Hey folks! Tell me, do you love Super Robot Wars? If so, don’t you ever wish you can fight without the robots, and maybe do things more on a supernatural level? Demonic creatures with unknown origins, ancient vampires that can bring the world to its knees, magical beings that can reshape the plane of existence, and so much more, are in this game. What am I referring to? I am referring to the awesomeness that is Battle Moon Wars!
Before anything, let me tell you how I got into this game: I wanted to get more into Fate/Stay Night. On Livejournal, I saw how cool the characters were and how interesting their story appeared to be. So I set out on a search to try and get into Type-Moon games and series, such as Fate/Extra. After much searching, someone managed to find me a copy on the net for me to review for free. I went into this game blind, only expecting something I would normally see in one of my SRW games. Yet none of those could 100% prepare me for what was about to happen.
You choose between Haruna, a flying girl who uses a gun and other magic to take down her enemies, all while zipping around them too to evade damage, or you take on the role of Takumi, who is essentially the Sanger Zonvolt of this game with his might sword: Futsuno. While you do still use both characters, they are both routes for this game that can lead to some different boss fights, stages, and parts of the story, so playing both sides is needed if you want to know what the other team was doing. And during that time, only a certain portion of the main cast is usable, so making sure to upgrade specific members is key in most battles more than ever.
The story is something I can barely touch upon. I remind you, this game contains the following series in it: Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Zero, Fate/hollow ataraxia, Fate/unlimited codes, Kara no Kyokai, Kagetsu Tohya, Melty Blood, and Tsukihime. And out of all of those series/games, I have not touched any of them. At best, I know about some things in Fate/Stay Night, and I do know it borrows from the Heaven’s Feel ending while trying to combine Fate and Unlimited Blade Works. Sadly, my knowledge ends there aside from what is going on in the game, and what is going on is the usual bad guys being bad guys, uniting to try and take the Holy Grail for themselves for their own personal reasons. At times, the story is just downright confusing, but that’s expected when someone who has never seen any of the series mentioned above plays this game. However, once I finally put two and two together, I did manage to find the entire experience enjoyable, as well as all of the characters. I am even now interested in viewing all of these or play the other games to see what they were doing before. Granted, most of them are in Japanese, so I am screwed there. Thank god for the anime subs and such. And aside from those characters, the game does try to throw more original characters your way, though they are small in number.
Now onto the part everyone is so curious about: gameplay. How does it hold up? Well, it is indeed similar to that of Super Robot Wars, in that you take control of characters, upgrade them with money and skill points, use spirits to give you a further advantage, equip items for quick healing or stat boosts, and attack. Attacks however are limited at number, usually at a max of four for only a few, while others can just be limited down to one to three attacks each. Each character has something interesting to bring to the table, and while some may seem incredibly weak, like Sakura, they can eventually be upgraded through the storyline to be far more useful to your party. The game also grades them in terms of usage, but you can easily ignore this. For example, the game ranked Shiki Tohno as a B-rank fighter, yet by late game, he could easily be an A with his new upgrades and skills. Others are assigned to more healing and support roles, such as lowering defenses and aim, or upgrading other characters’ stats for one turn.
However, things remain different. Yes, attack animations do sometimes take other moves from other robots in the SRW series, such as Domon and Rain’s Sekiha Tenkyoken Love Fist, or the Combattler V and Voltes V combo. But the gameplay is surprisingly a tad different when it comes to the range of attacks. Sometimes, attacks contain yellow squares that can allow an attack to be landed with the same accuracy, but does damage that is miniscule, so trying to land in the enemies yellow zone without attack from yours is a key part when dealing with enemies and bosses. Range is especially important with the characters you pick, as some, like mages, are made for long-range combat, and getting them into position, while close-range fighters should hold the enemies in place and take the brunt of the damage or attract enemy attention, be it using a fast character to avoid their attacks, or using a heavy hitter/defender to endure the assault.
Naturally, if an enemy attacks out of your range, you cannot attack right back, and are given the option to defend or dodge, and those only work with characters suited to such a task. Otherwise, you are taking a gamble. Again, Will accounts in order to pull of stronger attacks, and the characters from each of the games do have their signature attacks. So yes, Archer in this game does indeed have Unlimited Blade Works. And yes, it is beyond epic in this game as well. They are all done beautifully, with no frame rate issues, even on this crappy laptop I have. But aside from range, height is also a factor, as well as enemies that are in your way. So if there’s an enemy in front of you and you have a range maximum of two, you can only hit that enemy and not the one behind it until it is destroyed. And as for height, other enemies can rest atop trees, lamps, and even roofs, and if your range is not high enough, and if you cannot jump up to them, you cannot get to them. Thankfully, you are given long-range characters that can take care of that problem, so they are not impossible to hit.
There are a total of about 52 stages, with bonus ones depending on how many skill points you have obtained. You can gather these by fulfilling specific objectives in the stage, but you can no longer get them if you fail it and try to repeat it. But if you do end up repeating the stage, some enemies are taken out to make it easier for you to pass the stage, or are you given more time to accomplish a task, such as escape. But the more skill points you get, the harder the game gets. And the less you get, the easier the game becomes. So it’s up to you if you want to collect them, though you don’t need all of them to complete the game or gain the extra stage.
And honestly, there’s not much else one can say about this game. The short summary is that it is SRW, with Type-Moon characters. That’s it. And that combination works wonders, and I was able to kill many hours playing through this game. The only downside I can think of in this game is not being able to play in a small window, and you have to use your mouse to play. Not to mention everything is not translated, such as biographies. And that is a real bummer. But hey, free translation for this game! That alone is good, and combined with this, I wish it had been made for a console, any console! If you can find this game, I highly recommend it, especially if you are a Type-Moon fan. And even if you are not, you’ll get a real kick out of this game.
Final Verdict: Battle Moon Wars earns a 5 out of 5. And Werk, I thank you for making this game and making me a fan of Type-Moon! If I could help pay you for the game, I would if I had money!