Title: Liberation Maiden
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Bottom Line: An ambitious shooter with amazing production values, but leaves me wanting more.
With a team like Grasshopper Manufacture helmed by renowned Suda 51, an assorted all-star collaboration of top animators and composers, and a little promoting power from Level 5 of Professor Layton fame, it would seem Guild01 is the most ambitious 3DSWare project yet, consisting of four completely different games made by four talented developers. And the first one out the gate for the Nintendo 3DS eShop is Liberation Maiden. As president of New Japan, you play as the skin-tight clad lady, Shoko, and pilot a mech called Kamui, as you liberate Japan from "The Dominion", an army of machina that polluted the world, and return Japan to it's former beauty. Liberation Maiden is a free roaming Mission-based shooter, where you'll pilot using the analog stick, while aiming with the touch screen to send missiles and lasers flying. Build up enough combos to send your saber crashing into the battleground. A quick tutorial, and constant support from Shoko’s general Kira, will always lead you in the right direction and also point out bonus sub-missions. Gameplay is very fast-based, the bosses varied, and the game offers a well balanced option of difficulties, which give it a very distinct AAA game feel. While it’s hard for me to gripe about such a well made game, one factor sticks out like a soar eye: this game is unfairly short. Five stages are no where near enough to satisfy any shooter with an itchy finger, and to make matters worse, the game just ends in a middle of a cut scene after a boss fight that could’ve very well been the first boss in a different shooter. Anyone expecting at least some story arc will be disappointed for there is literally no character development to be interested in whatsoever. All we know about Shoko is in brief cut scenes where she’s blowing stuff up and the camera pointing various viewpoints of her large rump. You might argue that the game is meant for short bursts of play for beating high scores, but then what’s the excuse for them not adding an on-line leaderboard? A few obtainable achievements does not warrant constant replayability.
If nothing else, Liberation Maiden is a well made fast-paced shooter despite it‘s shortcomings, though it’s hard for me to recommend it for the current asking price. If you want a quick fix it’s worth the try, but don’t expect an AAA grade title.
+Fast paced shooter with balanced difficulty levels and controls.
+From the beautiful anime cut scenes to big butts, the game delivers some nice eye candy.
+Great Voice Acting.
-Unbearably short, with a shallow amount of bonus content.
-No on-line leaderboards defeats the purpose of Score Attack mode.