Drone Tactics is a turn-based strategy game where you play as a bunch of Japanese teenagers straight out of a typical shonen anime. Originally released in Japan by Success as Konchuu Wars, the game was renamed Drone Tactics in Atlus's English version. The game at first appears to be pretty simple and downright easy, but further playing actually reveals quite a bit of depth in the game's designs, particularly the different drones' functions when thinking of a strategy.The story is pretty typical: Two young school children named Yamato and Tsubasa find two small insects, a butterfly named Y-Ite and a rhino beetle named K-Buto. The insects came from a planet called Cimexus and were looking for human allies to save their home world from an impeding threat called the Black Swarm. The two children agree to help and head to Cimexus to fight the Black Swarm.Along with superior graphics in terms of handheld games, this game also features high customizability of the Drones (the giant mechanized insects) you get to use, as well as decent music, passable gameplay and good difficulty (well, in the Badlands anyway).But the main lure for this game is the sole fact that it lets you control teams of GIANT MECHA INSECTS!!Tropes used include:
Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: All the combat in this game revolves around giant mechanized insects. The smallest ones, Ants, are already much bigger then trees. Also, they fight with turret guns and various artillery and melee weapons.
Base on Wheels: Snail drones. They have relatively high HP. High armor to protect against physical damage (but zero Barrier against beam weapons), they have a cannon equipped to it, and it travels using treads. Also, thats where all the drones are held and deployed.
BFG: Cannons. Lady bugs dont look so harmless anymore when you equip them with giant bazookas several times bigger then they are. And giant missiles too. And of course, there's giant vulcans.
BFS: Sure, you can equip a giant horn on to your rhinoceros beetle, or a large stinger onto your Bee's stinger...but choose those when you also have the option of attaching claymores, halberds, and giant axes in this places instead? Or perhaps a Beam Lance for those pesky armored enemies.
Combat Medic: Butterflies. Their unique feature is the fact that they can double the effectiveness of healing cards. They have decent evasion and they're good with guns, especially when you equip them with beam weapons. Though they probably won't stand up against a rhinoceros beetle one on one, they're still decent.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In this game you can carry a deck of cards into battle. The cards can have various effects, but are only one use, so they need to be used wisely. To be fair, the computer have decks of their own to fight against you. To be unfair, later in the game whereas you only have one deck shared amongst your entire team, each and every single enemy drone HAS A FULL DECK ALL FOR THEMSELVES.
And it's nearly impossible to beat the computers in the minigames without breaking the DS in higher difficulties.
Failure Is the Only Option: Don't even think about trying to beat the Four Generals in that one level where they surround and proceed to rape you.
Actually possible. It just takes some planning and a bit of luck.
The trope is still played straight regardless. Even if you do clear the mission by defeating every enemy on the map, including the four generals, the battle still ends with Yamato and company in full retreat - and no matter what you do Yui ends up being left behind and captured by Jegard.
Averted with Spiders...they're as fast as hell...yet they are by no means fragile. They're buff speedsters with decent gun and melee.
Game Breaker: Centipedes. They have the best movement type in the game(treads), they have high Movement speeds. They have above average armor. They have enough default Barrier to negate most beam attacks. They have decent speed. But most importantly, they have INCREDIBLE gun attacks. They are supposed to be "anti-air gun units"...but like the Mantises, they can dish out severe punishments even to ground units, killing most in one hit, without the low hp and defence of a mantis. The only drone stronger then centipedes are the Scorpions, which are bosses that you are not allowed to use.
GeoEffects: Different terrains can affect your movement, defence, and some even deals damage to you each turn.
Giant Mook: As mentioned before, even the smallest drone in the game is a giant insect already. And then there are giant giant insects, such as spiders, centipedes, and scorpions.
Glass Cannon: Drones specializing in cannons, such as Fire Flies and Lady Bugs, they're the two smallest drones in the game, but they can equip cannons more than 4-5 times their size. And for non-cannon drones, there's Mantis drones, they are described as anti-air melee units...but that doesn't stop them from also tearing ground units to shreds (just not as thoroughly), but they have ridiculously low armor, not barrier, and average-low hp for melee units.
Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Hydel, the SUPERHERO ninja...who works for the Big Bad. There is absolutely no reason for a ninja to be in battle, although his drone, Jet-I the cockroach fits the description of a ninja quite perfectly, fast, annoying, and attacks from afar.
Joke Weapon: Playing the Badlands will occasionally reward you with incredible equipment...and some of them includes weapons such as "plastic foot", "fake red lips", "umbrella", "moai statue", and "concrete pipe with cat sleeping on top of it"....some of them are downright gamebreakers though.
Mighty Glacier: Played straight with Rhinoceros Beetles. Centipedes and Scorpions would have counted too, if were not for the fact that they're fucking fast as well.
And then there's the Moths, who are FLYING Mighty Glaciers. They can kill bosses in a single hit if you use attack cards to support it, and they're the only flying drones that can take an Anti-Air attack point blank without dying.
Mook Maker: Subverted with factories. It looks like they are mook makers at first, sending out a near infinite streams of drones at you. But it turns out there are only a limited amount of drones inside the factries, and if you destroy it, you also kill all the drones inside the factory.
Punny Name: All the drones names are supposed to be a pun on some sort of word. It helps if you knew some Japanese. While many of the names are obvious puns (K-Buto=Rhinoceros Beetle, Dor-O=Snail, A-Geeto=Stag beetle, Y-Ite=White butterfly, Hopp-R=locust, and Honey-B=KILLER bee) , some are a little more obscure (Jet-I=Roach, R-Nej=Centipede, Kris-T=Moth, Nyght-R=Spider, Clove-R=Dragonfly).
Giant Spider: One of the Drones that appear is a giant spider drone. Also, the Water Spider drones might count.
Stone Wall: Pillbugs. They have the higher HP and defence in the entire game. And they're the slowest drones in the game. But surprisingly enough, when you first meet these guys, they first come off more as Mighty Glaciers than Stone Walls. But their defence stat just raises much faster then their attack.
Talking Animal: Talking normal sized insect...that transform into giant sized talking insects.
Token Mini-Moe: On the good side, there's Yui, who also has one of the tiniest flying drones to boot, the fire fly. On the evil side, there's the above mentioned Elisha, who, ironically, has one the largest and most powerful flying drones in the game, a great moth.
And then there's the mosquitoes. They start off as the flying equivalent of ants, but at the same time the ants start learning how to use beam fangs, mosquitoes learns how to self-destruct enmasse.
Translation Convention: Played straight. The characters in the story consists of humans from all around the world and talking alien insects. Everyone was speaking their OWN language all along, yet at the same time when they hear others talk, the words they speak come out as whatever language the listener understands best. Everyone did not notice this until it was brought up by Janie (an American) while she was talking to Yamato (a young Japanese boy who is unlikely to have learned English yet). Too bad they didn't explain this.
Actually, the professor mentions the master cards (is that what they're called?) might be translating everyone's speech in real time. It should come up in a side conversation after the player receives the above conversation.
UST: Main characters Yamato and Tsubasa...although it looks like they might be resolved during the epilogue.
What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: If it's a bug that can be remotely described as "cute", "pretty", or "charming", the heroes will have access to it as a unit, while "creepier" bugs like ants, water bugs, and moths are enemy units. Though some of them do join your group later.
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Considering the fact that a good deal of the main cast are children, and the game is filled with giant insects (mechanical ones with GUNS), this isn't surprising. For every single female cast member: Cockroach (more specifically, Hydel's Jet-I), and spiders. And for Yui: goddamn everything except for Hikar-I, her own drone.
Virtual Paper Doll: One of the features in this game is highly customizable Drones for you to use...you can even paint on them!