Originally released as a downloadable title on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, Liberation Maiden is now available to download on iOS devices (iPad version reviewed here). Play as Shoko, the female president of New Japan as she pilots her flying mech and battles evil to take back her country in this 3-D arcade style shooter action game.
To control Shoko’s mech, there is a picture of an analog joystick on the left side of the screen. Use that to move around, and you can tap a button above it to enter ‘strafe mode’ to help you avoid projectiles when you’re concentrating on one target. You can switch sides depending on if you are left- or right-handed. To shoot at enemy targets, drag your finger on your other hand to move a cursor. When you drag over targets, it’ll lock on to them. Release your finger to fire a barrage of missiles. But be careful, your missiles also act as your shields. Release too many of them and you’ll be temporarily open for an attack! To progress through a stage, you’ll need to destroy three ‘lesser spikes’ which power a shield protecting the ‘Greater Spike.’ Destroy them all to reach the next stage.
There are two main modes of play. Story Mode lets you go through each level and experience the anime styled plot. Or you can try any stages you’ve completed separately to beat your high score in Stage Attack mode. As you play you’ll unlock artwork, movies, and other goodies in the Gallery Section. You can also view your high scores and toggle options.
The only problems with the game is that one, it’s a bit short at only five stages. Granted, this is meant to be an arcade style game, and you can play it on three different difficulty modes to challenge yourself. The other problem is the play control can sometimes be a little tough with everything going on. I would imagine it would fare better on the 3DS, but the touch screen controls on the iPad are a lot better than some other games I’ve played on the tablet. But even with these problems, Liberation Maiden is still a great game that just has a sense of quality about it with cartoon anime cutscenes, full voices, sharp 3-D graphics, and original gameplay. I might even try to track it down on the 3DS one of these days.
Liberation Maiden is rated T for Teen (at least on the 3DS) with ESRB descriptors of Suggestive Themes, Violence, and Blood. You just shoot down faceless mechanical targets that explode, so in-game violence really isn’t that graphic. Most of the blood and violence you’ll only see in the animated cutscenes, but even I don’t remember seeing much. Even though you play as a female character, I didn’t see her as being a typical suggestive game character either. I might be OK with some kids younger than teens playing this. With three difficulty selections, players of all skill levels will be able to enjoy it.