"I'm really looking forward to playing D.I.C.E.," I told my friends.
"... but that's a Bandai game," they replied in full force.
I balked at their rash statement. "What do you mean? Bandai's come out with some good games! You've got Lumines and Meteos, for starters."
One of them interjected loudly with a forced cough. "Licensed games."
Over the years, the default response in relation to licensed games in general was that of doubt. In the last year, we've seen quite a few quality titles brought to our small screens, but when it comes to Bandai, people still carry that doubt, that latent cynicism. However, I remained optimistic -- they all can't be bad, right? They're bound to bring forth a game that'll break that losing streak soon.
It's with a heavy heart that I bring you this news: D.I.C.E. isn't that game.
The story goes as follows: the DNA Integrated Combat Enterprises, better known as D.I.C.E., is a group of combat specialists that police land and space alike with the aid of their Dinobreakers. These Dinobreakers alternate from Vehicle to Combat mode, and along with the newly-acquired Satellite Bots ("sidekick" devices that assist you in battle), the pint-sized members of unit F-99 help keep the universe in harmony. It's not rocket science, but it is based off of a Cartoon Network series, so that's probably what's triggering the deja vu -- I mean, how many times can we go through the motions before we can predict the outcome?
Basically, everyone's running out of "shell", which is the hottest material in the Sarbylion Galaxy. To keep things in balance in the universe and keep power from falling into the wrong hands, the team has to... um... uh...
...I'm going to be honest with you. The story is bo-ring. Not only is there a complete lack of both actual character and plot development within the sub-stages, but the voiceovers that accompany these snippets of story are dull and lifeless. In-between stages, they toss a bit of dialogue in there to flesh out things, but on the whole you're left with just bland words on a bland screen, for the levels are bare. They're not PSone quality, mind you, but with the exception of the Dinobreaker animations, they're nothing to ooh and aah at. It's almost as if they go out of their way to make you totally apathetic to what's going on around you.