Solatorobo: Red the Hunter (Hands-On) (Nintendo DS) Preview

By Calum Peak 12.06.2011 5

Review for Solatorobo: Red the Hunter (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

Having never heard of it before, Solatorobo: Red The Hunter piqued my interest when I came across it running on a DSi XL at the Nintendo Unleashed booth at MCM. You play as a fox called Red in an action RPG that takes place over land, sea and air, courtesy of his trusty transforming mech. Three sections taken from the story were on show: a snippet of the main campaign, a flying level and a ship fishing level...where the ‘fish’ in question are ship and submarine-style mechs themselves.

Solatorobo has a very pretty graphical style, a sweet mixture of animé-esque visuals and cel-shading, and it’s definitely up there with The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks and Okamiden, considering that the game has some very large open spaces to explore. Starting with the slice of story, Red is set to infiltrate a facility atop his mech; this involves numerous bad guys and a lot of cross communicative chatter between him and his ship. Fighting is a simple real time affair, where you approach enemies and press A to flip them and pick them up to throw at others. Your steed also offers the ability to catch and toss back incoming projectiles, key to defeating a mini-boss later in the level. Whilst the combat remains almost painfully simple, it’s the ability to jump off your mech at any point you want that differentiates things. Doing this leaves Red as powerless as Samus in her Zero Suit, with just a stun gun for defence. However, this is necessary if you wish to interact with buttons and other objects and it’s easy to see challenges within the main game that involve stunning enemies, trying not get hit in order to lower bridges and the like so that you can proceed with your mech in tow.

Screenshot for Solatorobo: Red the Hunter (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

Next in the demo pack was a collection mission with a twist. Here Red took to the skies, again on his mech, to pick up eight or so packages. However, the mech cannot fly forever and Red had to land in order to recharge its boosters. This was easily the most stunning part of the demo; areas stretch out in front of the player, while the tight and easy to use controls allow easy flight around the areas, the little sky island explorable without getting lost due to the map on the touch-screen, while arrows direct Red to his objectives.

The fishing demo was nothing special, more of a mini game than anything else. Through a combination of carefully mashing A, so as not to overheat, and reading the on-screen direction in order to resist against your catch, Red can scavenge for spare parts. These parts are then used to upgrade his mechanical friend’s strength, flying distance and damage hand outs. It took a couple of minutes to catch each fish/ship/mech, though, which was slightly too long and felt unnecessarily dragged out.

Screenshot for Solatorobo: Red the Hunter (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

Final Thoughts

Overall, Solatorobo: Red The Hunter seems to be a solid game, though no certain conclusions could be drawn from the short amount of gameplay on offer. It is however, definitely a title to look out for when it launches early next month.

Developer

CyberConnect2

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Adventure

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Sep 2011   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

The soundtrack is brilliant, as well! I've only played a bit of the Japanese version, but from what I tried it's a great Action RPG experience and I'm really pleased Nintendo has picked it up for Europe.

Here's hoping stuff like ASH and Soma Bringer eventually get released as well Smilie

Good coverage, Cal, thanks Smilie

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

jesusraz said:
The soundtrack is brilliant, as well! I've only played a bit of the Japanese version, but from what I tried it's a great Action RPG experience and I'm really pleased Nintendo has picked it up for Europe.

Here's hoping stuff like ASH and Soma Bringer eventually get released as well Smilie

Good coverage, Cal, thanks Smilie


Yeah, it was kind of hard to hear the soundtrack over the fanfare of MCM goers. Definitely a title to pick up for the DS.

Our member of the week

jesusraz said:
Here's hoping stuff like ASH and Soma Bringer eventually get released as well Smilie

I ordered Soma Bringer the other day (don't think it'll come out in our territories, as we are far into the system's life now). It received a fan translation, so I'll be able to tackle this one in English (and legally) over the Summer once I get a hold of an actual copy of the game.

Anyway, like I said earlier, I'm definitely picking this one up Smilie, looks A LOT like its predecessor Tail Concerto, according to the preview, both in the Universe AND gameplay. The Playstation game had a complete voiceover for dialogues. Did Solatorobo have any dubbed dialogues on the DS ? (But this was probably hard to hear at MCM though)

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

Yeah there where some voices, but the majority of it (maybe for demo purposes) where subtitled out. I think its more of a text heavy game than a completely voice acted title though.

Our member of the week

Now confirmed for the US as well, brought by XSeed Games, and supposed to be released there in Fall 2011.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

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