending on the directional combo, the character can toss the opponent up for an air battle or throw them down for a ground battle.

– The Guard will also act differently when on the ground, acting like a generator for more battle options. By pressing square during guard, the character will use a basic spell and by holding it down, an enhanced version. By pressing triangle, the counter is possible and by pressing circle, a binding spell will activate. As for the X button, it will allow the character to change between ground and air battles.

– Ground battles will be much faster in terms of melee attacks than the sky battles, while the sky battles will feature the series mostly sluggish combos and fast moves for close range and lightning quick projectile attacks and snipping tactics during long range mode.

B.)Options and Fixing!

01.)Add a status page for each character that shows their individual stats in combat. While this is ludicrous in mainstream 2D fighting games, this one is an anime fighter that features several elements from many different genres, it is kinda required. It’s one thing the new Dragon Ball game, Battle of Z does quite well and deserves praise for that. The game doesn’t require the stats to be upgradeable, but showing them would help tremendously. Also the status sheet should have seperate status for ground and air battle status.

Status page for Goku

02.)If the program chips are to be added again, a bit of balancing is required and the removal of some or a change in effect at least.

03.)More Namco crossover costumes and some “duplicate characters”.And by that I mean both children and adult forms of at least the main ones, who would play tremendously different since in their series, they are so different. Also if characters have different movesets in different series, perhaps a second slot would be fine for them as well, if the difference is too great.

04.)Have a damage modifier option in the options menu.

And that’s it. I hope it happens and if it becomes a reality by the time the third movie hits the theaters. Hope it’s for the PSP again. 🙂

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