Review: Gamocracy One: Legend of Robot
It’s been a while since its release, but that doesn’t mean that Gamocracy One: Legend of Robot doesn’t still exist. I’m not sure how it slipped through our grips, but I recently spotted it on our review queue and fired it up. The Bearded Ladies released Landit Bandit on the PSN over a year ago. As a matter of fact, Landit Bandit was my first review for this site. Without giving up too much space in this review to write about it, I’ll just say that Landit Bandit is a unique flying taxi game that’s a lot of fun. Legend of Robot is cut from a different cloth, save for the fact that both are fun. After completing Landit Bandit, The Bearded Ladies took to the European PlayStation community to brainstorm their next game. In time it was decided that the game would be a 2D action platformer with some wonderful mechanics, and in even more time, it was released as a minis title on the PSN.
The overarching story in Legend of Robot is one of global destruction. Robots have come to take over the planet, but one of the robots, H7, has a malfunction that renders his anti-empathy circuit useless. His new prime directive is to stop the robot onslaught and save Earth. All he needs is a player to control him. That’s where you come in.
The main mechanic in Legend of Robot is that you can throw H7’s head as a weapon and as a springy platform. The head can even linger in mid-air if you tap the throw button at the right time. This allows you to get to harder to reach places in each stage. In level 1-3, you receive a magnet which can be used to pick up and launch metallic items as well as grapple metallic objects and fling yourself to new places. The grappling is very simplistic and user-friendly. The level design is rather good, with branching paths leading to hidden collectible stars and extra energy. You can gain extra lives by filling the energy meter up to 100%. The meter is later used as energy for your arm cannon, but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.
The game is broken up into three levels which are in turn broken up into about seven stages each. Each stage is rather short, taking only a minute or so to complete. A clock counts down from 90 seconds at the start of each level and a score bonus is awarded according to how much time remains on the clock at the end of the stage. The short stages probably work well if you’re playing the game on your PSP, as you can zoom through a stage or two then switch it into standby until you have time to play again. I played the game on my PS3 and was finished with it in a couple of hours. After beating the Normal mode, you unlock Lunatic mode, the only different being that the game runs at a much faster pace. I played on Lunatic for a bit, but the fact that I was so familiar with the stages and the mechanics made the game feel even shorter. The saving time after each stage is a bit long considering the succinct nature of the stages themselves.
When you start the game, you will notice that there are a few save slots to choose from. If you happen to get a game over, however, you’ll notice this little message: “(we also took the liberty of clearing the save data for you)”. Personally, I found this to be a humorous act. On the other hand, it’s a bit puzzling. I would understand it if the game erased your data on only Lunatic mode when you lose all of your lives, but I don’t see why it should do the same for Normal. I suppose since the game is so short it’s hard to complain about losing progress? I don’t know. At any rate, the game clears your save data if you lose. It’s not a deal breaker, but some may find this ‘feature’ to be annoying.
Overall, I had a ton of fun with Legend of Robot. The game’s mechanics (platform head, magnet, cannon arm) work extremely well together, and the level design makes for a fair amount of exploration. The level of difficulty is just right, I think; I did experience a game over in playing through the game for the first time. Though the game supports local leaderboards, I didn’t feel any strong desire to replay the game on Lunatic. It was mildly entertaining to play at a faster pace than usual, but beyond that all I really wanted was more content. If this were to be released as a full-fledged PSN title with zippy loading/saving times and a ton more levels, I think it would succeed in spades. It’s a minis title, I just wish the experience wasn’t so. The credits acknowledge specific blog member who contributed to the game, which is very cool. I hope other studios learn from The Bearded Ladies’s ‘learn from your audience’ tactic.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation Portable version of the game.
What I Like:
- Magnificent mechanics
- Simple, user-friendly controls
- Branched path level design
What I Dislike:
- I want more
- Slight hit detection weirdness