E.X. Troopers is finally here to save us from this recent Capcom’s western focused creative binge! The mediocre wave of mass market pandering can finally end, and maybe Resident Evil won’t reek of Call of Duty leftovers anymore!

Actually…no, this does not have a happy ending for E.X. Troopers or anyone awaiting this charming game. Capcom has gone and made a martyr out of this Lost Planet spin-off by making no plans to bring it to western audiences. This wonderful mishmash of classic Japanese shooting mechanics and anime presentation is just a bit too bright and cheerful for the down and gritty image Capcom is going for these days. Not western enough. Not outsourced to American B-team. Not worth yours or Capcom’s time, I guess.

An E.X. Troopers demo made its way onto the Japanese PlayStation Network this week, so anyone with a Japanese account has access to it. If you don’t have one, it’s really easy to sign up for one. I highly recommend it because the demo is a lot of fun, and a lot of content that might not have been available through the American store will now be at your fingertips.

If you are spoiled by today’s shooters, then E.X. Troopers might take a while to dive into. It throws a lot of modern conventions out the door, and it’s apparent immediately by not allowing an option to invert the Y-axis when aiming. Not that it should matter too much though, because shooting revolves around a locking mechanics rather that fully controllable dual-analog.

Ex_Troopers_3DS_Screenshot_01It’s best to look at E.X. Troopers as a third-person shooter gone lite. Enemy AI is incredibly bad and will just stand in the way of oncoming bullets, guns are fired with the square and triangle buttons, and combat doesn’t stray too far from dodge and shoot. The most depth you’ll get from this demo revolves around timing your weapon reloads and melee counters.

Keep in mind that this game was originally intended to be a portable release played on the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita, so it follows the mindset of a portable gamer looking for quick bursts of excitement while taking the train to work. This will not have a 30 hour campaign spanning the story of a huge and epic war. This is made for boss fights and dungeon crawls, speed runs and periodical stat boosts. It’s a rinse and repeat experience, not a one-and-done and never play it again game.

Don’t let that deter you from trying the free demo. E.X. Troopers is glorious in its simplicity, much like the beloved Mega Man Legends games Capcom made for the original PlayStation, back when cheerful fun games were acceptable. The universe of Lost Planet through this bubblegum world of cel-shaded anime graphics and earsplitting  J-Pop has never been so enjoyable. Enemies can turn our heroes into snowmen with their ice guns, making it one of the cutest negative status effects ever.

From the ground up, E.X. Troopers and Lost Planet both inhabit the same universe, but their approaches to showing off this chilled wasteland couldn’t be any different. I believe there’s enough room in the world for both, but I probably wouldn’t be jumping back into the lifeless world of Sully McDroopy-Face after romping around with the fabulous E.X. Troopers protagonist and his wide range of dorky friends for a while.

EXTrooper Characters

E.X. Troopers is clearly not a game to be taken seriously but rather to just enjoy and have fun with. Aim for that high score. Go for a simple multiplayer run through with your buddies. No stress, no blood and only minor violence. It’s a stark contrast to all the shooters of today, and it fills a long forsaken niche of when shooters were not just about brown and gray military men mowing down foreigners or ravenous aliens.

Why Capcom doesn’t see the market for this clever little game is beyond me. It’s not the like venerable Lost Planet series has a great reputation to smear, and this doesn’t even have to share the same IP brand on western shelves. I doubt most would make the connection if they weren’t directly told about it.

EXTrooper ComicCapcom’s western developed games have also been met with nothing but mediocre and angry responses from fans, too. Why not throw a taste of what you used to be good at to the crowds who so desperately want you to return to form? Where’s the harm is slapping a quick translation patch onto this gem and throwing it out on the PSN for $15 or $20 and letting the gamers decide if they like this better than the new Capcom?

Do yourself a favor and check out the demo. In a perfect world, everyone would fall head-over-heels for this light snack of a third-person shooter. It’s boiling over with character, imagination, and simple combat that you won’t need to sweat too much over to enjoy.

I’ve played both the single and multiplayer demos through several times each, and after every round, I am left wanting more. I’ll definitely be buying the Japanese version of this game if my plea falls on deaf ears.