anime films have long been regarded as masterful and often time powerful works
of animated storytelling that depicts the future as bleak yet filled with
technological marvels. I have to admit that I can only name a few anime films
off the top of my head but I know enough to consider games inspired by these
films to be very interesting. And so my focus shifts to Tsunami 2265 . . . a
game that pays tribute to the things we love about Japanese animation.
story is rather interesting: It seems that in the year 2118 planet Earth is
victim to massive floods caused by a powerful seaquake that began near
Japan–the result is cities in ruin and half of civilization gone. The survivors
band together for the Terrestrial Republic, one nation under one flag, but
unfortunately there are feuds among this new Republic and those members of the
elite who run international corporations. To make matters worse, these new
corporations wish to exploit a new discovery known as E.L.EN.A–a mysterious
source of power and energy.
take up the roll of two warriors, Naoko and Neon. Both are masters in the art
of the Samurai and both know their way around a Mech (for those of you who are
not familiar with the term, Mechs are like giant robotic battle suits). You
start the game as Naoko but as you advance you assume the roll of Neon.
controls include simple yet basic functions such as walk, jump, strafe and
firing two kinds of weapons (laser or missiles). The easy-to-manage controls
gives this game an arcade feel and doesn’t make controlling a Mech seem like a
complex operation. Aside from Arcade Mode there is Adventure Mode where the
character is out of the Mech exploring the various terrains such a prison
fortress or a massive dam.
fast and furious as you take on enemy drones, foot soldiers and fierce Mechs.
Since the game is seen in a third-person perspective, targeting an opponent is
an easy feat, however the enemy AI is smart and they’re able to dodge your
fire. The enemy does pose a challenge but the action could get a bit repetitive
at times. Thankfully, after the first objectives are completed, the next
objectives quickly change and offer something completely different. For
example, the first objective could be to destroy all white drones while the next
one has you destroying blue drones while not hurting the white ones.
also puzzles in the games but they are no more challenging than the ones seen in
a Resident Evil game. In one level you have to find a switch to turn on the
water sprinkler system to put out a fire blocking the way to a door. Or you
have to destroy a power source to short circuit a power station.
Tsunami is a
visual treat with its cell-shaded anime-styled graphics that is quite impressive
and even more so during animated cut scenes. Fans of Japanese animation will
feel right at home with the neatly rendered characters that move fluidly and
naturally, in fact, many times you’ll forget you’re playing a game since the
in-game animation flows just as freely as the cut scenes. And the level of
detail is astonishing!
sound is also something of an achievement. Mixed in with the fantastic visuals,
the soundtrack does a good job of immersing the player into the story and you
can’t help but get caught up by a score filled with dramatic anthems and sad yet
beautiful melodies. And there are also sound effects filled with laser blasts,
explosions and the heavy footsteps of a Mech but none of this comes close to the
beauty of the voice acting.
is an interesting game with a lot to offer and while the action can grow
somewhat repetitive the game is still an enjoyable treat that shouldn’t be
missed. On a technical note, make sure and install this one using the
recommended settings to get the best out of your system.
Using the third-person perspective,
this game is filled with arcade-styled action that’s actually easy to manage.
The controls are pretty basic, leaving behind the sometimes frustrating
complexity of other Mech titles. Here the emphasis is on the action and
adventure and the battles that are fun and intense.
levels Mechs aren’t even used, both Neon and Naoko move around in third-person
Jedi Knight fashion. My only complaint with this mode (known as Adventure Mode)
is that the characters have been built up to be master ninjas and Samurai and
neither one wields a weapon befitting of either warrior. You won’t see then
using swords in this game.
Tsunami’s graphics are outstanding
and look even better depending on the power of your graphic‘s card. Yet the
visuals even with a mediocre graphic‘s card is still something to marvel at.
Things such as backgrounds are presented in excellent cell-shaded detail that
the player can‘t help but look around and admire their surroundings.
of details, the game is full of them. Shooting the walls or floors leaves a
laser scorch marks on surfaces that slowly fade away and when the characters
speak during cut scenes their lips move . . . although not often in synch with
The sound superbly captures the
essence of a good Japanese anime and the proof is in the perfect soundtrack that
runs throughout the game as well as the great voice acting and sound effects.
Its score is wonderfully orchestrated and swiftly changes at the drop of a hat
when something of great importance occurs during mid-battle.
sound effects are not as wonderfully done as the score itself (it’s merely just
laser fire and Mechs exploding), the voice acting is top-notch. You’ll swear
you’re watching a good animated film by the quality of their acting and the
Piloting a Mech has never been so
much fun since it’s a breeze controlling it, but that doesn’t mean this game is
a walk in the park. The enemy AI is intelligent enough to defend themselves in
a number of ways including going for cover and staging assaults against you
while you’re busy blasting away on another target. Your enemy is also numerous
and varies from level to level, in certain stages you’ll face anything from weak
drones to equally powerful Mechs.
The game is
also filled with small yet visible glitches, though, and can hinder your
progress. Sometimes your character can get stuck in a corner, leaving yourself
vulnerable for attack. Other times it’s something as unusual as the strange
deaths that occur ever so often. For example, I tried to jump up on a ledge
that’s not very high and when I missed the Mech broke down and the GAME OVER
screen flashed. Luckily you get a few continues if you happen to fail a
For those who are familiar with
anime, especially those that involve Mechs, Tsunami 2265’s plot is the usual
futuristic battle-to-save-what’s-left-of-mankind theme . . . but, believe it or
not, this is a good thing. After all, who doesn’t want to play in a futuristic
universe where robotic monstrosities battle in nightmarish landscapes? I know
I’m not the only one raising my hand.
To keep the
game fresh, there are certain levels where your characters ditch the Mechs
altogether and explores fortresses freely with a handgun in the game’s Adventure
Mode. In fact, the game changes somewhat in this mode (e.g. player map and
other little things change). And playing Neon is slightly different from playing
Naoko, although not by much.
Paying homage to the elements that
draw anime fans in the first place, Tsunami 2265 is a solid action game with
plenty to like. Repetitive action could wear out those gamers looking for a
Mech title such as the PS2’s brilliant Zone of the Enders, but overall the game
doesn’t fail to deliver a good time.