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Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault Review

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Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault (AoE for the purpose of this review) is a title recently added to the PS4 in the western world from developers Acquire and publishers PQube. At its core AoE is a Japanese tower defence title with a couple of differences from the mainstream genre.

AoE works on a three phase gameplay mechanic where firstly you have to decide what to build and what to upgrade. Whether it be defensive, offensive or resource management/housing. After exhausting all materials, you then pick from three viable targets and proceed to use your current setup up to fend off Kaiju inspired monstrosities. Upon completing the defend phase you move along to the battle log and assess what has just been accomplished. In this phase you deal with levelling up individual aspects/characters within your current party.


When setting up and maintaining your city also known as the planning phase, you are tasked with the decision of unit placement and unit strength. Each unit can be fortified to maximise its efficiency in battle. In this phase we also collect income tax from inhabitants in the city and also welcome new settlers from other lands. Higher population leads to a higher level city and a higher income from a tax like setup. There is an emphasis here on keeping the population happy and this is achieved in a few different ways but primarily in the planning phase it can be achieved by holding events in citizen based structures. In this phase there is the opportunity for research and development based on the player's current commander level, in turn raising the amount of different options in the player's arsenal.

The second phase is where the main gameplay mechanic comes into play. The first step in short is just picking from one of three targets, each with their own level recommendation. When this is done and after a short cut scene which does get a little repetitive, the battle phase commences. In this phase we are tasked with a 360 degree defence of the city. With each weapon being placed on a ring setup, where you have an inner ring, middle ring and an outer ring, these are all controlled quite simply. AoE has a quite useful visual que that shows the player the width and depth of their defensive capabilities within every combination of weapon placement. Of course staying true to the tower defence genre, different weapons have different strengths and weaknesses, whether it be range or rate of fire.


Combat is by far the most compelling aspect of AoE, this being said for massive chunks of the game it becomes very repetitive and at times mundane. Another aspect that compounds this feeling is the repeated cut scenes at every turn, nothing ever really breaks up this constant familiarity. With the exception of sometimes feeling like you truly out-witted the enemies and coming out the other end of battle victorious there is really no other hype to report here. From battle to battle there are very few steps that are completed in the same sequence and I often found myself quite bored. It is with this feeling I think that AoE is more suited to the likes of the Playstation Vita.

The third and final phase in this gameplay rotation is assessing the success/failures from the battle phase. I have played in the realms of 35 sequential battles and to date have not lost one therefore not only speaking for its difficulty but also making it hard to report on what proceeds after a loss. In this phase we have to allocate a commendation to the party member who we thought delivered the best performance during the strike. Truth be told, this only serves as a process to keep party members happiness up. There is no real way to determine who performed best when in fact all actions during the battle phase are a direct result of you the player. Experience is given after each battle and in turn giving commander level ups and unlocking new and sometimes useful new defensive and housing units.

In a nutshell, this would be a good game to get in a special in the realms of $10 and more likely to be best suited to a handheld device. The presentation was of a standard and the character interaction at times being mundane and not necessary, did at times inject some personality, if... and a big "if" you have the attention span to read copious amounts of text. This being said it is a very typical Japanese production and these Japanese games are often littered with character development in the form of text, so not necessarily a knock but certainly an observation.

If you feel I have not emphasised any particular point and would like some more information feel free to head over to our Facebook page and ask away.


Positives:
  • Unique spin on the tower defence genre
  • Interesting characters
  • Enjoyable gameplay mechanics

Negatives:
  • A lot of reading to understand character development
  • Repetative
  • No real variation
SCORE: 5.5 out of 10

Platforms: PS4, PS3, PS Vita
Genre: Tower Defence
Initial Release: 2nd of July 2015
Developer: Acquire
Publishers:PQube 

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