13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
Saving Japan From An Alien Threat In The 1980s
Today we’re reviewing 13 Sentinels Aegis Rim for the PS4. Vanillaware does it again, this time delivering a masterpiece blending both elements of great storytelling and amazing visuals with its hand-drawn artwork done by the talented George Kamitani. After their last action-packed title, Dragon’s Crown, Vanillaware releases another hit.
13 Sentinels is a blast whether you're going through the engrossing story or destroying kaiju in the battle segments. 13 sentinels will be sure to keep you on the edge of your seat waiting for what comes next as you follow its epic storyline. There are several references to movies and pop culture like E.T or Godzilla which added a hint of charm to the story. There's also a Mystery File where you can unlock and fill in the gaps of the overall story, if collecting is your thing. 13 Sentinels is filled with moments that will often leave you with more questions than answers. The main cast is strong and there will most likely be one or more characters you will become invested in during your time with 13 Sentinels just as I did.
Control & Gameplay
Controls are simple & straight forward. This time moving away from the side-scrolling brawler type of gameplay, 13 Sentinels goes with a more story-driven experience with tactical RPG elements. During Story related segments you can explore different areas, interact with other NPCs and make choices that may branch out into other hidden story segments. When you come across keywords during certain dialogues you can choose to investigate them and that can open up more gameplay options or you might stumble upon more story-related content or scenarios through them. Some story segments are meant to be replayed multiple times for an offshoot of outcomes.
As for the battle segments, 13 Sentinels plays more like a Tactical RPG where you can manage your Sentinels in battle and choose from a list of upgradable skills and abilities to unleash havoc on the enemy kaiju. Metachips are used to upgrade skills and abilities which are earned after each battle. In addition to upgradable skills and abilities, there are also team skills that can be purchased with metachips. There is even a passive team skill that can be learned which increases your metachip gain after each battle.
Just like the Vanillaware titles before it, 13 Sentinels delivers a beautifully hand-drawn 2D masterpiece. From the gorgeous backdrops to the small details like food or a beverage, each one is beautifully hand-drawn and tailored for that scene. We reviewed 13 Sentinels on PS4 pro but though enhancements are listed on the box it does not mention specific enhancements. Regardless 13 Sentinels delivers an amazing presentation on visuals. The characters are full of charm and personality and are beautifully illustrated. Anime and manga fans will be in for a treat with this one. We reviewed 13 Sentinels on the PS4 Pro so performance was never an issue until the very last battle where there were what seemed like hundreds of enemies and projectiles being fired on the screen at once when using a move like a missile barrage for example.
In 13 Sentinels BGM is a strong point just like its visuals. Whether it's a story segment or an intense battle, the sound always compliments the scene and sets the tone for what’s happening on screen. The BGM does a good job of setting the mood and pace of the game. The storytelling goes hand in hand with the soundtrack and will leave you immersed in the intricate world of 13 Sentinels.
13 Sentinels is a type of game that is meant to be played multiple times. Things like the Mystery files remained incomplete after our 1st playthrough so if you want to find out all the details of the overall story then it’s worth revisiting. There's also a story that can be overwhelming with information and might be beneficial to replay it to fully understand all the characters and events. The battle segments reward you with mystery points, which can then be used to unlock more mystery files. The battles also have bonus conditions that can be completed for a chance to earn bonus mystery points. This will allow you to complete the mystery files even faster.
In conclusion 13 Sentinels Aegis Rim is a hell of a ride and is another hit for Vanillaware. If you’re a fan of tactical RPGs and amazing storytelling, 13 Sentinels will be for you. The story will leave you hooked and the battles will keep you engaged and invested as you fight to save humanity from the kaiju assault.