Gods Eater Burst for the PSP is Namco’s answer to the Monster Hunter series. After playing over 40 hours with this game, I have to say that its addicting and awesome.
The Monster Hunter games are “hardcore”. You’re expected to sink lots of time into the game, learning the combo system, killing monsters, collecting items and materials to make cool looking weapons, armor and clothing, and then go do it all again. You’re also expected to have friends who have the game and want to party up to go kill massive, angry, creatures that could level buildings. The entire game is about the hunt, there’s no plot (or not much of one), there’s just you, the quest givers, and crap-tons of monsters that are just waiting to smash you flat into the ground. I don’t have a problem with this. The idea of hunting awesome looking monsters and then using bits of them to make awesome looking weapons and wearing a pair of dinosaur skulls for pants. Fuck yes.
You may be wondering why I’m talking about Monster Hunter when this post is supposed to be about God Eater Burst, I’ll get to that.
The problem I have with Monster Hunter…At least being a Wii-less, PSP owning, Monster Hunter player, is that the Monster Hunter games almost unapologetically require you to party up and play with other people to complete the later missions. Yes, if I took the time, I could grind enough and play smart enough to beat some of these giant-ass monsters by myself. But I’m not that patient, and where’s the fun in that? I think that fights against these giant monsters need to be these adrenaline pumping, epic battles for life or death. Yes, I’m hamming it up. Since the only version of Monster Hunter in the United States that has online play is for the Wii. Unless I’m willing to fork over $200 just to play one game on a console I probably won’t touch after that, I don’t think its worth it.
Luckily, D3 Publisher released Namco Bandai’s God Eater Burst as Gods Eater Burst. Yeah, I don’t get the name change either.
God(s) Eater Burst is a fast paced, monster hunting game, with an involved (if not predictable) storyline. You can do most of the basic stuff that you can do in Monster Hunter. You can make a custom avatar to represent yourself in the game, replay missions, farm materials and items to make better weapons and even craft new clothing. Off-hand you could consider Gods Eater Burst to be “Monster Hunter-Lite”. There’s less weapons, no armor (only clothing, which only affects your look), and less monster types to fight. There’s less mission variety, and they take less time, you’re given a 30 minute time limit to complete each mission, but I’ve completed some in as little as 2 minutes, while in Monster Hunter I was usually given 1 hour to complete a mission and depending on the mission, I could use that entire time.
I found Gods Eater Burst easier to get into, and I’m having more fun with it. Monster Hunter felt sluggish at times while God Eater Burst is quick and faster paced (aiming your gun can be a little bit odd, but I blame that on the PSP’s lack of a second analog stick).
Unfortunately, Gods Eater Burst doesn’t have online play, you’re stuck with adhoc. Luckily, they remedy this (somewhat) by letting you take up to 3 AI teammates on each mission. They each have their own personality that’s listed so you know what kind of behavior you’re going to get out of each one, they will help you attack monster weak points and use proper weaponry, they’ll dodge attacks and block (they don’t go all Leroy Jenkins on everything), and they will even revive you when you collapse.
As I mentioned above, the mission variety is lacking a bit. They’re all pretty much kill X creature or avoid X creature while killing X creature, but I found that the temptation to get new equipment and see what happens next in the storyline helps alleviate that somewhat. The storyline is fairly standard anime fare. Its not bad, and it keeps the game moving, but its fairly predictable and the opening video may give some of it away.
Overall, I think Gods Eater Burst is a great alternative to Monster Hunter. If you just can’t get into Monster Hunter but you like the idea of fighting giant, powerful monsters, then give Gods Eater Burst a try. However, if you’re already a fan of Monster Hunter, I’d rent it or try a demo first. Gods Eater Burst lacks the massive number of monsters to fight and goes a different direction with the combat, but still manages to be fun and engaging. And to pull a random game out of my ass, if you’re a fan of the recent Phantasy Star games, give Gods Eater Burst a whirl. No online play, but the type of customization, mission based storyline, and fast paced combat is similar in style.