There are some games like this : you only have to play for 30 seconds to understand that it’s gonna be good. Liberation Maiden is one of those. Backed by a story and a character design kinda mixing Evangelion and Infinite Stratos, the game has you play has Shôko, a high school girl who is at the same time… President of Japan!!!
Yes. In Liberation Maiden, politicians aren’t fat cats making broken laws. True, the situation calls for immediate action as an unknown life form has invaded and corrupted the whole country. Shôko is entrusted with the fateful mission of wiping the aliens out and making the land green again.
Learning how to play Liberation Maiden takes approximately… 4 seconds! Quite a performance since it feels so complicated when you have to explain it. You fire lasers by tapping the touchscreen, but the enemies are on the upper screen and the touchscreen is black (save for the simple map). The attack you fire lands on the upper screen a the equivalent location to where you’ve tapped on touchscreen. You are therefore empirically thinking your next move depending of where the precedent one hit (because of course you NEVER have to time to glance at the touchscreen). At 10 bursts/second, it’s absolutely natural.
This epic gameplay is further reinforced by the hazardous environment. Lasers, missiles, infrared radars come from everywhere and let you no time to breathe. The boss battles are even heated and unforgiving. Graphically speaking, it’s rather ugly, probably due to the low budget. But on the other hand you do have an outstanding sound environment. The sound of lasers, explosions, the rumbling of the dying aliens, the characters’ lines, the little messages you receive from inhabitants upon completing an objective : all that makes Liberation Maiden the closest game to Evangelion I’ve ever seen. But of course, you will needed the original Japanese version for that, English dubs would only hurt your ears.
True, the game is short (3 to 4 hours), it’s repetitive, it has some punitive difficulty spikes, but for 8€ it is a absolute must-play for Japanese game fans. Surely the most pleasant surprise on 3DS this year.