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Code Age Commanders [PS2/JPN]

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MSRP: $68.00
Price: $16.90
You Save: $51.10 (75 %)
Ships same-day (M-F) if ordered before 4PM EDT
Item Number: SLPM-66109
Publisher: Square Enix
Jan/UPC Code: 4988601004268
NCS Product Synopsis
Update: October 13, 2005
«©NCSX» Part of a three-pronged blitz on the Japanese marketplace, Code Age Commanders is a manga, a cellphone game, and a PS2 action-adventure.
Code Age begins with a shimmering animation of aquatic life - dolphins turtles, whales swim through the deep blue. A voice over begins, accompanied by a sketch of what looks like a proto coelacanth followed by another strange fish creature. The camera then pans above the clouds to take in the splendor of a city below and two green airships course through the air. There's a quick jerky zoom to a silvery city in the sky followed by a comical animation of main characters and supporting cast performing acrobatic moves and other wacky stunts.

Upon pressing start, the game sets up a data file on the memory card and options pop up which allow for toggling rumble on the DS, setting Dolby Pro Logic II, centering the screen, and other helpful customization ops.

The second intro shows a desert circa the year 0099. The wrecked hulks of dead airships litter the sands. Amidst the devastation, the camera eventually peers in on a blue haired girl, seemingly asleep, in one of the crashed ships. The scene changes to a flashback of the girl and her brother Gene on a ship headed towards the silvery city in the sky. Suddenly, an attack erupts and devastates the floating metropolis in a few seconds. From beaming bastion of civilization to fragmented nucleus of wrecked metal in the blink of an eye. After a short while, the girl awakens and walks to the edge of a cliff and witnesses light and dark creatures battling in all out conflict.

Control is handed over to the player after a while. Players press "O" and "X" to battle creatures that encircle and attack. As foes are mowed down, progressively tougher monsters refill the ranks until they knock our heroine unconscious. The scene shifts to a view of the protagonist Gene who wakes up on the desert floor. Apparently the only other survivor of the downed airship, he recollects what happened and resolves to find his sister. A little mechanical creature named Pake soon appears which teaches Gene the ways of playing the game and serves as a guide of sorts. Two attackers manifest themselves out of thin air and Gene appears surprised when a sword appears in his left hand and a mallet in his right. He then attacks and destroys both.

The first mission starts after the surprise attack and directional control is handled through the left thumbstick. The "SQUARE" button puts up a block and the "X" button triggers a left arm attack while the "O" button sets off a right arm attack. The right thumbstick is clicked on to zoom in/out of the world map located on the lower left of the screen.

Since Gene's left arm is fused with a mallet, it's useful for powerful bludgeoning attacks while the blade on his right arm is perfect for slashing attacks. When Gene first encounters the warring white and dark forces known as "Coded," the two camps are fighting viciously but when one side loses, the winning side will spot Gene and pursue him. After a few more battles, two characters join the party - a girl named Fiona, and a green-suited guy named Gerald. All three are Warheads, humans who have the ability to fuse weaponry onto their bodies.

The battles in Code Age Commanders are full action sequences where players run, dodge, slice, and wallop with the Dual Shock. Attack controls are responsive but repetitive, at least in our 1 hour experience with the game. When additional weapons are added, we're sure that things will become more varied. The basic fighting strategy is to run in on an enemy, attack, and then swoop out to avoid the counterattack. When attacked by two or more enemies at once, it's still advisable to attack and run where one rushes in, attacks with both hands alternatively, and then dashes out since there's a lag time between each blow before one can hit again. By that time, enemies will be counterattacking with their own slashes. When an enemy is near death, it will slouch over a little. Enemies can dizzy the hero with a constant barrage of blows. Hero will just sort of stand there and rock back and forth as creatures continue the gang up attack. Similarly, enemies can be staggered if hit continuously and they'll stand there as if woozy.

● We would have preferred a player-controlled camera instead of the standard immobile camera view which may become stuck when battling enemies. For example, when fighting the big robot boss in the "fourth" mission, it's easy to run past it. To turn around quickly, tap the L2 trigger. A maneuverable camera view would have been much friendlier. The map on the lower-left helps to gauge direction and whereabouts but it doesn't show enemy locations.

● At times when roaming the landscape, one may get the urge to jump to break the monotony of running but there is no jump action. There's one early mission where the hero can fall into a river. That's your cue to start the entire level over again since there's no way out of the river - Gene can't jump nor can he grab a ledge to pull himself up. Gene is a very grounded being.

NCS Game Notes
● For gamers who can't read Japanese, here's how to save your progress: Exit out of the mission menu screen by pressing X. A screen appears with six options. On the right side of the screen, there's a Code Age (in English) option. Below it is the save option to store your progress to memory card.

● As missions are completed, new ones open up in the world along with event scenes which explain what exactly is going on with Gene, his sister, and the overall adventure.

● Stand in a river without moving and the current will slowly wash you away. Run against the current and your mobility will be halved. Run with the current and you're moving in double-speed. When trying to run uphill, mobility will also be be halved. Watch out for steep drops which are killers.

● To pick up the orbs that float above the ground after an enemy is beaten, press and hold the "X" button and Gene will lift up his arm and absorb it.

● There are some creatures on the landscape that are just fauna. They won't bother you if you run in on them but if you stand there for too long, they will buzz you with little herky jerky attacks.

● Every cut scene in the game features voice acting accompanied by Japanese subtitles.

Jan Code: 4988601004268
Region Lock-out
Please note Japanese Playstation 2 games will not boot on USA or European PS2 consoles due to the inherent region-lockout on Playstation 2 game discs.
This document is ©NCSX 2005. All rights reserved. No reproduction in whole or in part of this document may be made without express written consent of National Console Support, Inc.

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