Author Topic: Kokuga Impressions  (Read 962 times)

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Offline the_dan_x

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Kokuga Impressions
« on: October 13, 2012, 12:11:47 AM »

Remember Ikaruga? Welcome Hiroshi Iuchi's (Ikaruga's director) next game to a Nintendo platform.

Hiroshi Iuchi, best known for his work on Radiant Silvergun, Sin and Punishment and Ikaruga, gives Nintendo 3DS owners his latest project, Kokuga. Unlike Ikaruga and Radiant Silvergun, Kokuga does not have you in control of supersonic jets or spaceships, but a tank, as you wheel your way through environment disposing of enemies. While this is quite a different setting from what most of Iuchi’s past games, the game still speaks to the subset of players interested in a hardcore shooting experience.

Kokuga has you in control of a tank while you blast your way through opposing tanks, turrets, and obstacles. The controls are simple and easy to grasp. Players move their tank around in 360 degrees with either the Circle Pad or the D-pad and shoot with the B buttons. To rotate the gun on the main turret, players press either L or R. This control scheme makes the game feel a bit slow, especially when compared to a game like Ikaruga. Considering you literally use tank controls to control a tank, though, it makes sense.

The touch screen adds a different element to the game in the form of cards, which serve as abilities and power-ups for your tank. You are limited to getting at most 20 cards at the beginning of a stage. Card abilities include twin shot, homing shot, laser, napalm, restore shield, repair, defense up, stealth, and quite a few others. Once you activate a power-up, you only have a handful of seconds to make use of it, with the exception of something like restore shield. Making effective use of the cards depends solely on your awareness of enemies around you or the position of your turret in relation to an enemy.

Circle lasers

The visuals in Kokuga are reminiscent of something you would find in Tron. In most of the levels I played, the levels had a transparent, grid-like floor that heightened the 3D effect with a sense of depth. The environments and enemies are metallic, and fit well with the game’s aesthetic.

I’ve put about an hour and a half to two hours into Kokuga and have came to a conclusion—I am terrible at these kinds of games! I still find myself enjoying the game quite a bit, though. The game has 15 stages, each with three levels of difficulty, as well as a robust local multiplayer mode I haven’t had a chance to touch yet. Up to four players can play cooperatively via download play with only one copy of the game. Unfortunately for me, I haven’t been able to convince any of my friends who live in the area to pick up a 3DS for the sole purpose of playing this game with me. Kokuga certainly isn’t perfect, but those interested should keep an eye out if it ever leaves Japan.

Danny Bivens
Japan Correspondent
Nintendo World Report

Offline cL7oud

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Re: Kokuga Impressions
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2012, 05:16:28 AM »
It seems like japan almost always has better boxart. the visuals for ikaruga seemed more interesting but this seems solid.

Offline TJ Spyke

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Re: Kokuga Impressions
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2012, 10:18:31 AM »
It seems like japan almost always has better boxart.

I disagree. Sometimes it is better, usually it is the same or worse. And your statement here isn't applicable because there isn't any other boxart to compare it to.
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Offline MrPhishfood

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Re: Kokuga Impressions
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2012, 12:54:06 PM »
I remember this DS cycling game. The Japanese box art had this white stickman riding a bicycle on a plain blue background. The European version had this realistic drawing of a guy on a bike whizzing past surprised people. The American version looked just the Euro version except the guy riding the bike was also punching an officer worker. Yeah I know off-topic.

I always wished I put more time in to Ikaruga, I got up to level 4 (out of 5 levels) then quit because it was so hard. I know I could have finished it because the enemy attack patterns weren't even randomized and the game even showed you precisely how to beat a level in the most efficient way possible.

I generally don't like bullet-hell games (a sub-genre of shooting-em-up) but because I felt the gameplay in Ikaruga was so tight I'll give this one a go.

Offline ResettisCousin

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Re: Kokuga Impressions
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2012, 09:02:35 PM »
I agree Japan usually has better box art. They seem to take a less literal approach than America's "this is what you'll be doing and this is who you'll meet" style.

A recent 8-4 podcast had somewhat lengthy impressions of this game as well, for anyone curious.

Offline NinSage

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Re: Kokuga Impressions
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2012, 12:27:49 PM »
Game looks pretty cool! Hope we eventually get it.

Also, this ...

Sometimes [Japanese box art] is better, usually it is the same or worse. - Not always agreeing; always understanding.