I don't think it would have made a difference whether I saw the animй first, but after playing Eureka Seven Volume 1: The New Wave, I am fairly certain that I will not be watching the animй anytime soon, if ever.
It's usually standard that movies, animй, and TV shows spawn terrible video games. Once in a while, it may become a huge success, like Pokemon. Eureka Seven Volume 1: The New Wave is supposed to be a prequel to the animй series Eureka Seven. For reasons unbeknownst to me, there may be fans out there who might actually be excited about this game.
The story unfolds like a preteen soap opera. The intro is as cheesy as it gets: dreamy-eyed boy running around with goofy grin. You'll follow Sumner Sturgeon, who joins the New Wave Academy to be an LFO pilot. LFO is just another name for a mech outfit that can transform into a robot or moving vehicle. The game will periodically throw in other technical jargon and numbers to describe the technology, none of which is explained well. Sturgeon immediately falls for the first pretty girl he lays eyes on - Ruri. Ruri, who happens to be the love interest of a boy named Hooky, hits it off with Sumner, much to Hooky's dismay. Hooky had his eyes on Ruri before Sturgeon came along, and the jealous behavior that ensues is so lame, it hurts. Watching the awful dialogue unfold is painful, but once you get to the actual gameplay portion, you're not really sure which is worse: bad dialogue or repetitive gameplay.
In the event that you actually want to follow the story line, the text boxes have a fixed speed, and there's no way to speed it up or make it stop. The mandatory press X to continue doesn't work, which is bizarre to say the least. You can't pause during the cinematics either. There is an excessive amount of cut scenes, which I usually don't mind, since I like to play games for the story, but in this case, the story isn't really worth playing for. The loading screen pops up quite often to break up the long dialogue.
Early on, you are thrown into a tutorial to teach you how to maneuver in your LFO. The controls are relatively smooth, even if the camera doesn't work all that well. It takes a few tries to get all the buttons down, but all you do is glide around, shoot missiles and try to button mash your way to victory. None of the challenges are very difficult. Missiles will stun your opponent, allowing you to walk right up to them and slap them around. Your battles take place in arenas, and as the game progresses, it feels like all roads lead you to the arena. You'll go through some cut scenes and then you're back in the arena again. In between battles, you can buy items to upgrade your LFO at the shop.
Besides piloting your LFO, lifting is another skill that you'll learn. It's just like skateboarding, except you're hovering in the air. It's hard to control, but if you hit the green trapar wave, that'll give you an additional boost to get ahead.
The only highlight would be the fact that like all animй games, the artwork is nice, and the robots aren't too clunky and out of date. The graphics aren't mind-blowing, but they certainly aren't embarrassing either. The voice-acting is decent, and the lip movements actually match up with the dialogue relatively well. I also noticed that Sumner has some very neatly plucked eyebrows.
However, the environment did feel bland and lifeless, but the music was enough to keep things lively. It sounded like your usual cookie-cutter pop music that is generally packaged with animй-based games.
This type of animй just wasn't for me. It's not that I don't like mechs; I just don't like the awkward love-sick actors and the game played out like an animй, so it felt like I was watching a really bad show. There was no balance between the cut scenes and gameplay. There was an overwhelming amount of dialogue, so you'd be sitting there just watching everyone talk for several minutes at a time. If they weren't talking, the game was loading.
Other than the nicely drawn animй characters, which can be found in any other animй game, there wasn't anything that stood out in Eureka Seven Volume 1: The New Wave. Everything from the story line to the mech suits have been done multiple times before, so unless you're a fan of the series, I can find no reason why anyone would bother with this one.