• AZITO 3D Review - Nintendo 3DS

    Batman had his Batcave, Superman had his Fortress of Solitude, Oscar had his rubbish bin... As if you out there haven't thought or fantastised about building your own secret base at some point in your life. That is what the Azito (azito/ajito ~ "secret base") series of games are all about, and with AZITO 3D Hamster brings one of the more heroic / villainous resource management games to not just the first of the series on the 3DS, but any Nintendo console.

    Naturally, the construction takes places entirely underground and yet structural integrity is apparently not an issue. Well, building secret bases is hardly realistic to start with, is it? Each segment of the base is predefined and few have specific requirements, although the ones that do must be adhered too. To this end, generator rooms MUST be connected to the surface via stairwells or elevator shafts, and research labs have to be positioned far enough away from manufacturing plants so that the scientists aren't affected by the noise. Some employees can't work too close to the generator room, some are constantly sexually harassing their colleagues and need to be punished or left to work alone.

    So other than keeping the techs happy and productive, what does the game entail? It's all about the money. With the initial lump sum the player starts with, they have to research items for sale, build factories to make things, and places to sell them. It certainly does take money to make money in this game, and going into the red is an instant game over. Take a foodstuff as an example. Build a research lab, a factory and a department store. Assign scientists to the research lab to research an item (explosive tomatoes would be a good choice), choose a factory manager to oversee production, and then once enough have been made, set them for sale in the department store and wait for the profits to roll in.

    That's the basic idea, but then factor in scientists specialising in different areas being needed for researching different things, salaries being paid, the expense of defending the town and the cost of repairing or rebuilding damaged / destroyed facilities and finding the balance is where the trick lies. Sell the giant robot that was just completed to cover outgoing wages or keep it in case of an attack? AZITO 3D is not a game that is overly complicated, although a degree of thought is involved. Those with the patience and inclination will enjoy planning their strategy, building traps into walkways and choosing which overground buildings house which mutant beasts. How many other games can you think of that let you choose whether or not to punish staff for sexual harrassment?

    The 3D use in the game is very subtle, it's just that little depth that is given to the cross-sectional view of the base that is presented to the player. It certainly will not be winning any graphical awards anytime soon, all is functional if not pretty.

    So overall, a decent purchase for those who enjoy these niche games but probably not worth it for others - especially for the full version. However, Hamster have seen the benefit of releasing several slightly reduced versions on the Japanese eShop, set in either Kyoto, Osaka or Tokyo. Each having some location-specific items and being 500yen each. Apart from the reduction in items available, the games are essentially the same and much better value than the retail version.

    Buy this at Play-asia

    The Good:
    + Secret base fantasies can be played out in a limited fashion
    + Variety of products, etc.

    The Bad:
    - Confusing to start with
    - Not exactly a thrill ride

    Overall: 6/10
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    Temjin Virtual On Figure, boxed

    Thread Starter: Asura


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