The gameplay itself, however, is almost identical to its monster hunting brethren. You take missions from a hub and pick up optional side quests from a decent selection throughout each of the chapters. Completing these quests is a matter of taking a balanced team of people with you to vanquish the horrific foes that stand in your way. It’s easy to solo the entire game with just the party AI, however the AI pales in comparison to human allies due to its heavy reliance on brute force. Again, combat seems initially identical to Monster Hunter’s, with the odd exception. You can change from a blade to a gun with a quick touch of your R button, making the transition between ranged and melee smooth and fast. You also have a targeting system to lock onto an enemy in the field, but I found using it in the later levels with more monsters to be frustrating and inaccurate for switching between them. Of course a large part of the problem was the intractable camera. Whilst the camera is tolerable for tame sections, it’s mapping to the D-pad really got to me when it came to the more intense moments. I would even go so far as to say that having the camera on the D-pad is damn near unusable, as trying to use it while moving forces you to ‘claw grip’ your PSP in an extremely uncomfortable position.
As you hack away at your foes their weak spots are indicated from the colour of your strikes, offering an excellent visual aid to finding the best attack strategy for each enemy. In addition to this your weapon is able to transform into a gun and shoot elemental bullets – It’s like elemental rock-paper-scissors with the enemy. It works well and you can craft/buy different kinds of bullets using items found throughout the game. The crafting system is briefly touched on at the start of the game and is left at that; pretty simple to gather materials and craft them at the terminal available at the hub. While crafting is good and solid, I didn’t really feel compelled to get the materials needed for the new weapons. I found I was never hindered by my lack of upgrades and natural progression steadily continued.
God Eaters main strength in comparison to Monster Hunter is its comprehensive story mode, which adds a lot of depth and context to the world. The post apocalyptic earth is a stark contrast to Monster Hunter’s fantasy world, and being able to follow a narrative within it is a unique and initially enjoyable experience. Earth is now ruled by beasts called the Aragami and it’s up to the Fenrir organisation to wipe them out and understand how the Aragami can aid humanity in the future. At about 20 hours long you’re in for a lengthy journey, and whilst the story was nice and fresh in the opening hours of the game, it really drags its feet when you get to the latter parts. The characters themselves are your typical anime cliché, with them sulking around here and there, and whilst the voice acting is corny, it’s a technical feat for the PSP and it is appreciated.
It’s not just the introduction of full voice acting that is impressive, the presentation as a whole is above par, with unique monster designs, detailed character models and pre-rendered backgrounds, and a character creator to remake yourself into a cutesy anime styled cross-dresser named smegma (don’t Google that). But in all seriousness, it works well and generally does the job. However when playing through the game I couldn’t help but noticed a lack of new environments popping up between missions, and eventually memorised all of the maps. This is slightly disappointing, as the maps themselves look amazing but having so few of them increases the repetition considerably.
Multiplayer in Gods Eater is enabled though it’s Ad-Hoc mode, allowing you to play with friends nearby. Unfortunately this means that you can’t connect to others around the world. This is the exact same thing with Monster Hunter’s PSP iterations as well, but this is understandable due to the game being portable. However there are third party applications that let you play online (XLink Kai)
Gods Eater Burst is a title that left me wanting more. It’s not a bad game by any stretch but the small issues add up and detract from the experience. The camera, targeting system and lack of environments come to mind straight away. It has massive potential to being a rival to Capcom’s behemoth Monster Hunter but right now what Gods Eater is really doing is playing catch up. I have high hopes for the Gods Eater franchise if they develop on the NGP, however. The Dual analogue sticks for a start would offer far more precise camera control, and that alone would make this title significantly better.
MLG Score: 6/10
Platform: PSP Release Date: 18/03/11
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Gods Eater Burst for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of one week on a PSP. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.