Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation 2 «

Super Robot Taisen is a series that, despite having been Japan-only for most of its life, has gained a very devout fan following internationally. I gave the first Original Generation a whirl to see what all the fuss was about, and while I had fun, I wasn’t really impressed. I liked the story and the characters a lot, but the easy and often overly long battles and the clunky interface were a major annoyance. In the end, it was an enjoyable but not really noteworthy game.

Now we have the sequel, Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation 2. It’s worthy to note that the first SRT was released in Japan in 2002, while this title came about in 2005. The difference time has made is plain to see — this game is not only a huge improvement over the first installment in every way, but it’s also one of the most enjoyable strategy games available for the GBA, or any current portable for that matter.

The story of SRT: OG2 takes place six months after the first game, and is a direct continuation of the story. The alien threat to Earth and humanity has been defeated, but things are hardly peaceful — there’s still organized rebellion against the current government, several unknown individuals with their own agendas, and what appears to be an entirely new extraterrestrial threat causing chaos and discord. It’s a fairly complex tale of war and politics, full of spies, double-crossing, and people who aren’t who they seem to be. It’s quite different from the usual emotional melodrama you find in the strategy and RPG genres, and while many will enjoy the story, there will be those who will find it tough to follow. Complicating it even more is that it ties in directly to events of the original game — meaning that you’re bound to be lost if you haven’t played through the previous title.


Being a direct sequel does have advantages, though. Almost the entire cast from the first SRT makes a return, and they’re all as quirky and fun as they were before. A few new characters and faces we only saw briefly in the previous installment also make their full-fledged combat debut. Alongside the expanded character roster come several new and revised mecha to use in combat, many of which boast some very sleek and impressive designs. What’s really great is that all of the characters and mechs have their own part to play in the story — there aren’t any instances where a character becomes important briefly, but is completely forgotten by the plot later on.

The difficulty in SRT: OG2 has been significantly rebalanced. One of my biggest complaints about the original was the relatively easy difficulty, so I was quite happy to see the changes that had been made. Many of the easy-to-exploit skills have been removed or altered, and the enemies tend to be both a lot smarter and a lot tougher. The mission objectives are also more varied and challenging, and the game won’t hesitate to throw you some surprise curveballs in mid-mission. Even the money you earn to buy upgrades for your mechs and weaponry doesn’t seem to go as far this time around. While SRT:OG2 isn’t insanely difficult, it will require a good deal of pre-planning and actual strategy if you want to succeed in combat.

 

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