Boktai 3 - Sabata's Counterattack (English Translation) Review by: UncleBalrogA Superb Game
Hello people, today I'll be reviewing a previously Japanese only game for the GameBoy Advance, Boktai 3: Shin Bokura no Taiyo. This game is the third installment in Konami's Action/Stealth RPG, Boktai. This game was made exclusively for Japan, but now on Vizzed we have a translated ROM so we in other countries can enjoy this wonderful game. The entire Boktai series has been a completely innovative and cool feature--in the game Game Pak itself! It has the Solar Sensor, a bar on the end of the Game Pak that detects the intensity of sunlight and uses it in-game to incorporate aspects of the game such as recharging energy, regulating weather, and opening hidden passages illuminated by a certain intensity of light. However, this great innovation is most certainly not all this game has to offer you, whether in terms of content, or entertainment.
You play as the Solar Boy Django, a vampire hunter who wields the Gun Del Sol, or Solar Gun. The Solar Sensor allows you to recharge your energy, which you use to fire the Gun Del Sol. Depending on how intense the sunlight is, you can overheat and risk heat exhaustion. You can only charge your energy when you are in direct sunlight. For example, you can charge freely if you are outside and the sun is out. But if you are inside a dungeon or a building, you can only charge in places where the sun shines through, like skylights. This forces you to conserve your energy and not use the gun too much. As you adventure, you can find new parts for the Solar Gun like frames and lenses. These add new features and firing techniques. There are so many ways you can go about shooting your enemies with all the parts you can obtain, but there is also stealth elements in this game. Some parts in the game involve solving a puzzle while avoiding being seen by an enemy, as the said enemy is at an extremely higher level than you are and will cause large, often fatal damage to you. You can press yourself against a wall and shuffle across, or you can tap the wall with your hand, causing enemies to be distracted. This is a direct reference to Konami's critically-acclaimed Metal Gear Solid series, where you can do that exact same thing.
As for the graphics in this game, they're pretty good, but some games for the GameBoy Advance have outdone them. They are very nice though, and the character sprites have been updated since the previous games. The animations are very smooth, quick and fluent, which is intended. The soundtrack for this game is great, it has a western sort of feel to it, and it displays the correct mood of the game in every situation. The sound effects are cool and sometimes odd, but they suit this game well. As for the addictiveness.... Oh boy, after I found out there were four different endings, I played it over and over again, and I've seen each ending three or four times. This game just doesn't ever get boring for me, I don't feel like ever putting it down. The RPG and Stealth elements are perfectly blended together, and the game just has this good feel to it.
The story is completely original, and I really liked it. It was odd at the beginning, and later in the game it really started to draw me in and actually start caring about what was going on. I am not going to spoil anything for you guys, so play the game to find out! The game is very deep, there is a lot of customization and an insane level of replayability--thank you, four endings. There are also different difficulties to play on, with different versions of each difficulty. For example, there is Normal 1 and 2. 1 puts more emphasis on action and not as much for the puzzles, and 2 has emphasis on both. Although I rated the difficulty 7, hard mode is really tough if you choose not to keep your levels and stats after you beat the game once. Hard mode is...well, Hard! Very Hard!
Overall, this game has good graphics and sound, is highly addictive, it has an original story, is incredibly deep and customizable, and can get hard at times, but not ripping-your-hair-out hard. I give this game a 10/10! It's definitely on my top 10 games for GameBoy Advance.