Black Rock Shooter: The Game Review

By Melissa Evans on June 8, 2013

What started out as a music video in 2007, which was illustrated by Ryohei Fuke and featured music created using Miku's Vocaloid singing synthesizer program, eventually spawned a 50-minute video animation in 2010. Soon after, plans for a game on the PlayStation Portable commenced and in August of 2011 it was released in Japan. It wouldn't be until almost two years later that America and Europe saw the game, which is called Black Rock Shooter: The Game.

The story of Black Rock Shooter: The Game takes place on a planet that has been attacked by aliens for many years now. The result is that the planet's population has been reduced to about a dozen soldiers. As a last resort they unveiled their ace in the whole, the super-powered girl named BRS. She possesses super speed and powers beyond any human being. The only down side is the fact that she lacks emotion and knows nothing of the world around her.

The game is pretty short and because of this, the story is forced to move rather quickly. It's nice for its length, but isn't anything to write home about. Still, despite these negative it's one of the strongest aspects within in the game.

Certainty the game has some interesting character designs, as the enemies or "Apostles" each have a unique look. Since the original animation from a year before this game's release, there has always been secondary characters or enemies with interesting character models that match well with their respective weapon choices.

If a new anime was to be made with the plot of this game in mind then new life could be breathed into these characters. The animation in PSP game just does not do them justice. It's a shame, but it's a little bit understandable.

When going through the game you will find that it is split up into short missions. You'll take control of BRS and be tasked with completing an objective. There are five different levels, each with a small map that you traverse in a third-person perspective. There are item boxes and places to jump when necessary. When running into an enemy this triggers the combat mode.

Learning the combat system is easy once you get the hang of it, but you must be wary that most of the actions that you do fill the energy bar below Black Rock Shooter's health. If it manages to hit 100% percent, BRS enters a cooldown process where you can't take action for a few seconds. Keeping an eye on this meter is key to success in the game and using items to keep it low is will prevent you from being left defenseless.

BRS doesn't have an ammo limit, instead she can attack normally with her blaster and equip four different special attacks at a time. Some of the attacks include a gatling gun, hammer, a stun rifle, homing shots, and stat enhancing abilities. These can be earned by completing combat objectives, such as defeating a certain number of enemies or when a mission is completed.

Overall the combat is easy to master, but it doesn't become fun until you square off against a boss. At that point it becomes critical that you watch your health and energy bar as this not a good time to over heat. In essence, the stages are there to prepare you for the much stronger test.

Despite some good visuals, it feels as though the developers could have done more. After all, this is a late PlayStation Portable game and it makes everything feel a little dated. Attention to detail is definitely here, but the graphics don't seem as crisp and vivid compared to other PSP titles from 2011 such as Fate/Extra. The music goes from epic to melodramatic when it needs to, and does a good job throughout the vast majority of the experience.

To cut costs, the game doesn't have an English vocal track. However, this does little to discourage the gameplay. You can almost go without listening to voice-overs completely, since everything is subtitled anyway.

Final Thoughts

Overall Black Rock Shooter: The Game is a fun little title. It's short and sweet, but does feature a good amount of replay value. After finishing the game you can always go back and complete the mini objectives to collect artwork and music. When faced with difficult enemies, this is when Black Rock Shooter shines, but be prepared to wade through the small fry along the way.

Unique character designs
Easy to master battle system
Fairly interesting storyline
A bit on the short side
No English vocal track
Weaker enemies don’t disappear when going through harder missions
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