Somehow developer Prodigy Co. manage to take a premise that sounds like a huge amount of fun on paper – ginormous remote controlled robots kicking each other’s shiny metal asses amid the crumbling ruins of a decimated city – and make an incredibly dull little game out of it.
A snazzy, comic book style opening quickly sets the scene. An army of evil machines have declared war on humanity, and it’s up to you, playing as a kid armed with a remote control, to take your towering avatar (the titular Gigander X) into battle and save the day.
Each of the game’s 10 levels sees you facing off against a different foe.
You tilt your device to stomp toward the enemy. Two big buttons handle throwing punches, a left and right hook respectively. Pressing and holding both buttons at the same time enables you to block. A “top-secret X attack” which isn’t as cool as it sounds, merely entailing swiping an x on the screen to make your ‘bot jump a few feet into the air, rounds off Gigander’s poor showing of fighting moves.
And herein lies the game’s biggest flaw – a woefully simple combat system. There are no combo moves, Gigander doesn’t come equipped with any weapons, and he’s unable to interact with the scenery in any way (I had envisioned picking up cars and hurling them at the enemy and knocking lumps out of skyscrapers).
What this means is fights consist of mashing the L and R buttons for a few minutes, pummeling your opponent until he falls over. Sure it’s pretty funny watching giant robots punch each other in the face, but not enough so as to sustain an entire game, and a couple of levels in, Gigander X becomes positively yawnworthy.
Overall the bad (a duff combat system, a camera angle that obscures most of the action, repetitive levels) far outweighs the good (pretty manga cut scenes, an exciting score, a humorously tongue-in-cheek take on B-movie nonsense). A gigantic disappointment.
iFanzine Verdict: Despite an awesome premise, high production standards, and a rousing score, Gigander X never lives up to its potential to be a hugely enjoyable B-movie inspired beat ’em up.