Game Reviewby MrAJCosplay,
Alice Gear Aegis CS: Concerto of Simulatrix
Vice has taken your world and only you can take it back! As an actress with an aptitude for wielding this special gear, you train under AEGiS, a corporation charged with defense against the Vice. Fight against your fellow teammates in simulations, using unique customizable combinations of your Alice Gear to get stronger, faster, and better than ever before! Follow the lives of your teammates, and learn about their motivations and feelings as you bring your team together.
Alice Gear Aegis CS: Concerto of Simulatrix is probably one of the most “ok” games I have ever played. It is perfectly functional and achieves everything it sets out to do. It is stable, runs at a consistent frame rate on the Switch, and has everything you would expect from a 3D arena fighting game. You can battle people online in one-on-one or three-on-three matches, there's a myriad of characters to play from with their specific attributes, and the game is very cute with its anime-inspired character designs. But…that is it.
For those needing context, Alice Gear Aegis is a popular Japanese mobile game released in 2018. It received an OVA around 2021, with this game being a consul variant of that original mobile game. I have not played the original mobile game or watched the OVA. Doing so may have given me some additional context to what is going on within this game because, going strictly off of what the game tells you, there's not a lot of actual story here. There is a story mode tied to the single-player campaign, but it boils down to a gauntlet of matches as you enter a tournament with a specific character for one on one matches while occasionally pairing up with other characters for a few three-on-three matches. The progression system for the story mode is laid out like a board with connected hexagon tiles with branching paths. If you win a certain match, you can advance down one path or fight another opponent to progress on another path. Specific paths offer different rewards like item drops or opportunities to gain more currency that can be spent in the shop to gain items.
Sometimes, there will be a cutscene between each match where the character you selected will interact with their team. We'll get a bit of context regarding their motivations, character personalities, or quirks. In terms of enjoyment, not every route possesses the same level of quality, and even at its best, I didn't walk away from a character story thinking anything more than “yeah, that was OK.” Motivations can range from rediscovering a sense of confidence to just wanting to win prize money. Even after playing as most of the characters, I still felt I was missing much of their history. Maybe this is a consequence of being a carryover of a mobile game that's been around for a while. Maybe that game has a lot more story context and character interactions. If that's the case, then all of this is probably fine for fans of the original game, but it's very dissatisfying for someone like me.
A lot of flavor text is thrown into these cutscenes with character histories and formal rivalries, but it all falls short because I know nothing about these characters. You only play the game from your character's perspective, so the only way to understand all of the characters in this game (and there are quite a lot of them) is to go out of your way to win the tournament with every single character. This shouldn't take long since an average playthrough of a character's story mode didn't really take me more than an hour, but when you have to do that repeatedly, it's easy to get bored of the gameplay very quickly.
The game boasts that every character has their own unique powers and abilities, which is technically accurate. Every character has different cosmetics with distinct super moves, and the battle speed keeps things kinetic. However, almost every character can still fit into one of three categories to streamline the combat. You're either a sniper who shoots from a distance, a gunner who focuses on rapid-fire attacks, or a blaster who shoots a bazooka with limited powerful explosive rounds. Every character has a shield that can block most attacks, and there are melee combat options. The interesting thing about all of these abilities is that they do have cooldown periods after each shot, so I like that you can't just spam your way to victory like many other fighting games.
However, many characters feel the same because the combat is streamlined into these different categories. If you become proficient as a gunner, then you're proficient with ALL the gunners compared to other fighting games where each character would have a more custom move set. Combine this with the repetitive story structure and VERY forgettable music; what you're left with can quickly become dull. Yes, you can purchase different weapons and armor that would augment your stats, but it still doesn't change the overall approach to combat. The game is more interested in quantity over quality. So while perfectly functional and maybe a good time with friends, as a single-player game, you see everything Alice Gear Aegis CS: Concerto of Simulatrix has to offer within the first three hours.
Alice Gear Aegis CS: Concerto of Simulatrix is a perfectly fine game. Judging the game on its own merits, it doesn't do anything wrong and probably achieved everything it wanted to do as a tie-in for a popular mobile game. However, I can only review this game from the perspective of a general audience member and there's not much here that I can recommend to people at its current price tag when there are so many other better options. I didn't dislike my time with Alice Gear Aegis CS: Concerto of Simulatrix, but I won't remember it the week after I turn in this review.
Overall : C+
Graphics : B
Sound/Music : C
Gameplay : B+
Presentation : B
+ Perfectly functional arena based combat, character designs are cute
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