Giant Robots + Anime + Tower Defense
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Lost Stories proves how much the Japanese love their giant robots. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Lost Stories is part visual novel, part tower defense and part visual novel. If good things come in three’s what could possibly go wrong?
Giant Robots Need a Strong Foundation
Based on a popular anime series of the same ridiculously long name, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Lost Stories has the benefit of nostalgia. In this alternate universe, Japan has been taken over by the superpower of Britainnia and renamed Area 11. Giant mechs called Knightmare frames dominate the battlefield raining down destruction on all who dare oppose them. The poor people of Japan have been renamed “elevens” and are denounced by the monarchial society of Britannia. This leads to a small but potent rebellion simmering in the shadows. For those who have not seen the anime or played the game, I will not spoil the deep plot driving this title. This is one of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Lost Stories saving graces.
Lelouch of the Rebellion Begins
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Lost Stories starts off well enough with a cool anime-style intro, easy-to-follow tutorial, and a clean menu system. It takes a while to get going, but your patience is rewarded so hang in there. The story is told in a visual novel style with hilarious animation and excellent writing that really pulls you in. The developers made the interesting choice of splitting up the story and the battle portions of the game so if you do not feel like doing one or the other, you can skip it. Sort of…
The Knightmare Has Arrived…
I normally do not drag titles through the proverbial mud, but Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Lost Stories really handed me the rope and yelled “GO!” Let us start with the fact that this is not a mobile title. It takes entirely too long to load up the game and play. I tried multiple times to play a quick game waiting in the horrendous Florida traffic only to be thwarted by load screens, menu navigation and more load screens. But wait! There’s more…
The tower defense portion of the game is laughably bad. The character models are PS1-poor. The environments are so simplistic they look like they were built by a 5-year-old. The only strategy seemingly available is to put your frame in the way of the oncoming enemy who mindlessly charges in normally one direction. While there are some cool power-ups specific to each pilot and special moves, most are unnecessary as the AI strategy seems to be lifted straight from the Russians during the battle of Stalingrad. I cannot help but feel like it was cobbled together at the last minute or released prematurely. It honestly feels like a lost opportunity because the rest of this title is so polished.
Another Lost Rebellion
There are at least a dozen other things I could complain about. As there are just a few more nice things I could say about Code Geass. The main takeaway for me is that this title should not be played on the go. As a faithful visual novel, it performs admirably well but leaves a lot of dead on the battlefields of Area 11.
Is It Hardcore?
Fans of the anime may find some joy here but play only at home or on long car rides. This was a lost opportunity that just a few more features and less load times would have made this title excel.