Destrega is the newest game from Koei's Omega Force team, the group responsible for last year's stunning Dynasty Warriors. When word leaked out that Omega Force was developing a game that featured medieval fighters, mouths watered with anticipation. What has arrived is almost something completely different, however.
Initial impressions of the game draw comparisons to Taito's Psychic Force, albeit a ground-based one. In Destrega, your fighters can utilize a variety of long-range attacks as well as the up-close-and-personal kind. Different buttons will activate different attacks: spread shot, power shot, and quick shot. Complete with a rock-scissors-paper hierarchy, Destrega's battle system is unique at the very least.
Land obstacles actually make a difference in this game as changes in elevation as well as structures can be used to block incoming attacks. The arenas are quite varied - ranging from hilly mountainsides to courtyards with fountains - and will offer a unique strategy at every level.
Graphically, the game looks pretty good. Although the characters are kind of sub-Soul Edge (or Soul Blade, if you will), they still look pretty good, despite their lower polygon counts. The problem with the large environments is that there is a large amount of clipping - more than enough to be a problem. When you're running around trying to take advantage of your surroundings, it becomes a problem when entire structures disappear, leaving you wondering where to go. Also, this causes a problem when you run into an invisible wall while trying to avoid a projectile.
Another problem is that the game feels too easy and offers little incentive to finish with each character (there are no endings). Although there is a story mode, which is quite long, once you've played through it, the interest factor goes way down. The only real bonus this game gives you is the ability to play as the Dynasty Warriors once you've beaten the game with each character.
It's an ambitious project by a talented team, for sure, but there's not enough meat on the bones, so to speak. The biggest problems are its level of challenge and puny replay incentive. On an almost Bomberman-esque level, Destrega delights as a two-player game. However, as a single-player experience, Destrega leaves much to be desired.