War Tech Fighters is a scifi mech game that promises to combine the excitement that anime and hollywood brought to the big screen. But does it deliver, or does it leave you asking WTF?
Game Play: pros
War Tech Fighters starts with you selecting your choice of mechs, either a light fast one, slow heavy mech, or a balance of the two. Don’t feel discouraged though, as they have a multitude of options to make it unique to you. This is a unique RPG system I have rarely seen. The level is only concerned with a few base states, with most of your skills and bonuses coming from in game currency used to buy the upgrades to your mech. Once you buy an item, it stays in your inventory, to be swapped out later. Or if you really really want that shiny new lightsaber sword, sell your old one to get enough money to purchase that upgrade. The flexibility and freedom is a breath of fresh air when it comes to skill trees.
Space combat is another area it excels in. The background music helps to get you pumped as you soar through the night sky and obliterate your enemies in fiery explosions. The lock on system makes it easy for you to track the fast moving enemies while you use the right thumb to maneuver your mech on the y axis. When you get the enemy ship weak enough, in Doom style, you can obliterate it in a quick take down as well as restoring you to some health. Combate is fast, fun, and exhilarating when you are going up against hordes of enemies with powerful war ships up against your lone mech.
Game play: cons
The beauty, unfortunately, of the space combat, causes the other parts of the game to feel, in a word, dull. You have, as part of this space combat game, resource gathering aspects of missions, and stealth. That is not exactly what I am looking for when I am playing a game about machines that can wipe out whole armies by themselves.
The pacing of the gathering of new equipment, for me at least, also felt unnecessarily padded. With it being based on in game currency, you always felt limited and restricted by the amount of money given after missions. There is an option to replay missions as well as do challenges to get extra money. The game makes it feel like these missions are mandatory, which side content should never be. This could easily be fixed by increasing the amount of the currency one gets after a mission. To be fair, however, while it was a flaw in my eyes, there are others who might appreciate the extra content and the incentive to explore it.
Perhaps the biggest flaw, sadly, is the mech on mech combat. The best comparison I can make is going from Dragon Ball Z Budikai Tenkaichi 3, with its 4 dimensional combat, to rock and sock ’em robots. The mechs are now on a flat plane, alternating between light melee attacks, heavy melee attacks, block, and dodge. It just feels dull and repetitive.
For all its flaws and WTF moments, it still has some beautiful visuals and fun gameplay. On the Switch, it has a few issues that could be easily remedied in patches. During large combats, with lots of missiles and ships flying around, the frame rate can get choppy. It usually recovers after a few moments, but it can be pretty jaring. I enjoyed playing in first person, however, if a cut scene happened during a mission, it would sometimes put me in third person. This was usually fixed after some time automatically, or by going into settings and deselecting and re-selecting the option.
That being said, the mission structure makes it perfect for the Switch. Each mission only takes 10-20 minutes to complete. Challenges are even shorter. Making it perfect for long grinding sessions on the TV or for quick little sessions in the doctor’s waiting room. In closing, War Tech Fighters is a game with a lot of potential and has some great game play, but that causes the weaker parts to really feel weaker.