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- Mar 22, 2017
Vanillaware's latest title is an utterly compelling journey and its unconventional structure is an astounding achievement for storytelling in video games that should be celebrated and commemorated.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is truly one of the most unique games I have ever played through. My 35 hours with Vanillaware’s latest title is something I wish I got back because I want to play it again for the first time. Kamitani explores so many interesting sci-fi ideas and philosophies in this title and they come together to form something magical. None of this would be nearly as impactful without the unconventional piecemeal storytelling scattered throughout the 13 protagonists’ perspectives. It is a narrative labyrinth that kept me intrigued the entire way. The execution of this game is masterful in its own right, fully utilizing what video game storytelling could be capable of. While the RTS battles drew the short end of the stick, what 13 Sentinels achieves in storytelling for video games is something to be celebrated and commemorated.
13 Sentinels Aegis Rim Review - Vanillaware's latest game, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, blends the studio's signature art style and side scrolling story telling with RTS kaiju battles for a sci-fi game well worth the investment.
You know a game has consumed your life when it seeps into your dreams. That’s exactly what happened to me. I’m seeing Triangles floating atop heads and planning strategy in my sleep. Not the worst way to sleep but also not the most relaxing. I’m craving yakisoba pan all the time. No other games exist while you’re playing 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. Don’t even bother trying to play anything else. Your brain simply won’t let you.
Vanillaware's latest is a twisty sci-fi melodrama, with a bland side of RTS.
Beat by beat, you've seen elements of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim's plot elsewhere before, but you've probably never played anything quite like it. How 13 Sentinels strings its complex narrative together is nothing short of astonishing. It operates like a great melodramatic sci-fi TV show, only reworked and shuffled into an interactive format, and it takes full advantage of it. And for that, even with weak RTS battles complementing it all, it's an easy recommendation.
Back in August, I wrote up a preview of Vanillaware's 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim that focused on the prologue to the full adventure. In my post, I said I'd written down several notes to keep track of everyone in the game and the respectiv...
Had Vanillaware crafted a title where the story and the action wove into one another flawlessly, we'd be looking at the greatest game the developer has ever made, without question. Unfortunately, that's not what this game is, and while what is here is great, it's crushing to see just how close 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim came to perfection.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is an intricate sci-fi epic from Vanillaware, a studio mostly known for its visual art than storytelling chops.
Vanillaware games have always looked great, but 13 Sentinels is the first time the studio has put a bulk of its focus on storytelling. And it pays off. This revival of classic sci-fi ideas hits all the right notes and goes deep without overstaying its welcome, even at over 20 hours long. And while Vanillaware’s attempt at doing something different with combat by branching out into real-time tactics to portray its city-scale mechs-vs-kaiju warfare is commendable, the storytelling and rich characters undoubtedly doall the heavy lifting in making 13 Sentinels an enjoyable journey.
Vanillaware's sci-fi story is a fun and ambitious experience that combines high-school drama and huge robots in a (mostly) beautiful package.
Vanillaware’s previous games include fantasy-inspired fare like Odin Sphere, Muramasa, and Dragon’s Crown. With 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, the studio doesn’t just dip its toes into sci-fi; it jumps into the deep end with a story that takes inspiration from the genre’s most iconic works. While that doesn’t result in the most original plot, it is still a fun and ambitious experience that combines high-school drama and huge robots in a (mostly) beautiful package.
I think of this kind of ridiculous entertainment as absolutely essential, especially within games, because the craziness is driven by a desire to go all out. Movies and games both have reached a technical ceiling where it's really difficult to surprise audiences on a technical level, so the surprise lies in delivering unguarded, enamouring passion instead. This, above all else is why 13 Sentinels matters to me so much. Being Kamitani's passion project, two games in one made by a game of just 29 people, simply reminded me of the effort that goes into making a game. It's easy to forget about, what with developers and publishers shrouding the whole process in mystery, before we as players tend to automatically compare whatever we play with the biggest thing already out there. That way of thinking makes it difficult to enjoy the feats of ingenuity on display. A Sentinel slowly hulking onto the screen fills me with the same awe here as it would in a blockbuster movie, knowing Vanillaware's programmers had no idea how to design such sequences, but they were so essential to the vision for the game they took years to figure it out. It's a good reminder that taking risks and trying new things takes a lot out of even the most seasoned team. The noticeable effort to create a mix of familiar and the new makes it Vanillaware's best game to date, and one of my favourite games of the year.
Lucky for some
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a phenomenal visual novel — and a surprisingly great strategy game. In trying something different, Vanillaware has crafted one of its best games yet. It's got an engrossing story that's absolutely packed with mind-blowing twists and endearing characters, all wrapped up in a gorgeous visual style. Don't sleep on 13 Sentinels — it's one of 2020's finest.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a must-play for fans of Japanese sci-fi adventures. Mixing the strengths of Vanillaware's art with time-travel adventures is a recipe for huge success. A story ambitious enough to have thirteen different protagonists seems bound for failure, yet the game manages to make each story not only incredibly impactful on its own, but adds up to a bigger, brighter and utterly unforgettable narrative. The addictive tactical gameplay that strings these story scenes together, despite a strange artstyle, is just icing on the already massive and delicious cake.
Developer Vanillaware returns with a bang. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim brings both unique combat and storytelling to the table in one of this year's more standout RPGs.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim deserves much more attention that it feels like it has gotten prior to its launch. The game is absolutely one of this year’s standout RPGs, and it’s particularly refreshing to see that in something that brings both unique combat and storytelling to the table. Vanillaware has outdone itself here.
...there's really nothing else like 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, an epic that relishes in the everyday and allows its characters time to breathe and reflect.