Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault Review – Circular Mechanics (Vita)
If you’re a fan of tower defense games with a slight twist and a Japanese anime-inspired art style, Acquire and Aksys Games thinks they have just the game for you with Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault. We’ve defended our city from imminent danger countless times during our playthrough of the game, and have our review ready for you to see if this game makes its mark in a very crowded genre.
Ring Around the City
Aegis of Earth is a tower defense game, pure and simple. You protect a city, starting out in the quaint, some would even say boring, city of Kimberley. There’s the city’s core, which must be protected at all times — if that component’s health reaches zero, it’s game over! The city is comprised of four rings, or zones, where you can place different offensive and defensive units. Each unit can also be upgraded by using crystals found on enemies, along with a price in gold.
While your units attack automatically whenever enemies are within range (indicated by red markings on the map), Aegis of Earth throws a little bit of strategy your way with a few mechanics. The first is unit merging. If you manage to line up two or more units of the same type (you rotate a zone with either the left analog stick or shoulder buttons), they will merge together and form a larger, more powerful version. Eventually, with enemies approaching from all sides, the choice becomes either merging units for more powerful attacks, or rotating various zones to ensure that you’re covering the widest area possible.
Better From a Distance
Aegis of Earth does include very well-drawn artwork, for characters and cinematics. It’s disappointing, then, to see that the game has rather disappointing visuals on the Vita. Textures are blocky, and the environment is just a few ugly shades of green. The interface through which you perform upgrades and purchase upgrades is somewhat interesting, however, as the game world is simply moved into a monitor while the interface pops up. The transition into a battle is also rather seamless, though things will get very repetitive as characters say the exact same lines whether you’re entering battle number 5 or number 25.
This game is half-voiced. By that, I mean that only a few cutscenes are fully-voiced. Usually, characters only voice simple exclamations, such as “Hey!,” “Everyone!,” “Commander!,” and others whenever they are talking, and it’s left to the player to simply read text instead. The game is under 800 MB on the Vita, so it’s not as though Acquire/Aksys was running out of space and couldn’t fit more voice data into the game. This was likely a budget consideration, but makes the game’s more important cutscenes a bit less impactful.
The default difficulty level is also very, very low. With the game on this setting, I never lost a single battle, and after the first eight or so rounds I was able to defeat the enemy (even a boss character) without rotating any single zone once, as the game played with my units on autopilot. Yet, I don’t see this as a bad thing. If you’re a casual gamer who’s not looking for a punishing game, then this will allow you to get your tower defence fix in without breaking a sweat. The harder difficulty levels are there for those who want the challenge.
Safe, But Limited
There is only one game mode in Aegis of Earth, the main campaign. Cross-save functionality is enabled, however, so at least progress can be transferred between devices. However, cross-buy is not available for this game, so if you intend on playing on the Vita as well as s home console, you’ll be out a bit more money than usual. The game is not full-priced on any platform, however, reflecting its lower budget.
Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault is a safe tower defense game. Its rotating zones of units is a novel approach to changing up the gameplay a little bit, but at the end of the day this is yet another tower defense game in a genre full of them. But it does have anime-inspired cutscenes and characters, so it will appeal to a certain niche of gamers. Outside of some blocky textures, there’s nothing terribly wrong with Aegis of Earth — but there’s also nothing groundbreaking here, either.
Aegis of Earth: Protonovus Assault review code provided by publisher. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy here.