When the PSP was launched, it came with many of the standard game genres that you’d expect with a console: sports, action and other titles dominated the focus of the machine in its early days. So you knew that once developers could get their hands on the system for a longer period of time, the more original titles would start to make their way onto the portable. Tecmo, long known for its action titles like Ninja Gaiden and fighting games like the Dead or Alive franchise looks to be leading the charge with a clever little action/puzzle game called Tokobot.
Gamers play as Bolt, a researcher/adventurer trying to uncover the mysteries of an ancient civilization in a land known as Moritari. Apparently, the previous civilization was an incredibly peaceful one that was extremely advanced – they managed to create little robots that would perform different tasks and aid them in ensuring the success of the culture. However, for one reason or another, this civilization vanished, leaving behind the remnants of their technology. Many years later, the current day society has been trying to recreate the technical advances of the lost civilization. One day, Bolt discovers a group of robots called Tokobots, a type of machine never seen before, and quickly becomes tasked with discovering their origin and where their makers disappeared to.
One of the interesting features of the game is how Bolt uses his Tokobots to navigate ruins, environmental hazards and other obstacles he runs into. Bolt can arrange them into one of three different formations: a single file line behind Bolt, a side by side arrangement around him, and a circular formation surrounding him. The single file line appears to be the most combat oriented pose, as you can pick up this column of bots and swing them into opponents. You'll also be able to use this configuration to form a ladder that Bolt can climb to get to areas just out of his reach. The side by side arrangement allows Bolt to spin like a saw blade to break boxes or jars as well as hover across certain distances. Finally, the circular arrangement acts as more of a protective buffer for Bolt against attacks, as well as a way to trigger switches. In fact, the Tokobots will help Bolt with pulling or pushing objects as well as transforming into larger objects.
The visuals are somewhat reminiscent of some anime sequences, particularly within the dialogue information scenes. Both Bolt and the Tokobots themselves have that wide eyed facial expression found in many recent anime titles, which adds a distinct visual style to the game, especially when you're playing and fighting against some of the stranger enemies that you'll fight against. While the camera in our build could get lost or stuck behind some objects, this will probably be fixed by the final version. As far as sound goes, Tokobot really focuses more on the adventure aspects and soundtrack than speech, with some impressive sound effects and relatively addictive songs. We're looking forward to getting our hands on the final build when it comes out. Check back soon for a full review!
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