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First Impressions: Shouting Shounen in Capcom’s Gaist Crusher

Posted by Kerry Brunskill

We go hands-on with this hyperactive Treasure-developed 3DS title

Gaist Crusher is one of those multimedia extravaganzas where right from the start there’s a TV series, manga and other merchandise all lined up and ready to drain the wallets of anyone unable to withstand the assault. This 3DS offering — developed by none other than the legendary Japanese studio Treasure (Gunstar Heroes, Sin & Punishment and Ikaruga, amongst others) — is the video game “arm” of this multifaceted and highly coordinated attack.

It’s worth taking a moment to point out that these impressions come from the demo on the Japanese eShop, and while we’re aware that the retail game has more of everything, we aren't able to confirm exactly what additional content will be included, or how different (if at all) the finished cart is from this demo.

The demo is split into three distinct parts – a short tutorial, a set of three single player levels and a “search mode”, which appears to be a way to use the 3DS cameras to read small QR-like codes that are of course only available on the back of related Gaist Crusher merchandise. Did someone say "money spinner"?

The single player mode is the main event, and plays like a traditional 3D brawler. You’re given one character (Rekka) and five “Gaist Gears” (think fancy armour) to choose from before the start of the stage and you can’t change to another type unless you quit and try again from the beginning. Each Gaist Gear has three forms to use in battle; “Mail Form”, “Weapon Form” and “Extreme Form”. Mail and Weapon modes can be switched between at will, with Weapon Mode offering increased attack powers (and a whole new move set) at the expense of Rekka’s defence.

Extreme Mode can only be used for brief periods once Rekka’s EX gauge has reached its limit, the benefits being that in this robo-animal mode he's very powerful and is invincible for the short time it's active. The fact that all Gaist Gears and end of level bosses are aligned to a particular element and have strengths/weaknesses to others will probably cause many seasoned Nintendo fans to think of Mega Man, and knowing beforehand which Gear is the "correct" one to use for a stage will make things easier to handle.

We’re prepared to accept that as fully-grown adults, we're perhaps not part of Gaist Crusher’s target demographic, but most gamers would still expect more from an action game created by a team with Treasure’s pedigree. Once you get past all the posing and hot-blooded youths shouting at the top of their lungs, there’s really not much else of note here; combos never really feel fluid, enemies are too abstract to have any personality and the Extreme Mode transformations — while visually impressive — are clunky to control and nowhere near as useful as you’d expect. There's a chance that when aligned with the flood of toys and other merchandise, Gaist Crusher's appeal will increased, but at the moment we can't help but feel a little disappointed. Here’s hoping Treasure’s next game sees the studio return to the quality we know it can produce.

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User Comments (15)

Stu13

#3

Stu13 said:

Call me when Treasure does a remake of 'Beyond Oasis' for the 3DS.

Volmun

#4

Volmun said:

Iv liked the look of this for some time now althow id like to see it here (UK) im dowtfull

DarkCoolEdge

#5

DarkCoolEdge said:

Sounds pretty average. By the way, the look of the characters reminds me of Saint Seiya. Am I the only one?

player310

#8

player310 said:

I think Treasure really shines when it comes to shooters... Maybe they should stick to new, innovative shooters like Ikaruga or Sin and Punishment...

JellySplat

#10

JellySplat said:

I am getting so sick of games that require additional purchases ( Pokemon rumble U, Disney infinity, Skylanders, etc.) They always overprice everything! -n-

Keldorek

#11

Keldorek said:

@Stu13 "Beyond Oasis" was developed by Yuzo Koshiro's company Ancient, not Treasure. Was there another reason you might've connected the two that I missed? Now, if you're talking Action RPGs, I'd kill for a Light Crusader sequel. Flawed game, but brilliant, too, like many Treasure gems.

Stu13

#12

Stu13 said:

@Keldorek Haha, derp. The only connection is that I played it and Dynamite Headdy around the same time last year and got their developers mixed up in my head for some reason. Whoops! I'd also like a new Headdy game, for what that's worth.

Keldorek

#13

Keldorek said:

@Stu13 That would be amazing. I'd really just like to see Treasure games coming around with more regularity. Favorite third party of all time, for me. Their games are just fascinating and weird, especially the insane gameplay mechanics they come up with every time. Headdy was a blast; hard as heck!

Did you ever play the follow-up "Legend of Oasis" on Saturn? Fantastic, but my copy was glitched, and I never saw the end. A door wouldn't open after I defeated a tough boss. I'll always wonder....... haha.

3dcaleb

#14

3dcaleb said:

i thought the game looked pretty awesome frome the video. hopefully it has a demo but even if it doesnt i will probably get it. it looks kinda like the closest thing we will ever get to a 3d gundam or robotech. those would be so awesome btw.

Smug43

#15

Smug43 said:

So all the initial enemies never attacked.. I saw like one or two moves by a boss.. this is a TREASURE game?? This looks incredibly shallow and nothing like a treasure title... :(

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