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    Steel Battalion Review
    Author: Talon
    Date Posted: July 4th, 2004
    SLRating: SLRating: 8/10
    Bottom Line: Steel Battalion comes with some awesome hardware, for Mech enthusiasts looking for the perfect addition to their gaming library, or gamers who are looking for the ultimate simulator experience, then this title is for you. Is it a must have for the the casual gamer? Read on to find out in our official review....

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    Into the Fray (Gameplay)

    A game can have all of the cool looking accessories in the world, it can even come packaged in an awesome collector’s box, but if the gameplay sucks, then despite all of the superficialities, it can still be a disaster. And while Steel Battalion is not a disaster, its overall gameplay is disappointing, not to mention frustrating in several respects.

    But before I go on to detail the Steel Battalion’s failings in gameplay, I will lay out the good news, because there is some. The best thing going for Steel Battalion’s gameplay is the excellent implementation of the controller in the missions. It is apparent that the game was designed for the controller, and not vice versa. The targeting reticules glide along smoothly via tilting the right stick, and unleashing a barrage of pain on an enemy VT is much more satisfying when you are pulling the trigger on your Steel Battalion controller.

    Manipulating the sticks may be a little awkward at first, but once you get the hang of it, the controller is not so much intimidating as it is a highly efficient, albeit complex, tool for controlling an (according to the instruction manual) equally an efficient and complex Mech. And while the plot behind Steel Battalion is a dull as it gets; something about Pacific Rim forces, a rebellion, and how it all rests on you and your team of VTs to set things straight, storyline development is far from the true premise of Steel Battalion, which is kicking ass and blowing stuff up, two things that are made all the more fun when you are doing it with SB’s massive controller.

    However, there are several shortcomings in Steel Battalion’s gameplay. We noted earlier that Steel Battalion featured a red eject button. Well, this button is the bridge between life and death, literally. Because if you fail to slam it down at the right moment (when your mech loses its last block of health), you pay the ultimate price which, ironically, is not death, but something much worse; the resetting of your entire Steel Battalion game and subsequent deletion of your Steel Battalion save game. If you have not yet grasped the magnitude of this, it means that if you die, you have to start all over again. Playing through half of the game only to start over at level one because you hit the “eject” a second too late is not fun. Trust me, I would know.

    Besides Steel Battalion’s cruel and unusual death penalty, the gameplay is also plagued by mishaps such as team mates running into each other, which is funny until you fail a mission because you were the only one who could get past the rock that your fellow VTs insisted on going through.

    The Steel Battalion cockpit is a bit of a mixed bag. Capcom decided to make Steel Battalion as immersive as possible by creating a dynamic cockpit interface that has built into it every kind of dial, gauge, and readout imaginable. If you have an enormous high definition television, than this is very cool. Unfortunately, most of us do not have a high definition television, and so we are left squinting through a square in the middle of the screen (which is actually a drop-down monitor and not a glass hatch) that represents our view of the outside. While this is only a small gripe, we are left wondering why Capcom did not swap a few of the many useless buttons on the controller for a nice little view change selector instead.

    Graphics Go the the next page
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    Article Navigation

    1. Introduction
    2. The Hardware
    3. Gameplay
    4. Graphics
    5. Sound
    6. Conclusions

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