Everything about the GungHo Online Entertainment America-developed Volta-X screams Saturday morning cartoon. It has solid mech designs, charming characters, and a strategic and engaging game loop. However, the title strived to be an online experience at launch, which falls in line with other titles from the developer.
It’s not out of their wheelhouse, so many had hoped there would be a steady player base to match up for plenty of mech battles. Sadly, that didn’t quite happen, and the matchmaking became tougher and tougher. Luckily for fans of mech games, the team has returned with an added mode that not only adds in a single-player offline experience but also introduces lite roguelike mechanics to keep players on their toes.
Titled Volta-X Metaverse, players will find a totally separate mode to play through. This original story highlights a series of mech battle cups players will have to make their way through. What’s impressive about this mode is how it adds a much-needed variety to the gameplay. Not only are there new weapons and Voltas, but there are also new bosses. Volta-X director Fumiaki Shiraishi shared that the mode was added from feedback from players who enjoyed the single-player offerings.
Gameplay consists of players fighting through cups which consist of a series of fights and a boss. Throughout these matches, players will need to be mindful of their loadout and HP to make it through the next round. After the cup is complete, a new one unlocks with a greater difficulty, but thankfully, there are ways to strengthen your crew through base and weapon upgrades earned along the way.
The roguelike elements will have players’ level taken back to 1 after a loss, but the base will still have the upgrades that add additional buffs to the mechs. It’s all dictated by how the player wants to invest funds, which can go into the mech for new weapons or research for the base. Shiraishi-san shared, “The bonuses seem subtle in the beginning, but they add up and help a lot.”
After playing for a few hours, this is easily the most fun I’ve had this Volta-X. The bosses are each standout battles that put your loadout skills to the test. How you approach the enemy is also key, such as adding a radar or sprinkler system. Your weapons will determine much of your success, but I like how it’s not required to have a balanced mech. Instead, you can create any loadout you want. Sure, some might win against specific enemies easier, but finding a strategy with various weapon types is a huge part of the fun.
Shiraishi-san adds, “Every Volta has a good viable strategy, but it’s different per Volta.” and continues, “I really like using the wyvern who can transform into a dragon and Valkrie who transforms into a tank. They’re both a little clunky to use as you manage two forms while keeping in mind the loadout of each form. Once you get used to it, though, you have more options at your disposal and can deal with more situations.”
The new mode also features multiple endings, but understand that this is challenging and won’t come easy. A loss doesn’t completely weigh on the player to the point of wanting to quit since the battle provided you with intel of the enemy’s loadout and possible new upgrades to enter the cup and try again.
Volta-X Metaverse is a strategically fun mech action experience that utilizes the core features brilliantly. It forces strategy instead of simply figuring out the meta to take down other human players, and the flow of lite roguelike systems keeps the challenge high to want to continue going through the rounds. It’s a game that can be fun in short bursts or long play sessions, which kept me entertained for quite some time.
Volta-X Metaverse is coming to PC-via Steam and Nintendo Switch on June 15.
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