Main image
16th June
2011
written by Splash

Title: Danball Senki (ダンボール戦機)
Console: PSP
Genre: Action RPG
Language: Japanese
Company: Level-5
Summary: I’ve beaten the main story 3 times, once in the original game, once in Boost and 3rd time for Boost New Game+.

As usual, LEVEL-5 proves itself to be an awesome GAME company rather than being in the background staff for producing anime. Unfortunately, most non-Japanese-speakers tend to be limited by only getting exposure from their anime and assuming that’s all there is to the company. Never ever.
Story: 9. This story is Pres Hino allllll the way. XD; He has this amazing gift of taking something people think is just silly or simply out of this world, and he can make it into something that translates into every aspect of life, regardless of age, gender or any other borders. Only thing is, too many people judge entirely based on starting appearances, which this series doesn’t have much going for. But Level-5 isn’t to be underestimated. /pif I won’t spoil here, but if you look at my spoiler screenshot gallery and are familiar enough with the Inazuma series, it just makes more things to enjoy about this series. Ahahaha.
Characters: 8. There’s a good range of kids and adults involved in this story, but the character development doesn’t get anywhere as near as it does for the Inazuma Eleven series. Which is sad, because the character artwork in this game is the best I’ve seen from Level-5. Instead, there’s a lot more focus on story, plot turns and such and such. Still, there are some nice moments, and I’ve taken a liking to all of the characters by the end.
And me being the fangirl I am have taken a particular liking to the guys. The girls are totally awesome too, and all in all it’s just an enjoyable cast. With some pretty good shipping fodder if you pay enough attention, yes yes.
Graphics: 10. For a PSP game, I have very few qualms about the 3D, and I REALLY like having the anime portraits for the main cutscenes. The towns are beautifully detailed and have a unique sense of design to it all.


Simple yet appealing character models


Plenty of depth in the scenery


The anime portraits also “speak” and just overall look nice.


Naturally, you’ll see soccer balls here and there, including in Ban’s own room


The sunny side of Akihabara


This game is also filled with lots of nicely animated cutscenes from OLM studio. The entire UMD is filled, really. As much as FF Dissidia is (~1.8gb).

Sound: 10. The music just gets better as the story progresses, and by the end, the main orchestral theme resonates really well with me and brings the story home.

Cutscenes are about 70% voiced. I’ve yet to see a fully voiced game from Level-5, but the choices for scenes to voice in this game are just fine, since I know they’ll probably flesh out the unvoiced scenes in the anime version anyway.
Gameplay: 9. Beat the main storyline in 30 hours, but I also wasted quite a few hours just doing sidequests and optional tournaments before doing so. Someone on a crazy l33t speed run could probably do this in 10 hours. Certain battles are tons of fun, some are just troublesome, and there are definite flaws with the AI, but I’ll get into this all later XD;

You can fight with up to 3 characters per battle, but by condition there are also many 1 and 2 character battles. You control one fighter at a time, and you can change among your party members mid-battle, during pauses. Changing the party lead also changes who you get to walk around the world maps with~

Battles consist of being able to equip two types of weapons and switching them around in battle easily. There are One-handed + shield and two-handed melee weapons, and guns all have a great deal of variety within them. Guns do more damage the farther away the target is, which is great for implementing terrain strategy. There are also tons of hissatsu (sure-kill) techniques to get comfortable with and make cool finishes for bonus item drops.


Sample battle through the sniper gun lense (why yes I did name Ban’s LBX Fubuki)


The players also speak during the battles

A huge aspect of this game is customization. Since I’m not a mech fan, I won’t say much about this except that it’s probably amazing for a mech fan. /lol I pretty much stuck with the storyline models unless I had to change for sidequests and such.

There’s a long list of sidequests available in this game, but as far as I can see, NONE of them are required to go through the main storyline except maybe the first, very easy one. That’s a good thing, because some of the sidequests are just really troublesome and take up too much time. Some of them ARE useful for getting quick cash, however. And there are others that unlock certain hissatsu moves and rare items.

Improvements I would’ve liked (from the original game, see changes for Boost later):
-Better AI, at least for crossing obstacles in the terrains. Many times, your ally players will just struggle getting around a mountain in between them and the enemies, and they’ll end up reaching the enemy like 30 seconds after you do.
-More event skipping options. It was good to have the Pause + Square for animated and full cutscenes, but there weren’t any options for scenes when you have to go through dialogue one by one. Some bosses have long sequences before them that I would’ve liked to skip. XD
-Faster world map traveling options (some of the places are just HUGE and take forever to get from one place to another. Inazuma series doesn’t have this problem since all of the town maps are small enough to traverse relatively quickly, and in Inazuma 3DS you can change maps at almost any time)
-Would like to get Core Parts configuration save options (this is added in Boost!)
-An option to automatically refill battle items instead of having to restock them manually after each battle when they’re used
-Would’ve liked some BBS quests to actually contribute to main character development instead of just being a bunch of NPCs talking. Although many of the NPCs have dialogue that contribute to creating the world atmosphere, I wish there was more focus on the main characters.

Replay Value: 10. This game was totally built with long-term and online play in mind, as expected of Level-5. There are hundreds and hundreds of LBX models, weapons, core parts to collect and level, and lots of good things happen if you use co-op play.

Instead of forcing multiple gameplays, clearing the main storyline opens up the full line of everything in the game (besides online download content of course), including sidequests, super weapons/parts, optional tournaments, and a huge range of new challenges overall. Even random enemy encounters get a huge level boost to bring in new challenges. (This is slightly different for Boost because multiple gameplays ARE required to get the additional LBXs, but it’s not so much of a big deal because many things are automatically carried over, see below about Boost for more detail)
Overall: 10. I’m throwing it this score and not likely changing it, because I just can’t overlook the amount of great work put into this game no matter how much I don’t care for mecha. As for people who aren’t playing this game because they think it’s targeted only for people under 10 years old, go **** yourselves because you’re missing out on one of the best RPGs for the PSP ever. :D
So here’s a title I really hope comes to the US… Level-5 needs more exposure overseas, and this is one that could really show off how awesome they are as long as they don’t change names and storyline for “localization” reasons, and if they market it right >_>;

*BOOST EDIT*
With the Boost version, the full 10 score is only reinforced! While not all of my tiny nitpickings were accounted for in Boost, major additions and improvements to the Boost version just make it far more superior of a game \o/

Boost changes! (according to wiki
-LBX parts can be sold altogether (per part category, eg you can sell all the leg parts, or all the arm parts at once, after checking off every part on your list)
-Customizations can be SAVED with the “My Set” feature (up to 20 sets)
-Use L/R buttons to switch between part locations during customization (instead of having to go back a menu every time)
-Max AC up to 200 (from 100)
-Equipment bug fix for the story in certain chapters.

Boost additions:
-10 playable characters added (clear request mission for each character after clearing the game)
-Addition of special characteristics for each chara
-New LBXs
-Double-hand gun usage (have to be the same one, and compatible with double-hand
-New Finishing Functions
-Larger Battlefields
-Addition to auto battle functions (I never use this XD)
-Episode 0 (prelude to Danball Senki W)
-100 LBX cards added
-Additional quests
-Additionals to Underground Ranking (including big bosses)
-Compatibility with original Danball Senki for battling (can’t use Boost exclusives, obviously. Also cannot do ranking battle with original Danball Senki)
-Can start a new game using original Danball Senki save (only brings over battle record, LBX index, LBX cards, passwords, and download content. Everything else is reset)
-A 2nd play with Boost save!! The game will start at hard mode, I assume meaning all the enemy levels are higher as they are postgame. (Additions to save file. Brings over ranking battle, character lvl, skill levels, Credits/money, wifi points, shop contents, Finishing Functions, equipped LBX parts, playable characters you’ve obtained. In other words, be sure to sell off all your other LBX parts and items before starting a 2nd Boost game!

And just a note for myself XD
passwords I need DLC for
べるまけぬおあた
べえしんとだじも
出撃時の専用ボイス
特定のプレイヤーと機体の組み合わせで専用の出撃ボイスが再生される。
(頭部を換装するのみでもよい。)
なお、さくら☆零号機には全員に専用ボイスがある。

山野バン:アキレス、アキレスⅡ、暗黒騎士アキレス、オーディーン、マスカレードJ
川村アミ:クノイチ、クノイチ弐式、パンドラ、フェアリー、フェアリールージュ
青島カズヤ:ウォーリアー、ハンター、ハンターⅡ、フェンリル、ジェネラル、アーミージェネラル
海道ジン:ジ・エンペラー、エンペラーM2、エンペラーM3、聖騎士エンペラー、ゼノン、月光丸
郷田ハンゾウ:ハカイオー、ハカイオー王牙、ハカイオー絶斗、Gレックス、破壊王G-LEX
仙道ダイキ:ジョーカー、ジョーカーMk-2、ジョーカーX、ナイトメア

Various differences between game and anime (spoilers galore):
-Game: The game explains that Lex is 28 years old and his “past” happened when he was 10. He and Takuya met in college.
-Game: No hints to the final baddie until he’s revealed (props to the game on this one, imo)
-Game: Kaidou Yoshimitsu has more personality in the second half of the game (also relative to plot)
-Game: There are scenes with each of the individual 6 main players before the final mission. In the anime, they only briefly flashback the one with Ban and his mother. Ami’s is really touching, she calls her mom and asks her to make her favorite dish for dinner. Kazu goes to the games store and asks the owner to reserve a copy of the upcoming Bio Awards game (lolol), and the owner is shocked because Kazu knows the store has a policy of no reserves, and Kazu is always considerate to line up for the game. But she makes an exception for Kazu this time. Jin visits his room one “last” time and talks with the butler. Gouda hangs out with his gang, and Sendou does some self-reflection.
-Game: Yagami doesn’t even bother trying to convince the Innovators until the moment when it’s pretty apparent.
-Game: More reflection from Lex while Ban has his way with Saturn. “Takuya, you were always right. About having Ban and the others join you.” “Your one mistake was having me as a friend.” T________T; My fujoshi ships Lex/Takuya so hard.
-Game: The final explosion is VERY conclusive. In the anime, the clouds cover it up before we see anything crucial. I guess you still see a very big explosion, so it’s just as conclusive. But still. XD;

Buy from Play-Asia (original) / Boost
Buy from CDJapan (original version) / CDJapan (Boost)
攻略
Another 攻略
atwiki
Screenshots (non-spoiler)
Screenshots (spoiler)
Screenshots (Boost, spoiler, although almost all of the shots are applicable to original game too)

PSP

12 Comments

  1. Serena
    17/06/2011

    This is looking very, very good in my eyes~!! I love LEVEL-5 after Inazuma Eleven, even though I thought I would hate the game lol I’m looking forward to this review/overview, so far the game is looking good but I want to make sure before I do any purchasing, you know? Anyways, can’t wait! :D

  2. 18/06/2011

    @Serena: I can definitely say this is one of the best RPGs you’ll ever find on the PSP. XD
    Even for mechs (which I just really don’t care for at all), some of the designs are just outright awesome, and it makes the entire gameplay experience just PLEASANT. I’m really enjoying it.

  3. Tesh
    16/11/2011

    This game definitely looks amazing! LBX boost is coming out in a few days and I literally just heard about this series today. I sooo want to get this game! Just a quick question, how hard was it to play this game without understanding japanese? I have a couple japanese games, but they aren’t as text heavy as this one seems to be, thanks!

  4. 16/11/2011

    I know Japanese, so I can’t answer :P

  5. Tesh
    17/11/2011

    Ahhh lol, that would explain all the reviews you’ve written, that’s gota be handy =], Awesome site!

  6. 17/11/2011

    ahaha, okay more honestly a good place to check up for other gamers playing Japanese games without Japanese knowledge, even if it’s got a lot of trolls in there too, is gamefaqs. I post there while I’m playing the latest games occasionally too ^^;

  7. Kamiya
    09/02/2012

    This might be the second import game I’d wanna buy. My first was Black Rock Shooter: THE GAME for the PSP, and I got by fine. Some terms were in Katakana, so I used research to figure out what they were; didn’t have that much of a hard time.

    I get hesitant to buy imports because I know that I won’t be able to understand it like you would. But I’ve seen gameplay and such, and I’m willing to take that chance. I’d love to get a chance to play this game and enjoy it like I did the anime series (which is under a good subbing process, btw =D).

    Now, based on what I read, online is available, right? Like, not Ad Hoc wireless play, but Infrastructure wireless play? If so, I’d definitely like to get my hands on Boost. Maybe even play you if you still play. >=D

  8. 09/02/2012

    As far as I know it’s only ad hoc play, like the Inazuma series. :x For infrastructure wireless play, it’s just getting the DLC special stuff also like Inazuma series. XD

    If you’ve seen the anime, it’d definitely help if you can’t read the text. There aren’t any complicated puzzles and arrows will guide you throughout the maps and storyline~
    But yeah I’m still playing, trying to clear off as far as I can on the ranking battle system and then when I feel ready, I’ll even bother with a new game+ on Boost. It should be fun! XD

  9. LevelSlide
    23/02/2012

    http://www.animeanime.biz/all/12294/

    I don’t understand a whole lot of Japanese, but I do know the article is about Danball Senki and has USA and 2013 in it. Now it may not be the case, but I like to think this means Danball Senki is going to foreign shores some time next year. What do you think?

    Also is this game available on (Japanese) PSN?

  10. Rick
    19/05/2012

    Does the game have multiplayer

  11. 20/05/2012

    It has ad-hoc multiplayer so you can if you’re with other PSP users locally. Internet wifi is only for DLC content though :V

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