Super Robot Taisen Original Generation Saga: Endless Frontier Review «

After finishing Super Robot Taisen Original Generation Saga: Endless Frontier, one accessory item in particular stands out strongly in my memory: The “Cat Ear Unit.” The description reads, “An attempt to pander to all you freaks out there.” Atlus should’ve put that on the box instead. Endless Frontier dispenses with anything even resembling dignity from the get-go. It’s pretty obvious what the Atlus localization team thought of the story’s sexual insanity, because they don’t even bother trying to tone it down. Instead, they turn the volume up to eleven, then break off the knob.
The hurricane of undisguised innuendo starts early and never lets up. Endless Frontier’s main protagonist, Cowboy wannabe Haken Browning, and his gang of bunny warriors blunder across the countryside, encountering cat-girls, fox-girls and robot-girls, all of whom expose copious amounts of cleavage. Take Haken’s android companion Aschen; she has a special code that sends her into overdrive, making her armor “vent” by opening up in strategic locations. It goes on like that for the next 25 hours or so.

Click the image above to check out all of our Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier screens.
But, believe it or not, the fetishistic silliness that pervades Endless Frontier is the game’s high point. Atlus has endeavored to make the writing as self-aware as possible, which at least makes the formulaic story amusing, if not particularly interesting. But seeing what the characters will do next holds a certain fascination — for example, who will be the next to threaten a spanking for “bad behavior?”

Unfortunately, that fascination only goes so far; at some point, the gameplay has to be entertaining too. Endless Frontier has a problem with that. It might be difficult to believe after a trailer that suggests an exciting combination of combat and cleavage, but as veterans of Endless Frontier’s cousin Namco x Capcom learned, flashy-looking promos aren’t everything.

Endless Frontier looks pretty, but it’s one of the dullest RPG slogs I’ve ever encountered. The battles simply take too long, ordinary encounters and boss fights alike. Unlike many other RPGs, there are hardly any moves that will take out a group of enemies in one hit. “Special skills” are supposed to fill that gap, but they do barely any damage save at very high levels, and even then, some of them cost too much magic to be practical. As a result, strings of ordinary attacks end up being the name of the game, which gets repetitive quite quickly. Watching Reiji break out a lengthy combo the first time around is quite fun. But when it’s required for almost every battle? Not so much.

Super Robot Taisen Original Generation Saga Endless Frontier ‘Infinity’ trailerEndless Frontier’s boss battles are even worse, and they are numerous. Two bosses are the norm in most dungeons, though I saw that number go as high as five. While such encounters are ordinarily a fun opportunity to use a party’s heavy-duty weaponry, Endless Frontier’s fights are merely wars of attrition. In the end, it all comes down to having enough items. Being fully stocked, ensures victory; but it takes 15 to 20 minutes for that to happen. That equals 15 minutes of doing the same combos again and again, with the occasional overdrive attack mixed in for good measure.

As Endless Frontier goes on, it becomes apparent just how linear the experience is. Except for a special weapon that Haken Browning and company can retrieve in one of the later dungeons, the game contains no optional side quests and barely any exploration. Even the towns are limited to a few, simple menu screens, and the dungeons are basically corridors with random encounters and a few token puzzles .

As I played, I kept hoping the experience would get better. I thought that the appearance of KOS-MOS (yes, the same KOS-MOS from Xenosaga) or the support mechs would alleviate the slog. But no, even the mechs are generally relegated to leaping out to launch an attack à la Marvel vs. Capcom 2 — useful, but hardly game changing. The best I can say is that they gave me somewhat more useful special abilities, which allowed me to clean up random encounters a tiny bit more quickly. But it hardly seems worthy of a franchise that’s provided some of the best robot assaults ever.

Click the image above to check out all of our Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier screens.
So, once again, I return to the ridiculous innuendo level — the only thing that kept me going. I need to give Atlus some credit, they recognized that silliness is what separates this RPG from the pack, and they’ve done everything in their power to make sure the right people are happy. And by the right people, I mean the people who don’t mind having their roommates ask if they’re playing a video game, watching hentai, or both.

Appearances aside, I’m not part of that crowd. And as I said before, silly innuendos can only take me so far. If you find yourself getting starry-eyed at cat-girls and cosplayers though, then by all means go for it. While you’re at it, I’ve got a “Cat Ear Unit” to sell you.


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