Hardcore Mecha (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 10.04.2020

Review for Hardcore Mecha on PC

Coming from out of nowhere, Hardcore Mecha at first glance looks like a typical dime-a-dozen anime game with little depth. Its appearances belie the truth as this has players enjoy a surprisingly interesting story about fighting an evil organization, competent platforming, and RPG-like levelling and customization. Pulled together very well, fans of mechas, anime, or platformers will definitely want to check this out.

Looking at the screenshots of the title at hand only tells half of the story. If someone likes what they see, they will be pleased with this. Even if they don't, however, there is actually a good chance they still may like it. Hardcore Mecha was a legitimate surprise with how well done it was, despite being over the top with its anime-esque plot and characters. In many ways this feels like a reminder of the cult classic Zettai Hero Project Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman , which was a similar over-the-top look at anime superheroes, and despite this reviewer not being a fan of either subject genre, both games are undeniably good - simply because even if a player is not a fan of mechas, the game itself is still very solid, with a fun story, platforming, and upgrades. One thing it does very well is an inversion of tropes. Without going into spoilers, many times dark things happen, like surprise characters dying, or civilian body counts going through the roof.

Screenshot for Hardcore Mecha on PC

The game has players take the role of a stoic mech pilot who goes on a simple mission to recover a woman, only to get tangled up in a large story about evil organizations trying to take over the planet. Yes, it might sound stereotypical or 'done before,' but the way the story plays out in its earnestness it is hard to not enjoy what is happening. For example, very early on you are greeted with a rival mech pilot, fully… anime himself with his spiky hair and huge popped collar. He fights our mech on foot, firing a rocket only to distract the character, then plants a mine right on the cockpit of the mech. Sure, it is very anime, but it is actually pretty cool also. You see this character a lot, and each time it is just fun watching the two near-misses the characters have.

Gameplay involves fairly simplistic platforming that mostly focuses on combat. Generally, the player will fight through soldiers, vehicles and other large mechs. The two primary ways of fighting are either ranged, with a powerful gun and a weaker automatic machinegun on the mech, or melee with various swords, shields or fists. Having these two options are fun, and it is a good time bouncing between shooting and dashing in to fight. The only large complaint about combat is that it feels stiff at times and it is very easy to get stun-locked.

Screenshot for Hardcore Mecha on PC

Combat is serviceable but is likely the weakest part of the game as shooting feels slow, though in general it is the better option, unlike melee which feels just slightly off. The moves take a fraction of a second to start up and there is a lag between the hits, so instead of feeling smooth, it feels a lot less satisfying than it should. Likewise, when an enemy gets a combo off on your character it's odd as the combo is "slow" but your character is stuck in it, taking a beating for a large chunk of health. One other issue this suffers from is a degree of 'same-ness' as a particular level wears on.

Levels usually are around 15 minutes-long, and by the end the same thing of moving forward and shooting guys over and over gets a little repetitive. Combat does not really ever evolve, which is one of the negatives. Offering a fair amount of surprises, one example early on is a sneaking mission on foot through a base. While this section is not anything particularly well done, it just fits with the theme and character of the game so well. From the cool infiltration, to the eventual capture and escape, it is hard to not get sucked into the action and the story.

Screenshot for Hardcore Mecha on PC

Between missions, players can spend money on buying various upgrades, such as more damage, more armour, or new weapons. Only a few can be equipped at any one time, and it offers some variability to what type of build to try on the levels. Money is earned by slowly picking it up in missions, or by finishing missions with higher ratings. Hardcore Mecha is a type of game that is greater than the sum of its parts. The combat could use some serious smoothing, and the equipment upgrades could always be expanded but these are about the only major things to point out.

The cool anime story and characters, the crazy boss battles, the cute support girls, the serious bad guys, it all come together in a fun package. A player will have to let themselves get pulled into it, but the game is so earnest in its attempt to do so. Once one actually lets him or herself enjoy what it is happening, it is actually a very fun experience that comes together very well. Having never heard of the developer RocketPunch Games before this, if they release any more titles it will be an indie team to watch for.

Screenshot for Hardcore Mecha on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Hardcore Mecha is completely surprising, coming from someone not a fan of mech stuff in general. The graphics are good throughout, with the portraits being very well done. The action is largely serviceable minus some feeling of stiffness. The ability to upgrade and modify various playstyles will go a long way for RPG type players. Overall though, the thing that really just sticks out is a feeling of 'coolness.' From the cool enemies and the hot girls on your team, to the epic boss encounters, there were plenty of times playing this game that this reviewer caught himself thinking: "ok this is actually pretty cool."

Developer

RocketPunch Games

Publisher

RocketPunch Games

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

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