Black Rock Shooter: The Game is an action RPG in which players take control of the titular character, Black Rock Shooter (BRS for short) as she sets out to save what remains of humanity, from an evil alien threat that seeks to wipe all life from the face of the earth.
Black Rock Shooter The Game game was developed by Japanese studio Imageepoch, published by NIS America and released for the PSP (Playstation Portable) on August 2011 in Japan, and was later released in the west as a digital download on the PlayStation store in April 2013. The Black Rock Shooter franchise was created by Huke, a member of the Japanese band Supercell.
In the year 2032, aliens suddenly invade earth and set about leveling cities and slaughtering anything in site, quickly turning the planet into a war zone and sparking an all out battle for the sake of humanity. Nineteen years later in 2051, only twelve humans remain. Whatever was left of humanity banded together and decided to activate their one remaining super weapon; Black Rock Shooter. Black Rock Shooter is an advanced weapon resembling a young girl, who posses incredible power and wields a cannon as tall as she is. As the story progresses, it soon becomes apparent that there is far more to this mysterious girl than meets the eye.
Black Rock Shooter The Game, has an entirely original story that is in no way connected to the Black Rock Shooter OVA or the Anime. While some fans may find themselves missing Mato Kuroi and friends, the character of Black Rock Shooter in this game is much deeper and far more developed. The new dystopian storyline offers gamers a great cast of characters, superb moments in the plots development complete with interesting twists and exciting gameplay.
In the game, levels are broken down into missions. You can access these missions through stages. Each stage has its own unique map ranging from a ruined New York City to the ice caps of Mosko to the inside of a huge Alien ship, to name a few. Each mission will require the player to complete certain objectives found on that map and more often than not your objective will involve fighting off the Alien threat.
To enter a battle, you merely walk into one of the enemies that appear on the map. Once you’ve entered battle mode you’ll be able to manually fire your cannon at enemies, as well as, block and dodge their attacks. You’ll also be provided with a HUD (heads up display) letting you know how much HP (hit points) you have and a heat gauge.
Whenever you fire your cannon or dodge enemy attacks, you’ll gain heat which can lead to your inability to move. This action will force you cool-down by staying still. However, the heat gauge will not cool while blocking so some skill is required to keep away from enemies while cooling down. Like in most RPGs, once you’ve defeated an enemy you will gain EXP (experience) that will lead to higher levels and increased attack and defense.
As well as the ability to shoot, dodge and block, Black Rock Shooter can acquire special skills. These skills range from dishing out heavy damage with special attacks, regenerating your health, or providing temporary buffs, as well as support skills that can permanently increase your attack or defense. While special skills will not effect your heat gauge, they do have a cool-down timer of their own that varies depending on the skill used.
The end level bosses also deserve mention. These boss aliens are referred to as “A level Aliens” and strongly resemble humans, but much like Black Rock Shooter, posses incredible power. All the bosses in the game are unique in design as well as function, and will require the player to learn and adapt in order to defeat them, especially those you encounter later on.
While the combat starts off very basic, it soon picks up and you will find yourself needing to change skills around before entering battle in order to defeat certain end-level bosses. The combat is fast-paced and well-balanced, offering players a decent challenge but with a fair difficulty curve. The only real downside I encountered is that battles can get repetitive, however, the short, mission-based structure of the game alleviates much of the grind.
While the game itself is relatively short compared to most RPGs, the game boasts two endings and has many extra missions and challenges available. When you complete these extra challenges and missions you will unlock Concept artwork, music and even new weapons, items and skills for use in-game.
Both the music and voice acting in Black Rock Shooter: The Game are of an exceptional standard. Every stage has new and fitting background music, which compliments the atmosphere and offers an additional layer of emotion. The voice acting, from the main characters, is on par with some of the best I’ve heard from any anime inspired RPG.
Black Rock Shooter: The Game, is a gem of a game that unfortunately many may have overlooked. While the games graphics are outdated and it’s anime appeal may not be for everyone, it is incredibly fun and addictive, offering well-balanced combat as well as an epic, and often times emotional, story that any fan of Anime or RPGs in general is sure to enjoy.
This review is based on a retail copy of Black Rock Shooter: The Game published by NIS America.
- Well-balanced Action RPG
- Great Story & Boss Battles
- A Little Repetitive