One of the publishers I hoped to see at EGX was Rising Star Games. I spoke to their PR man Tyrone Walcott last year and hoped to do so again. He’s a really fun and passionate guy, and it’s always a pleasure to see him speak of the games he’s got lined up.
This year though I had only one of the titles on my mind, Earth’s Dawn. It was the first game I played when I entered the EGX halls and I had to force myself to leave it and fulfill my professional obligations. It was a ton of fun. And when I met Tyrone later that day, I saw he too shared my appreciation for it.
Earth’s Dawn is a 2D action RPG where you play as one of the operatives of an elite combat unit fighting strange monsters that have driven humanity to the brink of extinction. The game is mission-driven, with new objectives sending you different places to fight enemies and uncover strange secrets. The combat is fast-paced and you can juggle enemies in the air, fire at them with your gun and even dash around to avoid their attacks. It’s the JRPG version of Guacamele, though the structure will be most familiar to God Eater veterans.
It was my first time playing this particular title, but as a fan of beat ‘em ups I quickly found my groove. I’m not above telling you how awesome I did at times, getting a few “S” ranks here and there. But I’m also not afraid to tell you that when I fought my first boss, it tore me to pieces, with most of my attacks failing to deal enough damage and his taking my health out in big chunks. He even has a spinning lariat move like that of Street Fighter’s Zangief, and that one wrecked me completely!
I loved the art-style, with super-deformed characters in bulky armour and unwieldy guns and swords. And those are just the opening ones. I saw, before starting a new mission, that I could craft new weapons or improve my equipment and while I didn’t take advantage of it, thinking “eh, it’s a demo, let’s just keep going,” I later saw someone play with upgraded equipment and it was badass, the main gun becoming a potent laser dealing tons of damage.
The music was perfect for a fighting game, very active and I really liked the super-serious Japanese voices, where I’m sure the same guy plays all military commanders, because they all sound similar, and by that I mean awesome!
One of the things that I wondered from the beginning was that your character has a squad with her, trailing behind, but once the fights broke out, they didn’t seem to do anything. When I spoke with Tyrone I brought this up, asking if they did anything. Turns out they don’t, they like to let you take care of things.
One of the details I found most interesting about the game is that it uses a life-counter system. It’s a classic approach to game design that you don’t see very often these days, where it’s all about checkpoints and often infinite retires. Here you have a limited amount of attempts and if you screw up, that’s it! I like that.
I’ve already spoken to Rising Star Games, expressing my wish to continue to play the game once the review codes go out. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to bring you the review for this game, one of my most anticipated titles for what remains of the year and from what I hear, it’s dropping early next month!
I’d like to thank Tyrone for his time. It’s always a pleasure to talk to him about games.