Retro Review – Battle Construction Vehicles (PS2)
You know a game is going to be good when it only has a PAL and NTSC-J release. Since European localisers only localised some of the more bizarre games for their budget titles.
Midas Interactive were one of a few outfits that localised games from Japan for Europe and were the team behind bringing Battle Construction Vehicles to the west.
Known as Kensetsu Juuki Kenka Batoru: Buchigire Kongou!! In Japan. The story mode puts you in control of Hayato Kongo as you are recruited to take over your family’s construction business (after his death) and begin the climb back to the heights it once reached.
To do this you engage in arena style battles using construction equipment against your fierce rivals the Shurabe Corp, ran by your father’s former friend.
As a fresh-faced business owner, you need to recruit a crew to help you in your endeavours so in true fashion you begin to battle your way to the top. Using whatever construction equipment you have to hand you begin forging new friendships and battling pretty much everyone you come across.
The story of the game gets pretty mad, including corruption, kidnapping, love, and the reuniting of a master with their student. It had me laughing at several points over the sheer stupidity of some of the situations you get into.
It has you fighting for the love of one of your characters, then fighting the Dog master of another of your team. Then fighting for the safe return of another who was kidnapped. It has twists, turns and is just out there.
The battles themselves can be a bit awkward, the controls of the game are pretty simple, using only the DPAD for movement and the 4 face buttons for attacks and defence. However, the camera is very particular in who it follows in the battle and 9 times out of 10 the game will focus on your enemy.
You have three attacks that you can choose from. A front, left, and right attack. You can charge each of them by holding the button down for a stronger hit, but you cannot keep it held as when you hit max charge the attack fires regardless.
There are special attacks, and they are truly glorious when they are available (denoted by a yellow and black circle around your vehicle). They include hitting your opponent for a home run, summoning a kendo warrior, or summoning a hoard of shoppers to attack your opponent.
The goal of the battles is to wreck your opponent’s hardware before they wreck yours and the special attacks cause critical amounts of damage.
The arena’s you fight in have stage hazards to make it a little tougher to just go full tilt as you can get caught quickly between a boulder and a hard place.
BCV features only the best British voice acting and contains a lot of charm but is also lovably bad at most points in the game the voices do not line up with the characters mouth flaps.
The voice actors are not credited for the English voice over, but the Japanese VA’s are and there is some famous talent among them. My favourite being that Mr Satan’s voice actor Daisuke Gōri is the VA for the bad guy.
You can find the full list of Voice Actors for the game listed over at Artdink’s website (https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ja&tl=en&u=http://www.artdink.co.jp/japanese/title/kongou/main.html) somehow it is still live.
Battle Construction Vehicles story is really quite short, even with the cutscenes, and will take you about two hours to beat in a casual playthrough.
But it is a game that immediately made its way into my favourite games with stupid stories alongside Incredible Crisis (another game you should all play)
(I have no idea if the story of the Japanese version follows the English version, I can only hope that it does.)
I’ve done a full playthrough of the English version which I’ve embedded below