For people who might or might not know, I shifted my game console systems from home consoles such as PlayStation and X-box in favor for handheld console such as Vita and Android. In fact, my last home console generation is Wii (essentially for playing Fatal Frame 4).
For those who play the Vita, everyone would agree that the selection of Vita games are much more limited in North America (especially in Canada) than in Japan. Canada got the worst of it (I mean, US got PSP Black Rock Shooter and we don’t, so I have to use the region trick like everyone else in order to buy the game from the network store. But I digress)
So what I’m trying to do in this very post is to introduce a Japanese import game that you readers might enjoy: Masou Kishin 3: Pride of Justice.
Masou Kishin series is essentially a spin-off (aka, a “Gaiden”) of the Super Robot Wars that features Gundams, Macross and any other series with a giant mecha in it. The original Masou Kishin is on the SNES, which you can now play on an emulator, whereas the second installment can be found on the PSP.
Essentially, the storyline revolves around the main character Masaki, who got pulled from Earth into La Gias, which is a “subterranean world contained deep within the Earth.” (Which is impossible in terms of science, but conveniently solved by the fact that the realm has “Magic”) He eventually joins a team of pilots and defend his new homeland from numerous villains, but mostly Volkruss. (Just like every Gundam clichés, the main character, a teenager, somehow has a knack for piloting mecha, even though he had never touch one before in his life)
As you notice, my description of the storyline is pretty general. This is because the game actually provides several paths where the player will go up against different antagonist.
The reason why I really love this game is its graphics and music. If you just take a look at some game clip for the first game on YouTube, apparently THAT game is made in 1996 (roughly 20 years ago!!!) I mean, the graphics is way ahead of its time!!
As for Masou Kishin 3, the graphics and music department did not let me down either. Just check out these links and see for yourself:
Din Flail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4meB_iNA3Q
The first thing to grab are the attack scenes, it’s over the top that the player wouldn’t mind watching their finisher again and again. The voice acting is certainly good and it brings the character’s emotions to life. Some famous seiyuus you may know include Midorikawa Hikaru, Takehito Koyasu, Inoue Kikuko, Okiayu Ryotaro, Kamiya Hiroshi, Ohara Sayaka, Sawashiro Miyuki, Nakai Kazuya, and more. The music is awesome and it links the gameplay together.
However like every other games, there is always some weak aspect. In this case, it’s the enemy AI. The greatest flaw of the game is the fact that the enemy AI is designed to gang up on your weakest unit. And because the game designers went overboard with the number of enemies present in the map at each stage, it’s very easy to lose a unit in this game. Certainly, the fact that late game units take out half of your HP in one go is not helping either. If you don’t want to lose a unit, you’ll have to restart your game. (Believe me, soft reset is your friend cause you can find yourself resetting the game at least 10 times for each stage on average) Hence the title: “Pull-Your-Hair-Out”. You are CERTAIN to be annoyed.
Another major problem with this game is its New Game+. For most games that encourages you to replay the game, the developers often include a New Game+ where you restart the game with certain advantages, whether it be retaining items, levels or otherwise. Unfortunately, you don’t get that luxury for Masou Kishin 3. You don’t retain your level or items that you worked so hard to obtain!! That just raise my frustration bar to a new level.
Finally as a side note, because this game is an RPG and a Japanese import, you will need to know Japanese in order to read the dialogues. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the beast. Having said that though, it’s not too difficult to understand the general “trend” of where the story is going. In other words, not knowing Japanese doesn’t directly mean you can’t play the game.
So here’s my 2 cents on Masou Kishin 3. Certainly a good game, but has one major turn-off.