- Engaging, complex sci-fi storytelling
- Uniquely incredible visual aesthetic
- Freaking mecha AND kaiju
- Combat, while still somewhat fun and cathartic, is a tad too simplistic, and feels disconnected from the narrative
- Average soundtrack
Perhaps I’m just a fanboy, but no other JPRG stories hit in quite the same way as an Atlus JRPG. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim weaves a very, VERY complex sci-fi narrative involving 13 protagonists and lots of time travel, yet doesn’t fall into the same plot holes that these stories tend towards. It can often be quite wordy, and takes a few hours to really kick in, but it tells a remarkable story in between its mecha vs. kaiju action; recommended for fans of Evangelion and Nier: Automata.
The combat isn’t very deep or challenging, but it’s satisfying; a sort of real time turn-based combat system. The Sentinels all have their own specialties for different situations, all of which facilitate mowing down dozens of kaiju. However, it’s not particularly well integrated into the narrative, making combat feel somewhat like an afterthought. Not bad at all, but the story is the main draw here; more of a glorified visual novel.
The visual style is simply gorgeous; has the same 2D character style of Vanillaware’s past titles such as Dragon’s Crown or Odin Sphere, only with a mecha anime aesthetic, necessitating the nostalgic quality in its lighting and color. The voice acting is excellent, both Japanese and English. Sadly, the music didn’t make the biggest impression on me, which is a surprise coming from an Atlus co-production.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is an understated gem of a game, well-deserving of this second life on Switch. If you’re a fan of story-driven JRPGs, sci-fi, mecha, kaiju, crazy time travel plots, or properties such as Nier and Evangelion, then I wholeheartedly recommend checking out this game.