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PSP  header logo

Black Rock Shooter: The Game

For: PSP   Also on: PS Vita

Aims, but misses

Product: Black Rock Shooter: The Game | Developer: Imageepoch | Publisher: NIS America | Format: PSP | Genre: Action, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: US
 
Black Rock Shooter: The Game PSP, thumbnail 1
When I see the words 'The Game' after anything I instantly become sceptical. It has connotations of lazy efforts, poor game design, and just downright awful cash-ins off the back of films or TV series.

This is made even worse when the game in question is yet another action-RPG for the PSP, because there definitely aren't enough of those already, now are there?

Luckily, Black Rock Shooter: The Game isn't quite like that.

A rocky start

Based around the anime series Black Rock Shooter, Black Rock Shooter: The Game is set in a future world where an alien invasion in 2032 has ravaged the world. You take on the role of Black Rock Shooter (BRS for short) as she awakens in 2051 to find that only 12 humans are left on the face of the Earth.

BRS is humanity's last hope. With her super-human ability to shoot things, she sets out to combat the alien race and save humanity. But, predictably enough, it quickly emerges that there's more to BRS than first appears.

As you may be able to tell, the plotline and setting is absolutely ridiculous - just like the gargantuan transforming gun that BRS carries with her along with her choice of attire for battling strangely robotic-looking aliens.

I could go into why her choice of a bikini with an overcoat is probably not quite the look for a gun-toting world saviour who appears curiously pre-pubescent, but that's an issue with certain kinds of anime rather than with this game specifically.

Lining up the shot

Once you put the story aside and decide to shoot some things, Black Rock Shooter: The Game quickly falls into a pattern of repetition.

Broken down into seven stages, each with five levels inside to complete - plus a bonus 'Free Hunt' mode upon completion - things rarely get shaken up.

The first time you get onto BRS's trike and power down the highway in what feels very reminiscent of Final Fantasy VII's 'Crazy Motorcycle' section is certainly refreshing. But it becomes tired the third time you do it.

However, combat is surprisingly enjoyable and really quite tactical, too.

Battles occur in the same fashion as many other RPGs, whisking you away to a battle area when you come into contact with an enemy. Here you'll remain in a fixed position while your opponents dance around the zone vying to get a hit in on you.

At first your limited movement is frustrating as all you can really do is fire off shots, dodge, or guard. But opening up your customisable special moves selection means you can play defensively or offensively, wiping out enemies in creative ways.

It's hardly high-octane action, and, after having been spoilt by lavish Vita games, it's hard to become as sucked in by Black Rock Shooter: The Game's rather jagged and charmless PSP visuals. But, as action-RPGs go on the PSP, this isn't half bad.
 
Black Rock Shooter: The Game
Reviewer photo
Vaughn Highfield | 8 May 2013
A no-brainer if you're a fan of the series, but for anyone else it's really neither here nor there. If you like young girls with big guns and have a penchant for middle-of-the-road action-RPGs, this may well be for you
 
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