For years, many gamers have been requesting a new Pikmin title. While Army Corps of Hell isn’t Pikmin 3, it is pretty similar thanks to Motoi Okamoto, who was a programmer for the Pikmin titles and more. By removing the peaceful elements from Pikmin and going to a more “hardcore” place, can Army Corps of Hell achieve the same popularity of Pikmin or will it feel like torture simply playing it?
Find out the HOTs and NOTs in our review of Army Corps of Hell.
Strategy is Required
Army Corps of Hell starts with a very simple concept. You must lead your followers into combat and slay demons. Bigger demons can be harvested for materials, which is similar to Monster Hunter. This is the gist of the game till around stage three, where there’s a drastic shift. After this point, you’re able to make new items with harvested materials in addition to new character types.
There are three character types and each have distinct advantages/disadvantages. Soldiers are strictly close range, but extremely powerful against a single enemy. Spearmen have range, although they’re very narrow attackers. Magi can do area of effect attacks, but are extremely slow to attack. Each class can be further expanded through weapons and armor.
With the power of alchemy, you’re able to make new weapons or armor to expand a character class. Each item requires certain monsters parts that you can collect. However, some items have additional elements that come into play. For instance, every stage has a description of what you’ll encounter. This could be fire traps, lightning, dragons or just demons. With this information, you’re able to select armor/weapons that are better suited for the challenges that you’ll be facing.
Beyond editing your characters, the way you go about fighting enemies matter. Each battle takes place in a small enclosed area. Here you might find traps or various enemies attacking you at once. In these situations, you will need to figure out what’s the best course of action. This can get challenging as some enemies can attack at a distance and others will be behind traps that kill you. When an ally dies, one of two things happen. In most cases, they will have a skull above their head and you’re above to revive them by walking past them. If you take too long or certain things hit them, they’re gone till you find a cage. At these points you can trade one jewel, which enemies drop for one troop back. You can constantly do this till you have maximum troops or you run out of jewels.
Usually when there are a lot of things going on, you can expect a frame rate drop. However, Army Corps of Hell constantly remains stable. Even when I had 100 allies on the field and enemies attacking me, I did not notice any sort of lag. It is very impressive to see that the Vita can handle these numbers with ease and more importantly how well the game is coded.
Throughout Army Corps of Hell you’ll be greeted with some pretty awesome heavy metal music. For the most part, the songs suit the setting, so their presence really gets you into the game. However the song track seems very limited, so you will most likely hear the same song a lot. This isn’t really a problem, although over time it can get annoying hearing only a few different songs. Additionally, you can unlock more songs. This can be achieved by entering passwords or unlocking new mantles. Each mantle relates to a heavy metal track from a well known artist.
From the very start of Army Corps of Hell, you’re greeted to about all the depth there is. While you’re able to edit small details, the overall gameplay is rinse and repeat. Basically, you will need to swarm an enemy with a certain amount of attackers in order to move from one area to the next. You must defeat all enemies in that one area in order for a new path to open up. This number varies off the enemy size, although most are around ten to twenty. After the amount you’ve reached, you’re able to add more for an overkill or you can simply kill the demon. This is all the depth you can expect. Other classes and certain enemies do mix it up, although these changes are shortly lived.
Besides gameplay, you can also expect the same from enemies. Most enemies fall in a limited range of stock designs. Some might have unique colors or attacks, but aren’t much different beyond that. Due to this, the repetitiveness is far more apparent as you’ll most likely have a method for each enemy type.
The story starts with you, the King of Hell being dethroned. Upon waking up on the floor after falling from the sky, you’re compelled to rise to the top again. However to achieve this, you must enslave the local people. From here, the cut scenes mostly focus on the army getting stronger, although add very little overall. Most likely you’ll end up skipping the story before finishing the game.
Graphics Are Average
Compared to other Vita games, the visuals of Army Corps of Hell are average. The designs and environments that you can find in the game can get pretty monotonous. When you’re going one from area to another, you’ll see no change to the environments. Thanks to the mini-map that is displayed in the bottom right hand corner, you know exactly where to go to. As for the character designs, they’re pretty simplistic and forgettable. However, there are some cutscenes in the game that are conveyed through a comic style, and that looks good at least.
Army Corps of Hell is certainly a unique game, which is a welcomed change of pace. Many of the gameplay elements are fantastic, though you can expect a lot of the same. Due to this, it’s more of a pick up and play game. Unless you’re looking for a game to play for an extended period of time, Army Corps of Hell will be a very interesting addition to your collection.
[Editor’s Note: Army Corps of Hell was reviewed on the Playstation Vita hardware. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Army Corps of Hell Review,