Gotcha Force is a game exclusive to the Nintendo Gamecube. It was developed and published entirely by Capcom.
Players take on the role of an ordinary boy named Kou, who meets a tiny toy-like figure called a Gotcha Borg. These borgs were forced off their planet by an evil organization of Gotcha Borgs known as the Death Force. Kou and the borg end up forming a team, and eventually a friendship, as they try and save the Earth from the Death Force invasion. As the player progresses through the game, they unlock other Gotcha Borgs to use in battle. The metagame takes place on an isometric map of Kou's home town and the surrounds. Events (battles or brief cutscenes) pop up at certain key locations, and can usually be tackled in any order. In between these battles, the player can organize Borgs into teams, with the only restriction being the amount of "GF Energy" they have. GF Energy is a sort of currency or level marker in the game, similar to 'points' in tabletop strategy. The cost of each Borg in a team adds up to a number which must be less than the player's current total GF Energy in order to play that team. Practically, this means the player could use many cheaper Borgs or only a few expensive Borgs for a given battle. After organizing their team, the player can select a battle and choose the team they wish to use. After defeating the enemies and winning the battle, the player may find new Borgs, depending on the Borgs defeated. There are more than 200 Gotcha Borgs to find.
There are two main post-completion options: New Game Plus, where the player keeps all borgs but plays through the story again (starting at the lowest GF Energy level), and Replay, where the player can pick any battle, from any playthrough, and repeat it with 2200 GF Energy. Both of these modes are useful for getting new borgs. Rare borgs appear more frequently in New Game Plus, and the player can pick and choose which borgs to grind for in Replay by replaying battles where those borgs appear. Additionally, on completing the story mode for the third through the eighth time, the player unlocks a new G Red in a different colour. All six have the exact same stats as the original G Red, making them very powerful for their GF energy cost.
Gotcha Force also supports multi-player battles on the same console (up to four players). The multi-player plays similarly to single-player campaign battles. It can be free-for-all or team battle.
Gotcha Force is a game that was picked on by reviewers, but has a lot to recommend it in terms of collecting and customising teams of Borgs, as well as mastering the stranger Borg abilities.
Gotcha Force's story happens mainly through still pictures with various expressions and sound efffects tied to them with text accompanying them. They characters are very anime inspired and are not very well fleshed out, but each has a very distinct voice and personality. The game is riddled with various translation errors when it comes to voice acting, most notably the pronunciation of the word 'corps' as 'corpse.'
The core gameplay, however, is where this game shines. The game is mission based, and allows a little bit of freedom when it comes to picking what mission to go to. The missions are laid out on top of a 12 section map that each section represents the arena in which the mission will be carried out. Some missions must be completed to progress while others can be skipped entirely. Each Mission that you partake in grants you additional 10 Gotcha Force Energy, or GF Energy. GF Energy is an important aspect of the game, because certain Borgs cost more than others, and the GF energy is a reusable form of currency dictating the total Cost of Borgs you can use at the given time in the Force you are using. The player can Customize a total of 20 forces that allow up to 30 Borgs per force. The order of these Borgs is important as that is the order that they will be called out in battle when the first one falls in combat. The order cannot be changed in combat so there is a bit of strategy that goes into creating a force, knowing what you think you will need at the given time.
The fights between the Borgs happen in an arena setting. Most of the time the player is given an ally and the two of them fight a string of enemies much like their own Forces until the other one is expended of Borgs. Both the environment and the opponent must be taken into consideration while fighting because being able to dash behind cover can be an important way of dodging certain attacks as well as certain attacks that can penetrate walls. Every arena is square and contains various set pieces that cannot be destroyed, however certain levels contain boxes and cylinders that can be destroyed and respawn. There are no pick ups in the game and ammo for guns is infinite but each gun has a set amount of ammo and a set reload time. The control scheme is very simplistic, making switching between different Borgs very easy. the 'A' button is always jump and the 'B' button is melee and primary gun. The 'X' button is the special attack button. Some Borgs have charge attacks that require a certain amount of time to hold before they can be used which is shown by a meter on the HUD next to the respective button's attack.
*WARNING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS*
In most missions, the player can choose one ally to accompany them. Which allies are available to choose from for a given mission depends on the player's progress through the story. During the battle, a gear-shaped icon in the HUD will fill up as the player and the ally give and take damage. When it is flashing, the player can press the 'Y' button to activate a turbo-charged mode where reload times are essentially immediate, and all charge attacks charge much faster. This mode lasts ten seconds, at which time the gear meter starts to fill again. The gear is also present in solo missions, but fills slower because only one player is filling it.
In addition to normal Borgs, each ally has a named copy of another Borg with the exact same stats, the occasional attack difference, and has minor differences in appearance.
Your first ally, Kakeru uses mainly ninja Borgs and can be defeated quite fast if you don't pay attention. Because his nearly all of his Borgs throw bombs it is a bad idea to use him if you favor being within close range of your opponent. He has a special Normal Ninja named Sasuke.
Mana uses almost exclusively Nurse Borgs which is both good and bad. Occasionally the AI will mess up and she will heal the opponent, also if there are enemies near you she will occasionally miss healing you and heal them. Overall though, she is a good ally who remains out of your way. She has a special Nurse Borg named Nao.
An ally that you can miss getting, Sho uses primarily Wing Borgs and Jet Hero. He seems to have exceptional AI and does heavy amounts of damage, probably the most useful ally, but can get in the way and hit the player quite a bit. He has a special Blade Wing named Garuda.
Tetsya uses Musha Borgs and Knight Borgs, He really gets in the way of a close range attacker, but when coupled with a ranged Borg he can be very useful. He has a special Normal Samurai named Musashi.
Kotaro uses Gun Borgs and is a very unobtrusive partner, but he also lacks the accuracy that his Borgs seem to need making him overall a poor damage dealer, however he does not die very fast. He uses a special Revolver Gunman named Billy.
A very good ally who uses Tank Borgs. He is very like Kotaro in that he is unobtrusive but he has the accuracy and damage output you would expect from a tank. The only disadvantage is that he dies fast if not protected. He also uses Air Borgs which can severely deter his damage output. He uses a special Normal Tank named Leopard.
Nekobe is a more Knight Borg centric version of Tetsuya. Nearly all of his Borgs can easily hurt you if you are close to him so he is best coupled with a ranged Borg, but he is otherwise a good ally. He uses a special Vampire Knight named Vlad.
Kitsune uses Machine Borgs, causing him to do large amounts of damage. However one of his favorite Borgs attracts any close by Borgs towards him which can severely mess up a player's strategy. He uses a special Claw Robot named Isaac.
Met is a strange ally who seems content either pinning down opponents or attaching movement altering affects on opponents. He is relatively useful unless he accidentally hits you with one of his traps, which can devastate the player. He uses a special Arrow Ninja named Shijima.
Tama is an enemy that joins your team late in the game. He uses Fortress Borgs and can dish out a lot of damage and distract enemies quite well, however he is notoriously bad at hitting his ally so it is sometimes hard to deal with him. He uses a special Sirius named Death Arc.
Usagi uses Girl Borgs to fill out her Force. Occasionally she will also use Angel Borgs as well but she acts like a more useful version of Kotaro but occasionally she can use her Angel Borg's attacks against the player on accident. She uses a special Battle Girl named Kei.
Yuji is a very strange ally who spouts of what I believe is supposed to be localized phrases that just translated poorly. To match his strange personality he also uses Knuckle Borgs, which is a very eclectic tribe to say the least. He uses Borgs that explode and instantly kill anyone near and Borgs that slow down Borgs in a certain radius around him, it is best to steer clear of this ally. He uses a special Tar Diver named Jack.
Orochi is an enemy who joins you. She joins late in the game and uses Demon Borgs and the occasional Knight Borg. Her AI is on par with Sho's and makes a very good ally, but she can die quite fast. Unlike the other allies, she does not use a clone of another Borg, she has two special Borgs to her own called Death Wing and Dark Knight.
There are a couple of options for multiplayer in Gotcha Force. There is a Challenge Mode a Battle Mode and a Trading Mode.
There are three difficulties in this mode that restrict your total GF energy. The easiest gives you 1500, the next gives you 2000, and the hardest gives you 2500. The player can do this solo or with a partner and is thrown into a set of predetermined battles one after another until the end is reached and totals are given for each player.
Battle mode is a basic multiplayer function that acts just like the main game but allows you to choose the forces and lets you team up with either a computer or friends to fight up to two other opponents. The game offers 4 player split screen but can drop quite a bit of slowdown during it.
Throughout the main story you obtain Borgs and Borg Pieces. You can trade with friends who may have complementing pieces so that new Borgs can be obtained.
1-4 Players simultaneous
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Tribes of Gotcha Borgs
One of the biggest selling points of Gotcha Force stems from it's sheer amount of Gotcha Borgs to collect. These Borgs are organized into 20 groups who all share common strengths and weaknesses. The game focuses a lot on balancing the Borgs using various means so no one Borg can shine above the rest, although some still seem to.
These Borgs tend to rely on speed to gain the upper hand. Their list of skills usually consists of tricks like pinning your opponent down or duplicating oneself and using quick maneuvers to outwit rather than overpower. These Borgs tend to be exceedingly cheap to put in forces, expending very little GF energy.
This group of Borgs rely on range to deal their damage. Nearly every single one of them has some sort of primary weapon that acts like a gun. They are pretty self explanatory.
Focusing mainly on defense, these Borgs prefer to use their class specific shields to block incoming damage. Almost every single one is equipped with a shield that can block any attack in the game. This ability forces them to sacrifice mobility and attack power, but up close they are a forced to be reckoned with. The majority of this groups ranged attacks involve either throwing their weapon or shield, leaving them at a temporary disadvantage.
Basically a female version of the Gun Borg tribe, the Girl Borgs rely primarily on range to deal their damage. The major difference between Girl Borgs and Gun Borgs other than gender is the type of jump. Gun Borgs are almost completely normal 'air jumpers' which is a jump that allows for multiple jumps and dashes in the air. Girl Borgs on the other hand are primarily 'Boost Jumpers' which can be used continuously but once used up require the Borg to touch ground to refill, causing vulnerability.
Machine Borgs are a very varied group. They seem like they could have been split into two groups. The first group would consist of the heavy weight robots that are loaded with firepower but lack mobility. They use weapons like rockets like a Gun Borg would use bullets, making them much more powerful. Their large figure and boost jump force them to be easy to hit, but can take quite a beating. The other group of Machine Borgs consists of the traditional 'giant mech' variety in anime and video games. With giant transforming robots and robots with a lot of firepower and mobility these Borgs seem to be the best in the game, but they come with a cost. The second group of Machine Borgs cost quite a bit of GF energy so not many can be put in a force, usually only one during the main story line.
Machine Borgs have nothing on the GF cost of Dragon Borgs. Other than a few misfits, the cheapest cost of these dragons is 1000 GF energy, which is extrodinarily large. There are seven general types of Dragon Borgs. The first two are the misfits, The Wing Dragon and Death Head dragons are flying types that do not follow the general mold and act as light weight versions of the larger dragons. The next three are virtually identical except each have an element, Fire, Ice, and Lightning. The final two are the Metal Dragon which fires lasers and the Cosmic Dragon which can control gravity. Every single dragon has a second more powerful version of itself. Dragons take quite a beating but are the largest and easiest Borgs to hit, making them a gamble for an unskilled user.
Musha Borgs are basically samurai. Nearly every single one of them dual weilds swords. Decked out in traditional Samurai Armor these borgs rely heavily on close range combat. They seem to be a cross between a Knight Borg and a Ninja Borg because they are faster than Knight Borgs but carry their endurance, but they are slower than Ninja Borgs but carry a few tricks. These borgs tend to be very economical in the GF energy department and are useful as an anchor because of their decent amount of life.
A very strange tribe, there are only two true fist fighting Borgs in this group. The rest of them consist of walking bombs, a Borg that copies whatever it hits for a time, and Borgs that slow whatever is in a certain radious of them down. The melee opportunities of these borgs are surprisingly large and can take a while to master. These Borgs tend to be on the lower end of the GF energy consumption.
Very much a support tribe, the Wizard Borgs all serve a specific purpose and are otherwise identical. One borg can make another grow in size granting it greater defense and damage, while another shrinks another, doing the opposite. The Guard Witch puts up a sheild on an ally that blocks ranged attacks while when put on an opponent stops range attacks from shooting through.
A very lonely Tribe with only three Borgs residing in it, all of them almost a carbon copy of one another. The Nurse Borgs are even more of a support tribe than the above Wizard Borgs. Their special attack heals a set amount of damage to whatever it hits and rendering it invulnerable for a couple seconds. There isn't much else to say about them.
The lonliest tribe of all consisting of only one Borg. But it is arguably the most annoying Borg in existence. The Borg looks like a little girl with a microphone that when her special attack button is pushed a bunch of notes fly at the Borg causing it to spin at a set rate. This spinning does not affect movement in any way, but any attack no longer homes in on an opponent, it shoots straight ahead at whatever it is you may be facing. Multiple hits of this attack stack so it is possible to never get this affect off of you unless you can get a lucky hit or time things correctly. This Borg only costs 250 GF energy, but it has low life, and even less attack power rendering it mainly a support Borg.
A strange tribe that has larvae-like Borgs that either poison the opponent or set up spiky trip wires all over the stage. They are mainly slow moving with a hard to hit but devestating melee. Bug Borgs also have the distinction of having the only non Knight Borg to have a shield.
Demon Borgs are a small group that have what seems to be two reject Musha Borgs that dual weild swords that grow larger with every death. They are much more vulnerable than a normal Musha Borg while attacking but as their sword grow so does their potential. The other two Borgs in this group look akin to the Grim Reaper and carry sycthes. They have minimal life but are heavy attackers. Very much a group that requires skill to use, they seem to take an abnormally large amount of GF energy to use.
There are six Borgs in the Hero Borg category each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
- Cyber Hero: A primarily melee Borg, he has the same melee as a Knuckle Borg. He also has a special spinning kick akin to Ryu and Ken's Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku. He also can shoot slow moving balls of energy and has a large charged laser.
- Gold Hero: This Borg is basically a Gun/Girl Borg hero. He has special Power Armor that he can change into because at first he starts off in a slow, weak form. Once he dones his armor he is very fast and can fire a hail of lasers and whoever is around. He also has one of the strongest normal charged beams in the game.
- Jet Hero: A full flight hero he is very like Wing and Angel Borgs. He carries their strong melee and their automatic guns. He can also charge and release a sphere that once a projectile goes through it doubles in size. this affect stacks creating lots of fun with explosives.
- Metal Hero: Like Gold Hero, this borg also must use a skill to equip his armor, but he starts out with it ready, unlike Gold Hero. His armor grants him a sword and makes him impervious to stun. Although he can still be damaged, he will act as though nothing happened. He does not have a normal range attack but his melee sends out a chain of explosives. His special attack takes several seconds to use, but once it is activated anything directly in front of him takes lethal damage.
- Planet Hero: An exceedingly fast Borg that uses his speed to get within melee distance to use his strong melee or his spinning special attack to deal damage. The true power in this unit, though, is that he can cause himself to grow to enormous sizes for periods of time granting him more armor and damage.
- Star Hero: Basically a copy of Planet Hero but he has a different ranged shot and different melee opportunities.
These Borgs are somewhat expensive in GF energy but make up for it in potential.
These Borgs all have wings. This means they have a special type of jump, instead of a normal jump or a boost jump they flap their wings to get higher and can stay where they are as long as they keep moving. They also all have a 'flight' button which sends them flying while dropping in altitude. A common strength among this class is the incredible melee potential they have. All of them are equipped with some sort of sword that deals devestating damage while comboing. These Borgs are also very versitile while having both ranged and up close types.
Much like Wing Borgs, Angel Borgs also have wings and carry the same jump/flight options. These Borgs however are all copies of each other except for their special. One pushes any Borg in range with wind, another sends Borgs flying upwards, another freezes Borgs, another speeds up Borgs, another slows them down. There is only one exception to this rule and she is the Ring Valkyrie who is a very low life but very fast and strong flying attacker. The Borgs all have quite low GF costs.
These defensive monstrosities have low mobility but heavy attack and life. They are extremely slow but pack quite a punch. Although some Tanks can transform into planes, the majority are landlocked and rely on good timing and fast damage to outlive their opponents. All of thse Borgs cost quite a bit of GF energy, so using them without practice can be very bad.
The inal type of 'jump' in this game isn't a jump at all. This is what i like to refer to as a 'full flight' jump. All of these borgs are planes that fly around and never have to touch the ground. They can dash at high speeds like a Wing of Angel borg but that takes alot of time to recharge. The way to play these Borgs is hit and run. Some of them have bombs to drop or napalm to shoot but their head to head capabilities are mainly lacking. They seem to be pretty economical but have low life.
Much like Air Borgs, these Borgs never have to touch the ground, but the downside is that many of these cannot move. The largest heaviest Borgs in the game reside under this category. The firepower is enourmous but they tend to be sitting ducks. They have tremendous amounts of life and huge defense, and even Metal Hero has trouble taking them out, these, like Dragons, seem to be used mainly as bosses.
A very interesting type of Borg that is a hodgepodge of all the other types rolled into one. These are the primary enemies in the game. Every single one of these borgs seems to have been fashioned after one of the other already existing borgs. There is a larger amount of these Borgs but they all have very low amounts of life. There is a copy of nearly every general archetype and tribe of Borg that tends to be just a bit worse than it's normal Gotcha Borg counterpart. However certain borgs have multiple forms that focus on firepower, but they still have very poor life. These Borgs have the lowest possible GF energy consumption so many can be used in one force.