First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.
Rodea the Sky Soldier is a flying robot with a heart. The game gives off a serious but also comedic story vibe, and features great cut-scenes…possibly some of the best I have ever seen on a Nintendo 3DS. However despite the cut-scenes being amazing, it fails a lot in its play mechanics.
On the Nintendo Wii U it might be easier to play, considering how its camera generally works. But on the Nintendo 3DS it’s possibly the worst experience I’ve ever had.
However I will say this before I continue on: the more you play and repeat stages, the more you learn and get better with the flying mechanic.
During the first few chapters of the game you are taught the mechanics; how to attack, fly, and how to use side weapons, such as a machine gun. All of these are good, but a few of them make the character feel weighed down in its design. The flying mechanic is possibly the greatest and worst thing about this game. It is great to be able to fly around and explore the various land masses floating in the sky, but at the same time the camera angles make it almost unplayable.
In most games the camera tilts with you. But since you’ve got to fly and navigate you need to be able to move the camera around to see where you are going. This game does not do it well enough to make getting around the stages easy at all. If you press the left or right trigger on the 3DS, it moves the camera too much and there is no “light touch” to help you view the correct angle you need. This leads to some serious problems in boss fights as well as just navigation in general, to the point where you are pressing the joypad so hard you fear it might break off at any minute. However despite this major issue, adapting and overcoming is in the nature of gamers…unless they have a short fuse.
The atmosphere of the game is set up very well. The music and the story have their comedic points, such as when you fight your first boss in the game. A lot of the battles are also quite fun once you get the hang of the combat system. The simplest way to describe it is Sonic the Hedgehog homing attack from Sonic Adventure. I know some people won’t understand that point but a good portion of you will…so there you go.
Another thing I want to note about the story is that it covers a thousand-year time span and that Rodea is an android. I doubt he’s made out of any high-grade materials, considering he hits a pile of sand early on in the game and his entire arm shatters! So for the record he should probably be a pile of rusty bolts, but he isn’t. Even Mega Man didn’t last that long. The original was long-since deceased when Mega Man X was created. So it has that notorious plot hole in its story.
Overall though, apart from the initial plot hole and its camera angle issue on the Nintendo 3DS, the game is really remarkable. When I am not raging I am really enjoying exploring the floating islands in each chapter and the unique characters you meet in the story. I actually recommend you pick this game up when you get a chance, albeit on the Nintendo Wii U it will probably be better.
Hopefully down the road I can afford a Wii U and will let you all know. So in conclusion let me just say this: you’re a robot like Mega Man and you’ve got a combat/health system like Sonic Adventure (except you don’t drop rings). It’s three hits and you’re dead…and among the clouds like in Skies of Arcadia, on a tiny airship fighting freaking giants!