Weeaboo Wednesday: Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: The Endless TitleMay 13, 2009
Japanese games have always set themselves apart from those of west. During the 80s and early 90s, they did this through innovation and creativity. Now, Japan defines its niche in the games industry by baffling their consumers with any means available to them. The Japanese are so adept at this that the very titles of their games are often ludicrous, barely-coherent strings of “words.” Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: The Endless Frontier is obviously a product of this Ha Ha ha school of thought.
Super Robot Taisen Original Generation Saga: The Endless Frontier (“Mercifully” shortened to Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: The Endless Frontier on the box art) is a role playing game for the Nintendo DS published by Atlus, and developed by the studio responsible for the long-winded, unending RPG series Xenosaga. Knowing that, we can expect two things from this game: a plot that makes no sense, and robots for robots’ sake.
Super Robot Tai—forget it—SRTOGS:EF stars Haken, a lecherous cowboy bounty hunter with big guns and an attitude to match. He travels through a series of cookie-cutter worlds that are connected by inter-dimensional portals all while collecting bounties alongside Aschen, a stoic, big-breasted android who, when powered up, sheds her clothing. As their journey continues, they attract a great many followers; most of which, coincidentally enough, are women—laughably scantily clad women. In fact, the back of the box boasts the presence of were-women, machine-women, and demon-women… and it delivers in cat-eared spades.
I won’t bother explaining the plot since that would be about as illuminating as explaining the story of even the best feature-length porn film. SRTOGS:EF is all about the fighting—which is about as absurd as everything else. The object of random battles (you walk around until a flash of light takes you into a battle screen) is to keep your foe in the air as long as possible. Combat focuses on timing your attacks in such a way that you defeat your opponent without them touching you. It’s fast, frenetic, and frenzied. This kind of ridiculous yet technical gameplay is what Japanese developers excel at. Though they usually do this by replacing a coherent plot or deep characters with childlike racism and breasts.
Graphically speaking, the game is astounding when in combat, and looks like an out of focus magic-eye puzzle when wandering around. It’s amazing that the developers took the time to make sure that the sprites’ breasts jiggled in time with character movement but neglected to make the out-of-combat characters look more than vaguely human. I guess that’s all one can expect when one of the games selling points is the presence of demon-women.
Endless Frontier is a fairly representative sample of you can expect if you intend to travel down the long, puzzling road of Japanese gaming. Success in Japan is defined by a notion of excelling at one thing over others (while maintaining an air of modesty) and that philosophy leaks into its games as well. In the end, Endless Frontier is made worthwhile by its amazingly deep and rewarding combat, but might frustrate players with its mind-bogglingly bad story and cast of unbearable clichés. It may also be harmful if you are allergic to breasts… or cat dander.