Note: This article is also available at DPAD Magazine
This game embodies the psychedelic excess associated with video games in a way which few games – even the landmark destruction orgies of the Call of Duty series – match. It is a game where robot samurai ride robot horses to attack giant aliens, a schoolgirl and her pet talking moles (note: actually platypi) launch boulders at the enemy while quoting cartoon shows, and a red-and-gold robot can take an orbital laser shot full on and receive no lasting damage. Everything about it is larger-than-life, primary-coloured and loud, a very exuberant sensory overload which comes as quite a surprise set as it is in a fairly in-depth strategy RPG framework.
Previously I’ve written about how the turn-based structure of the Super Robot Wars games makes them a perfect depiction of the sort of throwdowns seen in comic books and superhero films – the heroes and villains take it in turns to give it their best shot with plenty of one-liners and shouted dialogues in between. Yet while many turn-based strategy games have short, simple animations for their attacks, the SRW series instead turns those animations into a reason to play and a major selling-point. With immense care taken in reproducing scenes from specific series in the franchise’s licensed entries (down to specifically not animating sprites if the series in question was renowned for cheaping out on its animation budget), when the developers are freed from trying to be accurate to the source material the results are imaginative parodies of the source genre. These five videos show some of the attention to detail put into some of the most surreal and extravagant finishing moves in SRPGs. Continue reading