Welcome back to the world of SRC. If you have no idea what that is, go read my previous blog post on it over here. The tl;dr version – program that allows you to create and play fan “Super Robot Wars”-style games.
Being a tool that allows fans to make a certain style of games, the obvious “problem” is of course the overabundance of scenario packs to try – we all know that fan-work tends to be more unpolished than commercial products, so which are the gems and which aren’t? That’s what my Roundups are here to help you pick up the most interesting ones and give you a starting point. Let’s begin.
No relationship with the ninja with the last name Hiryu. “Like the Striders” is another scenario pack focused on Human-sized characters rather than giant robots, and as it seems with scenario packs that use this theme, the series list is once again pretty insane. If you ever wanted to see Kamen Rider, Arcana Heart, Strike Witches, Ika Musume, Dragon Quest, Mai-Hime, Kinnikuman, Final Fantasy 6 and other such characters fight as a strategy RPG theme then this is for you. Also you’re a weirdo (like me.)
Despite the strange premise, “Like the Striders” is very tightly designed with many gameplay features over its competitors, such as new Spirit Commands, Skill Parts (from GBA era SRW games), Battle Masteries, Custom FUB bonuses, weapon equipment, a semi-randomized item drop system and so on.
Units are carefully designed and series themes throughout their design are evident, especially in their unique equippables. For example, Strike Witches have superior aerial mobility and have access to a wide variety of modern-day magic-powered firearms like Walther PPKs and MP40s. Final Fantasy 6 characters have access to Magicite, which provide them with bonuses and allows them 1 shot of a powerful Summon attack. Mai-Hime characters have two states, one with their CHILD partners summoned and one without and so on.
Because of the many new passive abilities, items and weapon properties (such as status effects) available in this scenario pack, a much higher knowledge of Japanese language is needed to fully enjoy this scenario, but if you are familiar with the basics of SRW it can potentially still be played (but with increased difficulty.) The difficulty curve is good, and like most SRW games with Battle Masteries, achieving all of them provides a solid challenge that isn’t insurmountable.
One of the best designed SRC scenarios available and highly recommended. I mean, if you don’t think that using the Blackjack from Final Fantasy 6 as a battleship (which can fire dice and slots at the enemy) is cool, you have no soul.
Update: A new version featuring more gameplay tweaks and additions such as an ACE Bonus for units was uploaded as of 6/18/2014. The download link has been updated.
A rather strange and unique Scenario Pack based off an unlikely source – the very first Super Robot Wars game, which is very different from the rest of the series, combined with a Mystery Dungeon game.
Choose from 1 of the 3 starting series – Gundam, Mazinger or Getter (the “Holy Trinity” of SRW series), then pick 1 of the 3 battleships – Nahel Argama, Iron Gear or the Nadesico and enter a semi-randomized battlefield for each mission.
In each mission, you either have to wipe out every enemy unit or enter a specific marked tile to advance to the next floor, and a careful balance is necessary in order to earn enough EXP and money but not get yourself overwhelmed.
Sometimes in a mission, special enemy units will be pointed out to you. There units are recruitable with a “convince” option, with effectiveness based off its remaining HP. The closer it is to death, the higher the chances of recruiting them, Pokemon style. Over time you will build up your own customized army, but of course randomness will throw some wrenches in your plans – perhaps you might get Demonbane on the 2nd stage, but are you a bad enough dude to reduce its HP to a level where it’s safe to recruit him?
Unlike regular SRW play, quick-saves in battles are disabled and perma-death is in play, making the game feel rather much like Fire Emblem rather than the usual “slap on the wrist” SRW death penalties. There are two modes of play – an “Infinite” mode where you can collect and progress at your own leisure in a never-ending randomized dungeon, or “Plus” mode, where you’re limited to 30 floors and then you got to beat a final battle with whatever you have on hand.
Due to its nature and set-up, Robot Dungeon SRC Plus is able to have a gigantic series list due to not needing to incorporate plot and you’ll be surprised at which characters and mecha you’ll run into during play (such as Japanese Spider-man’s mecha. No, really). For those who have learned how to mod SRC scenarios, it is a fantastic test-bed to insert your own custom units for testing without having to worry about level designs and etc.
An interesting tool and unique way to while away the time and an example of how you can implement a different kind of meta-game in an SRW-style system.
Shoot Em Up games – the SRPG. A rather small, experimental scenario pack with a series list comprising of mostly SHMUP games such as R-Type, Zegapain XOR/NOT and Trigger Heart Exelica. Supposedly the game system is supposed to resemble R-Type Tactics as much as possible, but having never played that I can’t really tell you how accurate that statement is.
Probably the biggest change in gameplay from the standard SRW game is the introduction of Fog of War mechanics. Each unit has a Radar stat which determines how far they can see into the fog of war, and units that are attacked outside of their sight range or run too fast into the fog and collide into an enemy unit get penalties. It makes for a much different feel than most SRW games where you have perfect information at all times. Here, you never know if there are more enemies lurking around the corner waiting to ambush you.
Another interesting aspect of this scenario pack is the implementation of Battleship units. Rather than being tanky but not being very effective at offense, Pain of Heart’s battleship is comparatively fragile, unable to be healed in the middle of battle, but is able to execute up to 3 attacks in a single turn, as long as each attack comprises of a different weapon. The dynamics of battleship supporting normal units is turned on its head in this scenario and I honestly prefer this to the usual SRW handling of such units.
Well actually I suppose it’s called Akumajo Dracula SRC because it’s the Japanese name and uh moving on.
Another experimental attempt at trying to transplant another series mechanics into an SRW framework, this time its Castlevania, most likely Portrait of Ruin as this scenario pack has implemented twin-units/switching mechanics.
What’s most striking about this scenario is how it attempts to implement location and environmental hazards in a turn-based SRW context. For example, levels have classic Castlevania traps like spike pits or spears flying out from the walls and the strategy involves how best to fight the enemies while avoiding falling prey to such hazards. It also uses terrain ratings to try to simulate some of the weapon niches of the original Castlevania games, for example, Axes are very effective against flying units because in the original game, they curve up in an arc which makes them serve the same purpose!
Note that while this scenario pack is called Castlevania SRC, it is actually still a crossover work in itself. Characters from Melty Blood, Namco Vs Capcom (mostly Reiji and Xiaomu), Queen’s Blade and other characters are playable and part of the plot teaming up with Castlevania classics like Soma, Johnathan and Charlotte. It’s certainly a very unique design.
Hope you enjoy playing these scenario packs as much as I did. Got a favourite that you want me to try out so I can write about it? Leave a comment! Until then, I’ll try out new and more scenario packs and come back to this topic if I ever find enough to write on.