Army Corps Of Hell by Square Enix was the first PS VITA game I played. One of the things I wanted from the VITA is new gaming experiences. Take a little from Pikmin, toss in some demons and Heavy Metal from the 80′s and you have a very fun ride through hell.
In Army Corps Of Hell you play the King of Hell, a tyrant who must control an army of minions in his quest for vengeance against those who banished him. You’ll fight through several levels of hell taking on minions, sub-bosses and main bosses. It was developed by Entersphere, who ironically also created Pikmin. Throughout the campaign you can level up your minions by crafting weapons and armor for them to use. You have three different types of minions: Soldiers, who use swords; Spearmen, who use spears; and Magi, who use magic. You can also craft items in the game that will bring back your life, resurrect you or bring in more minions. To use these items you have to tap on the rear touch panel of the VITA as if you are playing the drums. It’s not really fun or well thought out use of the rear touch panel. It would have been better to use face buttons for this.
Graphically ACOH is one of the most vibrant and colorful VITA games I’ve played thus far. It has lots of reds, yellows and oranges, which makes sense since the game is played out in hell. The textures look good but seem to be heavily blurred or aliased to give the game a unique but smooth look. Plus the characters are very tiny and you don’t get to see them up close that much.
The music sounds familiar, but it’s all original. It was produced by some local bands in Japan and has a very 80′s Heavy Metal feel to it. You’ll swear you’ve heard some of these songs before, but they are all new and very awesome. It’s one of the best handheld soundtracks I’ve had the pleasure of listening to.
ACOH has online adhoc mode for co-op multiplayer. Sadly, I don’t know anyone that has this game so I wasn’t able to test it.
Gameplay is fairly straight forward. Your minions stick close to you and you use your right shoulder button to send them out to the enemy to fight. It plays very much like a 3rd person shooter. If you hold the left shoulder button you’ll go into a formation and you can attack using more minions and therefore do more damage. After you send your minions out to fight, they will return to you. So using the Spearmen for instance, who can attack at long range, means you’ll have to wait a little longer for them to return. You can switch between the different minion types by using the face buttons. Each type has a different attack and different formation.
The game moves at a very fast pace. In between levels you’ll see a cinema with some brief dialog between the King Of Hell and his minions. You can take time to replenish your minions before each level starts but can also do so on the field.
Army Corps Of Hell is a nice little gem to have on your PS VITA. Like I said, the biggest factor for me in owning a VITA was to get some unique experiences and ACOH was exactly what the doctor ordered. If you liked Pikmin, you’ll absolutely love Army Corps Of Hell.