This is a first impression review - I have in no way played through the whole game - or even more than the first mission yet... so keep it in mind when you read this, my views may be harsh for my first look at it.
What can be said... Sega is master at making cool games with a moral. They let you blow the hell out of things and still manage to finish the game feeling like you achieved something other than uninhibited destruction - what I can gather it is great - cool futuristic firefighting and saving lives as you battle through mechs gone haywire and explosions!
I will rank this lower - the game looks great in general - the characters are maxxed-out as far as the Saturn's limits, but one thing bothered me - when you do the practice mode - the other characters talking to you - well... their faces look kinda strange (at a certain distance), but other than that your main character and surroundings look great - for what Saturn can do. The main opening animation is cool - it moves smoothly and they covered the FMV problems well - overall the intro looks good.
The sound is great - I haven't noted how it sounds "atmospherically" yet - whether the explosions make good use of a surround sound system - which I have. The music should please the majority - it is very catchy and is definitely something you'll be humming later - *on the CD itself there are many wavefiles of the characters - perfect for those who like making Desktop themes. The characters speak quite a bit - it is nice and clear for japanese - the voiceactors/actresses did well.
I won't give it a 10 yet - I have played little so far, but for learning skills for the game - the control has been very good. It can use regular pad or the 3-D pad used for Nights. Let's say for now that there was not a time when I yelled "I DIDN'T GO THAT WAY!" or "I WAS BLOCKING!?!?!"
This is an area for grading the idea of and concepts for the game - You, of course, are on missions to control fires, save people, and fight off stray mechs, workerdroids, lab experiments? Anyhow they give you a practice area to learn how to play - even though it is in Japanese it is fairly simple to understand - you gain ability to fight fire and save people by collecting crystals - an example is that it takes 5 of them to teleport a victim to safety - then you can also use them to power your sidearm - so far I know that you can shoot a fire using them to put it out - some fires are worse, so you can power-up by holding the fire button to get the most out of the crystal - you must do some platforming to find control panels to open doors and avoiding blasts takes getting used to jumping skills. It all ends up being a pretty cool basis for a game.
There are also some cool windows bitmaps on the game disk - as well as a second music CD (mini) which has 3 songs on it - in the end it is a very cool title.
This is my first impression as I said - it shows to be a cool title that will take a while to learn. The extras - Music CD and pics/wavefiles are great the intro is cool - the characters are cool - the game is cool, but I will not give it a 10 since it is only a first viewing. Sega can be proud.
Review By: Kenshin