Solatorobo: Red the Hunter
The story of Solatorobo begins in the Shepherd Republic. Humans have gone extinct after a war amongst themselves. There are currently two races of people that live on floating islands above the Post-Apocalyptic Earth. One is the dog-like race named Caninu, the other race is called Felineko who look like cats. Both races operate their lives and economy much like the Humans did. A main occupation that is prevalent in this time are the job of hunters. They are hired laborers that work for their clients undertake a variety of tasks. Being a bodyguard, doing errands for a customer, hunting creatures, and delivering items are just a few of them.
They are hired laborers that work for their clients undertake a variety of tasks. Being a bodyguard, doing errands for a customer, hunting creatures, and delivering items are just a few of them. Red Savarin is one of these hunters and the main protagonist of the story. Red is joined on his adventure with his adopted sister Chocolat. She is a mechanic and pilots the Asmodeus which they live in. Chocolat uses the COM System to talk to Red over the airwaves during their missions. He is 17 years old and is hired to retrieve an important file that has been stolen. His mission is to retrieve a file from the massive airship called the Hindenburg. During the infiltration of the ship, he runs into a Felineko cat called Elh. Red takes the boy aboard his ship, the Asmodeus. This leads to a journey traveling through the skies of the Shepherd Republic to uncover the mystery of a medallion and stop the evil Bruno from controlling Lars, an ancient mech.
The art direction is amazing and reminiscent of the anime-styled RPG’s in the late 90’s. The furry cast of characters roam around in beautiful, digitally-drawn, pre-rendered backgrounds, something that hasn’t been seen for years, which I think should be integrated again for future RPG’s. You’ll visit many mythical locations and gorgeous architecture along your way.
Battle gameplay is done by Red and his mech, the Dahak. This mechanical robot can be used to throw boxes, slam enemies, and catch/throw various projectiles. Most of this is done by the ‘A’ button. It is simple and may seem repetitive. It is limited in its moves that you can do, but I feel the game was created as more of an Adventure/RPG game instead of an Action/Adventure game. I felt that the overall charm and atmosphere of the game negated this fact.
The Dahak has the ability to upgrade its stats. You can buy parts for the mech at shops or earn them on certain quest. Hydraulics, Attack, Defense, Mobility are the ones you can acquire. Each part has a different shape that is fit onto the Dahak customizing grid. In the beginning you will have to put in and take out parts to make them fit. Usually the more complex the shape and expensive, the better stat upgrade you will receive. You get more room for spare parts by unlocking them with P-crystals. It takes 420 of them to fully unlock the grid. Red can also step out of his mech. He can perform actions that while in his Dahak you can’t. When he jumps out he can stun enemies, pulls switches, and swim.
Now for the adventure side of the game! In each town you’ll find a quest broker named Flo. This is where the main story and side quests are started. Solatrobo’s side quests are an essential part of the game. You can unlock new modes and unique items. I recommend playing them all to get the most out of the game. You can also download some more quests online through the Nintendo DS if you’re connected to Wi-Fi. The towns themselves, while not bustling with activity, are all enjoyable. All of the characters have personality and a sense of style to them. You can also do a lot of different things in the game. There’s a fishing robot mini-game, arena, quest, air races, and a New Game+ mode.
The musical repertoire consists of traditional RPG staples such as flutes, harps, bells and strings, great for when exploring the peaceful town of Pharaoh. There are also parts of the soundtrack that use cymbals and brasses that heat up the moment when serious business is about to happen. Much of the music actually sounds very familiar to CyberConnect2’s other games, like their Naruto and .Hack series.
Solatorobo is a game that everyone should play. It is a unique adventure that sadly companies don’t make any more. It has some good gameplay, humor, great characters, and story. Few games have this unique charm to them. I hope gamers can read this review and be interested in the game. For all the gamers who have played this wonderful game, let’s thank Xseed for bringing it over!
Pros: Atmosphere, Characters, Setting, Replay Value, Graphics, Story (When you think it’s over it isn’t!).
Cons: Simple gameplay and difficulty.
VGM: “Another Morning”