Gotcha Force (ガチャフォース Gacha Fōsu ) is a fighting/third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom for the GameCube in 2003. The game consists primarily of collecting gacha toys and battling with them.
Upon its initial release the game received mediocre reviews from critics and very little advertising. Due to these circumstances, it was not commercially successful, although it has gained a cult following with numerous high fan reviews. Capcom themselves seem to consider the game as one of their favorites, as the official Japanese website is stocked with concept art, videos, and screenshots of the developers messing around. There is also a toy and manga line in Japan though it is extremely rare.
Artwork and illustrations were done by Ryuji Higurashi.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
The game focuses primarily on its combat system, which goes as follows: Before each match, GF Commanders must pick Gotcha Borgs to put on a force. Each Gotcha Borg, depending upon its powers and abilities, costs a specific amount of "GF Energy" in order to place on a force—in Story Mode, GF Energy increases with each match. In multiplayer, GF Energy is determined by players beforehand.
Once Forces are determined, the battle begins. Borgs are placed in an arena, and both Borgs are constantly locked onto each other. If there is more than one enemy, Borgs can switch their lock between enemies, or have the option to lock onto allies (for healing or support). The player must quickly dodge, move, use borg abilities, and use the arena to their advantage in order to evade or block incoming attacks. Borgs often have five attack capabilities that normally consist of close range contextual attacks and three long range attacks, though some Borgs differ.
Once a borg is defeated, that does not mean the match is over. Forces are determined by multiple Gotcha Borgs, and once one is defeated, the next Gotcha Borg in the Force will arrive in the arena, picking up where his or her fallen ally left off. Battles continue until a Force simply has no more Gotcha Borgs. There are many different types, or tribes, of Gotcha Borgs. Some types of Gotcha borgs have the ability to make a partner bigger or make an enemy smaller, some borgs can even change the look and abilities of an opponent — there are many different strategies to use with a single force, counters to these strategies, and counters to these counters. There are over 200 Gotcha Borgs overall.
Players may also obtain borgs of alternate colours, or even special colours such as silver, gold, shadow, or crystal, each with various effects on the borg's life points though some borgs are significantly harder to obtain than others.
Story[edit | edit source]
The Earth is being attacked by a small army of Gotcha Borgs called the Death Force. Luckily, a child named Kou finds a borg called G Red and forms the Gotcha Force. Allied by his friends, Kakeru and Mana, (plus many more) Kou counter-attacks and aims to get rid of the menace, known as the Death Force's leader, the Galactic Emperor.
Characters[edit | edit source]
- Kou Shishido — The star of the game, Kou is a young, energetic schoolboy who recently moved to Safari Town. Definitely a personality-filled fighter, Kou is honorable, loyal, and friendly, and leads the Gotcha Force against the Galactic Emperor. His partner is G Red, who later gains his old data from Megaborg to form Neo G Red.
- G Red - Kou's partner Gotcha Borg who is determined to stop the Death Force from conquering the earth. He arrives on Earth in a weakened state, having had much of his power stolen by the Death Force. Later in the game he regains his lost power and becomes Neo G Red.
- Kakeru Inui - Kou's best friend, though they probably have known each other for a short time, seeing as Kou only moved recently. Kakeru is more easy-going and laid back than Kou. While Kou will most likely simply rush into a battle, Kakeru tends to be more cautious. In battle he uses Ninja Borgs. His partner is Sasuke, a red-haired Normal Ninja.
- Mana Umihara - A sweet girl whose cheerful attitude (and tendencies to place her friends' priorities above her own) makes her a hit with the other kids. However, she is not well-suited to fighting, and often needs to be rescued. She uses Nurse Borgs, and also uses Wizard Borgs. Her partner is Nao, a blonde Angel Nurse.
- Usagi Kurokawa - An energetic girl who loves sports. A slight bit of an ego resides within her, but her friendliness and casual demeanor rules it out completely. She uses Girl Borgs, and also uses Angel Borgs. Her partner is Kei, a red clothed, green-haired Battle Girl sporting a baseball cap.
- Tsutomu Katoru - An intelligent child who loves books and school, and would rather think and debate, than play or idle. He is Usagi's good friend and foil. He mainly uses Tank Borgs, and also uses Air Borgs. His partner is Leopard, a yellow and blue Normal Tank. Tsutomu suffers from a bit of a low self-esteem problem, and sometimes has to use positive self-talk to stay focused.
- Akio "Kitsune" Koyama - A friend of Nekobe, he likes causing mischief. He is a bit of a coward, acting primarily as Nekobe's sidekick and panicking when they are separated, but grows stronger and more independent over the course of the story. He uses Machine Borgs. His partner is Isaac, a purple Claw Robot.
- Katsumi Nekobe - A coward at heart, he tries to hide it by bullying other kids. He is not fond of practicing, preferring to cheat to get his way. Interestingly enough, even when the Death Force are at their most intimidating, Nekobe remains courageous and steadfast to the Gotcha Force, refusing to back down and continues to fight for the sake of other people. After joining the Gotcha Force, he attempts to partner up with both Mana and Usagi, both of whom reject him. He uses Knight Borgs. His partner is Vlad, a purple Vampire Knight. He is referred to by his last name in the game.
- Masamune "Met" Onda - A boy fascinated by the military, and a young apprentice strategist, Met is a very serious and no-nonsense type of kid. While other children would probably be going out to play, Met would stay at home and continue to think of battle strategies. Though apparently friends with Tetsuya, Met rejects the Gotcha Force's invitations until the Death Force becomes too much for him to handle alone. He mainly uses Tank, Ninja, and Insect Borgs, and sticks to support-based borgs. His partner is Shijima, a green Arrow Ninja. His full name is Masamune Onda.
- Tetsuya Sawatari - An energetic boy who likes challenges and never backs down from a fight. He most often partners up with Met, and assists with training Kotaro, acting as his sparring partner. He mainly uses Musha (Samurai) Borgs, and also uses Knight Borgs. His partner is Musashi, a white Normal Samurai.
- Kotaro Shimano - A younger one who is always looking for fun. Kou made friends with him after he saved Kotaro from being picked on by Nekobe and Kitsune. He wears overalls, a red shirt, and has a yellow and black tiger striped bandana on his head. Kotaro is initially weak due to his youth and inexperience, but has a strong fighting spirit and becomes a formidible commander after training with Tetsuya. He uses Gun Borgs. His partner is Billy, a blue-haired Revolver Gunman with sunglasses.
- Yuji Araki - A weird child who is always saying random things, often during the strangest moments. His "Yuji-isms" include proverbs, tongue twisters, pop culture quotes and more. He never takes fighting seriously, even if the world is at stake, becoming the unlikely ally of Sho simply by saying "I agree with that" to Sho's vendetta against Gotcha Borgs. In spite of this, he doesn't appear to harbor any real grudge toward the Gotcha Force, and readily joins them during the Death Force's invasion. He mainly uses Knuckle and Hero Borgs, and his partner is Jack, a pink Jelly Diver.
- Tama Tamagawa - One of the Death Force Commanders, he is a spoiled child who thinks he is better than everyone else, but can rarely back it up. He only uses Fortress Borgs, and uses Death Arc, a blue/purple Sirius, as his partner. Tama is pudgy, constantly eats, and also wears a little boys' sailor suit, occasionally giving the navy salute.
- Sho Takami - A mysterious child who fights both the Gotcha and Death forces who uses Wing Borgs. His partner is Garuda, a red and black Anubis Wing. There are very little official statements about him, but there are many clues (and some gamers consider proof) in the game that suggest his father was killed by Gotcha Borgs. Though he is an enemy for the first parts of the game, he can become an ally if the player never loses a fight to him.
- Orochi - One of the Death Force Commanders, apparently possessed by the Galactic Emperor. Her real name is Rin Nishikiori, but she uses the name "Orochi" while under the Emperor's control. Little is known about her other than that the Emperor uses her as a pawn, granting her temporary use of the Dark Knight. Her partners are Dark Knight (originally) and Death Wing, whom she uses after Dark Knight's defeat at the Death Base. Though Orochi is an enemy for the first parts of the game, she can become an ally during the second playthrough on if the player never loses a fight to her.
- Galactic Emperor - Leads the Death Force in trying to destroy earth, manipulating Gotcha Borgs and humans alike in his conquest. His motivations are unclear, but he seems primarily concerned with destruction for its own sake. Called the "Death Brain" in Japanese. He is the final boss of the game. He is not a playable character in the game without a cheating device or glitch. When beating him, the player simply gets another G Red instead.
Merchandise[edit | edit source]
There was a toy and manga line in Japan but like the game, all merchandise is exceedingly rare now.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Gotcha Force met with mixed critical reception upon release. Reviewers generally praised the game's concept and gameplay, but found the game to lack depth in the long run. Mary Jane Irwin from IGN stated: "What really hurts it is that the game never progresses beyond the simple battles. I never felt challenged -- and after playing through the story mode for an hour, I felt like I had seen all there was to see." Irwin, along with other reviewers, also noted the game to be more appealing to children. The reviewer from GameSpot believed the game "crutches itself far too heavily on brainless, clunky, spastic action that doesn't so much entertain as it bewilders."
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- An unused character, Mina (the older sister of Mana), was supposed to be in the game but she was canceled. Mina was meant to be a hidden GF commander and antagonist. She is described as "an enigmatic beautiful girl that fights against the death borgs with strong determination". Mina lead her Midnight army with her partner Mu-Revi, a loyal Black Axeknight and it was said that she was searching for powerful borgs for unknown reasons.
- One of the game's main characters, Usagi Kurokawa, appeared alongside other Capcom characters in two social games, Minna to Capcom All Stars and Onimusha Soul.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Characters & More[edit | edit source]
Box art[edit | edit source]
Merchandise[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Gotcha Force Instruction Booklet pg. 7
External Links[edit | edit source]
- Official Japanese Site (archive)