Sony’s PS Vita seems to be a graveyard for Japan’s criminally insane games that may not get a release anywhere else. I’ve played some doozies on this system, and Drive Girls happens to be one of those doozies. What is really sad about all of this is the fact that the Vita is a great little handheld system that got dropped by Sony’s first party studios. One of the better Uncharted games is on this system, Tearaway made its debut on this system, Persona 4 Golden is on this system; there is no logical reason why it didn’t sell. Plus let’s add on the fact that you can take some of your favorite original PlayStation games on the go with it. I wish it would have succeeded because I think I have most of the games that I want for it already, and once I beat those I guess I’ll just box it up. Drive Girls is published by Aksys Games and is a very interesting title, to say the least.
The story in this game is somewhat flimsy: just think that it would be a game in the vein of Sharknado or one of those Syfy Sunday afternoon movies. You play as a young girl named Lancier, who has her heart set on becoming part of the ERT (Emergency Response Team). As she runs to get to her test, she gets sidetracked by several people causing her to be late and miss the exam. As luck would have it though, the Commander shows up and allows her to take a different kind of test. This is where you first meet the enemies you’ll be fighting the entirety of the game; huge Starship Trooper like bugs. Seeing as I’m a skilled hack and slasher, I passed the tests with flying colors and was hired on the spot. You are told to report to Sun Isle where the majority of this game takes place. The Isle was evacuated when the bugs appeared and turned out to be hostile. To stop the populace from panicking, the government said the evacuation was due to pollution. Your quest is to destroy as many bugs as you can while looking extremely stylish.
The controls are pretty simple for this unique little hack and slasher. Since the battle sites are kind of like raceways you get to fight in two forms; as a girl and as an automobile. Yes, you heard that right when you hold Circle with your Charge Axel meter full, you turn into a car and can mow down these bugs. Fighting as a car is cool, but when you fight, choose human form; it’s much more satisfying. To down the bugs you can use light attack which is Square, or if you’re feeling overwhelmed punch Triangle, which is a powerful combo attack. Unfortunately, this combo attack uses your EP, but EP is very easy to gain back, so combo away! If you’re having trouble with a swarm of bugs, you can dodge with Circle and side step with Left Stick and Circle. X is jump just for funzies or for attacking airborne enemies. The controls are easy for this game, which makes the game somewhat simple and extremely repetitive.
The look of the game is a pretty cool one, but once again I think this is more of a tailor made game for a Japanese audience. The main characters all wear ears of some type and stand in seductive poses when they are talking. I’ve heard about some of the weird stuff that goes on in Japan and parts of this game make sense because of that. Other than the somewhat creepiness of digitized sex, the game isn’t boring with the visuals during cut scenes; however when you are in a battle area it all looks the same, and you just feel like you want to squash all these bugs as fast as possible so that you can get out of the gray, drab kill zone. The humor works and the very different personalities of the main characters is refreshing, but it just wasn’t enough to keep me engaged.
I did have fun while playing this title, but I always found myself wanting more. The story wasn’t that great and didn’t keep me engaged. The controls were simple and I found myself wanting to rush through battles since they became the most repetitive part of the game. There are so many games like this on the Vita, and the developers did not add anything to this title to make me want to play it over any other titles like it. Sure I can run stuff over in a car and change into a 20-something attractive female, but that doesn’t do it for me. I’m not a huge fan of racing games and I’m too old to look at teeny-boppers. I’m sure immature folks or people who have never seen a boob may enjoy it, but use your money more carefully when buying titles for your fledgling Vita.