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13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim


Mark E
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This was Vanillaware’s latest and it finally released in North America on Tuesday. I honestly don’t know who else this would be for, but it’s definitely for me.

 

You follow the interlocking stories of some teenagers in Japan as their city comes under attack from kaiju. The game spends a lot of time in a dialogue-based adventure style mode, but then when kaiju attack it goes to an isometric RTS where you control a team of mechs via a stylized radar display.

 

The RTS is just complicated enough to be fun and demand your attention but is not yet overwhelming. The story is, deliberately, all over the place right now and is told out of order - you slowly fill out a list showing how things all fit together, which I love, and have to do certain things in one story to unlock parts of another, which is narrative catnip for me.

 

The prologue was strong, if a touch slow, but I like the characters, the story is engaging (I hear it gets even better as it goes and it’s good now), and the combat is fun. It’s been great so far.

 

And, of course, it has gorgeous Vanillaware art...

 

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My impressions have only gotten more positive as I’ve continued, I can say that much. The opening is good, but some of the later chapters/characters are fantastic.

 

Just crossing the ten hour mark at the moment. The narrative style also makes it really simple to sneak a quick twenty minute ‘episode’ here and there when I’m busy.

 

This is legit the only time I’ve ever been deeply invested in the question - ‘what the hell happened in the girls’ restroom?’.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Aaaand finished! Phew, 26 hours or so when it was all said and done.

 

Really enjoyed this. No story spoilers, since that’s the whole point, but it goes far harder sci-fi than you’re expecting from the start.
 

The epilogue is frankly adorable.


The combat sections were pretty easy on normal once I found a strategy that worked, but they never felt like busywork - you will die if you don’t stay on top of things, it just isn’t hard to do so.

 

Some good twists and turns, some fun characters, Japanese AF. Pretty much my jam and it lived up to what I was expecting.

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