Trenched Is Great…Take That, Padinga Staff!
Dr. Noh and Mecha were…less than pleased with my recent oversized helping of truth concerning “Bastion.” They brandished their normal threats for whenever I dislike whatever obscure anime real time strategy porn they’re fond of, and I thought little of it. True, they’re both formidable opponents in hand-to-hand combat, but we live in different time zones, so I’m in the clear until E3 2012. And by then they won’t remember.
But then Dr. Noh dropped a bomb I didn’t see coming: he called me “so negative.” He further postulated that it would be good if I “liked something” every now and again. Negative? Me? You tell me, Dear Reader, when have you ever seen me be negative about things on this site? Except for that “Need for Speed: The Run” piece. And that “Gotham City Imposters” thing. And I guess I’ve been a little pissy to “Call of Duty” a few times. And the “Devil May Cry” reboot, I even made fun of the lead designer’s name on that one. And the Wii U. And “Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.” And “Goldeneye 007: Reloaded.”
…I’m beginning to see their point. Okay, fine. You want positivity, Dr. Noh? I’ll give you some damned positivity! I played “Trenched” on XBLA recently, and I thought it was outstanding! Hit the jump to see why!
Okay, so “Trenched.” Have you played this thing? It’s really excellent. I avoided it for a while because someone mentioned the words “tower” and “defense” when describing it to me, and I am averse to both of those words, especially when placed one after the other. I just hate tower defense games, they’re incredibly trite and—I’m going negative again, aren’t I? Damn it!
Back on track, though: “Trenched” escapes the mundane repetitiveness (damn it again!) of tower defense games by interpreting the genre as an action-packed, Horde-mode-esque fight for survival. Each round sees you manning a giant, WWII-era walking robot trench (no wait, it gets better), fighting off leagues of monsters who seek to broadcast an insidious signal throughout the world via televisions in their mouths (see?). Double Fine games, the fine gents and ladies behind “Psychonauts” and “Brutal Legend,” handle the bizarre premise with their typical comedic aplomb. It almost feels logical.
“Trenched” is fun because it’s action-packed and yet strategy heavy. Resource allocation, turret and defensive structure placement, mech customization, even (or especially) reload timing all factor heavily into every second. When you succeed, you feel enormous pride at the strength of your decision-making. When you fail, you always know there’s something else you could try.
Now there’s plenty of outstanding XBLA titles available right now, but I think “Trenched” should shoot up to the top of your list. Give it a spin, you won’t be disappointed.
Or go play “Bastion.” See if I care.
I died for you one time, never again.