I've mentioned Genius Sonority's 3DS eShop RPG, THE "DENPA" MEN, quite a few times over the last few weeks and months, and pretty much every one of those mentions was the definition of positive.
In this post, however, I'm going to be a bit negative. Don't worry, "DENPA" MEN fans, I'm not going to rake the game over the proverbial coals. All I'm going to do is point out the few aspects of it that irk me ever so slightly, beginning with:
1. What do you mean I can't change the hero?--I get that the first "Denpa" man you capture becomes the "hero" of your particular playthrough. What I don't get is why you're never allowed to give the guy a rest. Surely he still could serve as the game's central character even if he's sent to the sidelines once in a while? Don't get me wrong: I like my so-called hero (his name's Rudolph) a lot. I just wish I could replace him with a different "Revive"-sporting "Denpa" man on occasion.
2. Every "Denpa" man for himself--I mean that literally in this case. After all, according to the people who made THE "DENPA" MEN, there's only one female character in this game--despite the fact that a number of them look like ladies. As someone who considers himself a bit of a feminist and who prefers to play as female characters in games, that disappoints me. Thankfully, it appears as though this problem has been rectified in the title's just-released-in-Japan sequel.
3. "Defend"? Who needs "Defend"?--I have a feeling one of the folks responsible for the development of THE "DENPA" MEN said something remarkably similar to the comment that kicks off this bullet point while working on the game. How else can you explain its total lack of a "Defend" option during battles? (Those of you who have yet to play this portable RPG: Please note that this is by far the least important of the complaints I'm sharing in this post.)
4. My kingdom for a screenshot--What I wouldn't give for a screenshot option to be included in this game. The main reason: It would make sharing QR codes of "Denpa" men a lot less annoying. (As it stands, players literally have to snap photos of their characters' QR codes, which isn't easy given the 3DS' shiny screen, in order to share them with others on line.) It also would make it a lot easier for folks to show off their favorite "Denpa" men virtually.
5. You don't know the meaning of "difficult"--I've mentioned before (or at least I think I have) that THE "DENPA" MEN is no walk in the park. On the contrary, it means business--especially near the end. That isn't a problem for me, as I prefer tough RPGs to ones that are pushovers. What is a problem for me, though, is that the rise in difficulty isn't always smooth. In fact, sometimes it leaps upward in a shocking manner, only to come down again later. It hasn't been a deal-breaker for me so far, but I'm sure it'll bug (and surprise) a certain percentage of the people who download this otherwise-entrancing game.
So, does all of the above mean that I consider THE "DENPA" MEN to be a fun, but flawed, title? Not on your life. OK, it's not perfect. Of course, few (if any) games are. This one is closer to perfect than I would've expected of a $10 release, though, so give that some serious consideration if you're a 3DS owner who has yet to add this to your digital collection.
See also: 'Ten things I love about THE DENPA MEN'