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13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is worth checking out

I recently made it to the end of 13 SENTINELS: AEGIS RIM. It's been a fantastic game to play through over the last month. Sadly I don't think I'm going to get my offline friends to play this one. So I'm bringing it to you, my patient gaming friends.

This is basically an anime visual novel game with some gorgeous 2D anime visuals. Vanillaware has a very distinctive art style that they've continued here. The game is really all about its story that involves more than a dozen high school students, Mechs, the end of the world, and has you jumping around between multiple time periods and character point of views. Its also filled to the brim with anime tropes. There is a lot that happens here, and each protagonist as their own unique adventure within the overall story, you've got the protagonist with amnesia, a girl who makes a contact with a talking cat to become a magical girl, and even a guy who gets stuck in a ground hogs day style time loop and many more.

I don't want to dive into the story too much, as its really what'll pull you through this ~30 hour game. It grabbed me instantly with its multiple mysteries, giant robots, and out of order reveals. Each character's POV will start at the beginning of their story, but they'll intersect with the other characters and their stories often times before you've made it to that part in their own POV giving you constant teases and more mystery hooks to pull. Conveniently, the story nodes you experience will get unlocked in the Analysis Timeline which you can review and see the timeline of events if you ever get confused.

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While the main focus of the game is its story, it does have giant mech combat you'll occasionally have to complete to progress the story. Here you'll be commanding up to 6 of 13 possible characters in large combat situations against waves of enemies. A tactics like active turn based system that runs in real time but will pause when you are issuing commands. The visual style used is really pulled out, where your mechs and the enemies are practically dots on a wireframe grid of the city you are fighting to protect. What this allows for though are battles with some massive numbers of enemies. You'll also need to take into consideration your pilot's skills, the mech's equipment, and base capabilities as you head into battle.

I ended up being surprised by how much I enjoyed the combat in this game, especially after reading reviewers say they just set it to easy to get through it. I found it exhilarating lining up railgun shots or sending out massive missile barrages that just explode in visual and audio splendor. And to get the S ranks and bonus objectives you'll sometimes have to really pay attention to who you are sending in and what equipment/mechs you have. The only downside I have to say about the combat is that it doesn't provide any of the depth until after you've completed the tutorial.

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The game is PS4 exclusive, and often on sale on the digital store. If you are a trophy hunter, this is a really easy Platinum with 29% (at the time of writing this) of players having received it.

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