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Liberation Maiden (iOS) Review

/ Apr 5th, 2013 No Comments

Liberation Maiden

Madame President

Madame President

If you’re looking for a quick shooter to burn through between grinding in your usual iOS sims, then look no further than Liberation Maiden. The game originally debuted in Japan as part of a compilation for the 3DS called Guild01 on November 14, 2012. Based on the concept created by Grasshopper manufacturer’s Suda51, the mind behind Lollipop Chainsaw and No More Heroes, Level-5 Inc. has taken a Japan-only compilation title and breathed into it new life. With acceptable graphics, wicked responsive and easy to learn controls, and a few surprise treats for anime gurus, Liberation Maiden is worth sparing a glance.

Story

After the initial cutscene and a tutorial that takes approximately half of the total game’s time to complete, players may feel as if they have no idea what is going on. In truth, it isn’t until destroying the first greater spike that even a general idea of what you’ve been shooting at starts to sink in. What is immediately apparent is that players take the role of Shoko Azora, a high school student who after her father’s assassination saw his position as President of New Japan thrust upon her. Fortunately, we here at Gaming Illustrated only rate for realism when judging graphics.

The President’s current mission is to take back New Japan from invaders of unknown origin who are draining the country’s energy. While your enemies have battleships and missile launch platforms, neither come close to standing up to Kamui, the President’s Liberator, which is basically a mech on steroids. If this description didn’t send the message clearly enough: This game is fun. However, the major drawback that likely carries over from its origin as a compilation piece is that it is extremely short. A playthrough on Easy can take players as little as 1.5 hours.

Gameplay

Destroy that Greater Spike!

Destroy that Greater Spike!

Even after flying through Story Mode though, players can master each stage individually in Stage Mode or move up and take on a higher difficulty. Stage Mode is truly a lifesaver if you want to share the game with a friend as this title could be improved with the option of multiple saves, though you can compete with friends via Gamecenter. Across all modes the controls are universal: the popular two thumb system with various icons to change guns and alter movement. What’s really ingenious is the trigger to alternate movement between standard forward/backward and turn to forward/backward and strafe. This tool allows for quick switches between traveling across the map and entering into an intense dogfight; definitely something a few other shooters could stand to utilize.

Graphics

Imma firin mah lazer!

Imma firin mah lazer!

While the graphics in the actual gameplay are nothing to scoff at, the real treat lies in the scarce cutscenes: only one at the very beginning of Story Mode and one at the end. Hardcore enamel fans will immediately recognize the are stile of Bones, the studio behind Wolf’s Rain, Eureka Seven and Fullmetal Alchemist. Even considering as short as the cutscenes are, fans of the studio will want to pick up this title which also includes a gallery which has more and more screenshots unlocked the more you play.

Sound

Like the cutscenes, the soundtrack is short which makes sense considering the length of the game. Nevertheless, the game’s theme, Day of Liberation by Marina, is upbeat and won’t wear on you by the end of Story Mode. The sound effects are also well done: Enough to be heard, but not too much as to break you out of “the zone.”

Overall

Liberation Maiden isn’t a bad game. If Story Mode was ten stages long and there was a multiplayer option it’d be fantastic. Nevertheless, priced at $5.99 consumers should expect a little more bang for their buck. If you have a 3DS import the compilation from Japan; if the other titles are half as good as this one (it includes a contribution by Yasumi Matsuno, the designer behind Final Fantasy XII) it’s a worthwhile investment.

LIBERATION MAIDEN (IOS) REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall74%

Gameplay8

A technically great game that you'll be done with before you get your fill.

Graphics7

Even with the treat for anime lovers, at times it would be hard to see enemies if they weren't outlined in bright red.

Sound7

More isn't always better, but this time it is.

Addictiveness6

It leaves you wanting more, but doesn't give the option of desert.

Controls9

Would be average controls save for the unique quick-switch ability that pushes it above the rest.


A copy of this game was provided to Gaming Illustrated for the purpose of this review.

Miranda L Visser

Miranda L Visser

Gaming since she dug an NES out of a dumpster down the street from her home as a child, Miranda L Visser contributes to Gaming Illustrated while working on her M.A. in Norway. She dearly misses steak and being able to walk down the street to buy cheap games.
Miranda L Visser
Miranda L Visser

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LIBERATION MAIDEN (IOS) REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall74%

Gameplay8

A technically great game that you'll be done with before you get your fill.

Graphics7

Even with the treat for anime lovers, at times it would be hard to see enemies if they weren't outlined in bright red.

Sound7

More isn't always better, but this time it is.

Addictiveness6

It leaves you wanting more, but doesn't give the option of desert.

Controls9

Would be average controls save for the unique quick-switch ability that pushes it above the rest.