Posts Tagged ‘Action/Adventure’
Visceral Video Game – Giants: Citizen Kabuto
By Nick Elmer
March 21, 2007
Nothing hurts a gamer more than when a great title goes completely unnoticed. There are two known reasons this happened to Giants: Citizen Kabuto when it was released for the PS2 back during the system’s starter years. The first reason is the game is actually a re-mastered version of a PC game, which was riddled with glitches and game play bugs. The second reason: Giants: Citizen Kabuto is a stupid name for a video game.
Yet with the game’s quirky, PG-13 humor and diverging modes, the title manages to fit. Giants: Citizen Kabuto is a game that actually encompasses three separated games with interlocked storylines. To some seasoned gamers this concept sounds like a recipe for a confusing disaster. Yet Giants: Citizen Kabuto manages to hook the player in with its easy enough controls, likable characters and solid plot.
The first third of the game has you playing as a commander of the Meccaryns. The Meccaryns are a group of futuristic British troops who love beer and women and are on their way to the proverbial planet of beer and women. However, they get stuck in the middle of a battle for the Smarties’ freedom from the evil Sea Reapers. This really only means you get told what to do for the mission via hilarious Smartie dialogue, and then you do it. “Do it” usually translates to “destroy everything,” though, so expect lots of shooting. The Meccaryns also have the advantage of numbers as your ranks grow from a lone soldier to a squad of five (yourself and four computer controlled allies). This makes the battles fun and cooperative.
Following the Meccaryns weapon-heavy missions are the missions of Delphi. Delphi is the princess of the Sea Reapers who has decided to rebel against her mother and free the Smarties. She plays differently from the weapon centric combat of the Meccaryns and uses spells to dispatch enemies in her levels instead. Controlling her after all the fun you had flying around with the Meccaryns jetpacks and blasting through objectives feels like a step back at first, but Delphi has a dash control, which adds new dimension to her combat.
Finally, in the last third of the game, you get to do what the title suggests. You control Kabuto, a giant three-story-high monster that hates and eats everything. There is an odd sense of Zen, a feeling that everything in the universe is cyclical as you control Kabuto while he chows down on the Smarties. Yes, the very same Smarties you spent the previous two thirds of the game trying to save. Kabuto controls much like one would expect a giant horned monster to—a lot of punching and belly flops.
Regardless of which character the player is controlling, the landscape takes part in how the game is played. The rocky terrain that dots most of the game leads the player to frequently search for the easiest way to get atop the high ground. The following swoop down upon the enemy targets is very fun indeed, even with the outdated graphics the game sports.
The game play is solid, but the real appeal to this title is the humor. The Smarties’ dialogue is almost always over the top and absurd. An elderly Smartie will demand you assist him because the decrepit state of his genitalia has left him helpless. This then leads to a mission. There are many other oddly funny cut scenes as well. All in all, solid game play, diverse game mechanics and a funny story all make this overlooked PS2 game an oldie but a goody.