Is it worth the hefty price tag?
Gotcha Force was critically panned when it first released in 2003, but since then has garnered a cult following. But despite this conflicting opinions, should you play it today?
We take a look back to find out if it’s bad, so bad it’s good, or a real hidden gem.
Hey how’s it going guys, this is Tom from UDS and welcome to a brand new series where we look at games that were mauled by critics, but in actual fact, we enjoyed a whole bunch. Whether they’re so bad they’re good, or genuinely under-appreciated hidden gems, we think it’s about time they get the spotlight they deserve.
Based on aggregate review scores, we’re going to throw ourselves directly onto the controversy bonfire, and tell you what you really missed out on if you listened to the critics of yesteryear. Lastly before we start, don’t forget to like, hit the bell and subscribe for plenty more video game content every single week and let me know what your favourite underrated games are in the comments below.
Our first game is Gotcha Force, released in 2003 by Capcom. Ostensibly a third person action game, the game consists primarily of collecting gacha toys and battling with them.
As for a quick summary of the plot, you play as a child named Kou, who finds a little robot called G-Red, before being attacked by an evil gang of Borgs called Death Force. Like any good pre-teen protagonist, it’s not long before you have to form the Gotcha Force, a gang of you and your friends who have to defeat Death Force’s leader, the Galactic Emperor and ultimately save the Earth.
Sitting at a middling 56/100 on Metacritic, the general consensus of Gotcha Force on release appeared to be that of an inconsistent mish-mash of existing IP’s and repetitive gameplay loops. In the years since, it’s established itself as one of the many overlooked cult titles of the Gamecube era, going for fairly big bucks on auction sites across the internet.
In the defence of 2003/4 games journalists across the globe, they weren’t entirely wrong in their estimation of what was on offer here. The game seemed to borrow a lot of basic elements from all over the place; little robots from outer space need YOUR help to stop an invading force that’s now threatening planet Earth (à la Transformers, only much, much smaller). Seemingly half inspired by the smattering of “gotta catch ‘em all” style titles that were all the rage only a few years prior, and the other half by Capcom’s own, then recently established, Megaman Battle Network series in it’s style, Gotcha Force had a lot of other people’s work to thank for it’s backbone.
There’s a constant, pervading feeling that Capcom was wishing for this to be something bigger than it would ever become ingrained into almost every facet of the game. Their clear desire for this to sell merchandise loomed over you perpetually, but unfortunately for Capcom, the game just didn’t sell that well and was considered a big flop. No sequel, no accompanying anime, and (according to my brief research on the subject) virtually no toys.
But the game was fun! There’s not a whole lot of downtime between missions, the action is snappy and energetic, and the style is cute and colourful – the weak links are the story, and lack of other things to do. This is a fairly impressive game for 2003 as far as I’m concerned, and it’s a bit of a shame that there’s not been any news on the series since.
But what did you think of Gotcha Force? Did you play it at the time, or did you remortgage your house to buy it more recently? Please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your thoughts. And while you’re down there, don’t forget to subscribe for more videos every single week, and visit upsidedownshark.com to read the article that inspired this series. I’ll put a link in the description.
But until then my name is Tom, this has been UDS and we’ll see you next time.