Review by Dragnfly

Reviewed: 07/24/04

Giant robots, hot girls, tons to unlock... What more could you want?

Being a huge fan of the anime I decided to buy the game. At first, I was afraid of being burned by Bandai's infamous quarter-of-a-game trend like I was with .Hack and Gunslinger Girl. However, Godannar has pleased me greatly and sits on a fighting game pedestal slightly below Guilty Gear X2.

As with most of my reviews I'll be joined by Rieka, a review tag narrator. What she says is in italics. And today I'm coming to you live from a cybercafe in Italy! Now that I think of it we should have reviewed Gunslinger Girl while you were in Italy.

Control: 8/10 Dash attacks can be a pain in the butt
For a 3D fighting game it's pretty responsive. Think Techromancer only no power ups but replacing them with X-on-2 battles. X as in 1 or 2... not the future Megaman.

Story: 9/10 A husband and wife love each other enough to pilot giant robots together.
Godannar is what some consider to be the Ultimate Giant Robot story. It carefully infuses comedy, suspense, drama, romance and tragedy in nearly-perfect quantities. Although the game has much less comedy than the anime did the stories are just as good. The game tends to follow the anime rather faithfully for the general part without sacrificing the gameplay while doing so. It's your standard earth-under-siege-by-giant-monsters-and-can-only-be-hurt-by-giant-robots story but what makes it so refreshing are the characters. Although not all the characters from the anime show up in the game, at least all the pilots make it in. However, the game does feature multiple story modes showing you little snibbits of what happened away from the anime's camera. You did always say that how a story is told is far more important than what's said.

BGM: 9/10 Music with passion and heart!
The soundtrack may be directly from the anime. I'm not sure. But whether it is or isn't, it fits perfectly. Lots of brass instruments and good drum work adds the special perk of the music coming to a climatic high right when you destroy your opponent with a huge attack. Or an anti-climatic jab to the crotch area. Let's not remind people of that.

Voice Acting: 10/10 The gang's all here
The VAs from the anime all return to their respective roles and deliver on-par with their last season's work. Everything from Lou's tragic meek-yet-brave dialogues with the stoic Ken right down to the bridge bunnies informing you when you've unlocked something new really give the sensation that you're one with the Godannar experience.

Sound Effects: 6/10
Not the best. Their recorded quality if pretty low. The in-battle dialogue (a myriad of ughs and screams) is decent quality though. Makes me wonder what happened.

Graphics: 9/10 They're so shiny
Indeed. During fights we're treated to some standard-quality graphic effects but the focus in battle is clearly on the robots and mimetic beasts themselves. Shines on the armor which react to your position and the distance of tall obstacles, flowing energy bursts and glowing globules of whatever the heck is on some mimetic beasts all combine for a blissful symphony of beauty as these titans duke it out. I once even caught a shimmer of light on Blade Gainar's earrings!

The cel shading isn't bad either. Cinimatics are told mainly with shots from the anime and all such shots used are of exceptional quality. Correct me if I'm wrong but weren't they even re-drawn for the game? I remember reading that. Oh, I wouldn't be surprised. Some of the end-of-story CGs are absolutely beautiful.

In addition to the impressive character models are the interesting battlefields filled with obstacles and weapons. Everything from hidden land mines to falling volcanic debris get in your way. Each battlefield is from the anime and comes out looking great! <I especially like the highly explosive oil field.

Fun Factor: 8/10 Minus some frustration it's very fun
True, the CPU opponents can get exceptionally cheap at times but for the most part it's very fun. Versus is exceptionally fun as is co-op and there is so much to unlock. But after one trip through the easy setting of story mode you have everything you need to begin a good fighting party with friends. And boy, is there ever a lot to unlock!Tons of modes, minigames, characters, options (right down to removing helmets) I wouldn't mind a gallery though. I'm docking it points for missing out on such an obviously needed bonus. You just wanted to look at Lou's butt, pervert. Please... I demand more respect than that. Luna's butt.Anyway, it looses more points for 2-on-2 battles with no multitap support. I would've wanted story modes for every couple but that may be too much to ask as the game isn't on a DVD.

Difficulty: 7/10 (closer to 5 the better)
As I said before, the computer can be ultra-cheap. Especially when you fight more than one opponent at a time. However, as with most fighting games it really shines in multiplayer. And with no new good fighters out around this time this game is able to shine with pure passion!

Feel: 8/10 Feel like a giant robot anime
It feels exactly like the serious episodes of the anime which is great. However, it's lack of comedy irks me a bit. I mean, Godannar's comedic moments are gold in the anime. Some made me fall out of my chair with laughter. However, even the light-hearted Love Story Mode is pretty much devoid of this humour.

Instruction book/packaging: 8/10 Beautiful art and full colour!
Beautiful cover art, a gorgeous poster, a bonus season one synopsis DVD (despite import shops saying it's the entire first season) and a wonderful full-colour instruction booklet... I really couldn't ask for more. Except maybe a moves list for more than three characters. That would've been nice. Or at least an in-game one.

Overall: 9/10
Not just for Godannar fans. Any fans of great fighting, anime, Tech Romancer, giant robots and fun party games should check into this! I was very impressed and pleased with my purchase. So go on... Review's over. Go buy it!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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