February 4, 2016

Rodea the Sky Soldier is the latest game from Prope, a company comprised of members from Sega’s old Sonic Team. They’ve developed games like Ivy the Kiwi?, Digimon Adventure and StreetPass Mansion. Rodea was completed for the Wii in 2011 — and then it disappeared entirely. The 3DS version was discussed a couple of years later, before a Wii U version and a Japanese release window were finally announced in 2014 and a Western release following soon after. The game spent a long time in Prope’s office, but was it all worth it in the end?

The short answer is no. Upon booting the game, you can see that it was meant for the Wii; the cinematic cutscenes, particularly the character models, look crude. The backgrounds and other art are nice to look at though, and the character portraits for regular cutscenes look great. I’m also quite fond of the vibrant colours employed by Prope. The game doesn’t look as good as a Wii U game should; they certainly do the job, but there’s nothing that stands out. The soundtrack was similarly mediocre; it certainly wasn’t bad, but neither was it particularly good.

The plot and the characters weren’t memorable, either. The story felt rushed and made little sense. Our titular protagonist Rodea awoke at the beginning of the game broken and battered with a strong desire to save the land of Garuda, but could not remember why. A woman named Ion, who is handy with machines, found and repaired his damaged right arm. Rodea spent most of the game trying to remember why he wanted to save the land of Garuda so much. It felt off to me as it seemed that Prope were trying to surround his past in mystery, but as the prologue showed us the motives for his actions, that mystery was non-existent and just left me feeling frustrated at the lack of significant plot developments and Rodea’s faulty memory.

What I think were supposed to be significant characters came and went after a battle or two, with barely any time spent on them. One boss showed up for a couple of cutscenes before falling off the side of a floating island as Rodea looked on in horror, having never spoken a word nor revealed anything about himself. A number of other characters existed in similar circumstances; I was unable to glean more than a basic understanding of who they were or why they existed before they disappeared. They felt like poorly implemented, ineffectual plot fodder, and their lack of any form of real development contributed to the game’s overall rushed feeling.

It doesn’t help the game’s case that its dub was poor. Grating is the word that springs to mind, with Rodea’s good friend Ion the worst offender. She’ll often narrate your actions, which would be fine if she had more than a handful of lines. This game only took me 11 hours to finish, yet I had memorised just about everything she said by the end. You can’t even do anything about it if you decide you want to change the language part way through; I decided I was done with it at around the fourth level, but amazingly, found no option to swap to Japanese voices in the game’s menus.

The controls are another aspect that were clearly built for the Wii, and they work well on that system with its motion controls. The ability to point and click with the Wiimote makes for relatively smooth gameplay, rather than the infuriating movement on the Wii U version. Moving the control stick is far slower than using motion controls, and if you don’t select a target within a few seconds of leaping into the air, Rodea will start moving on his own. While I was able to recover most of the time, I wasn’t always able to get the camera around fast enough, so Rodea would fly into oblivion and die as he drifted away from potential targets and ran out of stamina.

Motion controls were only ‘relatively’ smooth as there were other movement problems. The game’s targeting issues often sent Rodea flying off the edges of floating islands, leaving me to scramble to prevent his death. Rodea also had issues flying in a straight line, which became painfully apparent in the first boss fight when his constant swerving frequently got him electrocuted. If Rodea finds himself stuck with an object between him and his target, he won’t just bounce off it, instead continuing to fly into the object until he runs out of stamina. I didn’t find stamina loss a serious issue in regular levels, as he didn’t need to fly too far without a break or a graviton (the small yellow star-like objects that Rodea can collect to restore his stamina, and net him an extra life should he collect 100 in a single level). They were common in regular levels, though practically non-existant in boss fights. Running out of stamina killed me in a number of boss battles, as he would often get caught on something just below his target and then begin to freefall before I could readjust.

Battle consists of slamming into your foes as you fly through the air. You also have a gun and a few other gadgets at your disposal. Enemies drop various items when they’re defeated which can be used to upgrade both Rodea himself and his items. It’s pretty straightforward, and doesn’t really change much throughout the game.

After completing a level, you can choose to replay it at any time by selecting it on the world map. You can also access the main menu, where you can view the challenges and upgrades Rodea has available. There are no restrictions on how often you can play each level, which all contain several medals to find and collect. The game appoints scores to every attempt, so there’s a nice amount of extra content that will allow you to get more out of the game if, unlike me, you do like it.

Rodea the Sky Soldier sported average visual and musical aesthetics, a bland plot with little to no character development and a dub that made me angry. The controls on the Wii version were great, though the game’s systems were riddled with issues that inhibited movement in a number of instances. Those that do enjoy this game will be able to get more out of it in the large number of things to collect, but ultimately, this is not a game I would not recommend except to the most hardcore fans of the genre.

October 17, 2019

2019 marks the sixth year the Penny Arcade Expo has come to Melbourne, forming a major part of Melbourne International Games Week, itself a celebration of local game development. There’s always a lot of reasons to come to PAX, which many people outside of Victoria (and Australia) do, but for me, it’s always been more of a social thing. I’ve always viewed the draw of PAX as because it’s so big of a event in uniting all sorts of people interested in the medium, it’s the Super Smash Bros Ultimate of events: everyone is here. People covering games, people making games (both tabletop and ...

October 16, 2019

It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since League of Legends was released, but here we are. To mark the celebration of one of the biggest games in the world, Riot Games finally lived up to their namesake by announcing a slew of projects, most of which League of Legends related, to entice new audiences to the world of Runeterra in 2020. While a bunch ofthe announcements are so early they’re referred to in codename (such as Project A, a character-based tactical shooter) or can be explained in a sentence (Teamfight Tactics is coming to mobile in 2020), Riot gave some details...

October 9, 2019

While 2019 has been a quiet year for Sony, 2020 is set to be enormous, with the company announcing the first major details of its upcoming next-generation console: Playstation 5, which will be releasing sometime next year. While the bulk of the announcement was announced via Wired (which also had the initial details of Sony’s next-gen efforts), Sony’s Playstation Blog also shares a few additional details, mostly regarding the still unnamed controller, which may or may not be called the DualShock 5. The first detail is that rumble is gone from the controller, which will be replaced...

October 2, 2019

It’s been an exciting time in the world of mobile gaming. Apple Arcade launched with an exciting and fascinating slate of games. Google announced its Play Store subscription service, which kicked off a fascinating discourse about its unfavorable payment models. And at the lower end of the totem pole, Nintendo and its partner DeNA released Mario Kart Tour, continuing their race to the bottom as a mobile games publisher. While it’s perfectly understandable that Nintendo / DeNA didn’t try to make it a “traditional” Mario Kart experience on the go, what’s not u...

September 26, 2019

The National Film & Sound Archive has announced they will be adding Australian video games into its archive for preseveration purposes. The announcement comes as the Game Masters exhibition, originally created by the Australian Center for the Moving Image in 2012, returns to Australia for a six month tour at The National Film & Sound Archive in Canberra. The NFSA have announced that eight games will make up the initial additions to its archive, spanning over 30 years of Australian game development. The NFSA will also attempte to preserve any additional and available archival materials, such a...

September 19, 2019

Have you heard the good word about Final Fantasy XIV? It’s a game with an incredible story, and not just the one you get whilst playing. After its disastrous release in 2010, the game saw a massive undertaking by Square-Enix to reboot the game, and managed to successfully do so. After a series of expansions, the most recent of which is currently regarded as one of the best games of 2019, Final Fantasy XIV is a game I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone not just looking for a great MMO, but also a genuinely great Final Fantasy game. It just takes a while to get there. While I’ve been dab...

September 12, 2019

I love exploring Japan. It’s a country that’s absolutely perfect for tourism – the people are friendly, food and drink is affordable, public transport is amazing and so much more. But it’s also an amazing country if you like video games, not just because it’s the spiritual home of the medium, but because it’s one of the few places in the world where arcades (or Game Centres) are still common place. There’s always been something about arcade games that fascinates me. Not just in terms of designing a game that is meant to eat your money, but because you’re designing around hardw...

September 5, 2019

It’s been nearly three months since the last time Nintendo picked up and subsequently dropped the mic with its E3 Direct, perfect timing to do it again! Nintendo’s direct for September 2019 just finished airing, and quite a lot was announced. Overwatch Coming To Switch Perennial salt simulator Overwatch, after many a leak, is coming to the Nintendo Switch on October 15th. If you’ve ever wanted to play Overwatch on the go, your dreams have finally come true. ARE YOU OKAY? Terry Bogard comes to Super Smash Bros Ultimate The next challenger has been described in the past as a F...

Still broke shirt $15

You can support New Game Plus AND look good by wearing our awesome merchandise.

This black t-shirt says:

300 Rupee.
5,000 Gil.
7,000 Septum.
800 Bottlecaps.
10,000 Bison Dollar.

Still broke.


September 5, 2019

Chances are if you speak to someone around my age, they’ll have…opinions on Naruto. With the manga and anime done, and continuing in spinoff and crossover forms, what better time than now to get into it for the first time? I’m not even kidding when I say this. Naruto was something I never got into when it was popular, somehow passing me by. I don’t know if it not being on free to air TV helped (which was how I got into Dragonball & One Piece) or just not really caring about anime at the time,  but it completely passed me by. Everything I know about the series and wher...

August 29, 2019

It’s been a long time since Sega announced the future of the Yakuza series and how it’ll be lead by a brand new protagonist. After a few well received spinoffs and remakes, Sega are finally read to return to the world of Yakuza proper with the announcement of Yakuza 7: The Whereabouts of Light & Darkness, formerly known as Shin Yakuza. The game, releasing in 2020 on PS4 (first in Japan in January, later in the West) stars Ichiban Kasuga, and won’t be taking place in Kamuorocho, the virtual recreation of Tokyo’s Kabukicho district. Instead, it’ll be set in a ficti...

Show More Blogs
Latest Videos
Latest Photos & Events
Site by GMAC Internet Solutions