12/06/2022

๐Ÿค– Biomotor Unitron Nintendo Switch (originally Neo Geo Pocket Color) Review 6/10 "Climbs into the arena for one more round" ๐Ÿค– #RetroGaming #NeoGeo

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Originally released in 1999 for the Neo Geo Pocket Color, Biomotor Unitron was an early RPG for the system. As I’d never heard of it before, my first impression was one of perhaps a mecha/Pokรฉmon hybrid due to the style used in some screenshots, however, Biomotor Unitron is far more focused on upgrades and random dungeons as opposed to narrative and exploration, which makes the game, unfortunately, feel repetitive – and shallow, despite the number of menu-driven upgrades and items.

On a quest to become the ‘Master of Masters’ in the mech arena circuit, Biomotor Unitron casts you in the role of a young mech pilot just starting out on his personal quest. The town sequences are presented in static first-person shots and are quite visually impressive – for the NGPC – and introduce a small cast of characters that your character will interact with as he -hopefully – rises through the ranks.

The second part of the game takes part in one of the four available procedurally generated areas, which are illustrated as more of a classic 8-bit top-down JRPG, you move throughout the woods etc. searching for chests and getting into many, MANY random battles. These sequences call to mind Pokรฉmon in how your foe is on one side with you on another as you balance out your attacks, energy recharge and item usage. It’s all very standard, but the giant robot spin does make it stand apart somewhat from its contemporaries of the time.

Whilst the chiptune music and visuals are all well and good, the core gameplay loop gets tired quite quickly. The battles are far too frequent and the lack of any sort of side-quests or variety in the exploration means that you are trudging around pretty empty landscapes opening chests and getting into the same battles over and over.

The options to alter the fascia of the NGPC background, the screen filter and peruse the original manual digitally is all fine but they can’t make up for the blandness that sets in after an hour or so.

The focus on just hurtling through the arena ranks before hitting a brick wall of an enemy and then toddling off and grinding the same areas again really could have been spiced up by including other ways to gain cash and XP beyond this.

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