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Review: Armored Lab Force VULVEHICLES (PC)By Ofisil At 27.08.2022 19:14

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This is pretty much your standard shmup. All sorts of units appear, some small like birds, others large like mechas, and you must shoot them down with the tank known as Vulvehicle. These have some big differences over their flying brethren that can usually be found in shooters. Since they are essentially tanks, they move on the ground. Right? No! They can also fly and freely move around all over the place, with the only catch being the fact that they can't stay airborne for long, which means that one must make sure to let them rest a bit before taking off to the skies. Turning around is also done by the press of a button, rather than simply changing direction. A weird choice? Probably, but it's not one that's hard to get used to, and it also adds a small, welcome layer of additional challenge, usually during large scale attacks where it's easier to panic.

There are many of those Vulvehicles to choose from, and each comes with their own set of stats, as well as significantly different fire mode, which makes each Vulvehicle perform better on certain situations, and worse at others. As players pick three before starting a game, it's possible (and advisable) to swap between the three tanks, in order to take advantage of their strengths. You are also encouraged to swap tanks to "spread out" the damage. When a tank's health reaches zero then its lost forever, so one must always be aware of the weakest link and keep it away from the battlefield up until a health item is found.

The gameplay is simple and fun… but maybe it's too simple. It feels the same from start to finish, with the only thing changing when you move from, say, the desert biome to the forest one, being the difficulty. As you play you won't really see any new additions or changes. It's the same couple of enemies, the same two-three power-ups, and the same overall structure; kill a bunch of units, reach the min-boss, destroy it, that's it. All levels are 30-40 second affairs, so its easy to jump in and have some shooting fun, but while the simple premise is kind of cathartic, it soon turns into tedium.

The lack of incentive is a minor issue, but it should be addressed as well. There's a story here. Something about a space army that has launched an armed assault on planet Avic, or whatnot. The story is here just to be here. One can safely complete the whole thing and not read a single word. It's the standard placeholder plot. It's obvious that the developer didn't even try, as in the small dialogue sequences where you see some anime cuties exchange some of them words nothing ever changes. You see the girls in the same pose again and again, talking about things that few will bother to read. One final, but again, minor flaw, is the terribly low, 1280x800 resolution. The game is boring as it is. It could at least be boring in HD.

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Final Score
The definition of mediocre, [i]Armored Lab Force VULVEHICLES[/i] is fun… but for only a bunch of minutes - which is actually the amount it takes for 10 or so levels to be completed. The saving grace of the game is the variety in the flying tanks called Velvuhicles, but even them (or the anime cuties that drive them) aren't enough to turn this into a big recommendation.

5

/10

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