June 8, 2011

E3 2011 – Hands-on Otomedius Excellent

Filed under: Features — Tags: , , , , — Mister Raroo @ 10:46 pm

E3 2011 Otomedius Excellent
Otomedius Excellent has some issues, the least of which being that nobody will likely buy it when it is released next month. That’s a shame, because underneath its somewhat rough exterior lies a game that is just a heck of a lot of fun to play. There is a definite shortage of happy, colorful, silly shooters these days, and Otomedius does what it can to fill that void.

Do you remember Gradius (or, if you’re cool, Parodius)? Good! Otomedius is the newest member to that family of shooters. You take control of a spacecraft and fire away at waves of enemies and big bosses until you destroy them all. Oh, and the spacecraft is piloted by a scantily-clad anime girl.

I know, I know. You’d rather have Gradius VI. But Otomedius isn’t that bad, despite what you might have heard! Honest! Sure, it’s a bit mindless, but in a good way.

E3 2011 Otomedius Excellent
What surprised me most about Otomedius is the amount of options available to players. There are a lot of weapons and power-ups you can choose to equip before you start the game, and in typical Gradius style you can boost up your firepower by picking up power-ups and choosing when to upgrade. I had a blast starting the game over and over just to try out all the different weapons.

I’m a little bummed out by the fact that there was a lot of slowdown in various sections of the stages. This was intensified when I played the game with two other players. Hopefully the slowdown will be cleaned up before the game is released, but I have my doubts. Despite the unwelcome “shooter slowdown assistance,” the game’s world is clean and features neat backdrops like a city by the beach and a nighttime freeway brimming with traffic.

E3 2011 Otomedius Excellent
Oh, and be warned: Otomedius has breasts. Anime breasts. That might turn people away, and I heard more than a few E3 attendees snickering at the boobies. Now, you won’t see bare breasts or anything (unless you input the Konami code – I’m kidding!), so don’t worry if you’re allergic to such a thing, but even I have to admit it’s a little ridiculous at times. I don’t know if I’d feel that comfortable playing Otomedius in front of my wife! But from a wacky art direction standpoint, it works for the game.

I suppose there are many people who will think Otomedius is a “bad game,” and in some ways it may very well be. But sometimes “bad” things are fun. I love watching “bad” televisions shows and reading “trashy” tabloids. Otomedius is enjoyable in a similar way. You know there are better games out there, yet you still play it because when all is said and done, it’s just fun.

Besides, how many other games feature half-naked pirate cat girls flying massive warships covered in mirrors? The answer? ZERO!

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