[NO SPOILERS] Gintama Rumble Review – Reliving the Anime Somewhat Accurately
+ You get to relive almost the entirety of the anime series.
+ It manages to recreate iconic moments from the series with incredible accuracy.
+ It’s fun to play as the many colourful characters Gintama, especially with their unique weapons.
- Limited set of attacks for each character.
- Gameplay can feel very repetitive, especially if you’re already familiar with Gintama.
- Moving around in the battlefield can feel very awkward and annoying.
- Feels like a downgraded Dynasty Warriors game with Gintama characters.
Our review of one of Bandai Namco’s latest anime adaptations to videogame featuring the silver-haired samurai and his adventures filled with drama, laughter, and 4th wall breaks, Gintama Rumble.
Gintama Rumble Review – Reliving the Anime Somewhat Accurately
There are all sorts of videogames that exist today. We’ve seen original creations that are only available via videogames and we’ve seen adaptations based on material from a different medium. Today, we are reviewing a game based on one of the most popular Japanese anime series of all time, and it’s called Gintama Rumble. Without further ado, let’s get right into Gintama Rumble.
Gintama Rumble Synopsis
Long ago, the nation was known as the “Land of the Samurai”. That is until Edo (Feudal Japan) was invaded by aliens known as the ‘Amanto’. They have taken over Edo as well as the world, being a major part of the Earth as much as the humans are. The legendary samurais are very few in numbers due to the public ban on carrying or owning weapons, and they have been stripped down to just being ordinary folk.
The game follows the story of protagonist, Gintoki Sakata, a war hero who is now running a company doing odd jobs along with his trusty associates Kagura, a girl from the strongest alien species in the world, and Shinpachi Shimura, a boy who’s passionate about the way of the sword. Together, they’re tossed into plenty of wacky and chaotic situations all over Edo, with some of them determining the very fate of the universe itself.
Gintama Rumble allows the players to relive the entire anime series with cutscenes and battles up to the very final arc in the anime. It recreates pivotal moments in the series with surprising accuracy and even includes some screen to make you feel like you’re actually going through the anime again.
A Simple, Yet Effective Way of Laying Out the Game
In Gintama Rumble, you only have 2 game modes to play; Gintama Chronicles and Gintama Free Battle. For Gintama Chronicles, you follow the game’s storyline from beginning until the end, playing as the character that is being focused on for each particular arc. This will see you playing as protagonist Gintoki Sakata at one point, and then other characters such as policeman Toshiro Hijikata for the ‘Baragaki’ story arc. Gintama Free Battle allows you to play on any stage using any character you like.
For most part, each chapter will have a set of cutscenes detailing the story arc with images ripped straight from the anime series as well as the actual battle itself. If you are an avid fan of the series, there’s really nothing new here to take note of, which is a good thing that Bandai Namco allows you to skip through it if you wish to do so. You will then head straight to the battle portion of the chapter.
Prior to entering the battlefield, players will be sent to an intermission menu where you can begin preparing your character before the battle. This includes important matters such as equipping coins to boost your characters’ parameters or give them unique abilities, leveling up the characters’ parameters, taking note of the characters’ skills, and going through the mission objective.
The idea here is to use the intermission menu as a means of formulating a strategy before going to battle. You will know the layout of the map as well as what sort of enemy you are expected to face here, so you can customize your character accordingly. It’s also important to take note of the achievements you can accomplish in the intermission menu here as it will determine how well you’ve succeeded in each mission. Once you’re all set, you will then be sent right into the battlefield.
Combat Reminiscent of the Dynasty Warriors Series
As soon as the battle commences and you are able to move, you will then realize how it eerily reminds you of another particular game. If you’re thinking of the hack and slash-based Dynasty Warriors series from Koei Tecmo, then you are absolutely right. The idea here is that you will be going against hordes of enemies while trying to complete the mission objective.
Your character has a health bar, a special attack gauge, a coin-shaped icon indicating your support attack status, a kill counter on bottom right, and a map of the stage on the top right. The premise here is simple; attacks will fill up your special attack gauge, your support attack can be used every time it’s not on cooldown, and you have to avoid getting your health knocked down to zero.
Oddly enough, it doesn’t seem like there are a big variety of attacks that you can execute, and this is especially apparent when you’re using a low-level character. You have a light attack that can be chained into a combo attack if pressed repeatedly, a heavy attack which can deal more damage albeit at a slower pace, and a ‘Hurricane’ attack which serves no purpose other than a flashy counterattack and to shorten the distance between you and an enemy.
There is also the ‘Awakening’ command, which makes your character stronger and faster, and if the ‘Awakening’ meter maxes out in this state, you’ll be able to pull off a signature move which deals a lot of damage. In other words, there’s nothing much to do aside button mashing, which can make the game feel rather repetitive.
Another important thing to note is how awkward moving around in the game feels. For starters, you can’t have your character immediately running as it has to walk first before it changes to running. This can severely impact how you plan on approaching enemies as you will find yourself unintentionally getting too close to an enemy and be the victim of punishing attacks. You also can’t just walk through enemies either, which can make time-limited events unnecessarily frustrating.
It is still enjoyable to beat up waves after waves of enemies using your favourite characters but with these minor drawbacks, it’s really hard to get immersed in the game as you will find yourself stuck in the quirks of the game.
Gintama Rumble Verdict
Gintama Rumble is a game that is only intended for fans of the series. For most parts, there is nothing new here and it’s just a way for fans to relive the anime series through the game. The gameplay seemed to have been modeled after the Dynasty Warriors series but with how quirky the movement system is as well as the limited moveset each character has, the game can feel rather stale and repetitive very quickly.
It managed to recreate some of the most iconic moments from the anime series with incredible accuracy but the actual gameplay portion of it makes it hard to truly enjoy the game. Had they managed to make a carbon copy of Dynasty Warriors combat system, it would definitely make the game much better. With that in mind, I will award Gintama Rumble with our Bronze Pokdeward.