Review: Altdeus: Beyond Chronos is a VR Experience for Anime Fans

Altdeus: Beyond Chronos is an anime-inspired VR experience that knows its audience all too well. Drawing from numerous mecha influences, it hits all the right marks and tropes that fans love. As a VR game, it wants to welcome all players regardless of how enthusiastic they are about the medium. The result is a journey that will make players come back to see the story to the many ends. 

MyDearest Inc. is a studio that has built a reputation for creating some of the most detailed anime-inspired VR experiences. Altdeus: Beyond Chronos is no exception as it has been truly developed for fans of the mecha genre. While heavy on the anime influence, it finds a balance when it comes to being a VR game. 

It should be noted that this review of Altdeus: Beyond Chronos is based on the Oculus Quest 2 version of the game.

Welcome to Augmented Tokyo

Altdeus: Beyond Chronos is set 200 years in the future after the Earth’s surfaces were decimated by the Meteora (kaiju’s from space). To cope with living underground, what is left of humanity has become connected through virtual and augmented reality technologies (thus being free from the burden of choice). Players will take on the role of Chloe, a human who has been augmented to better pilot the Makhia (a mecha used to fight the Meteroa). Everything changes after an encounter with the Meteora that killed her friend, putting her on a path of vengeance.

From a story perspective, this is a game that was clearly made for the anime community. If you watch a lot of the stuff, then you could spot all the influence and medium tropes right away. From the start, one might gets the impression that the world building was heavily inspired by Darling in Franxx. That is not bad, but you will soon see the influence other works have had over it quickly as well. It’s very obvious with what it is drawing from and it fully embraces it with love.

A Texture Rebuild

Altdeus: Beyond Chronos is a follow-up to Tokyo Chronos but the stories aren’t connected. This is great for someone who is not too familiar with the overall series (like me). Instead, it allows newcomers to enjoy the experience. I was attracted to Altdeus because of the story, visual details and soundtrack. Yes, I’m a total sucker for games with anime-style games but getting my attention and keeping it are two different concepts. 

This is a visual novel that is rich in story and world building. While one will not expect too much action, you are still given many opportunities to interact with the world. What it lacks in regards to a heavy VR experience, it makes up for with a rich narrative choice. Players have to make a series of choices that will impact the course of the story. This plethora of narrative choices allows for multiple different experiences as no two playthrough will be the same. Thus allowing the game to truly be packed with replay value.

As a VR game, it finds the right balance between being an immersive experience and welcoming new players. Gamers are tossed into a visually detailed world that they could interact with to some degree. It’s a world that will impress anyone regardless of how often they have experienced a VR game. Its limitation is also a blessing for everyone. It won’t alienate those who are new the VR while enthusiasts won’t need too much space to enjoy the experience.

Finally; it would be a disservice to not acknowledge the game’s killer soundtrack. It works to set the atmosphere for what is happening while knowing how to put players in the right mood. There will also be moments when you just want to pause the story and enjoy the music as it’s that good.

For a Fallen Friend

Altdeus: Beyond Chronos is a great narrative journey but there are moments it should have been more. Its biggest shortcoming is that piloting the Makhia could have been done better. This could have been a moment to utilize the concept of VR but instead, it’s a bland moment that has you push some buttons and position your hands until the action is done. Players have no sense of control or agency, instead, they do very little and just watch the action happen. 

I’m not exactly expecting something as detailed like Vox Machine but there could have been a middle ground between that and what was presented. While it doesn’t detract from the overall story, for mecha fans, it is sure to be a let down.

This is Chloe’s reality

Altdeus: Beyond Chronos is an experience that was made for the anime community but wanting to be welcoming to everyone, regardless of how enthusiastic they are about VR. Despite some missed opportunities, this is an experience that should be used as a measuring stick in regards to making a quality anime style VR game. 

Disclaimer: The game used for this review was provided by MyDearest Inc. through KeyMailer.

Published for Retroware
4/20/2021

Game Review: The Mean Greens

Release Date: December 2015

Rating: RP (Rating Pending)

Many old school gamers will recall the Army Men series during the Fifth-Generation era and how it depicted the age old battle of Green vs. Tan. Those who wish to once again experience that war will take a liking to The Mean Greens for the PC.

The Mean Green is a third-person multiplayer shooter that has players fight as either the Green Army or the Tan Army in maps based on household locations. Individuals who either enjoyed the classic Army Men games or are bored with shooters that focus on gritty realism will enjoy this unique title.

The game offers players 10 maps to battle in along with a selection of 10 different gameplay modes. The gameplay modes are the basic ones found in any multiplayer shooter which include Death Match and Capture the Flag.

While the gameplay modes may not bring any wow factor, it’s the layout and design of the maps that make this game memorable outside the nostalgia elements. The Mean Greens features levels that are either inspired by moments from Sarge’s Heroes or are original designs that fit well into toy world setting. Overall; Virtual Basement did an excellent job of using the Unreal 4 engine to create these detailed maps that player will appreciate.

The Mean Greens’ greatest achievement overall is it’s so well made, that an old school gamer will forget how awful most of the Army Men games were. Come on let’s be honest; with the exception of Sarge’s Heroes and Air Assault, most of the Army Men games were either mediocre or just awful.

Some may feel the games only straight comes from its nostalgia factor, this is a wrong assumption to make, as any gamer will enjoy The Mean Greens regardless if they played Army Men. However there are a few issues that are holding it back and might make a gamer second guess themselves.

The biggest issue that plagues The Mean Green is the lack of a single-player campaign, which creates two major problems; the first is that the Army Men games were mostly known for their single-player campaign. The second is that there are already too many multiplayer games available on Steam while the most popular ones are free to download. Plus, The Mean Green mostly appeals to a niche audience- there have been a few times where finding an active server has been difficult due to be a limited amount of players.

Despite those minor setbacks, The Mean Green is a multiplayer shooter that will appeal to both old school gamers who want a nostalgic battle or a new generation of gamers who want to play something different on the PC.

Rating: 7/10

Written for The Indiependent
1/9/2016
Original Article: Game Review: The Mean Greens