Review: 13 Sentinels – Aegis Rim (PS4)

Japanese as it suggests – for better or worse.

In the childhood of the rental video, in the early 80’s, it appeared a lot anime who snuck in as family movies. It was “drawn” and drawn is for children, was the idea. Since there was both a lot of blood and violence in the films, no one really thought about it. I grew up with, among other things Starzinger, Robotech, Ray Grottpojken and GalaxExpressen 999. As I mentioned when I reviewed Akira so there really is a warm place in my heart for anime. So when I saw the trailer for 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim so my heart made a couple of shots of joy because this really looks like you’re playing an anime movie.

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim - Vanillaware - screenshot ps 4 copyright 2020

In an alternative 80s, a bunch of schoolchildren realize that they are in some way connected to each other. In their dreams, they control giant robots in epic battles. It soon turns out that it is anything but a dream…

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim - Vanillaware - screenshot ps 4 copyright 2020

First out, I want to bring up what I like 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim and that’s what I got hooked on when I saw the trailer: This is really like playing an anime! These are incredibly beautiful pictures, which look completely handmade. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim dialogue was – at the time of the review – entirely in Japanese, so it is important to read the text to keep up (if you do not now understand the language). The acting, the sound, the music and the feeling are top notch. An English VO will be offered in connection with a major patch that will be released on the same day as the game (September 22).

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim - Vanillaware - screenshot ps 4 copyright 2020

The game is divided into two sections: one is the animated section where we find out all the background history and exposition and the other part is the strategy section, which unfortunately lacks a part in implementation, I think. There is nothing of the anime feeling left here but it is a more generic view of a city and the creature you are fighting and your robot are only symbols. All of a sudden, it’s a completely different kind of game and the feeling of a board game appears. It is still dialogue but with extremely simple animations. It is also confusing at first to keep track of all the details before the upcoming battles.

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim - Vanillaware - screenshot ps 4 copyright 2020

What bothered me the most was also – unfortunately – the rather mossy view of women. These are the classic Japanese schoolgirls with short skirts and over-sexualized looks, while the school nurse has a giant bust that looks like it will pop out at any second. The game was released in Japan last year and not 15 years ago, as you might think.

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim - Vanillaware - screenshot ps 4 copyright 2020
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim - Vanillaware - screenshot ps 4 copyright 2020

In summary, so be it 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim a cool mix between strategy games and adventure games. There are lots of weapons and skills to find and unlock. It’s a really rich story with many twists and turns and the graphics are awesome. Unfortunately, I think the strategy section is a bit too boring, compared to the rest of the game and as I mentioned, here is a view of women that does not really feel like it works in a post-#metoo world.

So the grade is thus approved.

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