Haken Browning likes 'em large.
Big old baby feeders. Gargantuan gazongas. Massive mounds for making milk. If a lady's stacked with double D's, Haken's taken to his knees.
If you're offended already, Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier is not for you. This Atlus-published RPG adventure takes great pride in presenting the low brow side of its headlining hero, a gunslinging mercenary who claims to be a professional bounty hunter but is immediately distracted from any paying job by just the slightest glance from anything that could be considered female. Those kinds of euphemisms for the feminine form are the sort you'll see in nearly every dialogue sequence in the game, as Haken somehow finds himself as the only leading man in a story with a supporting cast of nothing but well-endowed women, well-endowed demon women, and well-endowed cyborg androids built to look like, of course, women.
It's actually done very well, as Haken and his partners in adventure all manage to become interesting individuals through their crude and curt comments to one another, about one another's bodies -- it's a cast that feels immediately removed from the more mundane, steely-resolved, humdrum heroes of most other RPGs. Their personalities are fresh and comical, and the game never takes itself seriously. Everything is over-the-top, it's intentionally ridiculous from the beginning, and it just works.
Unless, like I said, male chauvinist humor and near-constant strings of slang terms for women's anatomy gets you seething with pent-up rage. In which case you might want to make a sign and start picketing in the parking lot of Atlus's localization team.
Beyond the dialogue style and cast of characters, Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier also ensures that other well-seasoned staples of the RPG genre get a shot in the arm as well -- like the battle system. You'll come across enemy encounters at random while walking across a map, which is well-documented here at IGN as a detestably too-old-school style of initiating battle. But, once the battle begins, the mechanics are anything but archaic.
It's all about juggling. Your fighting force of heroes lines up alongside the right side of the screen, then rushes forward one at a time to take on the enemies in front of them -- assaulting them with preposterously complicated strings of punches, kicks, slashes and blasts that send the helpless foes, inevitably, sailing into the air. Your task is to then keep them there, as you press the A Button with the exact right timing to start your character's next string of attacks. You're going for as long a combo as you can get, never letting your foe touch down on the ground. Because if you lose the juggle and let them land, you won't score nearly as much damage.
Massive damage is a requirement, too, as even the lowliest of creatures in Endless Frontier has thousands upon thousands of hit points -- your 50-, 75- and 100-hit continuous combos will rack up damage totals that eclipse the current jackpot value of your home state's local lottery, but even then they'll still be alive. Most enemies will require complex assaults from multiple heroes, working in sequence -- which is available, too, because when one character runs out of stamina and needs to rest you can just hit Right on the D-Pad and the next hero in line will rush forward to keep the juggle going.
It's beautifully deranged. Most RPGs of this type have a hero jump forward, slash once with a sword, then rejoin the line. That never comes close to happening in Endless Frontier -- every single battle is this beautiful ballet of magnificent mayhem, wanton destruction and bouncing anime breasts. See that screenshot up there with all the cleavage? That's just a normal part of a standard, random battle. Madness.
Sprite-based overworld exploration, item collection, leveling up and all the rest of the expected role-playing conventions round out the experience, and Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier ends up even offering some fun fan service for longtime players of mecha games -- you'll come across Xenosaga
in the game, and she'll offer to join your party. You'll also meet up with the two heroes from the two-company cross-over RPG Namco X Capcom
, but that's probably less interesting for American gamers, since that one never made it out of Japan.
If there's any negative to level against Endless Frontier, it's probably in its boss battles. I said up there that even the lowliest random foes you come across in the game have thousands of hit points and take a while to beat up -- well, boss characters multiply that into the millions. You'll find yourself in frequent fights with bosses where you'll orchestrate masterful combinations of death, dancing across the screen with everything in your arsenal and then some -- stringing together all four of your on-screen heroes, racking up huge amounts of damage. Then, when the smoke clears, you'll see you've only depleted about 5% of the boss's total health bar.
Those confrontations can end up taking forever, and as interesting as it is to see your heroes flip out and cause incredible damage with their swords, guns and enticing physiques, it can begin to wear thin on your patience after a while. You could probably order a pizza before starting a boss battle in Endless Frontier, and the pie would be sitting on your doorstop getting cold by the time you finally reached a stopping point and remembered that you needed to go pay the delivery guy.
Seriously, the battles are long.
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