RODEA: THE SKY SOLDIER
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on November 12, 2015
During Gamescom 2015, we had the opportunity to chat with a couple of cool guys at the NIS America booth. They showed us several of their upcoming games, one of which was Rodea: The Sky Soldier. This game, featuring a control scheme that was a bit different than we were used to, looked to be inspired somewhat by the good old Sonic games, but with a twist. No, rather than playing a blue hedgehog that runs really fast, you play as a robotic guardian called Rodea, whose main objective is to save the floating kingdom of Garuda from the evil clutches of the terrestrial machine empire, Naga. We were dying to play this game from the moment we laid eyes on it, and now, the time has finally come to try the full the game! So... shall we?
As I've already mentioned, in Rodea: the Sky Soldier, you play as... well, Rodea the Sky Soldier; a robot with a heart who just happens to be the body guard of princess Cecillia, ruler of Garuda. But when Garuda is under attack and the princess has to flee, Rodea tries to save her. Surrounded by an army of Nagaen warmachines, the princess divides the key of time in two pieces and sends Rodea into a distant future, in order to save the kingdom. This separates the two of them literally tears Rodeaís heart out. When we catch up with Rodea, he cannot remember who he is or what he's doing in the desert where he is found and repaired by Ion, a young girl, willing to help Rodea on his way. Without any recollection of the past, Rodea is lost in an unknown world, but when he looks at Ion's face, a vague memory stirs inside his head. There's something familiar about this girl...
The Wii U is perfect for colorful, comic style games, and Rodea fits perfectly into this category. The world of Rodea is beautiful, with great colors and characters; I especially like the look of the enemy forces at the start of the game. It's obvious that Rodea: The Sky Soldier is not trying to scare you, because the enemies look rather cute. The developers created a fantastic colorful world, which is great even just to fly through.
But there's a lot more to do than flying. But, first things first, youíll start off with a tutorial which takes you through the basics of the game. Instead of controlling the character, you control the pointer while flying through the air. When you press the jump button twice, Rodea gets into pre-filght mode; a kind of spinning hover mode that gives you a limited amount of time to aim your pointer at a destination. When You chosen the direction you want to go in, you confirm that choice by pressing the jump button a third time and Rodea will fly in the desired direction. This type of flight controls might take some getting used to but after ten to fifteen minutes of flying around, I got the hang of it.
Rodea: The Sky Soldier focuses heavily on flying and doesn't seem too keen to have you with your feet on the ground for prolonged amounts of time. Sure, you can walk around and even attack when you're on the ground, but pretty soon, you'll have to take flight. Why, I hear you ask? Well, because of the very simple reason that Garuda is a FLOATING kingdom, so it's made up out of small hovering islands. In order to travel from one island to the next, you'll have to fly, whether you like it or not. But hey, flying a cool fantasy character through a beautifully crafted world; what's not to like?!
Iím a big fan of the old Sonic games. Call me crazy, but the thing I like the most was collecting the rings. In Rodea: The Sky Soldier, these rings are replaced with stars. When you see a series of stars, floating in the air, just aim at the first star in the row and Rodea will perform a sort of quick flight, like a bullet from a gun. Itís not only very fun to do, but it also can make it much easier to finish a level. Sometimes these series of stars are quite long and they take you through a big part of the level. They can also help you to bridge a large distance, which you couldnít do in normal flight mode.
When you start the game, your flight power is limited, so you can't just keep on flying indefinitely. But, of course you can extend that time during the game. You can upgrade several thing and thereís even a secret shop! Yes, ladies and gentleman; a secret shop with special extraís. It will cost you, but if you want to make it in the dangerous kingdom of Garuda, you'll need to upgrade Rodea as much as you possibly.
When you come across an enemy there are several ways to fight them. When on the ground you simply attack them. The preferred and more fun way to attack your opponents is during flight. When flying towards an enemy, press the attack button and Rodea will execute a short burst of speed, which enables you to dash through your enemies and finish them. Or you can be smart like me and fly around enemies, avoiding them. This might not be the most spectacular way, but hey, it works!
Rodea: The Sky Soldier works just fine on the Wii U. The flying part is what makes this game truly great. It might be challenging at times, but take the time to familiarize yourself with the controls and you'll be taking to the skies like a champ in no time. The levels are a combination of action and puzzle-solving, and there are over twenty-five levels waiting for you to explore. So my advice would be to check out Rodea: The Sky Soldier and take to the skies!