Cocoro Line Defender is a recent addition to the 3ds library, it is a 2d tower defence game, or somewhat of a real time strategic war game. Let me simplify for clarity, similar in vein as to Swords and Soldiers as found on 3ds and other Nintendo consoles, it’s an exercise in destruction.
I would feel aggrieved however if I didn’t start where I was attracted to the game in the first place. The presentation, graphics and style are simply beautiful, people debate whether games are art, in this case, I would put this up there (or there about, perhaps just below) with the likes of Ubisoft’s Rayman and the other Ubi-Art framework and it’s contemporaries, it’s that nice. This is tied up neatly with the setting, a fantastical Japanese fairy story, the introduction is warm and the premise is clear and interesting. The four natural elements of the world are at battle with each other to see who can rule their world. The story is about Water, Wind, Fire and Earth elements, each taking their turn to attack as the player character, and the narrator of the story as it plays out. The music helps the setting and the story; the overall atmosphere of it all is pleasant, reminiscent of an old Japanese water colour in a museum you have seen from the Edo period perhaps.
The game also sounds pleasant enough, the story is fine, it all adds up well. With regards to the game play, the tutorial starts us off pleasantly enough, you flick your minions out of the touch screen, the trajectory and speed is determined by the movement of the stylus itself. The flick you make can send your soldier quick and far or slow or near, this is the first sticking point, it doesn’t make much of a difference really. In turn the further you get on in the game, each element gets special powers and same point; it doesn’t make much of a difference really. So in reality, the tribes don’t play differently enough, there’s not a lot of variation at all, in the game you just go from battle to battle, same gameplay, different elements, nothing different between the types within the clans, you just flick them out the touch screen and hope for the best.
As you can see, the game itself could have been good, maybe great, but the collapse of that is simple, yet again it’s blaringly obvious, no kind of real variety, makes a dull, non-event, it’s a real shame, I can tell a lot of work has went into this, care, attention, it’s just missing that extra spark that could have taken it to the next level, the variety, true differences in gameplay could have done this. The game itself is easily beat; it’s just a trial of patience to last through the story without just thinking forget this and moving onto something else. It’s just over using the best unit in what is the same battle over and over again. That’s how this game failed for me.
At the price point it is, as good as it looks I cannot recommend this game, perhaps some people look for something simpler to play as a change of pace, I cannot even feel that this game could scratch that itch for me either. I said this in my last review; this type of game can be found for free on any internet browser. I could see a bored child participating with it for a bit longer, but anyone with a thirst for good games will be left disappointed with the looks belying how good the actual game is, so I will just finish off with the idea, looks can be deceiving, no matter how well something is made or presented, if it is lacking variety then there is no point in the first place.
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