The popularity of the Monster Hunter series is one that has caused publishers to take notice. Being a title that almost single handedly kept the PSP, and arguably Capcom, afloat is something that deserves attention. A big hit in Japan, with a growing Western fanbase, knock offs and original attempts at the formula were bound to follow. Shift and Bandai Namco was one such publisher to get in on this with God Eater Burst. Dubbed Gods Eater Burst for the Western markets, for fear of impressionable children attempting to ingest the deity of one monotheistic religion or another, the title gained cult status, but never did set the market aflame the way its inspiration did. It was popular enough to warrant a sequel, God Eater 2 Rage Burst, which is upcoming as of the time of this writing. In an attempt to build on the hype, the publisher has released a remastered version of the original for PlayStation 4 and Vita at a budget price. It serves its purpose well.
There is a plot to God Eater, although it is simple. Taking place on Earth in the future, the world has been invaded by malevolent cells that cluster together to form monsters called Aragami. These beings exist for one singular purpose: to devour. Based on the state of female dress, they have a penchant for bras. They must taste like milk. Anyhow, the player is cast in the role of a New Type God Eater in the employ of Fenrir, who is a corporation working to research and defeat the menace. This means that the player can wield a weapon, called a God Arc, with three functions: melee, ballistic and shield. Teaming up with AI or live humans, the player takes on missions to kill creatures in the world and use the God Arc to munch on their corpses for materials and research.
Having a plot such as this allows God Eater to be vastly more accessible than its forebear. Yes, there are still a hand full of tutorial missions to introduce the controls and combat concepts, but it also allows other concepts, such as crafting and intrateam support, to be introduced more organically. Plus, this helps a more goal oriented player, such as myself, to be able to enjoy a genre outing. Furthering a plot, even if it is not the most original, is more interesting than “here’s a mission, because you should be doing something.”
Graphically, there are reasons to be impressed. With the exception of some objects, like soda cans, this does not look like a port of a PSP title. It certainly doesn’t push the modern PlayStation hardware to any sort of limits, but the details on the monsters and the transforming weapons are cool. Even the low level Aragami look threatening, with the designs suggesting a Princess Mononoke style of undulating organisms making up a whole, even if the pulsing isn’t animated under the creatures’ skin. The humans are sharp, using the anime style quite well. Plus, I was able to make my avatar look like Chie Satonaka from Persona 4. I’m not sure, but I think the same English actress provided my chosen voice.
The combat itself also works very well. Switching between melee and long range is a simple button press, making it a breeze to pelt an enemy from a distance while closing in for some heavy strikes. It’s a good thing, too, as the enemies love to run away when under duress. This does lend a feeling of stalking an alien creature and rewards smart positioning, as does the location based damage on the larger creatures’ bodies. The only issue with the controls themselves would be the fact that long range attacks are mapped to the face buttons by default, making aiming and hitting a nimble creature more aggravating than it should be. Switching this up causes other functions to be negatively changed, rendering no option satisfactory for this one mode of attack. Others may complain about the use of items being a bit cumbersome. This was probably by design, as the player is forced to think before trying to lay a trap or pop a healing item. Plus, more moves are unlocked as the game progresses.
While the combat and the graphics work, overall, a feeling of monotony can set in over time. There just aren’t enough creature types and environments on hand. Yes, the larger creatures are tough. Taking them down feels like a triumph. On the fifth or sixth mission with the same enemy mix, though, becoming bored is a probability. This is why it pays to experiment with different weapons to keep things fresh.
The player starts off with multiple close and long range weapon types to play with. Ranging from quick swords, hammers, lances, and more, the move sets for these vary and help keep the play from getting too stale. As the game progresses, though, it seems to be best to land on a weapon set that appeals to the player the most, and use found items to craft sets that focus on different elemental types. While enemies also have varying weaknesses to crushing or piercing damage types, being ready with various elemental weapons is the way to go. This way, the player can be prepared to handle enemy mixes with opposing weaknesses.
Crafting itself is a huge part of the game, but it is also laid out in an understandable manner. By default, weapon types are grouped together, making it easy to see if a recipe for a favorite type has opened up. Checking to see what is needed to complete the item is a simple matter as well. During the course of the game, it always felt like I was able to find the needed items to create a desired weapon or clothing item through natural play. The materials to upgrade a completed item were a bit more difficult. This balance is exactly as it should be, encouraging the player to try something out, only committing to the things that are really liked.
As far as multiplayer goes, the servers seemed to be running quite well. During play, there were no hitches as we hunted larger enemies and farmed for items. Still, playing with randos can be troublesome when a cutscene pops up that they demand be skipped. At least these scenes can be viewed later, without an impatient putz messaging “Skip” every few seconds.
As a standalone game, God Eater Resurrection is a decent time. The combat feels substantial even if the enemy variety doesn’t. The game itself is laid out in a way that welcomes players new to the whole hunter genre. That really isn’t why Resurrection exists, though; it’s really here to serve as an appetizer for the upcoming sequel. It prepares the palate for what is to come and serves as a great entry point at a low price. People who are already sold would do well to wait for the sequel, but those who aren’t sure should try their hands at Resurrection.