Announced earlier this year, Lunar Hare Studios have released a special pre-release tutorial for their anime/platform fighter hybrid, Earth Romancer. As this experimental fighter blends aspects of both genres together, this tutorial introduces prospective players into the core mechanics which sets Earth Romancer apart from other platform fighters like Super Smash Bros. or Rivals of Aether.
Projectiles play a massive part in Earth Romancer‘s neutral game, with it having a dedicated ranged attack button. Each ranged attack uses Energy, indicated by the green gauge underneath your character portrait. While projectile attacks are a great way of covering your approaches or anti-airing opponents, almost all projectiles in Earth Romancer can be nullified by dashing, jumping or diving through them.
Damage calculation works a little differently when compared to Smash and even from the explanation given in this tutorial, I’m not quite sure on how it works. Rather than just having one base damage counter, Earth Romancer splits damage taken between a Vitality and Shield counter. The Shield counter works like the traditional damage counter in Smash; the higher the number, the further you fly when hit. Unlike Smash though, this gauge slowly depletes if you avoid getting hit.
The level to which it depletes is based on your Vitality gauge, which is the white number next to your character portrait. Attacks in Earth Romancer do different rates of Vitality and Shield damage, and you can instantly drop your Shield gauge to the same number as your Vitality gauge if you hit your opponent with a melee attack. While it’s the first time I’ve seen a “recoverable red health” style mechanic in a platform fighter, I feel that this system is too complicated at present — with it not helped by it using the word “shield”, which will make players think of Super Smash Bros’ shield mechanic.
The other major mechanic in Earth Romancer is the Shift system, which changes how players control and attack with their character. Blueshift is the simpler stance, where players have increased defensive capabilities, better recovery and “familiar controls”. In Redshift, players have increased offensive options and access to more unique mechanics, in exchange for poor recovery and defensive options. Based on the “familiar controls” comment, I imagine that Blueshift has more Smash-like controls, while Redshift uses traditional fighting game motions (QCFs, DPs, 360s etc). You can choose which mode you wish to start in before each match, and you can even shift between Red and Blue mid-fight, should you need more defense/offense.
Just from this brief mechanical breakdown, Earth Romancer does look like a breath of fresh air for the platform fighter. While things like the Shield/Vitality gauge seem a little obtuse at present, its desire to remix familiar aspects of the genre should lead to something really exciting. Lunar Hare Studios are in the process of preparing for a crowdfunding campaign for Earth Romancer, so check out their fig.co page for more information on the project.
Source: Lunar Hare Studios