Review: Vehicle Cavalier for PS3, PSP, PS Vita

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Title: Vehicle Cavalier
Price: $5.99
System(s): PS Vita (Also available on PS3, PSP)
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Publisher (Developer): Gungho Online Entertainment America (Vanguard)
ESRB Rating: N/A. I’d say ages 13 and up since younger players may have troubles figuring out what to do since there’s so much Japanese.

Vehicle Cavalier is a bit of a tragedy. It’s a fun little battler with oodles of customizable mechas and weapons. It looks quite nice, is fun to play but also eventually gets quite challenging. Unfortunately, it’s jam packed with Japanese text and this puts up quite a wall that can easily overwhelm players. It’s a classic good news, bad news situation. The good news is, Gungho Online Entertainment America has brought over a very promising action game with RPG elements, but the bad news is, the language barrier will likely keep a lot of players out.

You’re a man with a mech

Most people relish the thought of getting their own mech, so be ready to enjoy the experience with Vehicle Cavalier. As the game begins, players name their character and are given a basic mecha and handful of weapons and then dropped in a pretty unpleasant, steam-punk future. There are bad people out there who disregard other people and take advantage of an already bad situation.

Fortunately, you’re not one of them. You get to tackle multiple missions and see the stories of eight different mech owners, trying to do your best to make yourself richer and stronger while also teaching the unpleasant people a lesson. There’s more too it than that, but it’s very text heavy and you don’t need the details to start up a mech, go to an enclosed are and fight stuff.

Get in your mecha, grab your gear and do some shooting.

We’ll kick this off with the major downside, which is that Vehicle Cavalier is very text heavy. This means many will have no idea what’s going on, why they’re fighting enemies and such. Fortunately, you don’t really need to know what’s going on to play the game. Weapons and mechs are represented by images and icons initially, and it’s easy enough to mark down the katakana/hirigana/kanji for the most recently bought items so you know which to equip. This is especially true for taking missions, since that involves going to the right location from the town map, taking the most recent and highlighted mission and then going to shoot anything that isn’t you.

This part is especially fun and encourages the Steambot Chronicles comparison. Your mecha can equip a weapon per each face button and there are over 300 from which to choose. Players just get to zip around an arena-like environment, attempting to line up the right shots to take down every opponent to complete the mission and be rewarded with money and perhaps even gear. The mechas are easy to control and while I had some trouble remembering which weapons I had equipped there, after a few missions people will get a feel for what each weapon is and works best for each situation.

Not to mention Vehicle Cavalier looks quite good for its age. The environments aren’t terribly extraordinary, but they’re serviceable and suit the situation. What look especially good are the mechs themselves. Each looks quite good and distinct, and many are even quite colorful to boot. It looks especially pleasant on a Vita.

If only it were in English, everyone would want to be a Vehicle Cavalier

Vehicle Cavalier is a pretty good game, but it is unfortunately surrounded by a language barrier. This means that people can play it, but won’t fully appreciate what’s happening around them. I suppose it isn’t too terrible, since it’s easy enough to savor Vehicle Cavalier‘s shoot’em up, arena battles without understanding what’s happening. It would just make the process easier if people could. Especially once people start reaching the point where their inventory is filled with different weapons. If people feel like taking a risk, then Vehicle Cavalier is worth the chance.

Site [Vehicle Cavalier]

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