HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewHardcore Mecha: Bravely Edition Review

Hardcore Mecha: Bravely Edition Review

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A new side scrolling platforming action game featuring mechs? That’s Hardcore Mecha: Bravely Edition from RocketPunch Games and E-Home Entertainment. 

Having previously released on Steam, the Bravely Edition refers to this version having some exclusive Xbox only content in the form of a new mech skin to enjoy. Not a massive difference from the ordinary edition, but every little helps, right? Well, having recently watched Pacific Rim: Uprising, I was well in the mood for some mecha battling, so dived straight in to check the action out. 

hardcore mecha bravely edition review 1
Ready for the story of Hardcore Mecha: Bravely Edition?

The news is pretty good in terms of the look of the game. There is a pleasing hand drawn look to the mechs and enemies on offer in Hardcore Mecha: Bravely Edition, and the overall presentation of the game is cool. It looks like a anime series brought to life, and the design of the robots we pilot and fight, along with the *ahem* ample charms of the female characters, all feels very much of the genre. The levels that we traverse are all suitably different, from mines to industrial plants, whilst the action is viewed from a 2D side-on perspective. There is a good feel to things as if you really are stomping about in tonnes of metal and obliterating all before you; this is very pleasing, 

The sound is also very nice, with multiple gun sounds, depending on which weapon you have equipped. Expect various explosions as you defeat enemy mechs and troops too. The cutscenes are carefully voice acted and having the spoken word in Japanese with English subtitles certainly enhances the whole anime feel. All in all, nothing to grumble about here. 

Story is the next thing we need to check out, and here the news is also pretty good. The narrative on display isn’t going to give Shakespeare any sleepless nights and while it may be overblown and full of cliches, it does the job. We are Tarethur, an ACE pilot for a mercenary outfit called Hardcore Defence Corp. We have been tasked by the U.N.F. with the task of finding one of their missing intelligence officers. Known only as “A”, we must try to locate and rescue said agent, but obviously it isn’t going to be as easy is that, is it? No, we end up fighting a terrorist organisation known as Steel Dawn, who not only have captured “A”, but also have their own advanced mecha suits to allow them to spread terror and go toe-to-toe with us at odd points through the story. Can we take them down and get “A” back? Well, it’s down to you and your thumbs!

There is a decent variety of action on display. Not a massive variety, you understand, but sometimes you will begin a mission in your mecha, whilst at others a more stealthy approach is required, so you have to go into a level on foot. I guess trying to sneak in whilst kitted out in a massive metal suit wouldn’t be that effective. 

hardcore mecha bravely edition review 2
Mecha battles come as standard…

The controls are much the same for either mission type, so we can treat them as one. The traversal mechanics are as you’d expect, with A being a jump button, and holding it down firing out some mecha rocket boosters. These let you get higher than a human can jump. RB is a dodge move, allowing the avoidance of attacks as a squishy human, and lets you dodge in pretty much any direction in the mecha suit; that is very handy for some of the boss fights. Getting about in your robot suit, or on your human legs, is never an issue. There are issues, don’t get me wrong, but I’ll cover those later. 

Combat is the main feature of each level in Hardcore Mecha: Bravely Edition, and you’ll be pleased to hear that this is done well. As soon as you spawn in, there is a big red arrow in front of your mecha, and this is the direction that you will shoot when you press the X button. This aiming marker is moved with the left stick, and as you can imagine, trying to hit anything smaller than a barn door while you are jumping and dodging attacks is pretty hard. However, with a judicious press and hold of the RT button, the aim can be locked in place, allowing you to keep firing in the same direction while moving. This is exceedingly handy in boss fights, as it enables you to keep attacking while moving to avoid their attacks. 

It’s not only firearms that our mecha has its locker though – there is also a shield that can be used to smack enemies, whilst a close range melee combo comes into its own when we are too close for guns. Having these extra tools available is very good, as guns need to reload, and while the melee attacks need to charge after use, it is useful to be able to still attack when reloading. 

As we go through the levels, money is collected, then used to research new abilities and weapons in the hub between missions. Being able to have extra armour or more devices, even new weapons if you find the parts in the levels, help to keep your mecha up to date; it is vital for the later levels. Once you have researched something, you then have to equip the items in the customise screen. Having the right weapons and loadout for the mission ahead is critical. 

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There’s a bit of sneaky sneaky too.

So are there any issues with Hardcore Mecha: Bravely Edition? Well, one glaring issue is that the button prompts in the Xbox version of the game are set up for the Playstation; prompting me to press triangle to confirm research and so on and so forth. Now, I don’t have a triangle button on my Xbox controller, and luckily pressing A worked just as well. Further, in the stealth levels, there is the ability to hide but despite pressing every button I can think of, I have been unable to do so. This then affects the score at the end of the mission and feels a bit unavoidable. 

Other than these niggles, Hardcore Mecha: Bravely Edition is very solid. Throw in a multiplayer mode that allows four people to battle each other to a standstill, in or out of their suits, there is a lot of content to go at. The multiplayer mode is okay, and runs well, but it doesn’t fit with the feel. Honestly, we don’t need PvP modes shoved into every game… 

But Hardcore Mecha: Bravely Edition is a lot of fun. The multiplayer side of things is a bit throwaway, and instead the story mode should be seen as the main draw. The movement and fighting is good, the development of your mecha is decent, and apart from weird niggles, this a solid entry into the side scrolling genre. 

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Great anime look
  • Combat is solid
  • Lots to do
Cons:
  • PlayStation button prompts
  • Multiplayer is a not a good fit for the world
  • Stealth sections are harder than they need to be
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, E-Home
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 14 December 2023 | £20.99
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Great anime look</li> <li>Combat is solid</li> <li>Lots to do</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>PlayStation button prompts</li> <li>Multiplayer is a not a good fit for the world</li> <li>Stealth sections are harder than they need to be</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, E-Home</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 14 December 2023 | £20.99</li> </ul>Hardcore Mecha: Bravely Edition Review
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