Name: Baldrhead (70.00% in 9 votes)
Company: TGL - Japanese
Release date: 1999
Reviewed by: Lamuness
It's the future where the technology is being over-used and at the same time conflicts between countries and religion occur which causes a loss in theory and technology. The world is now in corrupted towns with ruins of anicent technology everywhere. The story takes place in future Japan,and the hero of the game is an ex-mercenary called Bloody Baldy who earns his living by being an armament banker (goes after people who are in debt). One day while Baldy and his assistant Nina are on their job, Baldy, while controlling his heavy armor machine GIGAS (Ground Industrial Giant Attachment Servant, which I have nothing to say about Giga's ingenius attempt to put their name into the game), saved a girl called May who is looking for his disappeared father. Baldy lets May temporarily live in his office until her father returns but soon, Baldy realizes that he is caught in a evil ploy which involves May and her father.
The game is split in 2 parts, Action mode and AVG mode. In the Action mode, you will control Baldy's GIGAS to do exploration and fighting. You will move around a dungeon like in a RPG and find treasure chests, find tips about the game and most importantly, engage in battles. Battles are in a bird's eye view and you move around an area to attack enemies and of course dodge enemies' attacks. There are 9 types of attacks in total: 3 short-range, 3 long-range, and 3 dash-attacks. Once you unleash an attack, your over-heat bar will increase which makes you more vulnerable to attacks (weaker defense) and unable to do any more attacks until you completely cool down. Therefore you have to be careful at your attacks. However, enemies also follow the same principle so that means you can inflict the most damage when an enemy is over-heated. The game supports gamepad which I highly recommend everyone to use in this game, and if you are good with your controller you can unleash a series/combo attack (which of course will raise your over-heat gauge a lot). After the battle session is finished, you will earn money depending on the mission and proceed to the AVG mode. In AVG, you will explore the town and collect information. Depending on your choices you make will lead to a different plot development. In addition, you can in AVG mode use your money to upgrade your weapons and buy new ones for your GIGAS, and also assign which weapon to be one of your 9 attack types. Each weapon has its own attack range and pros and cons. You will learn about each of them in detail when you pick up a tip note during the battle mode, although Giga did a really good job already at making the upgrade interface very user friendly (with explanations and picture samples). Personally, just using Bazooka Cannon and Homing Missiles is good enough for me to finish the game, but if you want a more rigorous and bloody battle feel free to fight close-combat with weapons such as MegaCrash.
On to multimedia. Besides their fun gameplay, Giga is also pretty well-known by their nicely drawn CGs. This time, it seems that Kusaka-Takeshi, the artist for all Giga games, has changed his style a slight bit which I think is ok but I prefer the past style better. However, one thing I am concerned with is the color quality of CGs (not the pen style coz it still look good to me). It seems that this whole time Giga hasn't improved their quality of CGs a bit at all. Quality is still at the level of Giga's previous original game For Season, which I think is ok, but Giga has to improve the quality in order to stay competitive. The 3D robot models designs are nice but they look too simplistic with simple polygon that need some polishing. At times event CGs are replaced with simple, scribbled SD comic-like humorous CGs (prolly drawn by another artist) which makes humorous events more funny but sometimes they are over-used where sometimes these scribbled CGs are used in the wrong place. However, I would have to say that the intro movie is extremely well done and so are the animations.
I would have to say that Baldrhead is extremely fun and the difficulty level is set just right. I really like this game but Baldrhead is just too short; I am not surprised if anybody can finish it in a day. Besides the above problems with picture quality, the game suffers in some technical nuisances. The game seems to have trouble reading voices off the cdrom and also the game crashes a lot all of a sudden ^^.
Nevertheless, Baldrhead is a good beginning to a really cool game, but there are lots of areas for improvement. Like all Giga games which are well-known for its gameplay, the gameplay in Baldrhead is extremely fun and appriopiately challenging, which makes this game still worth playing despite the problems it has. Hopefully in the sequel of Balrhead Giga can make a much much better version of it.
PROS: Excellent gameplay, appropiately challenging, user-friendly weapon upgrade interface, nice animations and cool intro movie. Good pen art.
CONS: Too short, game crashes a lot, trouble reading voices off cdrom, Giga needs to move on with their CG quality rather than staying at ForSeason level.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO: Mecha fans, action game fans who like Hgame as well, people who demand gameplay in Hgames.
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