Nearly a year since its initial Japanese release, Vanillaware’s 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is finally available today. Although shipped with only Japanese voiceover, you can grab the English voiceover via a Day 1 patch. As its title stands, the game has you controlling 13 different characters along with giant fighting robots, the Sentinels, in fictionalized 1980’s Japan. It’s your task to find out what are these Sentinels are, why giant monsters are attacking the city, and how people from the past and future end up in 1980.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim combines a visual novel/side-scrolling adventure with tower defense elements. In one part, you’ll explore the city and interact with many NPCs to unravel mysteries and advance the story, and in the other you fight the giant monsters and/or aliens known as Kaiju within tower defense style gameplay. Sounds a bit disappointing for Muramasa, Odin’s Sphere, and Dragon’s Crown fans who wanted a fast-paced action side-scroller, but the game has various action sequences that’ll prove exciting for even those players.
It’s been said that 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim’s director, George Kamitani, wanted to use real-time strategy elements similar to StarCraft but their 2007’s PS2 strategy game, GrimGrimoire, got mixed responses in Japan. Thus Kamitani ended up combining it with the tower defense genre that’s more popular instead. Considering it’s been five years since it was first announced at Tokyo Game Show, I’d say it’s better for them to release this as quickly as possible with ideas that work instead of taking too much time tinkering with the gameplay.
You can get the standard edition of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, physical or digitally from PlayStation Store, for $59.99. If you get the physical version, you’ll secure a bonus artbook with your copy as well. That’s a great bonus considering how good Vanillaware’s hand-painted visual style is. You can preorder a physical copy over at Amazon, Best Buy, and GameStop.
Ready to get in robots and cancel the apocalypse? Tell me what you think of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim in the comments below.