EX Troopers Is More Style Than Substance

EX Troopers is an anime take on the world of Lost Planet. There's a 3DS version and a PS3 version. Today, I played both.


EX Troopers offers run-and-gun gaming against giant monsters (the Akrids from Lost Planet) and robots (again, the Vital Suits from Lost Planet) with the occasional bandits (guess where they're from!). You may even call it a dash-and-gun game, considering that's your only dodging maneuver available (in the demo). You will be dodging. A lot.

Players will be able to wield two weapons, light and heavy, per mission. You can also melee but I don't recommend punching and kicking giant tentacle monsters when you could be shooting them, especially as reloading your weapon with your seemingly endless cache of ammo only takes a moment.

You have the ability to use special attacks of two kinds: by yourself, or with your teammates. The latter dealing more damage than the former. The downside to the team-attack is that all players must activate it while next to their teammates. By the way, while you are waiting for your friend to activate it, you'll be immobile and susceptible to damage. Thank god there was no friendly fire.

Going back to the weapons, the demo only supplied me with simple guns, like submachine guns, shotguns, rocket launchers and such. The most unique weapon on the list was a laser blaster that required charging before each shot. With the auto-lock system, aiming is basically obsolete and the only reason the game can be challenging is because the Akrids are simply humongous, with an abnormal amount of health, making you feel like you're chipping at a wall of concrete with a toothpick.

An interesting (but not exactly positive) thing about the game was the number of maximum players you can play with: three players total including yourself. Why Capcom chose three, instead of the magical gaming number of four, I don't know. They did not mention anything about online services, either.

The unique aesthetics of the game's comic panels and anime effects can only be seen in the cutscenes, making the actual gameplay very bland. They do force in the comic panels effect while fighting, but it's disorienting suddenly having your main character's face zoom in randomly, then going back into game for no apparent reason.


There were no true flaws to the game, but nothing to make it stand out from all the others.

If you are getting EX Troopers, do yourself a favor and get the 3DS version over the PS3. The graphics were essentially the same (save for that sheen of PS3 HD polish) and the game content seemed to be the exact same. The controls were similar, too—save for the obvious hardware differences.


So get the 3DS version—unless, of course, you simply can't play games unless they're on a 60-inch HDTV.



I would really like to applaud people when they criticize a game, especially a shooter, for being more style over substance or for coping another shooter's mechanics in this market, I really would. Sadly, 9 out of 10 times you only hear such criticism for the games that are new to the block or actually don't deserve such hate while the big names in the market that abuse such gravy train style design elements get 20 page articles going on and on and on about how awesome they are. So, in the end, I really can't applaud them because they usually only bring up such issues when it's about a game that doesn't need or deserve such hate. Like how Vanquish got criticize for copying Gears of War and Lost Planet and Halo and Max Payne well before it even came out and even though it was one of the most original shooters made in nearly 10 years.

I swear it's gotta be a defense mechanism. People see a game that is different and they try to compare it to a popular game that is already out for reference but in doing so they realize how unoriginal everything else is so they fixate on those similarities and then take it out on the new guy for having the audacity to bring to light how stale everything is. When that fails we'll criticize the game for getting everything "wrong" for daring to be different.

The game does reek of a Lost Planet clone, though. Not that I consider that a bad thing, I liked Lost Planet very much.