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Game Info:

ASSAULT GUNNERS HD EDITION 
Developed By: SHADE Inc.
Published By: Marvelous, Marvelous Europe Limited
Release Date: March 20, 2018
Available On: Windows, PS4, PS Vita (soon)
ESRB Rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence
Genre: Action
Mode: Single Player
MSRP: $11.99 (Complete), $9.99 without DLC

Thank you Marvelous for sending us this game to review!

I’ve always had a soft spot for giant robots. Whether we are talking about the iconic ‘80s Transformers, the great Western franchises BattleTech and MechWarrior, or the Eastern ones like Mobile Suit Gundam, I’ve always given them a chance, and usually liked the results. ASSAULT GUNNERS HD EDITION (the actual title is all caps, sorry) is a HD remake of an obscure mech PS Vita game that was never released here in the West. Now we get to play it on Windows PC and PS4, and for the very reasonable price of $9.99.

There is a story in Assault Gunners. It has something to do with being on Mars in the distant future and... something. I mostly ignored it because it just got in the way of the next mission and more action. This game is really all about just shooting other robots with your robots. It’s mindless fun, pure and simple.

It takes place in a third-person view, where you get to see the back of the robot, and shoot, boost, or jump (if you can get it to work), dodge incoming fire, and blast the other robots to pieces. Each mission you earn development points, as well as pick up a certain amount of parts. These parts are used to customize your robot, which can include simpler things like weapons up to things like the entire upper torso or lower torso with legs. These can affect stamina, damage dealt, or movement and rotation speed. There are a ton of options, and you get more to mess with after each mission, so this game will keep any budding robot mechanics happy for some time.

ASSAULT GUNNERS HD EDITION
Highlights:

Strong Points: Simple robot blasting action; decent amount of mech customization; good value
Weak Points: Using mouse + keyboard is almost cheating; no subtitles for most of the in-level Japanese voice acting
Moral Warnings: Robot violence

This game was originally designed to run on a PS Vita before being ported to modern platforms, and graphically you can tell; it looks serviceable but not great. When it comes to controls, I noticed keyboard and mouse support, so I thought I would try that first, thinking that I would eventually settle on using a controller like I often do with console ports. That is most definitely not the case here. It’s a single-player only game, so there is no such thing as ‘cheating’, but if there were, it would probably be using a mouse for this game.

On a gamepad, when you move and you aim, your cursor moves quite slowly. Looking into this on the Steam forums, I discovered that the rotation speed part of the robot specification has a large impact on how quickly you turn, which may make the armor vs. speed tradeoff worth it for many players, which really affects what you would use for the bottom part of the robot. This is not the case with the mouse, because it completely ignores all rotation speed limitations. If you move your mouse quickly, you turn quickly. Most PC players would complain if this was not the case, but it basically breaks the game – it becomes much, much easier, since if you have decent aim with a mouse, you will almost always hit your target. Of course that doesn’t mean that big explosions are somehow left behind now – I still love those grenades for clearing out enemies.

ASSAULT GUNNERS HD EDITION
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 70%
Gameplay - 14/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 94%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

And there are a ton of enemies. Depending on the level, there can easily be hundreds of robots, flying drones, or tanks on screen for you to pummel into smithereens on screen at any one time. And if you do want to take things into your own hands, you can do that too – with brass knuckles and such. I usually found myself using grenades to clear areas, and using rapid-fire guns or lasers when trying to take down boss or single powerful units.

Sometimes a level tasks you with arming (or disarming) various satellites or bombs or some such things. This usually just requires sitting in the same place for about three seconds. It sounds easy, and it usually is, though you may want to clear a path there first if there are too many baddies around. One thing that I found oddly frustrating is that a small number of these points you have to get to are on top of a building or a small hill. This means that you have to use the extremely hard to execute ‘jump’ feature of your robot. I found this a bit easier when using a gamepad, but when using a mouse and keyboard, I would try to jump, and did it almost completely by accident – I was not able to do it on command at any time, but I eventually messed around with the button enough to get it to happen enough times to clear those missions. It’s very strange and a huge misstep in a game that otherwise controls quite well. Also, all of the voice acting is in Japanese with no subtitles, so whatever they are saying to you mid level I was completely oblivious to while playing. The music and sound effects are quite fine and get the job done.

ASSAULT GUNNERS HD EDITION is perhaps one of the simplest games I’ve played in recent memory. Even Earth Defense Force, which quickly became one of my favorite games after reviewing it a few years ago, seems equally simple at first glace – just blow up alien invaders. But that game has hidden depth that this one seems to lack. It takes hints from games of a past era, and hasn’t really evolved much beyond them. It’s a fun, simple game for when you just want a diversion from the more serious and involving fare that’s out there. And the price is very fair.

About the Author

Jason Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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