Share.Showcasing perfectly acceptable interplanetary relations.
PSP strategy games are often rooted in the fantasy tradition, especially when it comes to the strategy RPG. With knights, mages and dragons dominating the genre, a gun-toting mech might be considered outlandish. Such a sight is commonplace, however, in Mytran Wars, an obscure strategy title for Sony's portable platform. In the game, players take control of one of two races and wage war on grid-based terrain with a variety of high-tech weapons and alien technology. This might sound like a jolly good time, but Mytran Wars suffers from a number of issues, both mechanical and technical, which prevent it from being anything more than a mediocre affair.
Mytran Wars begins with the Kondor Corporation, which has launched an interstellar campaign to the mysterious planet of Pythar. The brilliant young Eli and his girlfriend/bodyguard Rachel are aboard one of the first vessels to Pythar with the intention of surveying the planet for resources. The mech commander assigned to the mission, Loki, is not as tactful as the planet-hopping couple and remains loyal only to the head of Kondor: Alexander Wolfe.
Upon exploring Pythar's ethereal landscape, the humans stumble upon the sentient native life -- the Mytra -- but do not have the most diplomatic of intentions. Loki calls for the destruction of the natives and soon the various heroes on both sides are caught up in a brutal war.
While I would normally be gong-ho about such a delicious sci-fi plot, the execution of the Mytran Wars story is less than ideal. Although I have no problem with the animated "comic book cutscenes" which are employed to display the game's dialogue, both the writing and art style fail to impress. The dialogue has illusions of hard-hitting, futuristic banter but awkward repetition, poor structure and unusual slang make it feel more like a first attempt at a screenplay. I can only point to such gems as "I will shoot my lifeglow to the moon," which is shouted by a crazed Mytran commander before he quite literally shoots himself to the moon.
The art style isn't much better, with characters that seem to have sprung from a high school portfolio. Certain images will occasionally strike me as well done drawings, but most of the time it all feels childish.
But these complaints only apply to a certain section of the Mytran Wars experience: the storytelling. Most of your time will be spent on the battlefield, which is considerably more enjoyable but still flawed. In this turn-based system, players can control one unit at a time in their party of approximately six to eight units. Each unit can move, attack and perform a skill during a turn before entering a completed state (unless other buffs or modifiers are in place).
Every action in Mytran Wars is based on a grid, so units can only move so many squares during their movement phase or attack from a certain distance. While controlling your units, players can tilt and rotate the camera to better view the action, which works just fine. During most missions, players are tasked with destroying the opposing forces, occupying a particular square on the map or reaching an escape point with a VIP unit in tow.
When commanding units, the mechanical problems begin to emerge. I totally understand that the developers wanted players to think about their moves before they make them, but not being able to undo a single movement immediately after you make it can be a colossal pain. Say, for example, the player forgets to take into account the firing range of a weapon when attempting to approach the enemy. The unit is effectively useless after moving to the wrong square, because nothing can be done to undo the mistake. This seems like a tremendous step backwards when it comes to strategy games, as there is a difference between challenging the player and punishing simple errors.
Even worse: the pacing of battle is slow, regardless of the animation speeds players set in the options menu. Even if players set movement and attack animations to "Skip," simple animations still play, something I found to be frustrating.
Also troubling is the organization of the HUD and the managing of units, which is cumbersome at best. A player's units are not easily differentiated from the opposing units, especially when players take control of the alien Mytran units. Furthermore, the HUD is cluttered and was overwhelming to me at first glance, though I did feel more comfortable with the interface after completing a few missions.
Considering all these issues, it might seem like Mytran Wars is a total disaster, but it's not. Mytran Wars just isn't particularly good. It does do a few things right, like offer players enormous tech trees and plenty of weapons to use. There's an impressive amount of depth to be found in positioning units according to terrain and properly tackling the enemy, but with only three unit types for each side, I felt like I didn't have much control over customizing my army.
After a quick perusal of online message boards, it appears that some Mytran Wars players have run into game freezes during certain story missions. I didn't personally have any problems, but if bugs have in fact sprung up for some people, they could spring up for you.
Mytran Wars offers players a standard strategy experience with plenty of tech trees, multiple mission objects and an interesting premise, but the game suffers from cumbersome mechanics, awkward unit management and an art/writing style that feels like an amateur effort. In other words: buyer beware.
Mytran Wars is a turn-based tactics video game for the Sony PlayStation Portable
Plot : It's the 23rd century the Earth's natural resources are virtually exhausted and the ruling multinational conglomerates are searching for new raw material deposits in space in order to avert the Impending catastrophe. One planet turns out to be a real El Dorado, full of natural resources. But as the human conquerors in their armed mecha encounter the extraterrestrial inhabitants a dreadful war breaks out. In this strategy title, the player researches into new technologies and continues to re-arm his mecha in Mytran Wars. Battles are thereby fought in vast 3D landscapes against the merciless AI or other human opponents in various multiplayer modes.
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Metacritic 68/100 (Good)