You really cannot get much more niche than Wartech since it is a fighting game with the mechanics of a shoot-em-up. While it sounds confusing it boils down to shooting the other ship until it explodes. Naturally, there is a bit more too it than that.
To take down your opponent, you have an assortment of weapons at your disposal. You can, of course just mash buttons and bullets will come out. Like any fighting game, certain combinations of buttons allow you to perform special techniques and rewards strategic thinking to defeat the opposing player. With eight characters and two variations of attack with each character there’s a ship for most every style of play. One gameplay element that Wartech brings is the ability to essentially turn into a shoot-em-up boss during the match a limited number of times by activating what it call B.O.S.S. mode. You sacrifice mobility and energy to attain more firepower and overall general coolness. This sounds like an overpowered mechanic, and for the first time play it very well is, but the bullet patterns are set and you can only change their angle as in boss mode. This in turn makes it so that an experienced player can stand up against a boss on near equal footing. This is just basics and the mechanics are much deeper and beyond the scope of a review.
While the gameplay might please fans from both genres, it also brings the weaknesses from both fighting games and shoot-em-ups. The story is convoluted and not good; though if it does hook you for some reason there is a section in the game that explains the story for you. While not a big knock on itself considering the target audience for this game, this game is very much mired in stylistic anime aesthetics to the point where the males leads look like girls. If you thought Bridget from Guilty Gear fame was a trap, you haven’t seen anything yet. Fans of both genres shouldn’t mind the flaws though. In fact it’s almost become a characteristic of the two styles of games.
The modes of play are straight out of a fighting game: Arcade, Story, Practice, and Online. Good luck trying to find other online fighters however. The graphics do what you expect them to do, neither horrendous nor stellar and your usual anime mech fare. The electronic/techno soundtrack to Wartech ranges from forgettable to being quite catchy. Also, as of this writing, you can get Wartech brand-new for about ten US Dollars so the price of entry isn't bad.
Wartech:Senko No Ronde is admittedly not for everyone, after all it caters to two very niche audiences here. However there are very few games like it out there and for ten bucks, you could much worse.