Oh man, just look at Cosmic Break. It has girls and robots, robots who are girls, futuristic swords, laser weapons, guns, and fighting.
A very Japanese mecha game that happens to be free to play. So just how good is it?
The first thing you get when you launch the game is a voice-over happily shouting out the Japanese version of the phrase ‘Cosmic Break!” With the announcer at the start being so excited about the game, this should be an exciting game.
As far as the plot goes, it is various factions that control these arks so they they can eliminate some sort of evil robot group or something like that. It it a blatant excuse plot at best.
The three factions are DOS, WIZ, and BRD. At the start, the leaders of the factions are shown as working together towards one goal, which seemed kind of neat. Perhaps each faction has some sort of benefit. WIZ was explained by the leader to be for robots who plan and think about things, so it would give a boost to your intelligence and would use role warfare in battles to put people on WIZ in a more planning role, where you use tactics over strength.
That isn’t the case. Each faction presents no benefit from joining, although you can fight in faction wars to gain prestige points. Every so often, the faction with the most prestige gets ranked Number 1 for that time period. No rewards are gained from it, or at least, none I was able to discern.
There are three different modes. You can do co-operative quests, co-operative fights, or versus fights.
Quests have you fight through several areas with infinitely respawning enemy robots, and you have to find a gate in each area to take you to the next in a limited amount of time. The quest areas don’t play with map layouts, so a player who knows where the gates are will speed ahead to the gate and quickly make it to the safe area before the boss fight, leaving the lost payers with no clue about where the gate is located. The other players usually never make it to the safe area, and instead end up leaving. You can use the chat, but as the maps aren’t really divided up in any way, knowing your exact location in relation to the gate is essentially impossible, unless you know the map.
Co-operative fights are fairly good. There is one path, and you stop every so often to fight off a group of enemy robots. There is one way to progress, and an arrow shows you where to go when you can progress. You then get to fight one boss, and the fight ends after that.
Versus fights are the bread and butter. While the leaders say the factions are working towards the same goal, and the factions get along, the various factions instead fight over arks and prestige points. Most everyone is playing the versus matches, so if you want to gain levels, you are essentially forced to adventure solo (very hard) or fight in pvp matches. Pvp matches also provide the fastest rank gains as well as the best rewards.
Fights are fast paced action and are actually pretty fun. There are air, land, and artillery mech, each with their own weakness and strength, making a balanced triangle like rock-paper-sciccors. There are also support robots with no real strengths and usually no real weaknesses. The chibi robots have no real attack and no real health points, but they can boost offense or defense of their teammates. Needless to say, getting to the enemy spawn and destroying every support robot is great and unsporting fun, and can really weaken the opposing team.
There is one flaw in Cosmic Break. It has a microtransaction system. While those are not bad by themselves, Cosmic Break committed the mortal sin of pay systems: paying confers in game advantages.
One flying robot can be bought for $10 USD. It has stat boosts in almost every category over the regular one that cna be had for earned points. It had no disadvantages compared to the normal one. The level limit for all robots is level five, but a purchase with real money will raise it to eight, then ten. Then, with that flying robot being level ten, you can buy the Seraph Crimrose upgrade for an additional $10 USD, and upgrade her to level ten as well.
Facing any one of the paid robots with a free robot will result in the free robot losing, unless the paid one was really low on health or something. It takes a miracle to make a paid robot lose in a 1v1 fight against a free robot.
There are some pretty cool robots in the raffle system, but they also require you to pay $1 USD per spin of the thing, or $4USD for five spins. Needless to say, these robots do confer advantages over the regular ones.
You can use earned money to buy the paid money, but the price of the paid money doubles every time you buy ten. And there is no way around that either, no matter how many transactions you break it up into.
Honestly, I can just call it there. Cosmic Break committed the worst of the mortal sins of pay systems.
But it has a couple other flaws. The system to adjust resolution is horrible. There are about two choices, both of which were obsolete back when computers used oscilloscopes for displays. You need to set the game for windowed most to change the resolution, as having it set for full-screen will block off the option of changing the resolution. I wish that were a joke. The textures are flat, the characters are blocky and fairly simple. I can see why HD versions are what they sell for actual cash, the regular ones are pretty awful to look at. An indie developer who makes retro 8 bit games would think that a person helping on their game was moonlighting.
It’s like the game doesn’t know that computer technology has advanced in the last decade. My cheap computer can sit there and run Crysis on reasonably high settings. I don’t expect the game to look like Crysis, but I don’t expect it to look like it was made by the guy Nintendo keeps locked in a cupboard to design Mario games, and who is ignorant of any advances in graphics quality or processing power.
Score: 0/5 very bad
Pros: the gameplay is pretty fun
Cons: it committed the mortal sin of games by having players able to buy an advantage over other players. Cosmic Break is there to make money, and the prices show it.
Verdict: Avoid like the plague, unless you have plenty of disposable income to be able to buy your way onto equal standing with the other paid players. Otherwise, the game will be a miserable experience.
They seem to have been inspired by EVE Online.
You can google the game if you want, I’m not linking to it.