Believe in the Me
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann holds a special place in my heart as being one of my favorite animes ever. When I heard that it had a mobile RPG on the way, I could not help but be excited. It shares the same name as the anime and is developed by Wanda Cinemas Games.
The developers are no strangers to the mobile game scene, with titles like Saint Seiya: Legend of Justice and Ultimate Football Club, which have a combined total of 1.5 million downloads. The game seems to be in good hands. However, after playing the game, its uninspired nature became apparent, and it seemed just a way to cash in on the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann name.
Grit Those Teeth!
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann follows the exact same beats as the anime. The story takes place in a fictional dystopian future, Earth. The land is ruled by the Spiral King, and villages live in poverty without outside knowledge or communication of the world. We are introduced to our heroes, Simon and his older brother Kamina, dreaming about life outside of their underground village. One day, they find Gurren Lagann, a giant mech that helps them leave their village and bring the outside world together to find a way to topple the King.
You are in for a treat if you have never experienced the anime. The story is phenomenal from beginning to end, and this game is a great way to experience it without making any anime subscription purchases. However, for someone who has already experienced the show, it is hard to stay invested in the game. It would have been nice to see something new for the audience that had already seen the show. Most of the content relies on using scenes from the show and nostalgia.
Most of the disappointment stems from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann‘s gameplay. That game starts with giving you Lagann as your first mech for battle, then the mech Gurren to start the teambuilding aspect of the game. Once you get through the tutorial, the gacha mechanic introduces itself. This mechanic lets the player roll for more mechs to join your team. The gacha is very generous, and I built a good team with some grinding.
Once you have a team, you can manage them on the battlefield, and the auto-battle commences. And that is the gameplay. There is no action for the player whatsoever. At least with other gacha games, the player can control specific attacks or ultimates, and timing them involves strategy. Wanda Cinemas Games focuses so much on team building and setup that they should have made the gameplay more engaging.
This is Goodbye
Graphically, the game looks good. The character models look great, especially on the home screen. The chibi art style of the mechs will turn some off, but I enjoy looking at them battle. Attacks and ultimate animations are the most fun I had with the game, as it was great seeing attacks from the show and some of the iconic battles that take place. Another treat was the soundtrack taken from the anime OST, and to those who do not know, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has one of the best opening songs out there. Voice acting and cut scenes from the show can sometimes sound choppy and could have used more refining.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann does a lot right to make the anime fans feel nostalgic. I really wanted to love this game and see if I could re-experience the anime through it, but the boredom of the gameplay almost put me to sleep at times. And some fans will want to see something new, not scenes from the anime and recycled voice lines. If you have never experienced the anime, this is a free way of enjoying it, but maybe just purchase a Crunchyroll subscription and enjoy the anime how it was meant to be enjoyed.
Is it Hardcore?
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann‘s gameplay will put most gamers to sleep, while the anime will keep them on the edge of their seats.