13 Sentinels Aegis Rim Review
As the holidays wrap up, and 2020 comes to a close, it’s got me thinking what an intense year it’s been. While the global pandemic rages on, there wasn’t too much to enjoy about 2020. With the exception of gaming that is! 2020 has been an S tier gaming season with games such as Animal Crossing New Horizons and Final Fantasy 7 remake taking 2020 by storm. Which got me thinking. Out of all the S Tier titles to drop in 2020, what is my number? What game from 2020 would I recommend to you wonderful readers of Best Gamer Kuma? That would be 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. 13 Sentinels is a masterpiece and you will find out why below!
13 Sentinels Aegis Rim Plot:
Post-war Japan 1985. The tragic events of WW2 have long since passed as society moves into an economic boom. But for the students at local Sakura Highschool, it’s just another restless day. Gossiping about boys, games, and the latest idol within the ever-aging Sakura High’s walls. But there is a special bit of gossip going around. One that is tight-lipped, kept hidden from most of the student body. Only a select few students know about this gossip. The disturbing dreams involving multiple students. When classmates Juro Kurabe and Iori Fuyusaka confide in each other about their dreams, they trigger a series of events that start unraveling the mystery plaguing their minds.
Dreams fighting robots like alien creatures in mech suits, time travel, distant pasts, and futures. Are the delusions of grandeur? Otaku fever dreams? Or are they real events buried deep in their subconscious? When an army of a Kaiju race known as Deimos invades the planet in droves, 13 students from Sakura Highschool transcend into Sentinels. Powerful mechs designed to destroy the Deimos and humanity’s only hope. Juro and Iori’s dreams become a reality and as the mystery unravels, they find that no one, even themselves, is not who they seem.
13 Sentinels is divided into 3 modes of gameplay. Although, one of the modes essential for players looking to understand lore, and those looking to play the ever so fun game of “guess the plot.” The first mode Remembrance mode is the 2D side-scrolling visual novel portion of the game where players play through the story. Doing different actions throughout the story will trigger new scenes that are rewarded with key clues about characters’ identities and motives.
As the story progresses, players will be required to complete waves in Destruction mode. Destruction mode is a turn-based tactical mode where characters square up against the Deimos to protect the city and save humanity. If players complete bonuses in Destruction mode, they can unlock special terms in Analysis mode early on. Here is where players can understand the lore and try and unravel the mystery for themselves.
The first thing about 13 Sentinels that blew me away is the graphics that players experience in Remembrance mode. These graphics are stunning. Compared to other more vibrant, bright color schemes of previous Vanillaware titles, 13 sentinels use all new 2D and 3D elements in combination with a warm and neutral tone that really sets the mood. The 2D and 3D graphics are so well done, they complement each other perfectly to the point where one wouldn’t even think there are 2 different dimension elements in play here.
Along with the music in some of the scenes, there is an element of “shrouded in mystery” which the graphics really push. They are simply stunning. The only downside in Remembrance mode is that players will have to play through the same scenes multiple times. While they do perform different actions to unlock more of the mystery, it can get kind of redundant having to mash through texts to get to where they need to perform the changing action.
Players can use a variety of moves known as Actions to take on the Deimos including ranged, offensive, and defensive. Actions are the crème de la crème of Destruction mode as the battle animations are well crafted and beautifully executed. Each Sentinel has its strengths and weaknesses, so players should choose wisely before heading into battle. As players level up through completing waves, they can unlock new moves in Customize mode. But if players really want to give Deimos a beating, they can level up various moves and aspects of the Sentinels. This is crucial as completing waves is the only way to advance the story in Remembrance mode.
However, not every Sentinel can be deployed to battle. The ones who aren’t deployed to stay and defend. So in order to level up and make sure everyone is as powerful as they can be, players will need to keep an eye on whose in what battle as well as be conscious of who they’re swapping in and out. I.E. There is a level of management here, but that’s the strategic element of 13 Sentinels.
Overall 13 Sentinels is something new and fresh that will have players intrigued by the mystery and how the characters are intertwined. The gameplay is challenging, fun, and fresh. Couple this with the graphics, the divisions of modes, and wala! A masterpiece! This game was on my radar but was way better than I expected it to be. With that 13 Sentinels, Aegis Rim gets a 5/5 thus making it my top game of 2020! I suggest you pick up this title if you have not already, and Happy New Year gamers!