Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Regdren

Ring of Red playthrough: Combined arms with walking war machines.

13 posts in this topic

10589_front.jpg

Ring of Red is a tactics game released for the PS2 in 2000 for in Japan and 2001 abroad. It has an alternate history setting that has Japan's creative process all over it. Why else would there be giant walking war machines in World War 2? But mecha aside, the ideas are very interesting to me and have a certain feel of truth and plausibility to them. It's about Japan as a divided country and all the problems that come with it. Remember East and West Germany? In Ring of Red, Japan never surrendered in WW2 so it was invaded and split in a very similar way. We have North Japan and South Japan and you'd better believe that things are messy. It's the 1960s and everything is bad, which makes it a perfect setting for a war game. Let's take a look.

As always, feedback is greatly appreciated.

Edited by Regdren
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm planning to link a video every couple of days. I need to edit things a fair bit to make things run smoothly but I think it's worth the effort.

Alright, in missions 1 and 2 we had access to about half of the gameplay. Here we get the other half: soldiers! That's right, Ring of Red is about supporting your heavy (and light) war machines with people on the ground. It's the only mecha game I've seen that takes this sort of thing seriously and I think it adds a lot to the overall atmosphere. Your hotshot pilots alone are not going to win this one!

Mission 3 is the first place in the game where all of the basic mechanics are in place. We have soldiers as well as all of the main AFW types. This is where the player is supposed to learn how squads work and make some mistakes before the enemy starts to bring really nasty things to the field. And mission accomplished, I guess. At the time of recording I hadn't played the game in quite a while. If Dean Takeshi is correct about unskilled gameplay being authentic, my play in mission 3 is about as authentic as the game can be without a Game Over. Still, I'd like to think that I learned my lesson.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today we'll see what a decent anti-solider setup can do. Kinsato's machine is great for this but with the right squads any machine can fill that role. I'll try to assign the right squads in the next map. We also have night battles! Surprisingly, night battles can easily work in the player's favor. Many enemies don't have illumination shots to counter the night time accuracy penalty, so if you plan well you can easily get a big advantage in damage.

Augestein, that was pretty much my reaction too when I found out about Ring of Red. What impressed me the most was that it was a game about mecha where infantry plays a vital role rather than being essentially decoration. The setting and various game mechanics seem pretty creative too. A down side is that battles can drag on a bit and watching the troop skills play over and over can get repetitive. That's why I speed them up in my videos.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking back on it, mission 3 was fairly complex in its design and an odd choice for the first "real" map of the game. 3 and 4 could have easily be switched for a smoother progression in difficulty. I will give map 3 credit though, it clearly and sternly showed some of the problems in my sloppy squad setup. I'd like to think that my formation in stage 4 is a fair deal better. You be the judge.

 

These videos have proven time-consuming to make due to the editing involved. Doing live voice commentary is much, much faster to put together and upload, but I have some things in mind for the future that don't really lend themselves well to that style. Plus I don't think I'd be able to talk steadily through a game like this and keep my comments interesting.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not going to take long to figure out some of the drawbacks of Ring of Red. I love a lot of the ideas, but let's face facts: as I mentioned before, missions can drag quite a lot. There is in-mission saving; Ring of Red uses a quicksave method which deletes the quicksave upon loading it. While this is a tried and true tactics staple, I can easily see someone becoming frustrated after losing two hours into a mission.

I haven't really talked much about green squads so I'll do it here. They are secret squads that depend on you doing less straightforward things in a map. Sometimes it's capturing an objective instead of wiping out a whole map, sometimes it's triggering conversations between characters, sometimes it's defeating an enemy with a specific character. The game doesn't say what you need to do to get these squads which annoys me a fair bit. One thing that green squads all have in common is that they bend the rules of the squad type. They have strange strengths and weaknesses. Such as Kurita squad. It's a shooter squad with no ground skills that's god-awful at loading your AFW, a skill which shooters usually handle well. However, they carry a crazy number of special long range shells with them. I love that sort of thing so you should expect me to use those kinds of squads a lot in my playthrough. I'll try to make note of them whenever I can.

Edited by Regdren
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It didn't occur to me until yesterday that carefully splitting the team to take side objectives before the enemy ruins them feels a little bit like Fire Emblem. Especially with the emphasis of not taking any losses because CONSEQUENCES. That's just about the only similarity between the two game types but maybe it's notable anyway.

Coming up is a mission split. the amount of time taken to finish mission 5 determines what the next 3 or 4 missions will look like, as well as who joins our forces next. Unfortunately the EXP bonus for finishing quickly still applies, so one path is more optimal than the other. I would have preferred some other way to determine the split...oh well.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mission 5 is my second chance to try a hybrid build. This time the base machine is more suited for the job so maybe I'll have better luck this time. I find that two anti-soldier squads are needed to do that job with any effectiveness, so the third gets AFW-killing duty. Enemy AFWs that are stripped of squads are much less dangerous, so I think this ratio will work.

This wild chase gets more absurd by the minute. Cover story or no, I can't believe anyone will think the South Japan government isn't involved in this raid and infiltration. We're not being subtle, and we're using the very latest South Japan war machines. It's a miracle that our "sneaky" beach landing hasn't started a full scale war already!

Edited by Regdren
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops, looks like i'm a day late.

The enemy squad setups slide yet another step towards competent. It's not so visible right now but as things progress the AI will do things that I previously thought it not capable of. They're using that smart trick BY ACCIDENT, I'd say to my self in the face of strong evidence to the contrary. What do you mean the tricks I learned in the first two full maps won't carry me through the entire game?!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the things I like in Ring of Red is that it has side objectives which don't snowball nearly as hard as in other games. Collecting all of the squads gives me a lot of setup options i wouldn't have otherwise, but they don't skyrocket my stats to absurd levels. John is stuck at 420 HP and a token patch of armor through the whole game, so I can't afford to no-brain it through later missions no matter how well I do early on.

Next time we're going to see a new member of the force. Jun uses a light-AFW that is much less straightforward than that of Kinsato, and will take some good planning to use properly. I saw what a good plan looks like once, I'm sure that's all I need to come up with something myself.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I'm definitely slipping. I have plenty of content to upload, maybe I just need to use Google calendar or something.

Today we have every gamer's favorite scenario: an escort mission!

I think the reason i like green squads so much is that they are unique enough to change the way I approach things without being hideously overpowered. Even the later ones without glaring weaknesses are often built so that I can't take advantage of all their features at once. Really makes me stop to think about how exactly I want my units to behave.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I made fun of it, I wish more escort missions were like this one in Ring of Red. It is exceptionally easy to manage.

Ring of Red's maps are pretty cramped. There's often a road or bridge and moving away from that puts you in terrain that delays turns by a lot. It makes for some tough decisions that I enjoy overall.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As mission 6 draws to a close, I'd like to thank those who have watched my videos so far. it's really nice to have an audience for this sort of thing.

My brother informs me that the original script was probably supposed to be "Gulag" instead of "Prison Camp", but an overly literal translation made things extra ridiculous. I love funny-bad translations though, so no complaints here.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0