Robotech Battlecry was developed by Vicious Cycle and published by TDK Mediactive. The game was released in the US for the X-Box and PS2 on September 24, 2002, and for the Gamecube on October 11, 2002. (The European version has no release date set, and to date no Japanese version is planned.) All three games are packaged in a DVD case with the system band at the top, the game's title directly below that in the Robotech logo font, and a Vertitech in Battloid mode firing its rifle, with Veritechs in Guardian and Fighter mode in the background. The disc itself is simple, with a blue background, the RDF logo, and the game's title.
The game, as of this noding, is readily available in all retailers, in all three versions. Of special note is the "Special Edition" of the game, which comes with the game, as well as a lenticular card with the three Veritech forms, some original art samples, a Robotech t-shirt, the game's sountrack, and a limited edition dogtag. All of this is approximately $30 more than the regular release, and is packaged in a large gold box with a clear window to show the game's case.
Robotech Battlecry is a sidestory to the main story of Robotech, told from the perspective of Jack Archer, a mercenary pilot personally recruited by Roy Fokker for the Robotech Defense Force. While Rick Hunter, Lynn Minmei, Roy Fokker, and other characters from the Robotech animated series make appearances, the game focuses on Jack Archer, his friends Hiro Ishi and Izzy Randal, and the Zentraedi aces Skarrde and Kiyora, as they live and fight through the events of Robotech. Good news to fans of the series is that the voice actors from the original series returned to reprise their roles, lending to the game's excellant standard of voice acting.
The game itself is a rather entertaining arcade-style shooter, and the Veritech's tranformations from Battleoid (traditional giant robot mecha) to Guardian (a raptor-like form, with the front two-thirds of a fighter with legs and arms hanging down) to Fighter (essentially a slightly chunky F-14). Each of the forms has its advantages and disadvantages, and finding a style of flying a Veritech is one of the real draws for this game, because the game rewards both cautious hit-and-run play and flashy, destructive, impetuous play.
The graphics, while no technical masterpiece on any of the systems, draw heavily on the distinctive style of Robotech, and the cel-shaded art, the well-animated mecha, and distinctive touches like the streaks trailing behind missiles all give the game unqiue character, setting it apart from the many, many other mecha video games coming out at the same time.
The game has a variety of informal mission types, and, while they usually fall clearly into one category or another, may go from one type of mission directly into another. For example, the first boss mission begins as a simple dogfight to protect the SDF, but changes when a mysterious Zentraedi ace shows up.
Search and destroy missions are the simplest, as the player just has to find all of the enemies and, well, destroy them. Generally these are the most fun, because the only way to fail them is to simply get outmanuevered or outnumbered, rather than the frustrating defense and escort missions. Search and destroy missions are set in the hilly or urban landscapes, or in near orbit or space.
Defense missions are possibly the most inane missions, as the player has to defend a large building of some kind - usually full of helpless innocents - from wave after wave of Zentraedi, most of whom aren't bright enough not to come through one of three or four choke points, allowing a skilled player to simply mow them down as they approach. These are almost always urban or suburban missions.
Escort missions are almost always the most frustrating, usually because the plane or transports or whatever being escorted are made of aluminum and driven by monkeys. The exceedingly cheap ambushes attack you out of nowhere, and often the challenge is not only keeping your objective vehicles alive, but yourself as well.
Boss missions are ususally a one-on-one against a, naturally, much better armed boss. These can be some of the most entertaining in the game, as the bosses are the best showcases for the players style of fighting. Plus, they're spiced up by Jack and the ace's banter; it's highly entertaining to start winning a fight, and hear Jack spout off lines like, "Come back! No need to be afraid of a Micronian..."
Accomplishing certain goals, ranging from finishing certain stages to killing a certain number of enemies, nets the player Emblems, as well as new Veritechs (and later some Zentraedi power armor), new paint jobs for the Veritechs, and new multiplayer arenas. The game doesn't have the replay value of, say, Rogue Leader, but there's plenty to do here.
The game also has a spare, if functional, multiplayer mode, allowing for one-on-one duels in eight different stages unlocked by playing the Story Mode (the single-player campaign). Sadly missing in the Gamecube and X-Box versions is four-player play, and a multiplayer cooperative campaign is notably absent.
Robotech isn't exactly revolutionary, but it's certainly a worthwhile game, and is very true to both the story and style of the original Robotech series. It draws a sense of style from the series, and it's certainly a credit to Harmony Gold's Robotech franchise.