Robotech Invasion

Review

posted 11/3/2004 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: Xbox
Beyond weapons, Locke will be able to switch to a number of different modes to aid him on his quest. The night vision comes in especially handy when navigating the cave regions of the game, the thermal-vision helps you locate enemies and the land mines they left for you, and the cloak makes you invisible to everybody around you. Like the weapons, these modes aren’t especially exciting, and tend to be more frustrating than helpful.

But all these minor complaints pale in comparison to the frustrating that is dealing with your Cyclone in motorcycle form. Here you switch from a smooth playing first person shooter to one of the worst handling driving experiences you’ll ever endure in an action game. Trying to dodge enemy fire on your bike is next to impossible thanks to the over steering and lousy weapons, and to make matters worse, if you hit something, even the smallest bump, you’ll turn back into your robot form which makes absolutely no sense to me.

Another thing that makes no sense to me is why you can’t drive your motorcycle in caves and other “interior” locations. Early on your teammate explains that there’s no need to drive in caves … but I found more than a few locations where this ability would have come in really handy. Is it something that has to do with the show? Or did they just not figure people would want to race through the long, boring corridors?

While your fire power improves over the course of the game, you shouldn’t expect the same thing from your bike. You will acquire the ability to do a quick power boost, but don’t expect improved handling or super moves; your Cyclone is a fairly bare bones vehicle. It’s also an extremely slow one. Sure it’s faster than simply walking around, but it feels more like a bicycle than a motorcycle if you ask me.

Mid way through the game switches gears and let’s you take control of another young REF fighter name Tasha. This parallel story fills in some of the questions brought up in Locke’s adventure, while giving you a whole new host of characters to get used to. You’ll feel right at home the moment you realize she plays exactly the same as Locke, and ends up performing the same sort of humdrum tasks you were dealing with in the first half of the game. This parallel story-line does end up resolving itself in an interesting way, but misses an opportunity to give this game some much-needed diversity.

As easy as it is to complain about a game only giving us a half dozen enemies to contend with, Robotech: Invasion’s main fault lies in its boring missions. Although it looks like you have a lot to do early on, most of the tasks involve you simply locating the rest of the team, fighting Invid, and then moving on to the next destination. But don’t worry about getting lost, because there’s a helpful green arrow always pointing you in the right direction.
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