• Publisher: Natsume
  • Release Date: Mar 19, 2013
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User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1

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  1. Mar 26, 2013
    9
    tl:dr; You'll get your money's worth in awesome gameplay. At $30 (as of the time of this writing) I was initially concerned at the price of this game, but after waiting a few days for a 'professional' review to appear... only to see games journalists continue to glom onto high-profile stories (another Bioshock, more Walking Dead, another NFS port, FFX HD...) I figured I might as well evaluate this game myself. Graphically, the game alternates between polygonal robot battles which are rendered more-than adequately and beautifully illustrated 2D cutscenes. Playing the game on a Vita, with the brightness up and bi-linear filtering enabled, makes everything look that much better. I haven't noticed any hitches in the framerate, even during the most intense battles this is a minor point but always an indication of quality development. The ability to draw 16 color, 32x32 icons and apply them to your OKEs (in 3 preset locations) or teams is a cool feature which I'm sure will be used to recreate popular sprites and tiny, pixellated genitals. If you don't know what an OKE is, no worries that's just the game's term for your bots. On the audio front, the English version of CH:EXA includes the Japanese audio (you'll need to unmute it in the options.) Natsume has not dubbed the game... which is probably a good thing, since bad VO is often worse than no VO. The soundtrack is solid, highlighting the game without becoming annoying no complaints there. An option to mute the only sound effect which might get annoying (a lock-on notification) is included, so bonus points. Presentation aside, if anyone is reading this I'm sure what they care about most is the gameplay, right? This is where Carnage Heart EXA delivers... *if* you enjoy programming. Although much has been said about the manual control options in EXA, using them still requires your OKE to be programmed. If you don't have programming experience, it shouldn't matter programming in Carnage Heart EXA is much easier (and more fun) than a traditional language and the game features a large amount of content dedicated to teaching you the ins and outs of programming both manual and auto OKEs. Developing auto OKEs, bots programmed to respond without human intervention, is really where this game shines. A typical gameplay session goes like this: Set up a battle in the testing simulator, pitting your newest creation against your most up-to-date manual OKE. Evaluate the performance, tweak the hardware (body, CPU, weapons, armor, optional hardware, engine and energy tuning), change the software. Repeat. Take your carefully constructed, overly complicated OKE into an optional battle or story mission and get crushed. Go back to the drawing board, build a simpler bot. Win! While the programming is center stage, allowing an endless number of different EXAs to be created, the hardware weapons, armor, type, etc. gives you even more twiddly bits. More than once I've had an idea for a program which wasn't effective until I changed the type of bot I was using (the game has 5, with multiple designs of each type) or the weapon. The game is worth $30, no doubt you'll get your money's worth of gameplay from CH:EXA (and then some.) If you've got a Vita, there's no reason to play this on a PSP the game looks better with bi-linear filtering and the ability to assign PSP controls to the screen and right analog is helpful for piloting a manual OKE. Expand
Metascore
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No score yet - based on 2 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Aug 27, 2013
    60
    Those who can break through the complexity and achieve that “AHA!” moment will be the ones that get the most out of this robot simulation.
  2. Apr 1, 2013
    70
    Offering up genuinely unique gameplay, Carnage Heart EXA does what it sets out to do well. But because of that the rest of the game suffers - meaning most battles are slow and somewhat uninteresting affairs.