Do you like giant robots? What about cute anthropomorphic animals? How about real-time tactical RPG battles? Maybe some resource management and base-building? If you answered yes to these hypotheticals, then I have some good news for you! GungHo Online Entertainment America have got you covered with their new game Volta-X, and we got the code to review this for you before you dive in.
So is Volta-X one of those titles that that checks all of the right boxes? Or is this a title that may bit off more than it can chew. Well, let’s find out!
Volta-X tells a story that feels almost like a Disney-fied Pacific Rim; a world filled with anthropomorphic animals, how the sudden appearance of kaiju or giant monsters throws everything into chaos, and the invention of giant robots to combat them. And of course, the extension of inventing giant robots; a robot combat league.
The game gives you a choice of a starting character, either a fox or a tiger, both of which are expert pilots and also criminals (However, their crimes involve piloting a robot without permission). From there, we follow the story of your character building a team and joining the World Volta Association or WVA. But a mysterious story begins to unfold in parallel with the introduction of a psychic that hints that giant monsters may not be the only things to fear in this world.
Both the visuals and sound in the game serve to bolster the story and gameplay and enhance the experience. While playing, I was most reminded of the Pixar film The Incredibles as the music carries a similar feel to it, with the big bombastic hero music contrasted with the elegant spy themes. The art-style is also quite Pixar-like, but not the 3D CG they are most known for. Rather, it’s the 2D cartoon style that they sometimes use. Regardless, it is bright, fun, and fits the tone of the game well.
Gameplay in Volta-X occurs over a few main phases, and the variety is one of the things that makes the game so addictive and fun. All of the main gameplay sections are fairly simplistic, but as we’ve seen time and time again, simple doesn’t mean bad or boring. Plus, when you add up all the different things you’re doing in the game, it ends up fairly complex.
To break it down, there are three main sections; battle, base-building, and customization. Each section is somewhat essential, although the first few AI battles you can probably get away with minimal customization (You have to do some of each section for the tutorial to progress the story).
Battles are fought in real-time with both robots performing actions as long as they are available. The robot frames, or Volta as they are called in this world, are comprised of various parts that each have a corresponding room. For instance, the head of the Volta may contain a ranged weapon and will be represented by a room shown on the bottom of the screen.
To launch an attack, the player just needs to select the room, press the A button, and then select which part of the opponent to target. Once the attack has been launched, the room will be on a cool-down until it is ready to be used again. Where things become more tactical is the addition of pilots. Each Volta can have up to three pilots that the player can send to each room of the Volta. There are a few reasons for this; the pilot increases the power of the attack (some more than others), they repair damaged rooms, can put out fires, and importantly you can send them away from a targeted room.
The goal of battle is simple: destroy the other Volta’s head. However, if the opponent has a strong weapon with low health, you may want to target it first. Or maybe they have a shield that will block attacks until you break it. My personal strategy for the first few fights was to exclusively attack the head, but you do get more points for destroying other parts as well.
As mentioned earlier, both the player and the opponent will be able to launch attacks when ready. You will also be able to see when a room is being targeted. If you have a pilot in a room that is being hit, both the room and the pilot will take damage. The rooms can be repaired as long as you have a pilot in them, but if a pilot is knocked out, you will lose them for the rest of the fight.
Pilots and Volta frames both receive experience after a battle. Each pilot has a skill tree, and the Volta’s stats increase when it levels up. This brings me to the next section, the customization. Outside of battle, you can select to upgrade your pilot’s skills, re-arm your Volta if you have the parts, and even set up additional Volta if you have been able to build their frames. There are a lot of pieces and quite a few frames already, with the developer’s planning on adding even more in the future.
Lastly, we have the base-building. To maximize the efficiency of your pilots and research new parts and Volta frames, you need to build your headquarters, add rooms, manage resources and even plan out the daily tasks of each pilot. All three sections of the game impact each other so you’ll want to focus on them all, but mostly you’ll be battling, especially as research and building only progresses after a battle.
Overall, Volta-X has a lot to offer, including full PvP online multiplayer. There are even rankings with rewards for players who have what it takes to be the best Volta pilots around. An immensely fun little gem that is definitely worth your time and money.
Volta-X Review provided by NintendoLink
Publisher: GungHo Online Entertainment America Inc.
Developer: GungHo Online Entertainment America Inc.
Release Date: August 12, 2020
Price: $19.99, £17.99, €19,99
Game Size: 2.1 GB
Variety of Volta frames
New updates planned
No counter measure for full drill assualts
Volta frames could be more balanced